The Hollywood Fade Haircut

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The Hollywood Fade is a fun haircut and will challenge your skills. It actually combines most of the barbering techniques including scissor over comb, thinning scissor over comb, clipper over comb, and fading. The haircut is a combination of a short fade with a longer messy top. You see a lot of young actors in Hollywood with these stylish haircuts with longer tops and very short sides.

[highlight]LEARNING OBJECTIVES[/highlight]

  • Demonstrate the scissor over comb
  • Understand the principles of a high fade
  • Demonstrate a high fade using multiple clippers and blades
  • Demonstrate texturizing with the scissor over comb technique
  • Understand working with thick wavy hair vs. straight hair
  • Understand the concept of not fading higher than the bangs for optimum balance

[highlight]STEP BY STEP GUIDE[/highlight]

  1. Cut the top section with the scissor over comb technique. Start in the center and work your way from the front to the back. Make sure to over direct the bangs to leave the front longer.
  2. Take 1-2 sections on both sides of the center guide and complete the top. Make sure that you always see your previous guide from the center and traveling guide in the comb.
  3. Cut the bangs with the scissor over comb technique. Start in the center and elevate the bangs to 45 degrees. Follow that cutting plane until you run out of hair.
  4. Repeat step 3 on the right side of the center guide.
  5. Repeat step 3 on the left side of the center guide.
  6. Cut the round of the head section using the scissor over comb technique at the right temple. Hold the comb parallel to the side of the head and begin to remove some of the bulk blending to but not into the top section. Follow this all the way around to the left temple. Dip down slightly in the crown area so the hair does not get cut too short and stand up.
  7. Start the sides and back section. Use the blade on skin technique with the detachable or adjustable blade clipper with the 3/8th inch attachment or metal blade. Cut to but not into the previous guide from the round of the head section. Start on the right temple area and work around to the left temple.
  8. Repeat step 7 with the ¼ inch blade or attachment. Start on the left side and work back to the right. Begin to arch the clipper away from the head using a scooping motion about ¼ of an inch below where you left off with the previous clipper length.
  9. Repeat step 8 with the 1/8th attachment or blade. Work your way from the right side back to the left. If you are using the metal 1 ½ blade, complete the blend from the sides to the round of the head section with the clipper over comb technique. If you are using an adjustable clipper you will do this without an attachment on it.
  10. Repeat step 9 with the 1/16th clipper blade or attachment.
  11. Move on to the semi finish area next. Open the lever to the adjustable clipper 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.
  12. Repeat step 7 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.
  13. Repeat step 8 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Finish the opposite side of the neck and sideburn area.
  18. The final step of the finishing area is the straight razor shave on sideburns, around the ears, and back of the neck. Apply shaving cream on the areas to be shaved. Start on the right sideburn and grip the side of the head with the palm of your hand. Place your thumb on the side burn and stretch the skin. Shave the bottom of sideburn using a free hand stroke. Next shave the right side of the neck below the ear with a freehand stroke. Move on to the hairline using the freehand stroke all the way across. Use your backhand stoke for the opposite portion of neck below the ear. Lastly, use your backhand stroke again for the opposite sideburn. Wipe off excess shaving cream with a clean towel and apply aftershave.
  19. Style the hair to the customer’s preference. Use a pomade or firm gel for the wet look or a dry paste or grooming cream for the dry look.

[highlight]REVIEW QUESTIONS[/highlight]

  1. In what section should the haircut begin for ease of blending?
  2. What is the proper technique for cutting short hair in the top section?
  3. What section will you cut after the top section?
  4. What clipper length is best to begin the sides and back section?
  5. What two types of clippers can be used for the sides and back section?
  6. Which clipper is used for the semi-finish section?
  7. What clipper is used for the finish?

[highlight]AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY[/highlight]

The most important thing to remember is not to fade the hair above the length of the bangs. In other words comb the bangs straight down on the forehead and use this as your guide to begin to pull the clipper away from the head in an arching motion with the longest clipper blade. This will ensure a balanced fade.

When styling wavy to curly hair it is best to use just your fingers so the hair can do what it wants. Make sure to apply the chosen product all of the way through to the roots of the hair and then style to the customer’s liking.