How do you do a low fade at home?

Whether your friend, roommate, or partner is too busy to make it to the salon or you just want to test out your DIY haircut skills, we’ve put together a quick tutorial on how to do a low fade, with expert tips from Rebekah Buck’s Haircuts at Home Skillshare series.

Scissors ready—here’s how to do a low fade haircut step-by-step.

How to Do a Fade Haircut

When it comes to a fade haircut, men aren’t always relegated to the salon. Here’s how to do a low taper fade right at home.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

different hair cutting tools
The tools you choose will depend on your needs and budget. 

The first step in how to do a low fade haircut is to get all of your supplies in order:

  • Clippers
  • #1 and #2 clipper guards
  • Edger
  • Hair scissors
  • Comb
  • Spray bottle full of water
  • Cape or towel to go around the neck

You have a lot of options when it comes to tool brands, so do a bit of research so you can find ones that meet your needs and budget.

Step 2: Start Your Cut

man head with clippers
Work slow and even out the hairline as you go. 

If you’re not familiar yet with the basics of haircutting—including how to properly hold your scissors—refer to some of the earlier lessons in Buck’s course, where she covers the essentials. Then once you’re ready, you can move on to the next step in how to do a low fade, which is to start your cut.

Get your clippers and #1 clipper guard ready to go on a 1.5” length. With the clipper in the closed position, start your first cut at the center of the hairline, right at the nape. Trim a line across just to about the top of the ears, going back as needed to ensure the line is straight. Make sure to comb as you go so that all hairs are pointed down and in the same direction.

Continue the line, moving upwards until it reaches about ½” above the ear. When you’re done, switch to your #2 guard and in the closed position start trimming the next line, beginning once again in the center of the hairline and going up from the original line about 1”.

Switch back to your #1 guard, this time in an open position, and start to blend the two lines.

Step 3: Clean Up the Fade Line

comb with hair
Mastering the scissor-over-comb technique will be helpful for a lot of different types of cuts. 

Use the scissor-over-comb technique to blend your fade line. After wetting the hair, angle the comb so it’s at 45 degrees and comb hair upwards about 1-2” toward the top of the head. Using your scissors, trim excess hair in small sections at the fade line.

Repeat this process around the fade line until the line is clean and well-blended.

Step 4: Blend the Back and Sides

use fingers to pinch hair
Take as much or as little off the back and sides as you want. 

Continuing with the scissor-over-comb technique—or just using your fingers—work your way up and trim and blend the back and sides of the hair. These will be a bit longer since you didn’t trim this section yet, so take off as much (or as little) as you want.

Step 5: Edge the Cut

edge the bottom straight
Edging is the final step to getting a clean and even hairline. 

Last up: edging the hairline.

Take your clippers and trim off those wiry hairs at the bottom of the cut, working your way up near the ears. Be careful not to go too far into the hairline, since you don’t want to mess with the fade itself.

Once the hairline is completely edged and cleaned up, finish up with gel or pomade and admire your results!

Need a bit more instruction? Check out Buck’s full course on how to do a low taper fade for added insight on fading, trimming, clipping, and more, and mix up your style with courses on how to do a gentleman’s haircut and a men’s military haircut

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Written by:

Laura Mueller