The Low Bald Fade Haircut

The low bald fade is generally a fade that is a one – two finger width around the outline of the haircut. Another way to think of it is quarter to halfway up the side of the head and below the occipital bone in the back. This type of fade tends to be more gradual over a larger area and has a longer top length that really makes the style stand out. As with the bald fade it does not go past the round of the head and can be done with either a square shape or contour shape hairstyle.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Understand what the terms bald fade or skin fade means.
  • Identify the tools necessary for completing this haircut.
  • Identify the steps necessary to complete this haircut.
  • Understand the principle of starting on the top and working down vs. starting on the bottom and creating a line of demarcation.
  • Understanding how to use a more graduated scooping motion with the clipper to create a low fade.
  • Demonstrate a bald/skin fade.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
  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. 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. The more sections used the more even the cut will be.
  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. If there is any recession in the corners make sure to over direct the hair to the point of the recession. Repeat this step as many times as necessary until there is no 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. Use the scissor over comb technique with a thinning scissor. Cut the center section first. Keep the comb parallel to the floor and cut from the back to the front. Move the comb slow and start 1/3 of the way down the shaft of the hair. Slowly elevate the comb and make 2 half closes and 1 full close with the scissor. This will texturize and cut length at the same time.
  4. Repeat step 1 on the left and right sides using the center as the guide. Keep the comb parallel to the floor and take as many sections necessary until the comb does not pick up any hair at the round of the head. Keeping the comb parallel will establish the square shape leaving the desired weight in the corners for the hair to move properly.
  5. Cut the round of the head section using a 3/8th metal blade or attachment comb. Blend this length into the top section making sure to keep the clipper blade parallel to the side of the head.
  6. Use your next blade length down which is the ¼ inch metal blade or attachment comb. Repeat step 4 but take and take the same imaginary line straight up parallel to the side of the head blending into the round of the head section.
  7. Repeat step 5 with the 1/8 inch metal blade or attachment comb.
  8. Repeat step 6 with the 1/16th metal blade or attachment comb.
  9. Use an adjustable clipper in the open position and repeat step 7. Leave about a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade.
  10. Use the adjustable clipper in the halfway closed position next. Repeat step 8 leaving a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade. Remember to concentrate on guiding the clipper slow and steady on the imaginary plane until you run out of hair. This is what results in the fading effect.
  11. Use the adjustable clipper in the closed position next. Repeat step 9 leaving a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade.
  12. Use your trimmer elevating the case slightly to get a slightly longer length or to blend into the previous step. Repeat step 10 leaving a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade with a slight flicking or scooping motion.
  13. Use your trimmer in a normal position to get a close cut. Repeat step 11 leaving a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade with a slight flicking or scooping motion.
  14. Use a beard trimmer and start just below where you left off with the trimmer. Shave down with the grain and then shave upward against the grain stopping just below where you started the downward stroke. This last step will complete the bald fade.
  15. Style the hair by applying a small amount of firm hold gel and drying it with a hair dryer to create some volume and thickness.
  16. Apply a texture paste with a dry finish and style to the clients liking with a dry finish.
  17. Finish up the front hairline and temple areas by outlining with a straight razor. Make sure to always use a light touch.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. Which section should you begin the haircut in?
  2. What is the name of the section cut after the top section?
  3. What length blade or comb attachment should you start with in the round of the head section?
  4. What type of clipper is used to get multiple lengths?
  5. What tool is used to get the bald length on the sides to finish the haircut?
  6. What two products are used to build the shape of the hairstyle and to give it more shine and hold?
  7. Describe the process to get a nicely defined outline on the forehead and temple areas.
AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

This is one of the most difficult haircuts to perform because of the extreme difference in length of the hair from the outline to the top. Any imperfection or shadows will show. When you are fading with the longer blades the movement should come from your elbow and your wrist should stay completely still. When you move on to the shorter lengths the fading movement gets shorter and should come from a slight and slow flick of the wrist while you elbow remains completely still. Lastly, this style is a low bald fade so make sure the bald areas are about an inch below the parietal and occipital areas or round of the head.

 

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