Number 2 Fade Haircut: A Helpful Illustrated Guide

Understanding what barbers mean when using different terms can be tricky sometimes and may lead to haircuts you don’t like.

In this article, we will discuss the number 2 fade haircut in detail and help you understand if this is the right one for you.

number 2 fade haircut

The number 2 fade is a very safe option for someone that hasn’t tried fade haircuts in the past.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What Is A Number 2 Fade Haircut

The number 2 fade haircut requires the number 2 clipper guard to trim the hair on your sides and the back of your head. The number 2 guard of your clippers trims down your hair at 1/4 of an inch.

This guard cuts hair short but not too much. Many men fear that if they try a fade haircut, they will have to shave their side hair which is not the case.

Fade haircut is a haircut in which hair is gradually blending as you go from the sides up. On the side it is short (but not necessarily shaven) and you can have long hair on the top of your head.

The number 2 fade is not very short. More specifically, in 3-4 days your side hair will be fully visible as you didn’t cut it 3 days ago.

After you have cut side hair up to a certain level with the #2 guard, you should use other longer clipper guards (3-4) 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 2 fade haircut got its name mainly because it requires the use of the number 2 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.

Who Is The #2 Fade Haircut For?

number 2 fade haircut

This haircut is for those of you that will try fade haircuts for the first time and also for those that prefer a less eye-catching, low-profile but ,at the same time, stylish and modern haircut.

Fade haircuts look good on most people. They make your face look more angular because of the short hair length on the sides. Your face, your eyes, your lips and everything on your face looks better.

The number two fade haircut, specifically, is awesome for those of you that fear to cut your hair with the number #0 or the #1 guard. The most impressive fade haircuts require clippers without a guard and also an electric shaver.

If you like this one, then you can try the number 1 fade or the skin fade, which are our favorite fade options.

How To Do The Number 2 Fade Haircut Step By Step

To have a perfect haircut, follow the steps below:

Choose Your Hair Clippers Wisely

Hair-quality hair clippers last for a long time. Therefore, buying a good one is an excellent investment. Having high-quality clippers is crucial to the success of a haircut.

Cutting hair exactly the way you want allows you to do an awesome haircut easily 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 can’t give you a haircut! You need to do some homework to do a fade haircut but clippers are your best friend!

Fade Outline Creation

fade outline

The first step of creating a nice fade haircut is the creation of the outline.

To do this, you need to grab the clippers with the number two guard.

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 longer.

There are different types of fade haircuts such as low, medium, and high fades. Depending on your preferences you will choose the best one for you. More on the various number two fade hairstyles below.

In general, medium fades are something between high and low fades. The best option!

Once you know where to cut hair, grab hair clippers firm and start the process. 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 carefully, around ears and also on the neck. Everything under the outline should be clean.

Fading Side Hair All the Way Up

number 1 fade haircut

After you have cut side hair with the number 2 guard, you need to connect this area 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 3 guard and cut about 1 finger’s length above the area you have used #2.

Now, there will be a visible line between the #2 and #3 guard. If your clippers have a lever, you can move it to be able to cut approximately #2,5 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.

The thing you should keep in mind at every moment is that at the end, there should be no visible lines. Short and long hair should be gradually and smoothly connected.

Then, you need to connect the area cut with 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 the clipper over comb technique.

This technique helps you create a very smooth haircut effortlessly.

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

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. However, we want to make it sharp.

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. Then, use your clippers without a guard and create a sharp straight line.

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 to shorten the hair on top.

Obviously, there are hundreds of different haircuts.

Mostly, for top hair, we prefer to 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 won’t get into every detail on how to cut the hair on top cause this is a whole different topic.

Read Also: How To Maintain A Fade Haircut

Top Number 2 Fade Haircut Examples

Number 2 Fade With Long Hair On Top

This is my favorite. Actually, my favorite is the number 0 fade with long hair on top but you get the point.

This haircut allows you to style your hair with pomade, waxes, etc making it look naturally messy or slicked back with a matte finish. This haircut is an incredibly modern hairstyle.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the best fade haircut for you. They are all really good. However, this one is the best for us.

Number 2 Fade Buzz Cut

2 fade buzz cut

Buzz cuts are very short haircuts, in which hair is often clipped with clippers only. However, most men combine a buzzcut haircut with fade.

More specifically, most men prefer a buzz cut, like buzz cut 3 paired with zero/skin fades. The side hair is nearly shaven with clippers without a guard and the hair on top is cut with guard number 3 (it can also be 4 or 2 whatever you like)

This is an awesome haircut. You don’t need to style your hair each morning. You wake up and you are ready to go!

2 Pompadour Fade

Pompadour is a hairstyle named after Madame De Pompadour. However, nowadays, more men than women choose it.

This is a very modern, and stylish haircut, but it has its history. Even Elvis Presley used to have it in the mid-1950s!

The basic concept of this style is having much hair swept upwards from the face and backward. In all honesty, it is just a variation of the broader category of fade haircuts with long hair on top.

Nowadays, the Pompadour haircut is combined with faded sides. This makes men that try it way more attractive than before.

Number 2 Low Fade

2 low fade haircut

Low fade haircuts are very safe options. The faded area is very low (one inch above the hairline). This makes them less ”extreme” and awesome for men that try a fade haircut for the first time.

The number 2 fade will make the low fade visible for 4-5 days. This means that if you didn’t like it in 4-5 days your hair will have grown fully.

On the other hand, if you liked it but want it to last longer and be more visible, you can try the number 1 low fade or the skin fade.

Low fade haircuts are not my favorites, but some men absolutely love them!

Number 2 Medium Fade

2 medium fade haircut
2 medium fade haircut

Low, medium, or high fade haircuts have to do with the level of the fade on your side hair.

Mid fade haircuts are the best, in my opinion. They have the maximum contrast. The number 2 mid fade is very safe. Again, in 4-5 days it will be completely gone. This is not good in case you like it but it is ok if you don’t like it (which will not happen, trust me)

Therefore, number 2 medium fade is for first-timers. Then, we prefer either the number 1 medium fade or even better medium skin fade that last longer.

All in all, my favorite number 2 haircut is the medium fade with long hair on top. But, in reality, it is the medium number 0 fade with long hair on top. Hehe.

1 vs 2 Fade Haircut

The only difference between the number 1 and the number 2 fade is the guard we use.

Obviously, the number 1 fade is more visible, eye-catching, and lasts about 3 more days. To be honest, it is better than the number 2 fade in every aspect.

One can say that he prefers the number 2 fade cause he doesn’t like attention or if he tries it for the first time. Other than that, I don’t see a reason for choosing the number 2 over number 1 fade haircut.

Frequently Asked Questions

How I ask For A Number 2 Fade Haircut?

To ask your barber about a number 2 haircut is easy. You tell him that he should do the fade with the number 2 guard (not #1 or clippers without a guard) and then you should tell what you want for your hair on the top of your head. Ask for long hair on top, a buzz cut or whatever you prefer.

Is The Number 2 Fade Haircut Professional?

The number 2 fade is suitable for interviews and meetings. It is not too extreme but you also show people that you care about yourself and your image. I highly recommend you get this haircut 1 day before the interview.

What Is The Best Fade Haircut For Someone With Curly Hair?

If you have dense curly hair, go for mid or low skin fade haircuts. Hair on top should not be too long. The longer the hair on top, the more difficult it is for you to handle and style it. Choose either a buzz cut with skin fade, or a zero fade with short hair on top.

To Sum Things Up

The number 2 fade haircut is modern and stylish. Most people that choose fade haircuts look better with them than without them. Fade haircuts can ”change” your face shape and make it look more angular.

In the number 2 fade, hair is clipped with the #2 guard, which is short but not very short.

For a few days, your haircut will look amazing. However, after 4-5 days it will lose its shape. That’s why most men prefer number 0 or number 1 fade haircuts.

In this article, we also discussed how you can do the number 2 fade (if you are a barber or not) and some of the best variations of the haircut.

I really hope you found our article helpful and you took some fade haircut inspiration!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them in the comment section below and we will be glad to reply.

Until next time,

Stay safe,


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