The Major League Fade

The major league fade is named after the number of pro baseball players that have their haircut this way. The hair is faded from a skin or bald length to hair on top with just a little length in the front to stand up or brush to the side. This is an extremely difficult haircut to do because of the extreme difference in length. There should not be any shadows or lines in the haircut. With this system of cutting hair and practice you will have the knowledge to duplicate this haircut with ease and have a weekly to bi-weekly customer for life. You will also receive a lot of new customers from word of mouth. This is the one haircut that guys will usually comment on and ask another guy where they had it cut.

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.
  • Demonstrate a bald/skin fade.
  • Demonstrate a straight razor shave around the ears and on the back of the neck.
Step by Step Guide
  1. Start on the top with the 2 (1/4”) blade on the detachable blade clipper. Start 2-3 fingers from the front hairline and clipper the top down. This will leave enough room to blend to the front and leave enough hair to stand up or brush to the side.
  2. Use the 1 ½ (1/8”) blade on detachable blade for the round of the head section. Depending on the shape of the head also run the clipper down the center so the head looks round from the front. Some head shapes protrude a little bit in the top center area and need to be clipped down a little more to look symmetrical. Make sure to not overdue it. There is only so much that can be done.
  3. Use your 1A (1/16”) blade in the detachable blade clipper next. Start on the sides and back section in the temple area first and blend into the 1/8 length around the round of the head. In this case we are doing a high fade you need to take this step into the round of the head. Make sure to remember the fading motion with you wrist. Guide the clipper slowly in a straight line away from the head to create the fade. Do not stop. Doing so will cause a line.
  4. Use your 1 blade on the detachable blade clipper or the adjustable clipper in the open position and repeat step 3. Leave about a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade.
  5. Use your OA blade on the detachable blade clipper or your adjustable clipper in the halfway closed position next. Repeat step 4 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.
  6. Use your 000 on the detachable blade clipper or the adjustable clipper in the closed position next. Repeat step 5 leaving a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade.
  7. Use your trimmer elevating the case slightly to get a little longer length or a 0000 blade on the detachable blade clipper. Repeat step 6 leaving a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade.
  8. Use your trimmer in a normal position or a 00000 blade on the detachable blade clipper. Repeat step 7 leaving a sixteenth to a quarter of an inch separation from where you left off with the previous blade.
  9. Use a beard trimmer and start just below where you left off with the 00000 blade or trimmer. Shave down with the grain and then shave upward against the grain stopping just below where you started the downward stroke.
  10. Blend the front hairline into the top. Use the front teeth of the clipper comb and blend the section of hair farthest away from the hairline into the previously cut area on top. Use the adjustable clipper open or the 1/8 inch blade on the detachable blade clipper and work your way across the top until blended. The 1/8 blade on the detachable blade clipper works best because it cuts and blends at the same time.
  11. Start from the front using the same tools and over direct the front hairline to the blended area and cut across a center section. This will leave the hair longer in the front to be styled. Repeat this step on each side.
  12. If the front hairline is still to heavy keep repeating step 11 but don’t over direct the hair back as far as the previous time. This will take out the desired weight while leaving the hair blended and longer toward the front.
  13. Use the straight razor to shave around the ears and the hairline. Apply hot lather around the outline of the haircut and begin the shave from the right side burn.
  14. Wipe off the shaving cream with your finger from the area you are about to shave so you can see what you are shaving. Grip the head with the palm of your hand and stretch with your thumb and begin shaving using a freehand stroke. Do this all the way around the ear. If you can’t stretch the skin this way use your thumb and pointer finger to stretch the skin and shave the area in between your fingers.
  15. Continue on behind the right ear and then across the neckline always wiping of the shaving cream so you can see what you are shaving.
  16. Behind the left ear use the backhand stroke and then switch to the freehand stroke around the left ear. Stretch the skin the same as on the previous side using your palm or your thumb and pointer finger.
  17. Shave the left side burn with the backhand stroke.
  18. Wipe off shaving cream and apply after shave balm.
  19. Style the hair. Use the desired product and style the haircut to the client’s preference.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. What clippers are needed for this haircut?
  2. What section should the haircut begin?
  3. What clipper is used for the top section?
  4. What distance from the bangs should you begin on top to leave enough room for blending to a slightly longer front?
  5. What tool do you finish off the skin fade with on the sides?
  6. What clipper and blade/attachment are recommended for blending the bang area into the top section?
  7. What technique is used to blend the bang area into the top section?
  8. What tool is used to shave around the ears and the back of the neck?
  9. What product should be applied to the skin after using the beard trimmer and straight razor?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
After each step or couple of steps use the soft teeth on the fade brush to remove the excess hair. This will make it easier to see the fade coming to life. The steps may seem repetitive and tedious at times but this is what it takes to give a perfectly blended fade. With repetition it will become second nature.

You will see demonstrated in the lesson video the advantages of starting on the top and working down. Your pace will be a lot slower and you will finish the haircut quicker. We refer to this as increasing efficiency without increasing your hand speed. Always remember, if you do not put a line in you won’t have to blend it out.

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