Number 1 Fade Haircut: A Helpful Illustrated Guide

Are you interested in getting the number 1 fade haircut and wanna know what this haircut is all about, how to get it properly or how to ask for it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in the right place!

fade outline

More and more men choose fade haircuts nowadays. Fade haircuts are arguably the best choice you have and will definitely make you look better than you used to if done correctly.

Obviously, they do have some cons like anything else in life, such as often visits to the barber and thus a higher cost, but they are worth it in our opinion.

The Number 1 Fade Haircut is a stylish and modern haircut in which the primary clipper guard for fading the side hair is the number 1 clipper. You use the number 1 clipper guard to cut the sides and the back of the head before you transition to other longer lengths, as is the essence of the fade haircut.

This article will explain the number 1 fade haircut, who it fits best, its benefits, and how to get it step by step!

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

What is the Number 1 Fade Haircut?

The number 1 fade haircut requires the number 1 clipper guard to trim the hair on your sides and the back. The number 1 clipper guard trims down your hair at 1/8 of an inch.

This guard is simply the shortest guard you can put on clippers. For instance, the number 0 or skin fade is a fade without a guard.

The number 1 fade is not very aggressive, not that short.

After you have cut side hair up to a certain level with the #1 guard, you should use other longer clipper guards (2-3) to blend this relatively short hair into the rest of the side hair and also gradually with hair on top.

As we have already mentioned, this number 1 fade haircut got its name mainly because it requires the use of the number 1 guard as the basic guard during the fading process.

This haircut lasts even less than the skin fade haircut because the ”shaven area” is not short enough and hair quickly grows over there, making it difficult to tell if you even have a fade haircut or not very soon (7 days)

This haircut is the best for first-timers that want to get their feet wet with fades.

Who is the Number 1 Haircut For?

fade haircut

The number 1 haircut is very flexible, safe, and modern and is, therefore, perfect for everybody.

Fade haircuts look good on almost anybody. They make your face look more angular because the side hair is very short.

The number 1 fade haircut, specifically, is awesome for those of you that fear to cut your hair with the number #0 guard (skin fade).

On this occasion, you can try the number 1 or even the number 2 fade haircut to see if you like it and then you go for a short fade.

My ultimate recommendation is the skin fade with long hair on top but the number fade 1 is also awesome.

The Number 1 Fade Haircut Step-By-Step Tutorial

To have a perfect #1 fade haircut, follow the steps below:

Choose The Right Hair Clippers (High Quality)

Hair-quality hair clippers last for a long time. Therefore, buying a good one is an excellent investment.

As you may have already understood from your visits to the barber, hair clippers play a vital role in the haircut’s success.

Being able to cut the hair exactly the way you want, allows you to do an awesome haircut fast and conveniently.

Most barbers use a variety of different hair clippers but having 1-2 high-quality hair clippers is definitely enough to give yourself or your client a professional haircut.

Of course, the clippers by themselves are not enough. You need to do some homework to be able to do a fade haircut with the number 1 guard.

Related Article: The Number 2 Fade Haircut Explained

Create The Fade Outline

fade outline

The first step of creating a nice fade haircut is very important.

You will grab the clippers with the number 1 guard and you will need to create the outline of the fade.

The customer or you, if you do it yourself, has to determine the level of the fade. The fade line determines where the hair gradually transitions from short to a bit longer.

There are different types of fade haircuts such as low, medium, and high fades. Low fades are fades where the shaven area (cut by number 1) is low, around the ears, and low on the back of the head.

On the other hand, in high fades, the fade goes higher near the top. We shave nearly all side hair. Of course, on the back of the head, the fade level is also high.

Medium fades are something between high and low fades. The best option!

Once you know where to cut hair, grab the hair clippers firm and start doing it! The lines should be even. Don’t be afraid to do the outline, but be careful cause you can easily mess it up.

Establish the guideline above the bottom corner of the temples. Stay consistent.

After you have created the outline and have checked that it is perfect, use hair clippers and cut everything below the line. Do it in detail, around ears and also on the neck. Everything under the outline should be cut.

Fading Side Hair All the Way Up

number 1 fade haircut

After you have cut side hair with the number 1 guard, you need to connect this with the rest of the side hair and then the rest of the side hair with the hair on top.

In order to do that, you should get the number 2 guard and cut about 1 finger’s length above the are you have used #1.

Remember, we want to transition smoothly on top with no visible lines.

Now, there will be a visible line between the #1 and #2 guard. If your clippers have a lever, you can move it to be able to cut approximately #1,5 so that you erase the line. Move the clippers across the line and try to erase it completely.

When you are done, grab the #3 guard and cut side hair all the way up.

Then, you need to connect the number 3 guard with the hair on top. In order to do this, there are many techniques. Our favorite is to use a comb and hair clippers. Use clipper over comb.

Using an ordinary comb, clean up the fading. (For dark hair, use a white comb; and use a dark comb for light hair.)

Comb upward toward the top of the head, keeping the comb at an angle of 45 degrees to the fade line and barely sliding the comb into the hair two inches or one. Move the guards upward over the comb away from the fade line, cutting the above the teeth.

Repeat this technique all the way around the fading lines, making sure to maintain your combing distance uniform.

Read Also: Why Do Hair Clippers Pull Hair?

You should have a perfect even fade that has no noticeable fade lines if everything is done correctly. As the hair comes closer to the skull base, it should gradually get shorter.

This will allow you to transition to the top smoothly.

Read Also: How Long Should A Fade Haircut Take?

Line Up Frontal Hairline

Take a moment and imagine the natural frontal hairline. You don’t wanna change that. You just want to make it sharper.

Comb your hair down if you have a buzz cut. If you have long hair, keep your hair up in order to see the hairline.

Put the clippers in the middle and move either left or right creating a sharp hairline. Repeat this for this opposite side.

Do the same thing for the corner of the hairline.

You can either do this with high-quality hair clippers or with a T-outliner.

Cut The Top Of The Hair

Getting a nice fade haircut is not only about the side hair. A fade haircut is still a haircut. Your client (or you) may want also to cut the top of his hair.

Obviously, there are hundreds of different haircuts.

Mostly, for top hair we use scissors, especially if the hair is long.

You may also need a thinning shear to make the hair less thick, more flexible, and easier to style with a product.

We can write hundreds of things and tips to cut better with scissors but you came here mainly for the fade, didn’t you?

Read Also: How To Maintain A Fade Haircut

Best Number 1 Fade Haircut Examples

Fade comb over

comb over fade
comb over fade

The fade part is the same for every haircut. In the comb over fade, the hair on top is long and you should comb it over to one side.

This is a very stylish, traditional style that has increased its popularity recently.

It best suits boys and young men, but older men can get it too.

Fade buzz cut

buzz cut fade

Fade buzz cuts are extremely popular. Buzz cuts are very short haircuts that require little styling and maintenance.

For example, if you have the number 2 buzz cut with fade which is an awesome option, you get up in the morning and start your day immediately without caring how you look. Because you look good already!

If you like short hair, you will love this style!

Pompadour with 1 fade

slicked back fade

This haircut was worn by Elvis Presley but has evolved over time. It requires very long hair on top that is slicked back.

The traditional pompadour haircut doesn’t have a fade, but this one is modern and stylish.

This style makes you stand out and look epic!

Read Also: How Much Should Fade Haircuts Cost?


The number 1 fade is an amazing haircut that can be easily paired with other haircuts to bring out an elegant and modern hairstyle.

Doing a fade haircut is not a walk in the park. If you are not experienced, you will face some problems. But, anyone can definitely do it if he puts in the effort and the practice.

Read Also: How To Fix A Bad Fade Haircut

In this article, we discussed all the steps you need to take in order to do an outstanding fade haircut. However, if you don’t apply the theory multiple times, you won’t get good at it.

Start practicing today and you won’t regret it!

And…that’s it for today! I really hope you found this article helpful and interesting.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to write them in the comment section below and we will be more than happy to help.

Until next time,

Stay safe,


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