How to fade with wahl clippers

Updated April 17, 2017

A fade cut is defined as hair which gradually increases in length from bottom to top. Fade cuts are sometimes referred to as taper cuts, as the hair seems to taper in length. Wahl makes a number of models for home use, and the Wahl T-pro trimmer is specifically marketed for fades and other close cuts. Fade cuts are also popular in short, cropped women's styles, though they are still mostly worn by men. Creating a fade with Wahl clippers at home can save you a trip to the barber.

Put a towel around the neck of the person getting a fade to prevent hair from getting on his clothing and skin.

Set your Wahl clippers on the highest guard you desire first. The size of the highest guard will be what determines the maximum length of the hair. Use this guard to cut the sides and back of the hair.

Comb the hair with a fine-toothed comb after you cut it with the highest guard, to brush away any loose hairs.

Change out the guard for the next size down. Use this to cut the back and sides, but stop wherever you decide the taper or fade begins. Comb the hair again to brush away loose hairs.

Switch again, this time to another size smaller and cut the hair again. This time, end your cutting stroke one-sixteenth to one-eighth inch from the first cut you made. Comb through the hair again to remove loose hairs.

Repeat the current process by switching to a lower guard and cutting within one-sixteenth to one-eighth inch.

Complete the last fade and then comb through the hair one last time. If you have left any lines or uneven patches in the middle of the fade, touch it up by using a guard higher than what was used on that portion of the fade to prevent cutting gaps shorter than the hair it surrounds. If that guard is too high, move to a lower one.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Guards
  • Comb
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About the Author

Tobias Starr has been writing professionally since 2010. Her specialties include fashion/beauty articles, literary analysis pieces and the occasional commentary on cultural issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in speech communication and a Master of Arts in secondary education, both from Morehead State University.