Low Fade vs. High Fade: Choosing The Best Style for You

When it comes to choosing the right haircut, the details can make all the difference. One popular choice among people is deciding between a low fade and a high fade haircut. Both styles offer a clean, modern look that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Knowing the differences between these low fade vs. High Fade can help you make an informed decision and find the perfect haircut that suits your preferences and desired look.

The Main Difference between Low Fade vs. High Fade

Key Takeaways

  • Low and high fades offer clean, modern looks
  • Low Fade: Subtle, classic, around the ear, smooth transition
  • High Fade: Bold, edgy, above the ear, sharp contrast

Low Fade vs. High Fade: Choosing The Best Style for You Pin

Low Fade vs. High Fade: The Definition

What Does “Low Fade” Mean?

low fade usually starts an inch or two above the ear and extends around the head in an even, neat curve. As the name suggests, it’s lower on the head, usually closer to the hairline. The low fades can be further categorized into:

  • Taper fade: The hair gradually shortens in length from the top of the head down to the nape of the neck.
  • Drop fade: The fade line curves and “drops” behind the ear, following the head’s natural shape.

What Does “High Fade” Mean?

On the other hand, a high fade typically begins a couple of inches higher than the low fade, halfway up the sides and back of the head. The fade can be more aggressive, providing a sharper contrast between the long hair on top and the short-to-bald transition on the sides. High fades can also be classified into:

  • Skin fade: Extremely short hair or bald skin at the bottom of the fade, gradually transitioning to longer hair on the top.
  • Bald fade: Similar to a skin fade, but the sides and back are completely shaved, giving a greater contrast between the bald and remaining hair.

Tips to Remember the Differences

When trying to differentiate between a low fade and a high fade, it’s essential to keep in mind some key points. 

First, let’s address the starting point of each fade. A low fade begins around the ear and curves or tapers down toward the neck. On the other hand, a high fade starts higher up on your head, typically a couple of inches above the ear, and also tapers down toward the neck.

To help visualize and retain these differences, consider the following table:

Fade Style Starting Point
Low Fade Around the ear
High Fade Above the ear

Another helpful tip is to remember that the low fade creates a more subtle and classic look, while the high fade gives off a bold and edgy appearance. Make a mental note of the desired outcome when choosing between these two styles.

Low Fade vs. High Fade: Examples

Example Sentences Using Low Fade

  • He decided to try a low fade for his new summer haircut.
  • The tutorial on YouTube showed how to do a low fade step by step.
  • Many celebrities are rocking the low fade look this season.
  • When he got a low fade, it completely transformed his usual style.
  • The barber shop is known for their skilled work on low fades.
  • low fade can really complement a sharp beard line.
  • She learned to cut a low fade so she could style her brother’s hair at home.

Example Sentences Using High Fade

  • He was looking for a bold change, so he chose a high fade to go with his new hairstyle.
  • The barber gave him a high fade that blended smoothly into his pompadour.
  • For a more dramatic look, he opted for a high fade with a longer top.
  • She mastered the art of cutting a high fade, making her clients look sharp and stylish.
  • The high fade haircut has become increasingly popular among athletes for its clean look.
  • With his high fade, he felt more confident and ready for the job interview.
  • The tutorial emphasized the importance of precision when giving a high fade to avoid uneven lines.

Related Confused Words With Low Fade or High Fade

Low Fade vs. Low Taper

In the context of hairstyles, “low fade” and “low taper” both refer to types of haircuts that gradually decrease the hair length on the sides and back of the head. However, they differ in the intensity and area of the gradient:

Low Fade:

  • A low fade haircut begins just above the ears and typically fades down to very short hair or even skin level as it approaches the natural hairline at the nape of the neck.
  • The fade is more dramatic and noticeable, with a clear contrast between the lengths of hair.
  • It’s a more contemporary and sharper look, often chosen for a bolder statement.

Low Taper:

  • A low taper also starts above the ears but is less dramatic than a fade. The hair gradually gets shorter as it goes down the sides and back, but not as short as a fade.
  • The transition between hair lengths is more subtle and blended, with no clear lines or abrupt changes in hair length.
  • It gives a cleaner, more classic look that is less edgy than a fade.

High Fade vs. Undercut

High Fade:

  • A high fade haircut involves a close shave that starts high on the sides and back of the head, often at or above the temples.
  • The hair is tapered or faded from the skin into the longer hair on top, creating a gradient effect.
  • The high fade emphasizes the hair on top by creating a stark contrast between the very short sides and the longer hair above.


  • An undercut features a sharp contrast between the very short or shaved sides and back and the much longer hair on top.
  • Unlike the fade, the undercut does not have a gradual transition – the sides and back are one length, and there is a clear, defined line where the short hair meets the longer hair on top.
  • The length on the top can be styled in numerous ways, such as slicked back, combed over, or left to fall naturally, depending on personal preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which fade is better for my head shape, low or high?

Both low and high fades can look great on various head shapes, but the key is finding the right one for you. Low fades tend to be more universally flattering as they follow the natural curve of the head, while high fades might suit those with more prominent or angular features. It’s always a good idea to consult with your barber or stylist for a recommendation based on your unique head shape and preferences.

How do I decide between a low fade and a high fade when sporting a comb over?

When deciding between a low and high fade for a comb over, consider your personal style and desired level of contrast. A high fade will produce a more dramatic contrast between the longer top and the tapered sides, creating a bold, modern look. If you prefer a more subtle and classic appearance, a low fade would be a better option, as it merges seamlessly with the longer hair on top.

What are the distinguishing characteristics of a low fade haircut?

A low fade haircut is characterized by the gradual tapering of hair length, starting from just above the ear and progressing down to the nape of the neck. The fade remains close to the natural hairline, giving a softer and more subtle appearance than a high fade. Low fades are an excellent option for those who want a stylish haircut without a stark contrast between the sides and top of the head.

Can you explain the differences between a low fade, a taper fade, and a temp fade?

A low fade is characterized by its lower starting point and subtle blending into the longer hair at the top. A taper fade, on the other hand, is a general term for any fade where the hair length gradually decreases from top to bottom. This includes low fades, mid-fades, and high fades. A temp fade, also known as a temple fade, specifically refers to a fade where hair is tapered around the temples and sideburns, leaving most of the back and sides untouched.

Is a high fade or a low fade more suitable for professional settings?

A low fade is generally considered more suitable for professional settings, as it is less dramatic in appearance. It offers a clean and well-groomed look while maintaining a more conservative and classic appeal. However, a high fade can be appropriate in creative or fashion-forward industries, where bolder hairstyles may be appreciated. In any case, it’s essential to consider your specific workplace or industry when choosing your hairstyle.

What separates a razor fade from a low fade in terms of technique and final look?

The primary difference between a razor fade and a low fade lies in the technique used to create the tapering effect. A razor fade uses a straight razor for the final clean shave around the sides and back, creating a very sharp, high-contrast look. In contrast, a low fade is achieved using clippers and maintains a more gradual, seamless taper, resulting in a softer and more subtle appearance.

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Last Updated on December 25, 2023

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