In a bygone era, men thought only about maintaining hair; the concept of styling came years later. However, the recent development in men’s fashion is nothing short of explosive. A lot of hairstyles marched in and became dated after a brief spell of months.
The three classic hairstyles that have survived this new-trend push are the low fade, mid fade, and high fade. All these three evergreen hairdos give a person the versatility they require. You can either choose to be a minimalist or go all-out experimental with your hair within the realm of these three fades.
However, having three different options to choose from sparked a debate, and the fire still burns. You’ll hear some people take the low fade’s side, while others defend the mid or high fade with all they have got. The truth is- there is no best option amongst the three, and let me tell you why.
All the hairstyles are person- and situation-specific. You may pull off the high fade, doesn’t mean your friend will. So, I’ll try to settle this brawl between low fade vs. mid fade vs. high fade.
There’ll be a breakdown of all the options you get from each, and what’s the rationale behind preferring one over the other. Also, I’ll show you a handful of trending hairstyles you can take up from each of the fade options.
Low Fade vs. Mid Fade
You’ll only get half of the debate if I don’t explicitly describe what both hairdos bring to the table. So, let’s start with that.
Note: All fades happen around the side of your head, not on or around the crown.
The names of each hairstyle give us a lot of information actually. The low fade is a minimalistic and common hairdo that most men prefer. In this haircut, the hair begins to thin out between the half or one-inch region above your ear. Anything above this threshold remains the same; it may change if you instruct your stylist otherwise.
This haircut forms an arc right above your ear, and there’s a thin layer an-inch or half above followed by the thicker layer. If you have a beard to go with it, the thin line will drop drown a little further, and there’ll be a fade-in effect with your beard.
The mid fade is slightly different from its counterpart. While the low fade limits itself to a tapering of half or one-inch, the mid fade takes it a step further. The hair becomes thinner from two or three inches above your ear and later fades into your hair. So, you get an increased one or two inches of thin hair in this hairstyle.
Now- if you’re trying to assess the superiority of one hairstyle, don’t bother because it’s partly about the hairstyle, but mostly about who takes it up and how.
What do I think?
If I am to be the judge, jury, and executioner on this subject, I will choose mid fade over low. Don’t take this preference at face value; low fade is not a slouch by any means.
However, I prefer mid fade because it gives me more options. The fade begins after two to three inches, which allows me to complement it with either long curls or short locks. In contrast, the low fade starts thinning out from only an inch or half above. So, flexibility is limited to some extent.
I think mid fade is perfect for both a casual excursion or a high-profile party. It’s an everlasting hairstyle with little to no maintenance. As far as I see, the mid fade isn’t going anywhere in the near future. So, you can keep reliving this hairdo a couple times if you wish.
However, low fade is a better option for formal meetings. It makes you presentable with a stylish flare minus the eye-catching fade. People in meetings notice out-of-place hairstyles. So, the low fade compromises a bit of style for the sake of formality.
Still, this judgment is inconclusive. My assessment is highly reliant upon the premise that the low or mid fade remains static as it moves into the crown. It’s not what happens in reality, not by a long shot. Men love experimenting with their hair, and there are plenty of shenanigans you can do.
It’s possible to have a low fade, and then from forehead to crown, you have long curly locks. Long and curly locks take formality out of the equation even when it’s a low fade. Also, you can do a mid-fade and then get the appearance of a crew cut or buzz cut from your temple and above.
So, the low fade being more formal and less stylish than the mid, and vice-versa, is a generalized opinion. I haven’t accounted for the million other things you can do with your hair around the crown. You have the power to turn the tables completely, and this is the beauty of hairstyling.
While the general view of both the low and mid fade will help you understand what’s what, it is you who must rise to the occasion and decide the best course of action.
Mid Fade vs. High Fade
It’s time to take this brawl up a notch by introducing high fade into the arena. High fade seems to be taking over the millennial crowd as this hairstyle is bold and showy.
I’m not saying the high fade is age-restricted. The millennial preference stems from this hairdo’s nature to highlight a person’s facial features. Let’s look into the details.
The high fade begins to thin out from the corners of the forehead or near the crown. So, the fade begins way above your ear, and when it comes down eventually, there would be no hair left near the end. The high fade is a bold hairstyle to go for, and only opted by people who are willing to stand out.
On the other hand, I’ve already discussed the mid fade. The fade begins two or three inches above the ear, a little down the forehead/crown area, and tapers down. It’s not as striking as the high fade, but it does leave a lot of room for experimentation.
What do I think?
The high fade is a high-risk high-reward deal. The hair being excessively thin on the sides doesn’t always bode well for everyone. As I’ve stated, the increased tapering highlights a person’s facial features, and if you’re not confident in appearance, the hairstyle is not going to work.
Also, there is the issue of color compatibility. Someone with black hair and white skin will not benefit much from a high fade. The color conflict will make the sides stick out like a sore thumb. Nobody will notice the fade. Instead, all they will see is a hairless side.
However, you can pull it off if the style around your crown and frontal region complement the high fade. The color compatibility issue will not seem so intense once the top part of your head comes into play.
I believe the high fade is perfect for a gala or a walk in the ramp. It’s a statement-making hairstyle, and the liberty to experiment is boundless. A lot of budding models’ don the high fade as it helps agencies take note of them.
Also, people who are in a never-ending war against hair fall can try this hairstyle out as well. As the sides are cut short, the remaining hair around the crown appears thicker and sharper. The barely-noticeable hair on the top becomes prominent and gives out a sense of volume.
In contrast, the mid fade sits exactly between the high and low. Neither does it go to the extreme forehead-corner region, nor does it start around the above-ear area. The hair begins to thin out from a sweet spot between both the mentioned areas.
This characteristic makes the mid fade a safe option for everyone. The high fade can turn out to be an utter disappointment if a person’s facial structure doesn’t support the hairstyle.
There is another practical reason to consider mid fade over high. You can always cut more hair and go for a high fade if you’re not pleased with the mid fade, but you can’t grow hair and return to mid once the high fade is complete. So, the high fade is a risky move for people who are not sure how they’re going to end up looking.
I would recommend going for the low fade first and observing the results. If you think you can go a bit further with the tapering, be my guest and put on the mid fade. Also, if you think a little more oomph to the mid fade will make you look even better, feel free to try the high fade.
The point here is- try to go up the ladder gradually instead of jumping to the top.
Low Fade vs. High Fade
I’ve already given the description of both hairstyles, and there’s nothing to it. So, I’m just going to do a quick recap and move on to my thoughts.
The low fade thins out an inch or half above the ear. It’s a minimalistic style and doesn’t leave a lot of room for trying anything new and innovative.
In comparison, the high fade is the complete opposite of low. The fade begins around from the corner of the forehead, and by the time it reaches the ear, there is little to no hair left. It’s a bold hairstyle, and one can play with it because of its versatility.
What do I think?
The rule of thumb for me is pretty simple, take one step at a time if you’re unsure. If you’re walking into the realm of fades for the first time, it’s better to tread carefully. So, I suggest you start with low and work your way up the ladder as you get more comfortable with the hairstyle.
Besides, the low fade is a widely accepted hairdo that most men prefer. People like to stay close to a comfort zone, especially when it’s their first time. So, the low fade is perfect for such situations. If you can spice up the top part of your hair, the low fade works wonders and gives you a complete look.
It’s also more suitable for formal situations than the other two. Your thin sides won’t create a fuss in the post-meeting discussion table, and you can enjoy a stylish appearance nonetheless.
The high fade sits in the far opposite of the low. The thinning begins from the top, and it’s hard for any observer to avert their eyes from the super-thin sides. While the benefit is that you instantly get the crowd’s attention, how they process the hairstyle later is an entirely different question.
This hairdo can be of service if you need to make a quick impression. The boldness of the sides, the facial features blown out of proportion, the wild experiments you can pull- the high fade is all about standing out and not blending in. So, if you want to make it big in a party, the high fade is your best bet.
If the feistiness of high fade scares you, or the politeness of the low fade bores you, the mid fade is there to the rescue. It can give the flare you need coupled with a tinge of formality. So, keep the mid fade in your books as well.
Low Fade: A Few Styling Options
The fade is just a part of the look. It only covers the sides, while the whole top-region remains free to play. So, what can you do with a low fade? Let’s get into some of the most glamorous low fade styles available.
The Low Fade Crew Cut
The Crew Cut is the immortal legend in men’s hairstyling. It’s not a new and coming style, but it’s a tried-and-true cut that never loses its appeal. This haircut is exceptionally low maintenance. While the classic Crew Cut doesn’t have a low fade, you can combine both to make it unique.
The minimalistic look of low fade complements the official nature of the Crew Cut. It’s like two peas in a pod. For those of you who want to be office-ready with style, the Low Fade Crew Cut can be your weapon of choice.
If you’re wondering that this hairstyle is too lowkey, remember Jake Gyllenhaal’s Textured Crop is a slight variation of the Low Fade Crew Cut.
Voluminous Subtle/Bright Low Fade
Compared to the Crew Cut, this version is more stand-out. There is a condition, though; you need to have thick and medium-length hair to pull this off. The Voluminous Low Fade has two different variants- subtle and bright.
The subtle version fades into the existing hair, making the transition appear natural. The contrast between the fade and the hair is gentle; hence, the name.
On the other hand, in the bright version, the faded hair seems like a separate entity. From a top-down view, it looks something like this- voluminous hair- no hair. Also, you can improve upon this look if you have a full beard. From the thick hair, it could fade out around the ear and later fade into the beard.
Mid Fade: A Few Styling Options
The mid fade is safer when it comes to haircuts. Unlike the low fade, it is more noticeable. Also, it’s not as conspicuous as the high fade, so you’ll be comfortable on both ends.
Long Locks Mid Fade
Mind you; this hairstyle isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Not only does it require a head full of healthy hair, but you also need to commit to the maintenance. However, all the setbacks are worth it because it looks dope when you can make it work.
The Long Locks Mid Fade consists of long strands around the crown, mid, and frontal regions. When it comes to sides, the fade begins from one or one and a half-inch below the temple.
Mid Fade Pompadour
The pompadour is such a versatile hairdo that it would be an injustice to only list it under mid fade. Remember- you can get the pompadour haircut in all three fade variants.
The way this hairstyle works is the fade remains the same as before, but the hair around the center is shorter. However, your hair will be brushed hard to one side to make a thin line appear around the corner of your forehead.
Many heartthrobs in the men’s world have sported this look from time to time. If David Beckham thinks it’s worth donning, any man should too.
High Fade: A Few Styling Options
The high fade is an all-out statement-making hairstyle. While it doesn’t have the polite vibe of mid and low fade, it brings out the audacious. Although there are a lot of options to choose from, I’ll mention two of my favorites.
Undercut: High Fade Variation
The undercut has seen its fair share of ups and downs. But the good news is, the undercut is back, and it would seem it’s here to stay. Firstly, the classic undercut has completely shaved sides contrasting with the thick back and upper hair. However, the high fade variation adds a little spice.
Instead of shaving the sides fully, the high fade gives the sides a tapered look. This slight variation adds some more panache to the already stylish hairstyle.
High Taper Fade
Before in my argument, I said the high fade isn’t suitable for formal occasions. I also mentioned that the statement was subject to change, and I’m generalizing. The high taper fade is a clear example of an exception to the generalization.
The high taper fade is a hairdo you can take to your office without any hiccups. Although the thinning begins from the forehead corners, it doesn’t end up in a bald skin. Instead, a bunch of short hairs remain around the ear. The sides don’t look as flashy. Combine it with a decent top-head style, and you’re all set for any formal situation.
Can You Perform the Low, Mid, or High Fade Cut at Home?
Of course! Why do you think these three fades stood the test of time in an ever-changing era? The reason is it’s very easy to perform these cuts by yourself, given you have the right tools for the job.
You will need a few things, but the three must-haves are:
- A hair clipper
- A mirror
- A scissor
Numbers 2 and 3 are easy to come by, so I’ll just talk a little about a hair clipper.
Hair clipper will be your primary styling instrument if you’re willing to try the faded haircuts. If you’re none the wiser about using clippers, you can read an article or watch a tutorial.
Also, a lot of people get the wrong clipper and never try DIY hairstyling again. While DIY hairdo can save money, the opposite can happen as well.
So, to make sure you don’t fall in the shiny advertisement trap, I’d recommend going for the Wahl Color Pro Cordless Combi Kit. It may seem a little steep, but trust me, it’s a bang for the buck. This hair clipper has a color code for each blade guard, which makes it a blessing for beginners.
Not to mention the brand has been in the hairstyling industry since the end of World War I. So, the experience Wahl has in manufacturing hair clippers practically guarantees performance. The Wahl Color Pro Cordless Combi Kit is also battery-operated, and you can take it for a 60-minute spin if need be.
In short, this hair clipper can make your life much easier and save you a lot of money from regular salon runs. Give it a whirl if you’re thinking of stay-at-home styling; you’ll not be disappointed.
Laying This Debate to Rest
The battle between the low fade vs. the mid fade vs. high fade has waged long enough, and understandably so. Men are becoming more self-conscious about their appearance, which has led to a lot of innovations, arguments, and solutions as well.
By this time, I’m sure you’re well aware that none of the fade hairstyles, in particular, have superiority over the other. It’s completely individual-dependent.
At the end of the day, hairstyle is a personal choice. No matter how lucrative or trendy a style option seems, if you’re unhappy with the way you look, it amounts to nothing. So, think deep and don the hairstyle that makes you smile; cheers!