Differences Between Low Fade Vs Mid Fade

As a man, you probably know that there are different kinds of fades you can get. Fades are popular haircuts for men, and most barbers and stylists will know how to cut one.

There are low fades, mid fades, and high fades, and they are pretty different haircuts.

Differences Between Low Fade Vs Mid Fade

We are going to be learning about the differences between a low fade and a mid fade, along with some helpful pictures.

By the end of this article, you will know exactly what these fades are, how they are done, and whether they would suit you or not.

They were made popular in the 40s and 50s, and they have remained popular ever since.

Let’s find out more about the low fade and mid fade on men.

What Is A Fade?

Before we get into low fades and mid fades, shouldn’t we know what a fade is? A fade is a kind of haircut that creates a fading gradient in the texture and length of your hair.

It first became popular in black-owner barbershops after it was first made popular after the second world war. A fade depicts a fading gradient in your head.

This is because the trimming device will go from the top of your head, keeping it slightly longer on top, and cutting your hair a lot closer to the skin the further that the trimmer goes down to the neck.

What Is A Taper Fade?

This is one of the most common fades, and it consists of the least amount of fading, and the hair is only shortened or faded slightly above where the neck meets the head.

It is very subtle, and it is one of the most minimal haircuts for a man.

It is also the ideal haircut to get if you have not had a fade before, because you can see if you like it without it being too drastic and short.

Often, the beard will meet where the hair is faded, leaving a striking and flattering appearance.

What Is A Low Fade?

A low fade is pretty much what it sounds like. It is a hairstyle that is taped just a couple of inches below the hairline.

It may be also known as a drop fade, because it is a normal, layered haircut, but the bit that is the shortest is right at the bottom of the head.

A low fade raises the hairline for a really clean and defined look, without it being too dramatic or short.

You can opt for a low fade with shaped facial hair, as they will fade this into where the hair is most scarce, by your ears.

If you have a beard, barbers will often cut it very sharp like the image below, making precision cuts to fit the hair cut.​​

This low fade with a beard is cut close to the scalp near the temples, the ears, and around the back of the neck.

This is the best kind of fade to have when you have a beard, because it perfectly accentuates the beard, and the sculpture of everything that you have had styled.

What Is A Mid Fade?

A mid fade will be somewhere between a low and high fade.

The temples and back of the neck are cut short, and the hair will go down to the scalp at the hairline, but with the tapering starting in the middle of the head rather than the bottom.

What Is A High Fade?

A high fade is where the hair is cut close to the scalp from a much higher level.

There is the longest hair on top of the head, and the rest will slowly get thinner and thinner, until there is no hair on the bottom of the head or at the nape of the neck.

This does not suit everyone, and it will look slightly strange with beards. This is because the space between the beard and full hair is a lot bigger, leaving quite a large gap.

Differences Between Low Fade Vs Mid Fade

As you can see from our descriptions and images, low fades and mid fades are pretty similar, with the exception that a mid fade starts taping higher up on the hair.

This means that the hair is cut shorter, higher, giving the faded look all around the head.

A low fade will involve cutting the hair short at the temples, ear, and neckline, creating a regular fade. This is a regular look, and it is not too dramatic.

A mid fade will cut higher, whilst still keeping these areas short. Simply, a mid fade will involve cutting the hair shorter higher up on the head.

But, let’s look at some more detailed differences between the two styles.


Firstly, let’s just think about what a fade is. It is defined by a gradual increase in length or tapering of the hair as it goes up the sides and back of the hair.

They can differ, because sometimes the sides may be faded, and sometimes the back may be faded, or both!

It is common for the sides and back to be faded. A low fade starts off lower to the neckline, so the amount of skin that you see is not as much as a high or mid fade.

A low fade will probably shave off half an inch above the ear all around, but with gradual tapering.

Dramatic Or Subtle

Fades are known for being pretty dramatic haircuts, but there is also an option for them to look less dramatic, and more subtle. A mid fade is more dramatic than a low fade, because more hair is shaved off.

Low fades are further down, and for this reason, they are not as noticeable as mid fades or high fades.

Low fades are seen as the safest option out of all of the fades, because they do not appear as dramatic and defined.

A mid fade is a pretty obvious haircut, and you cannot hide the tapering and definition on the sides and back.

Is A Low Fade Good For A Round Face?

Typically, a low fade is the best option if you have a rounder face. This is because it is not as defined and sharp, so it will add some definition to your face without it being too obvious.

If you had a super round face and chin, a high fade and sharp beard might actually make your face look bigger.

A low fade is a good option for people who have oval or rounded races, as well as square or heart-shaped faces, too. A low fade will compliment most face types, hence why it is such a popular option among so many men.

Does A High Fade Look Good On Everyone?

A high fade looks good on most people, yes. This is because the haircut elongates the face.

It usually includes height on top of the head, with a high fading on the sides and back, creating a longer and more defined neckline and facial shape.

A high fade can be quite a dramatic and defined look, so it may not look good on everyone. For example, if you have a rounder face and no beard, it could make your face look rounder than intended.

This is because of the volume on top, as well as the large gaps between the jawline and head.

With a rounder face, it is likely you will not have as much of a defined jawline, so a mid fade or low fade will complement your face a lot better.

Are Fades Attractive?

The debate is on, and it is thought that fades look attractive on men.

Nearly any face shape and any hair texture can pull off a fade, because of the complimentary and defining look of the hairstyle.

It has a subtle edge and definition to it, hence why a lot of people, and especially women, find it pretty attractive.

The clean cut look can be attractive too, as it is a low-effort way of looking sleek and stylish without a high maintenance cut.

Fade haircuts are known as being quite youthful, so a lot of women find this attractive, on older men as well.

Although, when you get older, it is seen as more attractive to have a toned-down version of a fade without so much sculpting.

Men with longer hair on the top and a tapered and faded haircut look great because it is low maintenance, easy to cut, and clean looking.

It is a versatile hairstyle that can be used in casual environments, as well as more formal environments.

However, some people may not find a skin fade as attractive, because it is easy to get wrong, and it will grow out in a less graceful way than a mid fade.

How Often Should You Get A Fade?

Fades are pretty low maintenance, but because of the nature of the haircut, they will grow out pretty quickly. Fades are created with a clipper, with different strengths used on the different segments of the hair.

This means that no layer will be the same length, so it will grow out evenly.

Because they are cut very specifically and detailed, the hair on top is longer, and the hair on the sides is super short, and occasionally cut very close to the scalp.

We all know that hair that is cut close to the scalp takes days to grow back, so after a week or two, it is likely that you will need to get it cut again.

This is especially true with low fades, because most of the hair starts out short. This is fine, though, because men’s haircuts are typically a lot cheaper, and easier to get cut.

What’s The Difference Between A Fade And A Taper?

A taper is slightly different to a fade. A taper is where the hair usually changes from one length to another, whereas a fade is a taper that fades into the skin.

The fade gets shorter and shorter, to the point where it is cut super close to the scalp. This often happens at the bottom of the head, or just above the ears.

This depends on the type of fade you have. If you have a high fade, it is likely that you will be bald from the top of the ear, and down towards the nape of the neck.

A tapered haircut is longer, with longer hair on top, and no skin fade. It is neat and trimmed in layers, but it does not fade into the skin in the same way that a fade does.

What Are Other Popular Men’s Haircuts?

The fade is probably the most popular haircut in the US and UK, and there are many reasons why they are so favored. They are easy to care for, cheap to get, and very stylish and modern.

However, what are some other popular men’s hairstyles?


An undercut is pretty popular, and it is buzzed completely to the scalp, apart from the top of the head, which is left long and voluminous.

The undercut part has a similar texture to the fade because it is cut so short, but the haircut is not faded into the skin.


The quiff is another super popular men’s haircut, and it has remained one of the most attractive types of hairstyles.

It requires more styling than a fade, and this is because the top of the hair (quiff) is supposed to be upright and textured.

Here is a great example of a quiff. You can see that the sides are cut slightly shorter, and this is done for definition purposes.

Crew Cut

The crew cut is not as popular, but it rose to prominence after being a popular military style. This is due to it being easy to maintain, but still flattering. Jake Gyllenhaal has a great crew cut that you can master yourself.

French Crop

The French crop is pretty popular, and it suits longer faces. It is a stylish look, intended for a lot of definition and straight lines at the front of the face.

The sides are usually taped or faded, and the top of the hair is often textured and voluminous.

Buzz Cut

The buzz cut has remained a simple and fashionable haircut for a lot of men. It is easy to maintain, and it has become super popular in the last few years. It is often faded or tapered on the side for a neat appearance.

Slick Back

The slick back haircut is pretty difficult to maintain, because it is defined as being slicked back. This means that when it is not slicked back, it can be pretty difficult to style. The style is timeless and neat, though.

Other Looks

When getting a fade, you should know that your options are not limited to a high, low, or mid fade. There are variations for fades.

Let’s have a look at some of these.

Mid Fade Side Parting

This one is a pretty common style, and it works best for men with longer hair at the top. Your hair should already be pretty full and voluminous, so that the fade will create a dramatic look.

The mid fade is somewhere between a high and low, but it is also a drop fade, meaning the cut will come down to the nape of the neck.

The tapering will start in the middle of the head, shortening any hair, but not cutting to the scalp. The definition of the side parting also gives it a definitive and bold look. The image below is a great example.

Shadow Fade

A shadow fade is always a good idea, especially if you want to go for something a bit different yet defined. Shadow fades start from being long on the top, and then they get shorter at the bottom.

However, they are called shadow fades because they appear like a shadow. This is because they do not show any skin like a regular fade. It is cut short and tapered, but not short enough to show the skin.

This is a really cool look, but it will also grow out quite quickly.

If you’re looking to get a shadow fade, consider starting shorter than normal on the top, as this will make the fade last longer than usual.

Final Thoughts

Fade haircuts are some of the most popular haircuts for men. The low fade and mid fade styles are the most popular, but the high fade, side parted fade, and skin fade are pretty common too.

Fades are different, and it always depends on where the hair starts to fade into the skin. We hope you have enjoyed this article, and thank you for reading!​​

Low Bald Fade

The low bald fade is pretty similar to a normal fade, but it is lower than the low fade. The hairline is only brought up by a few millimeters, making it a great look if you have longer hair. Here is a good example.

High Taper Fade

The high taper fade is another good way to wear a high fade with sharp and detailed lines, which is cut straight back from the hairline. There are many variations of this, and they are equally as sleek.​​

Joseph Pais