Low Fade vs High Fade Haircuts

By Rich Krafting


Let’s break down the differences between low fade vs high fade vs mid fade haircuts.

The low fade tapers hair down the shortest around the hairline while the mid fade goes short a few inches up higher. Both are drop fades because the line of the fade drops down behind the ear in an arc that follows the hairline and neck.

The high fade usually follows a line that goes straight back from the corner of the forehead. Unlike the one length undercut that has a similar profile, the fade gets shorter as it moves down the head, sometimes all the way down to the skin. The shorter part of a high fade will follow the line of drop fade. Confused yet? Just check out the pictures.

Why choose one fade over the other? Looks, really. It just depends on which look you prefer. All of them trim the hair short around the sides and back so the low fade isn’t more work than the mid or high fade.

The bigger question is if you want a skin fade or shadow fade. The skin, or bald fade, tapers hair right down to the skin. The shadow fade goes from short hair at the hairline to even shorter hair at the neckline.

Any length or kind of fade can be added to your favorite longer on top, short sides and back hairstyle. Check out these pictures for a few cool fade and hairstyle combinations.

1. Low Fade Haircut

Low Fade vs High Fade Haircuts


The low fade is exactly what it sounds like – a taper within an inch or two of the hairline. It can also be called a drop fade because the line drops down behind the ear. This low bald fade raises the hairline for an ultra clean cut finish that will look good growing out.

2. Low Fade with Beard

Low Fade Haircut + Beard

Squeak Pro Barber

Here’s the low fade from the side. It cuts the temples, around the ears and neckline short, which creates a different line than the actual hairline. This is the best type of fade to wear with a beard.

3. Mid Fade + Side Part Hairstyle

Mid Fade Haircut + Side Part

Matt J.

As expected, the mid fade lands somewhere in between the low and high fade. It is also a drop fade, cutting the temples short and arcing down to at the occipital bone at the back of the head. This mid fade goes down to the skin at the hairline but the tapering starts in the middle of the head.

4. High Bald Fade Haircut

High Bald Fade Haircut + Short Hair

Pat Regan

In contrast to the drop fade, the high fade follows a straight line from the hairline around the back of the head. The fade starts up high with a bit of a drop when it goes down to the skin to give some shape to this ultra short high and tight.

5. High Taper Fade

High Taper Fade Haircut

Juan Morales

Here’s another way to wear the high fade. Again, hair is longer on top with short hair is cut in a line straight back from the hairline. This version goes down the skin around the hairline.

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