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With fade haircuts being one of the most popular hairstyles for men, it’s essential to know the differences between them and what is a low fade vs. mid fade.
In this article, we will talk about these differences and provide some examples of each to give you a better idea of what they look like, so when you go to your barber, you will know exactly what to ask for.
Table of Contents
What is a Fade Haircut?
A fade haircut is a trendy hairstyle for men in which the hair is cut shorter near the bottom and gradually gets longer towards the top. While the hair on the sides is usually trimmed very short, the hair on the top can be any length.
There are many different fade haircuts, but the two most popular are the low fade and the mid fade.
Related Article: Mid Fade Vs High Fade: All The Differences [Photos]
What is a Low Fade?
A low fade haircut is a fade haircut in which the fade transition at the side and back hair start low, about half-inch above the ear.
While this number is not set in stone, it’s the most common starting point for a low fade. The barber will use his fade clippers to gradually fade the hair until it meets the longer hair on top.
Related Article: Drop Fade vs. Low Fade: The Differences & Similarities
What is a Mid Fade?
A mid-fade haircut is a fade haircut in which the fade transition starts at about an inch above the ear.
Like the low fade, the barber will use clippers to gradually fade the hair until it meets the longer hair on top.
Related Article: Number 1 Fade: Top 10 Styles [With Photos], Length, And More
Low Fade vs. Mid fade
The main difference between a low fade and a mid fade is where the fade starts.
With a low fade, the transition starts lower, about half-inch above the ear, while with a mid fade, it starts higher, about an inch above the ear.
It might sound simple, but this slight difference can significantly impact the overall look of the haircut, which gets us to the next point.
The difference in where the fade starts also impacts the overall look and feel of the haircut.
A low fade tends to have a softer transition because it starts lower, while a mid fade is a little harsher because it starts higher.
It all comes to the contrast between short and long hair. The contrast is not that big at the low fade because the transition starts low, so the hair on the sides is not that short.
On the other hand, a mid fade has a more prominent contrast because the transition starts higher, resulting in shorter hair on the sides.
This difference is even more noticeable when the hair on top is long because it creates a starker contrast. If you have short hair on top, the difference might not be that noticeable.
Related Article: Number 2 Fade Haircuts: Everything You Need To Know
What should I choose a low fade or a mid fade?
Now that we’ve talked about the main differences between a low fade and a mid-fade, it’s time to answer the most important question: which one should you choose?
The answer really depends on two things: your personal preference and the overall look you’re going for.
If you want a softer, more subtle look, then a low fade is the way to go. A mid-fade is the way to go if you want something with more contrast and a harsher transition.
It really comes down to what you prefer and what look you’re going for. You can’t go wrong with either one. So the best way to choose is to experiment until you find the perfect taper fade haircut for you.
What length should the fade be?
When it comes to the length of the fade, again, it really depends on your preference and the look you’re going for.
If you want a more subtle look, you can keep the fade longer and trim the short hair with a number 3 guard or longer.
If you want a harsher transition, you can go for a shorter length like a number 2 guard or even a bald fade.
It all comes down to what you prefer and the look you’re going for. You can experiment with different lengths until you find the perfect one for you.
Best low fade hairstyles
Now that we’ve discussed what a low fade is and how to choose the right length, it’s time to look at some of the best low fade hairstyles.
Below are some of our favorite low fade haircuts that you can use as inspiration for your next haircut.
Low Fade with Quiff
This low fade haircut is a great option if you want a stylish and modern hairstyle.
The low fade creates a nice contrast with the longer hair on top, which can be styled into a textured quiff.
This is a great hairstyle for guys who want a stylish and trendy haircut that will turn heads.
Low Fade with Side Part
This low fade with a side part is a classic and sophisticated hairstyle.
The low fade creates a nice soft contrast with the longer hair on top, which can be styled into a sleek side part.
This is a great hairstyle for guys who want a stylish but professional haircut that they can wear to work or other formal occasions.
Low Fade with Buzzcut
A really sporty and stylish option is this low fade with a buzzcut.
The low fade gives a modern twist to the traditional buzzcut, and it’s a great option for guys who are looking for a no-fuss hairstyle.
No maintenance is required for this hairstyle, and it’s a great option for guys who are always on the go.
Related Article: Buzz Cut Lengths: Complete Guide from 0 to 8
Low Fade with Slick Back
This low fade with a slick back is a modern and stylish take on the classic slicked-back hairstyle.
For this look, you need to have longer hair on top, which can be styled into a sleek, polished, slick back.
The low fade creates a nice contrast with the slicked-back hair, and it’s a great option for guys who want a stylish but professional haircut.
It is not as hassle-free as the buzzcut, but it still requires low maintenance.
Low Fade with Spiky Hair
This low fade haircut is a great option for guys who want a modern hairstyle.
The low fade balances out the spiky hair on top, and it’s a great option for guys who want a stylish haircut.
This hairstyle is perfect for guys who have thick and wavy hair, and it’s a great way to add texture and volume to your hair.
Best mid-fade hairstyles
Now that we’ve talked about the best low fade hairstyles, it’s time to take a look at some of the best mid-fade haircuts.
Below are some of our favorite mid-fade haircuts that you can use as inspiration for your next haircut.
Mid Fade with Messy Hair
This mid-fade haircut is a great option if you want a bohemian and relaxed hairstyle.
The mid fade will make the constant between the messy hair on top and the short sides, and it’s a great way to add texture and volume to your hair.
This is a great hairstyle for guys who want a relaxed and carefree haircut they can wear any day.
Mid Fade with man-bun
The mid fade with a man bun is very trendy and stylish, and it’s a great option for guys who want a long hair hairstyle that doesn’t look like the 80s.
To get this hairstyle, you need to grow out your hair on top and tie it into a bun. The mid fade will create a nice contrast with the bun, and it’s a great way to make the classic boring long hair look more interesting.
Mid Fade with Pompadour
The pompadour is a classic hairstyle that has been around for centuries, and the mid fade will give it a modern twist.
This haircut is perfect for guys who have thick hair and like spending time styling their hair into a pompadour.
This is not a maintenance-free hairstyle, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Mid Fade with Undercut
If you are a Peaky Blinders fan, then this is the haircut for you.
The mid fade gives the undercut the needed contrast, and it’s a great option for guys who want a badass haircut.
It is not that hands-off hairstyle, but it’s definitely a head-turner.
Mid Fade with Beard
Of course, in themensattitude we love beards, and we think that they look great with a mid-fade haircut.
The beard will add more contrast to the haircut, and it’s a great way to make the mid fade more interesting.
This is a great hairstyle for guys who want to make a statement, and it’s a great way to show off your beard.
Some beard styles that look great with a mid-fade haircut are the full beard, the goatee, and the beardstache.
These are just some of our favorite mid-fade haircuts, and we hope that you found inspiration for your next haircut.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them down below.
The next time you visit your barber and are undecided on what hairstyle to get, we hope you will consider getting a low fade or a mid fade haircut.
These two haircuts are versatile and can be styled in many different ways.
Low fades are more conservative and perfect for guys who want a professional haircut.
Mid fades are more modern and stylish and perfect for guys who want a trendy haircut.
We hope that you enjoyed this article, and we hope that you found inspiration for your next haircut.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.