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Step by Step Guide to Cut a Fade

The fade hair-cut is a tricky one to do on your own because it requires a precise movement of the fade clippers but a clean tapered outline will make style really stand out.

Having said this I’m going to show you how to fade hair the proper way on your own.

Step-by-Step Guide to cutting a Fade 

First you should start from the top by using the shears and start with the middle section. Cut the desired length in this middle section and this will serve as a guide for the rest of the cut.

Now move the shears towards the crown of the head and cut accordingly.

Repeat this process on both the left and the right side of the top part. Once you get to the curve of the head and the comb is parallel to the floor there will be a point that the hair will not reach the comb.

Now you’re ready to start the sides and back of the head. For this section we will use an appropriate fade clipper, using the 3 ¾ (1/2”) blade. Starting with the right or left sideburn, run the hair clippers up the side of the head slowly.

Follow the angle of the head with the clipper at an angle until you run out of hair. This way the sides and back will blend into the round of the head section.

As you go lower down the back of the head you will need to change the clipper guard to shorter and shorter sizes. First change the clipper guard to a 3 ½  (3/8”) blade. Start to bevel the clipper slowly away from the head about ¼ of an inch below the previous section.

Next change to a 1 ½ (1/8”) inch clipper guard, this time use the tip of the blade to make the cut longer. Start to bevel the clipper slowly away from the head about ¼ of an inch below the previous section.

Now flatten the blade out to take more length and use the clipper over comb technique to soften the blend around the round of the head especially in the heavier spots.

Use the tip of the blade over the comb to cut and blend at the same time.

To start the taper open the clipper guard lever all of the way leaving it at the longest setting. Use a scooping motion about 1-2 fingers width around the outline of the haircut.

Now, repeat the above step but this time with the clipper guard lever adjusted to halfway closed. Use the same scooping motion around the outline of the haircut around ½ a finger width.

Finally repeat the process again with the lever in the closed position and with 1/4 of an inch scooping motion around the perimeter of the haircut.

Now the taper is done and the haircut is basically ready for the finishing touches.

To finish off use the t-blade of the hair clipper or trimmer to edge off the sideburn area and clean up around the ears.

Make sure to pull the ear down to make this process easier and be able to see and tackle any extra hairs behind the ear. When cutting the hair behind the ear make sure not to go in too far as otherwise you will leave excessive gaps in the arc around the ear (known as white wall).

For the back of the neck use an upward shaving motion with the clipper. Be careful not to get close to the hairline as at this point the taper is complete and you will ruin the cut. Stop ½ -1 inch below the taper so a line is not made.

To close off, style the hair with a firm hold paste to get your desired look.


Hi I'm Vincent, the editor of this website. I consider male grooming as a lifestyle choice. If you're comfortable with letting mother nature take care of your looks, then that's cool, however for those of you who want to make sure they look their best, I provide guides and tips for your male grooming needs.

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