hairstyle trends How to Choose Between a Low Fade and High Fade Haircut

Know exactly what to ask for at your next barber appointment.

January 28, 2022
Low Fade Vs High Fade Haircuts

Ah, the world of men’s haircuts! When it’s time to head to the barbershop, the age-old low fade vs. high fade debate immediately comes to mind. Known as two of the most popular haircuts for men, these styles allow you to show off your strands, and in some cases, highlight your texture. These days, even women are making the chop and turning to the stylish ‘do.

However, when it comes to choosing the right cut to complement your spiky strands, cute coils, edgy man buns and everything in between, many men don’t know where to start. Lucky for you, we can assist. Below, we’re sharing the differences between a low fade and high fade so you can decide which cut suits your hairstyle needs.

Low Fade Vs. High Fade

It’s time to put the low fade vs. high fade debate to bed! Like all fade haircuts, low fades gradually shift from one length to the next. It tapers just above the ear and transitions through the hairline for the right amount of edge. Since this cut has low sides, it’s perfect for those who like to make their longer length the star of their look.

Similar to low fades, high fades sport short lengths along the back and sides of the head. The key difference that gives this cut its name is that the fade typically starts around your temples or forehead, and then gradually tapers off for a more dramatic look. High fades are a great pick for those who dare to be bold. Plus, you’ll have tons of fun styling your mane.

Other Fade Hairstyles

If you thought low fades and high fades were the only fade hairstyles you can choose from, think again. Below, we break down other trendy versions of the beloved cut.

Mid Fade 

If a high fade is a bit too dramatic and you don't want a lot of your hair cut but a low fade doesn’t get rid of as much hair as you’d like, consider a mid fade. Mid fades taper between your temples and ears to give you an equal balance of faded detailing and length. Equally flattering and versatile, both of these haircuts will give you a clean-cut look you’ll love.

High Taper Fade 

Another popular version of the fade haircut is the high taper fade. This style starts further up than other styles, which works in your favor to enhance your features. The way the hair lies can even make your face look slimmer. Since this cut sits higher up, it’s the perfect match for voluminous hairstyles (think: quiffs and curly hair). So, it’s no surprise that this look has become a go-to pick for A-listers.

What Type of Fade Should You Get? 

As with most beauty-related subjects, it all comes down to preference. If you’re working with a lot of length, the low fade may be just what you need. This haircut is an excellent choice for men who want to switch up their look without a dramatic change. The true epitome of an understated style, this cut serves up the perfect amount of edge and sophistication for a well-polished finish. It also allows you to work with more hair at the top so that you can experiment with a wider range of hairstyles. Not to mention, if you’re trying to stretch the time between your haircuts, a low fade will grow out seamlessly.

A mid fade serves as a happy medium between a low fade and a high fade. Known as a well-rounded haircut, this style gives you the best of both worlds: length to play with and faded sides for a trendy touch. Since it’s super easy to maintain, this cut is a must for anyone who lives by minimal styling.

For men who love bold haircuts and styles, a high fade or high taper fade will make a statement without turning hairstyling into a hassle. It also plays well with fine hair types to give your mane a thicker and fuller appearance.

Next: 7 Hair Care Tips for Men

Edited by: Sophie Dweck, Photo Credit: Bryant Gutierrez of Gutier Studio IG/