Most men’s haircuts typically include some form of a taper, where the hair will be closer on the sides and back and longer in the crown. When a man requests an extremely close, almost bald, cut on the sides and back of their heads, the taper is called as a fade. Kenny Duncan, United States lead educator for Andis and owner of Mane Attraction Unisex Salon in Philadelphia, shares his tips for fading.
To achieve an aggressively close, tapered fade haircut, specific tools are needed for a quality cut. Every adjustable blade clipper can cut close enough for a fade, but not every clipper cuts close enough to produce a bald fade. Most hair professionals will use either attachment combs or the clipper-over-comb technique to blend hair from 2.4 mm up to the desired length at the top. The most important section for fading is between bald and 1.2 mm of hair. The closest-cutting clipper will leave the hair at .2 mm, which would feel like very short stubble. To remove the stubble, opt for a shaver or razor for an ultra-smooth finish. Duncan uses the Andis ProFoil Li Shaver to shave the hair bald.
He says, “When the shaver is used with the C-stroke motion to blend, the hairs can be cut down to about .2 mm. Now to blend from .2 mm up to 1.2 mm, I use the Andis Fade or the Andis Fade Master, both of these clippers have the ability to leave hair between .2 mm and 1.2 mm depending on whether the adjustable blade is closed or all the way open.”
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