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In this article, we will talk about another fade technique, the number 3 fade. Fades are all the rage in the barbering world right now, and the number 3 is a very popular choice. This particular fade is a short but not too short look and is perfect for guys who don’t like showing too much scalp.
Keep reading because we are going to talk about what the number 3 fade is, how it got its name and how to style it. We will also show you some cool pictures of this fade style to see what it looks like.
So, let’s get to it!
Related Article: Zero Fade: Top Styles [With Photos], Length, and More
Table of Contents
What is the number 3 fade?
The number 3 fade is a fade haircut where the hair is cut with the number 3 guard (10mm) at the sides and back and gradually gets longer as you go up the head, creating a fade effect.
As you can imagine, it took its name from the guard size used to create it.
But the number 3 fade is not a particular haircut; it is just a term used to describe a fade cut with a number 3 guard. So, you can combine it with any other haircut, like a buzzcut, quiff, pompadour, etc., and create your own style.
Related Article: Number 2 Fade Haircuts: Everything You Need To Know
What does the number 3 fade haircut look like?
Here are some pictures of number 3 fade haircuts to give you an idea of what it looks like. As you can see, it is a short haircut that is not either too extreme, like a skin fade and a number 1 fade, or too long as a number 4 or 5 fade.
Related Article: 6 Best Hair Clippers For Fades in 2022
Different types of fades
I told you that the number 3 fade could be combined with any haircut, but the fade itself has different types. The most common types of fades are the following:
The low fade is when the transition between the hair that is cut with the shortest guard (number 3 guard for the number 3 fade) is happening at a low point about half an inch above the ear.
This creates a more subtle look as the fade will be less visible, and most side and back hair will be longer than 10mm.
The mid fade is when the transition between the hair that is cut with the shortest guard is happening in the middle, usually about an inch above the ear.
This creates a more noticeable look as less hair will be longer than 10mm.
A high fade is when the transition between the hair cut with the shortest guard happens at a high point, usually at the temples.
The fade choice is a personal preference, and you should choose the one you think looks best. When choosing it, you should also consider your style, character, and face shape.
For example, high fades will make your face look thinner and longer and are a good choice if you have a round face.
If you have an oval face, any of the fades will look great, as this is the ideal face shape.
If you have a square face, low fades or mid fades will help soften your face’s angles.
So, take your time to think about all these things and decide which fade is the best for you.
Related Article: Low Fade Vs Mid Fade: The Differences & The Best Styles [Photos]
Top Number 3 Fade Hairstyles
As I told you, the number 3 fade is not a hairstyle per se and can be combined with any hairstyle.
Here are some of the most popular number 3 styles you can ask your barber to give you.
Buzzcut With a Number 3 Fade
If you follow our blog, you know we love buzz cuts as much as fades. So, it is no surprise that the first hairstyle on our list is the number 3 buzzcut with fade.
This haircut is ideal for guys who want a short and low-maintenance haircut and want to give their buzzcut a bit of a twist.
To get this haircut, you just need to ask your barber to give you a number 3 faded sides and back and then buzz your hair with the guard he used to finish the fade (the number 3 guard).
This haircut will accentuate your facial features, so if you think you have a good-looking face, this is the haircut for you. It is also a great choice for guys with receding hairlines as it will help camouflage it.
Top Knot with a Number 3 Fade
After talking about a short fade 3 haircut, let’s talk about something a bit longer. The top knot is a trendy hairstyle among guys with long hair, and it looks great with a number 3 fade.
The top know is a man bun variation, with the only difference being that the hair on top is not curled into a bun but left loose like a ponytail.
To get this hairstyle, your hair should be at least 6 inches on top, and the sides should have a number 3 fade. To style it, you just need to pull your hair back into a ponytail and secure it with an elastic band.
When it comes to the height of the taper fade, it is up to you, but I think a high fade will look best with this hairstyle as it will create a more noticeable contrast.
This hairstyle is a good choice for guys with oval and round faces, as it will add some volume on top and make your face look longer. On the contrary, I recommend avoiding this hairstyle if you have a long face as it will only make your face look longer.
Related Article: Number 4 Fade: Top Styles [With Photos], Length, and More
Undercut with a Number 3 Fade
The undercut is a classic men’s hairstyle that has been around for decades. It was a very popular haircut back in the 1920s, and it came back in the 2010s.
The undercut is a hairstyle where the sides and back are buzzed or shaved, and the hair on top is left longer and styled. The most popular way to style the undercut is to comb it back, but you can also style it to the side or into a pompadour.
And while the classic undercut has very short hair on the sides, you can ask your barber for a number 3 fade to make it more modern.
Regarding the fade length, I would recommend going for a high fade as any other fade will make the hairstyle look too dated.
Related Article: 3 On The Sides Haircut: Everything You Need To Know [With Photos]
How to ask your barber for a number 3 fade
Now that you know what a number 3 fade is and which hairstyles you can combine with it, it is time to learn how to ask your barber for it.
When you go to a barbershop, you should always try to be as specific as possible, especially when it comes to fades. Barbers give haircuts to dozens of guys daily and are not mind readers. So, if you want a specific fade, you must tell your barber exactly what you want. So, when you go for a number 3 fade, here is how you should ask your barber for it.
Start by telling him you want a number 3 on the sides and back. Then, tell him about the height of the fade.
For example, tell him if you want a low, mid or high fade.
Then it would help if you told him about the fade contrast. What I mean by that is how severe you want the fade to be.
For example, tell him that you want a number 3 to 4 fade. This means that the sides will be faded from a number 3 to a number 4.
And after you are done with the fade details, you need to tell your barber how you want the hair on top to be styled.
For example, if you want to get an undercut, you should not only tell him that you want an undercut but also how long you want the hair on top to be.
Let me give you an example of what I would tell my barber if I wanted a number 3 fade with an undercut.
I would say: “Hi, I would like a high number 3 fade on the sides and back with a smooth transition to a number 4. And on top, I want an undercut with 3 inches of hair.”
Then I would take my phone out, visit my favorite site themensattitude.com :P, and show my barber a picture of the hairstyle I want.
And that is how you should ask your barber for a fade.
Related Article: 1 To 2 Fade Haircut: 10 Different Styles With Photos
In conclusion, a number 3 fade is a great choice for guys who want a modern and stylish hairstyle.
There are many ways to style a number 3 fade, and it is up to you to choose the one you like best.
And if you are not sure how to ask your barber for a number 3 fade, just follow the steps I have given you in this article, and you will be fine.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
Until next time, take care!
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.