Low Fade Vs. High Fade Haircuts: What's The Difference?

By now, we're all familiar with the fade haircut. The haircut is characterized by buzzed sides that are blended into the rest of the haircut, per The Trend Spotter. This creates a smooth transition from the extremely short buzz on the sides of the head to the longer hair at the top. But did you know that there's a big difference between low fade and high fade haircuts? Understanding the distinction between the two will help you request the haircut of your dreams the next time you visit your hairstylist.

According to Men's Hairstyles Today, a low fade starts about an inch above your ear. Many barbers style a low fade to curve around your ear and down to your neckline in the back. In contrast, a high fade starts much farther up, near your temple or the corner of your forehead. The sides of your head will be much more exposed, especially if you ask your stylist for a skin fade, or a bald fade.

If you can't decide between a low fade or a high fade, you could also opt for a happy middle with the mid fade. Mid fades start about an inch and a half above your ear. In other words, the fade line should be exactly in the middle if you are looking at the side of your head. Once you've decided where you want your fade to begin, you should think about the ways you want to style the rest of your hair.

Fade haircut styles to consider

Distingushing between a low and a hide fade haircut is just the tip of the iceberg. As noted by The Trend Spotter, there are plenty of stylish fades to consider, including the undercut fade, the taper fade, and the high top fade.

The undercut fade works well with a high fade, and is characterized by a slicked back, long-length top. It's called an "undercut" because the buzzed hair starts right at the temple, creating an interesting contrast with the long hair on the top of the head.

A taper fade makes a natural pairing with a low cut fade, and features a very smooth transition from the top of the head to the base of the neck. The top hair is long and usually swept back, then blends into slightly shorter hair on the sides of the head. This, in turn, blends into a gentle fade that starts low on the sides of the head.

The high top fade, popularized by Will Smith in the 1980s, is making a big comeback. The classic high top features a fade that starts near the temple and blends into a rounded upward 'do with a flat top (via Latest Hairstyles). Another popular high top fade has a more relaxed appearance and is characterized by a tapered afro that blends into a high or medium fade.

No matter which style you choose, we hope your fade blends into the rest of your hair as smoothly as butter.