A skin fade haircut is a type of men’s haircut that has a gradual fade starting near the top of the head and gradually gets shorter until it reaches the skin at the neckline. Previously associated with the ’50s and military-type cuts, this clean-cut look is now relished for its unparalleled contrast.
Regardless of the length and texture of your mane on top, the skin fade aka bald or zero fade never fails to produce a contemporary, versatile look suited for all environments. It’s just a matter of how you style your top strands, and you have full control!
You can opt for a low, mid, or high fade depending on your desired output. Classy, subtle looks are complemented by high fades compared to casual and sporty hairstyles that work best with mid to low fades.
English barber Oscar Mcmillan does the skin fade on a wide range of hair types – straight, wavy, curly, and afro – and combines it with well-known modern haircuts, proving how versatile the fade could be!
Before your next haircut, check out these stylish photos of the best skin fade haircut ideas.
#1: Jet Black Sharp Fade with Choppy Fringe
If you have a round face shape, a jet black sharp fade with a choppy fringe is ideal, as the height on the scissor cut elongates out the head. It has been faded really tightly around the ears and blended into the dark and dense top. The top will have been cut with a variety of techniques to create the texture, so tell your barber that you want texture and volume. One of the best ways to get the volume is to use a good volume spray and you can also use styling powder to finish it off.
#2: Extra Short Buzz Cut with a Bald Fade
If you want an easy-to-maintain style then you might consider an extra short buzz cut with a bald fade. This fade has been dropped at the temple and the crown to create the curved flow. This then leaves some hair at the edges to line up leaving a sharp finish. The biggest advantage of this is that you don’t need any time in the mornings to style. Personally, I recommend a grade 4 on top at the longest.
#3: Mid Skin with a Dark Textured Top
This mid-skin fade with a dark textured top has been left heavy to create a nice transition into the top. If you’re concerned about it mushrooming as it grows out, you can always have it cut tighter. Mushrooming occurs when your hair grows out instead of down. This gives the illusion of more volume. The best way for styling your top is to dry some sea salt spray into it. Then, finish off with a styling powder for a natural look.
#4: Faded Cut with a Messy Top
Skin fades are very popular at the moment and can be coupled up with many styles such as this faded cut with a messy top. The fringe has been left blunt and a lot of texture has been created on the top using point cutting. One of the best things you can do for this style is to dry some sea salt into it to give you an all-day hold. Using hairspray on top will give you added longevity.
#5: Mid-Skin Fade for Curly Hair
So much volume and texture can be created with thick curly hair as this mid-skin fade shows. It has been taken down to the skin at the midpoint, and faded up into the top from the temple line, transitioning into the top. The curls have been cut creating texture with techniques such as point cutting. I personally recommend using sea salt spray and styling powder for the natural look.
#6: Tall Afro with a Skin Fade
A tall afro takes time and commitment to grow, but when you have achieved the length required, you are left with a classic look finished off with a skin fade. The edges have been lined in with a blade to give you the sharpest finish possible. You will need to do your research to find an afro specialist barber to give you this look. Be prepared to comb the afro every day to keep the shape and ask your barber for advice on any styling products.
#7: Skin Fade + Slick Back
The classic skin fade paired with a slick back has been a staple for many years. This classic look dates back decades and is still relevant now. The style has been taken tight around the ears and blended up to the scissor work. The top will be cut with a short graduation to leave a foundation for the slick back. You control the look of this trim, it will grow out evenly and works with a longer style too. I would recommend a strong pomade to hold the style.
#8: Ivy League Skin Fade
An Ivy League skin fade is the ultimate crisp and clean men’s style. Guys looking for a high and tight cut will prefer this chop as the expertly faded sides give off a fashionable edge, along with appearing clean cut.
#9: Shaved Hair Design with Skin Burst Fade Cut
A shaved hair design with a skin burst fade is a great way to incorporate artistic taste into your hairdo. If you desire a unique take on the classic fade, then this cut is for you!
#10: Textured Mid-Fade Haircut
A textured haircut suits men with thick hair and is relatively easy to style. This skin fade haircut has been kept low around the ears and neck to create the mid-point of the fade. This style will need regular maintenance to be kept sharp-looking. So you will need to see your barber every 2-3 weeks to keep it fresh. To get the texture on top, blow some sea salt spray into it and finish off with styling powder.
#11: Slicked Back Style with Skin Taper Fade
Ample gel or pomade and a nice comb-over is the key to this successful skin taper fade with a slicked back look. The skin fade haircut on guys is more appreciated with a nice accent like this.
#12: Disconnected Skin Fade Undercut
The disconnected skin fade undercut has reached new acclaim due to the revival of 1920’s culture in recent years. The undercut is popular with good reason since it gives the wearer a host of creative adaptations – a skin fade with an ivy league, slicked back, a hard part, side-swept, quiff, curly, a pompadour, french crop, or long with a topknot. The skin fade features tightly clipped sides with no blending (or disconnection) between the short sides and longer tops.
Such hairstyles for men work with slight alteration for most face shapes. Be sure to schedule a trip to your stylist or barber every 2-3 weeks to keep the cut looking tight and clean.
#13: Side-Swept Skin Fade Taper
A side-swept skin fade taper is a great haircut option for any businessman. It is classic and offers a clean-cut while being effortlessly cool. The side-swept skin fade taper is suitable for all hair types. Styling this cut requires applying pomade to damp hair while molding hair to the side.
#14: Textured Crop with Temple Fade
A textured crop with temple fade is best suited to those with a strong hairline and medium coarse hair. The temple line fade works really well with the blunt fringe and brings the style together. A styling powder will give the texture needed to style the top.
#15: Line-Up and High Fade for Curly Hair
This skin fade curly hair confirms that more action can be done on those curls while keeping everything neat with faded sides. Now, you can work that ‘fro with some clean skin fade line-up!
#16: Skin Drop Fade for Medium-Length Hair
A masculine skin drop fade on medium-length hair. Skin fade haircuts and styles like this are very ideal for framing the face and creating edges.
#17: High Skin Fade Haircut with Fringe
The fringe up front helps give the fade some composure that makes this high skin fade haircut work with his facial hair.
#18: French Crop with Skin Fade
It’s like the gods carved out those edges with such a divine skin fade, short top and bangs combo. This French crop with skin fade makes a popular style that looks creative and fun to wear!
#19: Skin Fade Buzz Cut
The clippers are your friend when achieving this particular buzz cut with a skin fade. Your most trusted barber with precise hands and a good taste in style is the second requirement.
#20: Bald Fade with Beard
Why go mid-way when you can go all the way with a bald fade haircut with a beard? Looks great, feels great, and definitely takes the top quiff to a whole other level.
#21: Spiky, Textured Quiff with Skin Faded Sides
Mimic a spiky faux hawk with a skin fade with some delicate combing and hair mousse.
#22: Low Skin Fade
Young guys would ace this low skin fade hairstyle. Also, known as a low bald fade, this brings a youthful effect that is still fashion-forward.
#23: Skin Fade on a Crew Cut
The classic gentleman’s haircut can be found in this skin fade crew cut. Low fade haircuts like this never fail to bring a high level of sophistication.
#24: Long Hair with Undercut and Skin Fade
Bald fade undercuts are really helpful when partnered with long hair. In this case, the gentleman’s beard contributes to a wholesome dapper undercut look.
#25: Mid-Skin Fade
Just like a Brooklyn fade, the fade starts around the temple and goes down the nape and ear area. What a great and simple mid-skin fade style to work with.
#26: Messy, Textured Top with Skin Fade and Side Part
Show off that low fade by having a side-parted effect just where the shave starts! Both features of the hair can be highlighted in this way. A messy, textured top would look great in this skin fade side part haircut, too!
#27: Low Fade For Wavy Hair
Slick back your wavy hair and pair it with a low skin fade cut for a fun and edgy finish. Skin fade haircuts for men like this help to maintain that contrast for a well-maintained cut.
#28: Faux Hawk with Skin Fade
If you want a bold taper skin fade, try this pattern of a faux hawk where you can insert several hair trends into one messy cut. A hair design like this comes in handy for a style refresher. This skin fade with a messy top provides an edgy look for men with thick hair.
#29: Skin Fade with a Mohawk Haircut
This mohawk trend is all sorts of fancy, especially with the skin fade! Layered waves work through the hawk, highlighted of course by the conspicuous bald fade style. To achieve the mohawk effect, a burst fade cut is the best option.
#30: Short Hair on Top with Skin Faded Sides
The shaved and faded sides go well with the short length on top. This is a very easy-to-style skin fade hairstyle.
#31: Skin Pompadour Fade
Prop your hair up with a skin fade pompadour. This trick gives dimension and variability, perfect for adventurous men!
#32: Medium Skin Fade
It’s a fresh haircut with a skin fade and an easy men’s hairstyle with a fingers effect. It’s a mix of old and new school as described by barber Juan Manuel Ortiz Abad of Spain.
Keep your hair length on top long to be able to style it like this.
Abad states, “I used matte ointment and volume powders, then styled the pompadour using my fingers. It’s great for straight hair, and the best face shape is square.”
#33: Hard Part with Comb Over and Bald Fade
This bald fade cut has a razor side part where the sides are well scraped. Stylist Jefferson Alves from Bombinhas, BR is the one created this look.
“I started with the machine “0” and I went up gradually to detail well into the hair division. I made a tuft with a streak in the division, and it is well striped and stylish,” Alves narrates.
For this skin fade with a hard part and comb over, Alves advises to have smoother and slightly larger hair that can be shaped to the side. It’s also necessary to use ointment and hair fixative to keep the hairstyle longer.
“The streak on the side helps break the hair. Put hair ointment and simply pull the tuft back. I advise you to dry your hair with a blow dryer to give a more striped effect,” Alves adds.
#34: High Top Fade with Defined Hairline for Black Men with Afro
This is a haircut called the high top with a mid-skin fade. Barber Justin Johnston of California put a new spin on it by giving the hair a mid fade instead of a high fade.
“My favorite thing about this skin faded afro is the contrast. This fade comes out nice and smooth and matches well with his black skin color to make it somewhat blurry. Lining up the hairline is key to make the haircut pop more than it would with just a clean fade. A fresh line up completes the cut,” Johnston explains.
If you want the curls on top and your hair is coarse, Johnston recommends that you purchase a curl sponge. You’ll need the curl sponge with a medium to strong hold hairspray to lock in the curls.
“Men with curly hair can achieve skin fades. Grow your hair out, if it’s not already long enough,” Johnston mentions.