Your Guide For 1 To 3 Fade Haircuts

There’s a reason why many men and boys like to ask for a fade at the moment.

Not only has it been a trend for a while, but there are so many fades you can get that can reflect your style, personality, and individuality if you’re thinking of getting something bold.

Your Guide For 1 To 3 Fade Haircuts

You might go to your barbers for a simple trim, but wouldn’t it be cool to try out something different, maybe try out a fade?

But what length or type of fade should it be, and how can you style it and keep it looking nice when some days your hair just isn’t playing ball?

Below, we have provided a guide to show you what each number looks like and how you can style it so you know what to ask for the next time you’re at the barber. 

What Is A Fade 1-3 Haircut?

The 1-3 used in this haircut means the number of the guide on the hair trimmer and tends to start long at the top, then gets shorter as the hair reaches the neck.

Most barbers will cut the sides of your head, then use scissors to trim the point where the fade starts to get that tapered look.

On the other hand, you have something called a hi-top fade where the top of the hair is left to grow long, so where the fade starts is usually the longest length at 3, and stops at the shortest point, which is the 1, which is generally how a standard 1-3 haircut is measured.

A great thing about this style is that you can make the top as long as you need it and make the fade look more apparent, so there are many options for those who want to make a statement to those who might want a tidier look.

The 1-3 haircut isn’t a style on its own and is usually used as part of many different styles, showing the look’s versatility. Below are a few different ways you could customize your fade to achieve your desired look.

The 4 Best 1-3 Fade Haircut Ideas

Low Fade Buzz Cut

This simple fade is ideal for those who may have shorter hair on the top or are looking for something simple and easy to manage. Below is an example of what this style looks like.

If you want something a bit bolder, then you could try a line up with this style, which is a line or pattern that you can cut that marks the end of the fade and shows the top of your hair.

This pattern could be as simple as a line that goes down the sides of your hair, or you could be bold and go for a zig-zag or star-like pattern to show some personality.

The only issue here is trying to maintain the pattern, which you may need to get touched up every few weeks to ensure that the pattern isn’t lost when your hair starts growing through.

Low Fade With Comb Over

This one is also known as a side part fade, comb over medium fade, or medium fade with a side part haircut, as the names suggest the level of fade you want, starting at 1 or 1.5, up to the parting, which you can make as subtle or as defined as your hair type and level of fade allows.

Below is an example of this style.

This style has a retro look to it and can take different forms depending on the length of the comb-over, and the side parting makes it look fresh for any situation, whether for work or going out with friends.

The only issue here is the maintenance of the comb-over which will probably require product depending on the shape of the comb-over you’re looking for.

You could go for a 1.5 or 2 length if you find the fade to look a little too short and could give some much-needed attention to the jaw-line and beard if you’ve got some stubble that you’re looking to grow out.

Mid Bald To Medium Faux Hawk Fade

This style is excellent for those who have a lot of tresses or length on top and want to do something bold and charming, and the best thing is, you can go as tall or reserved as you wish.

Below is a good example of what a more pronounced hawk fade looks like.

If you want something a bit less casual, you could use the fade to create a parting, which can emphasize the faux-hawk or no-hawk if you’ve got less length on top to utilize.

If you want a more suave look, you could have a mohawk style with a low-cut fade to have a truly striking look and stand out from a standard cut. 

Or, you might want to go with something a little more traditional and go with a mid-bald fade with spiked hair, which has that punk-like style.

It looks oddly charming, and the fade can be more drastic where it can disappear around the ears and makes that jaw-line distinct. Whatever you decide to go with, you can go as casually defined or professionally subtle as you wish.

Curly Hair Fade

This style is for those who have little or messy curls on top and want a way to tidy them up and have a contemporary look at the same time. Below is an example of a close-cropped fade to give you an idea of what a casual style looks like.

This style is also great if you’re not much of a stylist and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the morning using products to style the top the way you like.

Another great thing about this look is that you can leave the curls to their own devices, and this way, you can maximize the volume of those curls.

The close-cropped fade keeps it from looking too casual, so you can make the fade as distinct or subtle as you want, really, so you can turn those heads at work or when you’re out and about.

This can be a good style if you have got a bit of a curly-fro going on, and you want to show off your neckline and makes your skin and jaw-line really stand out.

What Other Types Of Fade Are There?

Now you have some idea of what type of style you want, you might be wondering what kind of fade will suit you. Below we’ve provided some of the more common types of fade so you can decide which is best for you.

  • High fade– This fade starts higher on the head around the temples instead of the midway point above your ears. The hair on the sides and back is normally very short, so it is ideal for those with round or square faces and works well if you want to add more height to the top.
  • Medium fade– This fade starts lower than the high fade, which is usually partway above the ears. This is the most common look of fade that keeps the shorter portions of the hair toward the bottom for a balanced look. 
  • Low fade– This one has a fade line around the lower ear level. This can make the hair on top appear longer because the long part covers more of the head than the short, faded portion. This fade looks good on any hair type or texture, so if you’re unsure which fade to go for, this type might be a good one to try out.
  • Skin fade– With this fade, the hair is shaved down to the skin at the shortest part of the fade. This style requires precision to get the fade to have a smooth transition, but it will definitely grab attention and works best with people who have skin that isn’t too affected by changes due to sunlight, for example.
  • Drop fade– This fade can start at a high, medium, or low section of hair but has the same purpose. The fade line at the back of the head is brought lower than on the side, which results in a dip at the fade line. This is another versatile look that can work with mohawks or a quiff, for example.

How To Ask Your Barber For A Fade

Now you have some idea of the different fades, you can get some inspiration, and if there are any styles you like, get a picture of them and take them to your next appointment at the barber.

If you’re unsure about what sort of fade you’d like, you can always ask for a traditional fade that leaves enough length on the sides if you decide later on that you’d like it shorter, so it’s worth talking to your barber to see what they think would be great for your hair type and personality.

The Bottom Line

Now you’ll have some idea of what kind of 1 to 3 fade haircut you like, but that’s not all.

You’ll want to consider how much time you’ll have each day to style your hair if that’s what you’re going for and how to maintain the fade once it’s grown through again.

Either way, there is a lot of room to test out different looks and see which ones bring out your features the best because you want to impress with your new look and a 1-3 fade is a great place to start.

Joseph Pais