How to Cut an Afro to a Fade

Written by keita davis
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How to Cut an Afro to a Fade
Turn an afro into a fade. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

If you have tired of your afro, you might be ready to try a different style, like a fade. There are many types of fades, including the low-medium bald fade, which features low hair on the top and sides faded to a bald base, the afro temp fade, where the hair is medium length on the top and sides and cut short only in the back at the base of the neck and at the temples, and the bald fade with really short hair on top slightly faded to bald sides. Whichever fade you choose, rest assured that you can achieve the look in a few steps.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clippers with guard
  • Pick
  • Fine toothed comb
  • Brush
  • Gel

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  1. 1

    Comb out the hair so that it sticks out on all sides. Use scissors to shorten the length on the sides to about 1 inch.

  2. 2

    Pick out the hair on top. Determine the length that the fade will be, then use scissors cut away any excess to within 1 inch of the desired height. For a very tall fade, apply hair gel and brush upwards to help hold the hair in place.

  3. 3

    Using clippers with a size four guard, cut the sides of the hair. Start at the base of the skull and cut upwards. As you near the top, move the clippers slightly away from the crown to create the "faded" look. Repeat with a size three guard, moving the clippers away from the head at a point slightly below the place you moved it with the size four guard.

  4. 4

    Change the guard on the clippers to a size two. Repeat the action in Step 3, starting at the base of the skull and cutting upwards. Pull slightly away from the head at a point slightly below the point where you did so with the size three guard.

  5. 5

    Replace the size two guard with a size one guard. Start at the base of the skull, and cut upward, moving outward near the place you stopped with the size two guard.

  6. 6

    Remove the size one guard. Carefully edge up the entire hairline, including sideburns and the back of the neck, to achieve sharp lines. Use a fine toothed comb to help make straight lines. Once the hair is completely edged up, start at the base and cut up and out about 1 inch on both sides and the back to complete the fade and clear away any remaining hair.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a number five guard on the clippers and run it over the entire head to even out any undesired lines. Use hair scissors to clip even any stray hairs.
  • Avoid nicks and cuts when edging behind ears by holding them down.

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