Low Fade vs. High Fade: Understanding the Difference

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.

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

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

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.