Like so much of the coolest, freshest street culture, the fade hairstyle emerged from the barbershops in African-American neighbourhoods in the mid 80’s.
Fast forward to now and everyone from Drake and JT to David Beckham is rocking a fade. But beware, when it’s done by your average clipper jockey who can’t wait to get back to his Tinder feed, the result can be a bit on the “didn’t I see you on Border Security smuggling in a flick-knife” side of things. Just add one rolled up tracksuit pant leg.
Like anything, the best fades take time and precision. If the place feels rushed find somewhere else.
Fades are also better suited to darker hair where the graduation can be seen clearly – so those going grey or light blondes might wanna think twice. Not saying it’s impossible but it’s generally a younger man’s do. Or a middle aged real estate agent trying just that bit too hard to be cool.
Aside from bringing in both pictures and the realisation that you will probably never resemble Jamie Dornan, be prepared for the fact that fades are some of the shortest haircuts around. Shorter than you’ve maybe ever gone. Some practically touch the skin around the neck. Up top, the options expand. You can keep it short and textured or go with some length and height for a punk rockish vibe.
Because fades – especially the shorter and skin varieties – are so closely cropped, you’ll need to refresh every two to three weeks. It’s the price you pay with this cut unfortunately. By all means tidy up the neckline yourself but do not be tempted to DIY. This is a real skill and you don’t want to be finding that out the hard way.
To style a fade at home, invest in texturising spray or a sea salt option. Blow dry it into the shape you want and finish with a shaping crème applied to the crown only. Nothing is required on the sides or back.