It’s hot outside. During the sweltering days of summer—the ones when just getting out of bed is all the effort you can make for the day—thinking about fashion is almost entirely impossible.
During the summer months, it’s not about how stylish you can look or the long hair you can grow. Versatility is key, which is why we’re big fans of the low fade haircut for men (you might also see this called a tape up cut). This disconnected style is both comfortable and appropriately trendy. In our estimation, the best kind of trend is the one that doesn’t involve any extra effort.
What is a low fade haircut?
The fade is a classic barber-style cut. Your stylist will work to taper your hair from the ears and neck, creating a close-cropped look that’s face-framing and appropriate for all ages.
There are several different types of fades, largely depending upon how much length you’d like to keep. Unlike the skin fade or high fade, the low fade’s taper begins just an inch or so above the ears. This means you’re left with a full head of hair and just a hint of a fade. The look can be as edgy or conservative as you’d like to take it, which is why the style has been popular for so long.
Feel like this might be the right summer style for you? Read on. We’ve rounded up the easiest, freshest takes on the low fade for your perusal.
The low fade with short hair is a classic. Leaving less than a half inch of length across your scalp, your barber will trim your strands into a tidy style that sits close to the skin. If you’re particularly confident in your hairline, the short low fade is the right look for you.
Long Hair with Side Part
For men with a taste for drama, the low fade can look excellent with long hair on top and a crisp side part. Stylists call this cut a disconnected undercut, noting the dramatic difference between the top of the head and the sides.
Long Hair Swept Back
Not much of a side part guy? Use your comb to create a dramatically swept back style on top of your low fade. Before you fully commit to this look, make sure you’ve asked your stylist or barber for hair product recommendations. It wouldn’t hurt to get a brief styling tutorial, either.
The pompadour is such a classic style that it only makes sense barbers would find a way to ensure it stays popular. Instead of a single length on top of the head, your stylist will taper your length so that the longest hair is at the forehead. Then, it’ll all get combed straight back from the face. Use a product with hold to ensure your strands stay in place.
Here’s another variation on the disconnected undercut, one that’s a bit more youthful than the pompadour. Once your barber has carved out your low fade, he or she will set to work trimming your top section of hair at a steep angle. Instead of pulling the hair back from the head, you’ll push it up into a mohawk shape.
Top Knot Fade
The top knot fade is an excellent choice for men with long hair because it provides nearly endless styling options. Feel like wearing your hair down and making a scene? Totally fine. Want to tie back your mane for a professional look? That’s fine by us.
These days, you don’t have to be a soldier to cop their style. The military-inspired fade is a classic look, one that’s served multiple generations of clean cut men well. Instead of dramatic length on top, your barber will leave just about an inch. Your low fade will be cropped nearly to the skin.
Other kinds of fade cuts may be all about the drama of short and long hair next to each other, but the shadow fade is a subtler look. Here, the taper acts as an illusion shadow for the hair at the top of the head. If this style is your dream ‘do, make sure you’re seeing a barber with experience in very precise blending.
Curly men, we’re here for you. If you’re wondering how to manage your ringlets while still obeying your office’s dress code, the curly low fade is an excellent option. Your stylist will trim away all your curls except for those on top, applying a gel to hold them in place. Before work, you’ll only have to wrangle a third of the curls you’ve been trying to manage. Life just got a lot easier.
Been working on an afro, but not sure if the shape is right for you? Ask your barber about a low fade, which can look striking when paired with a short afro. If you’re working with a strong jawline and clearly defined facial structure, we recommend giving the fade a try.
There’s nothing more strikingly masculine than a skin fade, in our estimation. Instead of leaving a little fuzz above your ears, your barber will take the hair down almost to the skin of your scalp. The result is a dramatic, tiered look that’s more runway than it is corporate office.
Looking for a little extra panache with your cut? For a statement finish to your ‘do, ask your barber or stylist to carve a line into your hair. If you’d like a dramatic design or just a simple line, be clear with your professional about your expectations. Once that hair has been buzzed away, there’s no getting it back.
The executive contour is a vintage style from the 1950s that’s come back into fashion. With a touch of shaping and delicate fading around the hairline—not to mention a swept-back top section of hair—this look is all business. If you’ve always wanted to channel that old-school business look, the executive contour is the best style you’ve never tried.