Haircut Tutorial: Drop Fade
The drop fade is a hairstyle that’s becoming increasingly popular for men. Everyone from top celebrities to the mailman walking down the street seems to adopt this stylish cut. This special style of fade combines easily with different hairstyles making it versatile and easy to adopted, hence its popularity. Beyond its versatility, it creates a look that’s not just stylish but also tailored. It’s been customized to the shape of your head and to match the style of hair on your crown. This gives you an overall look and appearance that’s going to attract people’s attention and leave a striking impression.
Don’t know what a drop fade is? Did you friend just get one and you’re curious? New to the style and not sure where to start? Looking for something new to spice up your appearance? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we cover the details of the drop fade so you can make an informed decision if it’s right for you. We’ll be looking at what it is, who it looks best on, and how to cut it. Keep reading so you’re prepared the next time you sit in the barber’s chair and ready to add a new look to your appearance.
What Is a Drop Fade Haircut?
There are essentially two types of a fade haircut. A skin fade and a shadow fade. Everything else is a variation of these two, including the drop fade haircut. The skin fade starts with a guard size of zero on the sides and blends into any length up to the top. Hence, the name “skin” fade. The shadow fade starts with a guard size range of 0.5 to 1, leaving hair on the sides. Then it blends into any length toward the top. The key difference with the shadow fade is you won’t have bare skin, and it will shorten the hair to a length of your choosing. Between these, you can have your fade be high, medium, or low depending on your choosing.
The drop fade haircut is a skin fade where the fade line lowers to the back of the head. This creates the appearance of more volume around the crown and creates a sharper outline of the face. Further, the act of dropping the hairline down and covering the occipital lobe creates more depth to your overall haircut. This gives the drop fade a more unique look that’s catching on in popularity.
Who Does It Look Best On?
Different hairstyles suit different faces, and the drop fade is no exception. The drop fade is best suited for those with round or square faces. It compliments the boxier head as it graduates in length at the temple ridge. And if you have a flat crown, the drop fade is an excellent choice of hairstyle to create the illusion of more volume on top of your head. The hair at your crown contrasts with the shorter hair toward the nape of your neck, creating a voluminous look.
What does this mean for you? Well, this is great news if you have got a more square-like face. However, if you face is more elongated or oval-like, having a drop fade can accentuate those features. Thus, making your head look longer than it is. Which might not be the look you want to go for. Remember, your hairstyle should compliment the shape of your face and head, not fight against. Make sure you choose a style that is well-suited to your face and head. While the drop fade combines easily with different styles of hair, it does not always combine easily with many types of faces and heads.
How to Cut a Drop Fade?
Once you have decided that the drop fade is the look that best suits your face, head, and desires, then it’s time to head over to the barbershop to get your new tailored look. But do not assume your barber knows what a drop fade is. Most likely, an experienced barber knows what it is but never make assumptions when communicating about the style of hair you want. Further, there’s so much variation within the types of fade haircuts you want to make sure you get the cut you’re envisioning and not someone else’s.
Therefore, communicating what you want your hairstyle to be and how you want it cut is vital. Here we’ve outlined the key details to getting a drop fade. This makes you fully informed of how it works and gives you the ability to communicate your wishes to your barber.
The Fade Line
The first thing you need to decide is where your fade line is going to start. Remember that fades can be high, medium, or low so choose your desired level on your temple and indicate that to your barber. It’s important to indicate clearly where you want the fade line to be and how you want your hair to be parted from the crown. This is especially important if you’re going to have a hard part or line as part of your fade. But always, choose the fade line height that is best suited to the shape of your head. If you are not sure, ask your barber. They see a lot of varieties of heads and faces, so it’s likely they can provide valuable input here.
Skin Fade or Shadow Fade?
Remember there are two different main types of fades: skin and shadow. You need to decide which one you want so you can tell your barber what guard size to use. A skin fade starts at a guard size of zero while shadow fades can start at a guard size 0.5 or 1, giving you more hair and a less dramatic fade.
Once you have chosen your initial guard size, you can choose shorter guard sizes to create the fade appearance to your liking. Before the cutting starts, don’t forget to indicate if the fade will be straight or curved. A skilled barber will most likely ask but never make the assumption, always clearly communicate your wishes. It is your choice but remember, choose what best fits the shape of your head and face.
Again, if you are stuck or not sure, ask your barber for help. They are looking at you from an outside perspective and give you a more objective viewpoint. And as mentioned before, they see a lot of heads and can give you a more informed opinion on what looks best for your head.
Once you have the drop fade cut and set in place, it’s time to think about the crown. What will you be doing with that hair on top? Luckily, the drop fade goes well with a lot of different styles. The crown can be the buzz cut, pompadour, crew, or a quiff. These will be determined, largely, by the style of hair you have, the shape of your head, and your personal preferences. If you know what you want, go for it! But if you are not sure, check with your barber. They have more experience than you do in cutting and styling different hair so use them as a resource.
It never hurts to bring in a picture of the desired outcome. This is especially helpful if you are uncomfortable with explaining your wishes to your barber. In fact, this would benefit both you and your barber. You will feel more at ease with explaining what you want with a picture, and the barber will have a visual of what you want the end product to be. It’s a win-win. Why do you think barber shops have magazines of hairstyles?
It’s obvious the drop fade is a popular cut because it goes well with just about any hairstyle (e.g., buzz cut, pompadour, crew, quiff, etc.). You also have the flexibility with how you want your fade line to be; high, medium, low. And you can choose between two different fades, skin or shadow, depending on what look you want to project.
It’s an ideal look if your face and head are round or square as opposed to oval or elongated. And if you have got a flat crown, it will help add volume and depth to your overall head. It’s also an easy cut to have if you’re looking to space out your trips to the barber shop and still look good. Remember, when you head to the barber shop there are three key pieces to this hairstyle you need to communicate to your barber: the fade line, the fade style (skin or shadow), and the crown. If you are concerned about communicating it in words, bring a picture along so you can show your barber what you want.
Don’t just let the celebrities and the mailman rock this hairstyle. It’s versatile enough for almost everyone and fits well with any hairstyle. All you have to do is make three simple choices, and you are on your way to a new look that won’t disappoint.