The Men’s Attitude is reader-supported! We might get a small commission if you purchase something after clicking our links, at no extra charge for you.
I know many of you get confused with all the different fade styles and lengths, and this is why we decided to create this guide.
In this article, we are going to examine the mid fade vs the high fade, talk about the differences, the similarities, and the reasons why you should get one or another.
If you are looking for a quick answer, the main difference between the mid fade and the high fade is the transition point of the fade. In the mid fade, the transition happens about an inch above the ear, while in the mid fade, it happens around the height of the temples.
But if you don’t like quick answers and want to know all the details of these two types of fades, keep reading.
What is the Mid Fade?
As already mentioned, the mid fade is a fade style that the transition from the lowest trimmed hair to the longest happens about an inch above your ear.
This makes the mid-fade haircut more subtle than the high fade as the shortest clipped hair area is smaller, giving you a less dramatic look.
But keep in mind that the fade height is not the only factor that weighs in the final look. The second and probably the most important factor is the length of the fade.
What I mean when I say the fade length is how short or long the faded hair is going to be.
For example, if you decide to go with a zero to one mid-skin fade (meaning the shortest part of your hair will be cut with a clipper with no guards on (0.4 mm) and the rest with a number one guard on (3mm)) you will look way more “extreme” than if you decided to go with a number one (3mm) to two fade (6mm).
What is the High Fade?
The high fade is a fade style where the fade effect happens around the height of your temples. When you go for a high fade, the biggest part of your side hair will be trimmed with the shortest length guard giving you a more extreme look than the mid-taper fade.
But again, this is not the only factor that determines how subtle or extreme your overall look will be. Other factors like the length of the fade and the way your hair on top is styled also play an important role.
Related Article: Drop Fade vs. Low Fade: The Differences & Similarities
Should I go for a Mid Fade or a High Fade?
Now that we have discussed the differences between the mid fade and high fade, it’s time to talk about which one you should choose and why.
Let me start by telling you that there is no right or wrong choice when choosing a fade style. It all comes down to your face shape and lifestyle. Let’s quickly go over some of the factors you should consider when trying to decide if you should go with a mid or high fade.
1. Your face shape
Here at themensattitude we firmly believe that the first thing you should consider before deciding on a beard style or hairstyle is your face shape.
This is because different face shapes look better with certain styles as they accentuate the facial features you want to accentuate.
For example, if you have a long face shape, it is better to go with a mid fade because if you go with a high fade, where most of your side hair will be trimmed with the shortest setting, your face will look thinner and thus longer.
On the other hand, if you have a round face, it is better to go with a high fade as it will make your face look more oval and less round.
So do your homework, think about what you want to achieve with your hairstyle, and choose the fade height that will make you look your best. You can read our article “How to choose a beard for your face shape” to understand the mindset of what to look for.
2. Your lifestyle
While knowing your face shape and choosing a hairstyle that accentuates your good facial features is relatively straightforward, deciding the height of your fade based on your lifestyle is a bit more complex.
When I am telling you to consider your lifestyle, I am talking about things like your job environment, your character, and how much time you are willing to spend going to the barber to maintain your cut.
For example, if you work in a corporate environment, you are a mellow character that doesn’t like to attract too much attention, and you don’t want to spend too much time at the barber, then it is probably a good idea to go with a mid fade.
On the other hand, if you work in a more casual work setting, you are the spirit of the party, and you don’t mind spending a bit of time at the barber, then it is probably a good idea to go with a high fade.
3. Your hair type
The final factor you should consider is your hair type. This is because certain hair types look better with certain fade heights. Let me give you an example, and you will understand what I am talking about.
If you have thin hair or a receding hairline, you should probably go for a high fade because when you have a receding hairline and do a very short high fade, the difference between your thinning hair and the receding hairline will be less obvious, giving the illusion of thicker hair. If you want to learn more about which haircuts help with receding hairlines, read our article “Buzzcuts & receding hairlines“.
On the other hand, if you have curly hair, you should go for a mid or even a low fade because if you go for a high fade, your curly hair will stick out and look very unruly.
As you can understand, the fade length choice is something very personal, and you should not follow any advice you read online. Think about the factors I mentioned above, and I am sure you will make the right choice.
Now that we are done with the technicalities and have talked about the differences between the mid and high fade, let’s take a look at some popular haircuts.
Related Article: Temple Fade vs. Taper Fade: The Differences & Similarities [Photos]
Popular Mid fade and high fade haircuts
Man bun with a high skin fade
The man bun is one of the hottest haircuts, and to get the most out of it, we highly recommend going for a high fade. This high fade haircut is all about the contrast between the long hair on top and the short hair on the sides, so a high skin fade is a really good choice.
Buzz cut with a high fade
The buzzcut is one of the most classic and masculine haircuts, and a fade gives it a more modern twist. Generally, because buzzcuts are very short, skin fades are a must, and along with high fades, they make this haircut a head-turner.
The high fade buzzcut is a great choice for sporty guys that want a low-maintenance yet stylish hairstyle. If you want to learn more about buzz cuts, read our article about buzz cut lengths.
Undercut with a high fade
Another high fade haircut that will turn heads is the undercut with a high fade.
Because you need to have relatively long hair on top to pull off this hairstyle, combining it with high short trimmed sides will create a stylish and extreme contrast that looks great.
Also, it is a really badass haircut as you will look like a peaky blinder :P.
Comb over with a mid fade
There is no more classic haircut than the comb-over. And a mid fade will give this “boring” haircut a modern twist.
We suggest going for a mid fade with this haircut because it is a sophisticated cut, and we think the high fade will change its character and make it too extreme.
The comb-over with a mid fade is a great choice for those that want a classic haircut with a modest twist that is not too daring or attention-seeking.
Curly mid fade
As already mentioned, if you have curly hair, you should probably go for a mid and not a high fade.
A lot of guys with curly hair don’t like that their hair stands out too much and are looking for ways to make them look less “wild.”
A subtle mid fade or even a low fade haircut can help as the contrast between the hair on top and the hair on the sides will not be that extreme and will make your curly hair look more tamed. On the other hand, if you are proud of your curls and want to stand out, go for a high-short high fade and show the world your glorious curls.
Short hair with a mid fade
This is one of the most simple haircuts that suits those who don’t like to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror.
To get this haircut, you just need to keep the hair on top relatively short (from 0.5 inches to 2 inches) and do a medium-length fade on the sides.
I know that many of you might find this haircut “boring,” but remember, sometimes the simplest haircuts are the best.
Related Article: Number 4 Fade: Top Styles [With Photos], Length, and More
Mid Fade Vs High Fade FAQ
Which Fade Looks Best?
There is no such thing as the best-looking fade. As I already explained, you should consider many factors before choosing a fade. Think about your face shape and your lifestyle, and I am sure you will be able to find a fade that looks the best on you.
What’s The Difference Between A High Fade And A Mid Fade?
The difference between a high fade and a mid fade is the point where the fade transition happens. In the high fade, this transition happens around the temples, while in the mid fade, the transition happens about one inch above the ears.
How High Is A Mid-Fade?
As the name suggests, a mid fade is a fade that starts around the middle of the sides of your head about one inch above your ear.
When Should I Get A High Fade?
You should get a high fade if you have a roundish face shape and want to make it less round or if you want a haircut that will draw attention to your hairstyle.
These are the difference and similarities between the mid vs high fade. By now, you probably know which fade style you should try and why and also some of the coolest hairstyles you can try. Please let us know in the comments section below if you have any fade-related questions. Thanks for reading.
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.