Medium Fade with Textured Top

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Most college students today are wearing some variation of this hairstyle. It is easy to manage and keep looking good throughout the day because the style is somewhat messy on top. As always, the fade must be precise and not too high to keep a balanced looking men’s haircut. The clean tapered outline will really make the haircut shape stand out.

[highlight]LEARNING OBJECTIVES[/highlight]

  • Understand the concept of a square shaped haircut
  • Understand the concept of beginning the haircut on the top
  • Demonstrate the scissor over comb technique
  • Understanding how high the taper should be in relation to the shape of the head
  • Understand fading techniques starting with the longer blades and working down to the shortest blades
  • Demonstrate the clipper over comb technique
  • Demonstrate a defined and tapered outline

[highlight]STEP BY STEP GUIDE[/highlight]

  1. Start on the top section in the center. Use the scissor over fingers technique and start with a center section. Hold the comb parallel to the floor and pull the hair straight up using the bangs as a guide. Take off the desired length in the first section and this will serve as the traveling guide. Keeping the comb parallel to the floor move the comb slowly toward the crown with the proper angle so the hair will be left long enough not to stick up.
  2. Repeat step 1 on the right and left sides of the center section. You will have a center guide and a previous guide in the comb. Repeat this step as many times as necessary until there is not any more hair to cut. When you get to the round of the head and the comb is parallel to the floor there will be a point that the hair will not reach the comb. This is OK because we are cutting a square shape and need the weight in the corners.
  3. Texturize the top of the haircut to create movement and the “messy” look. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the blending shear over fingers technique. The thickness of the hair and how much you would like to take out will determine how low on the shaft of the hair to begin. You can also close the scissor more than once for thick hair. Just make sure not to keep cutting in the same spot. This will remove length. If the hair is too short to pick up use the blending scissor over comb technique. Move the comb faster to take out less bulk and slower to take out more.
  4. Cut the round of the head section. Use a scissor over comb technique with a larger barber shear to cover more ground and increase accuracy. In this lesson we are using and 8 inch barber scissor with a rotating thumb. Blend into the previous cut guide from the top section.
  5. Start sides and back section. Cut the sides and back section. Use the blade on skin technique with the 3 ¾ (1/2”) blade on a detachable blade clipper. Start at the right sideburn and run the clipper up the side of the head slowly. As the round of the head pushes the blade away from the head follow that angle until you run out of hair. This will blend the sides and back into the round of the head section. If done correctly there will be a minimal if any amount of blending left to do.
  6. Repeat step 5 with the 3 ½  (3/8”) blade on the detachable blade clipper. Start to bevel the clipper slowly away from the head about ¼ of an inch below the previous section.
  7. Repeat step 6 with the 1 ½ (1/8”) inch blade on the detachable blade clipper. Using the tip of the blade to make the cut longer start to bevel the clipper slowly away from the head about ¼ of an inch below the previous section.
  8. Repeat step 7 by flattening the blade out to take more length. While the 1 ½ (1/8”) blade is on the clipper use the clipper over comb technique to soften the blend around the round of the head if there are any heavy spots. Remember, this is the blending blade. Use the tip of the blade over the comb to cut and blend at the same time. (There should be very little blending to do if the previous steps were done correctly.)
  9. Move on to the semi finish area with the adjustable clipper. Open the lever all of the way leaving it at the longest setting. Use a scooping motion about 1-2 fingers width around the outline of the haircut. This will start the taper.
  10. Repeat step 9 with the lever of the adjustable clipper halfway closed. Use the same scooping motion around the outline of the haircut ½ to 1 finger width. (If the customer has a thin or high hairline around the ears skip this step on the sideburn area and around the ears.)
  11. Repeat step 10 with the lever to the adjustable clipper in the closed position. Use the scooping motion about ¼ – ½ inch around the perimeter of the haircut. After this step is done the taper is complete and the haircut is ready for the finish. ((If the customer has a thin or high hairline around the ears skip this step on the sideburn area and around the ears.)
  12. Complete the finish. Use the t-trimmer to edge off the side burn area and clean up around the ears. Pull the ear down to make it easier to see any excess hair behind the ear. Just cut the hair that pops out. Do not go in to far. That will leave too big of an arc around the ear sometimes referred to as a white wall.
  13. Make the diagonal line on the neck behind the ear. Leave the line out as far as possible. Do not go in off the natural hairline and cut into the taper.
  14. Use an upward shaving motion to clean up the back of the neck. The taper is already complete so it is extremely important not to get anywhere near the hairline. Stop ½ -1 inch below the taper so a line is not made.
  15. Finish the opposite side of the neck and sideburn area.
  16. Style the hair. Ask the client if they prefer the wet or dry look. Typically this style is worn with a dry look. A firm hold paste will work best for this particular hairstyle. Rub the product all of the way down into the roots of the hair. Mess the hair up with your fingers to get the clients desired look.

[highlight]REVIEW QUESTIONS[/highlight]

  1. In which section should the haircut begin?
  2. What technique is best used in the top section for the required length of hair?
  3. What is another term for thinning hair?
  4. What section should be cut after the top section?
  5. Which technique is used in the round of the head section?
  6. Should the fade area begin with the largest or shortest blade?
  7. Which clipper is best for the semi-finish area?
  8. What age group is this haircut most popular with?

[highlight]AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY[/highlight]

Pay close attention to the growth pattern of the hair. This hairstyle is perfect for the client whose hair grows in a circle pattern around their head with a strong forward growth pattern on top. The finish/outline of the haircut is extremely important. The cleaner the taper and outline is the more the different dimensions of the haircut will stand out. This haircut is styled with a messy textured look.

Pay very close attention to the shape of the head. In this model’s case the round of his head is lower and the shape of his head is more circular than rectangular. Make sure to never taper/fade past the widest part of the head and/or higher than the bangs. This is how you achieve optimum balance for the hairstyle.