Zero Fade Haircut Explained + 8 Awesome Styles!

The zero fade cut is one of the most popular hairstyles among celebrities and young men. Its popularity is undoubtedly a result of the aesthetic appeal it contributes to a man’s look.

The zero fade cut is also very adaptable, and you can style it in several ways.

The zero fade haircut is a style that leaves a chunk of hair at the top of the head while slowly fading as it approaches the neck. This hairstyle differs from a skin fade as it doesn’t show your scalp (but it is very close to it). The hair is only reduced to a minimal level to draw attention to the beard or hair on the head.

The fade hairstyle is a bit technical to cut yourself. While getting a tutorial might help, it is safer to visit a professional barber to get it done.

The fade hairstyle is common among celebrities in the UK and other parts of the world, especially men who fancy short haircuts.

In this article, we will teach you all the secrets so that you master this haircut and impress everyone around.

Let’s get started!

What Is A Zero Fade Haircut?

A zero fade haircut is a modern style that features longer hair at the top of the head, which reduces as it moves closer to the ear and neck areas.

The hair at the back is cut as low as possible without showing the scalp. Unlike skin fade haircut, this particular haircut doesn’t reveal the skin on the scalp, so you don’t have to worry about carrying a bald head (but it is close to it).

The zero fade haircut increases in length gradually from the back of the head to the top, with the different lengths still blending into each other. The fade effect occurs when the different parts of the hair blend and there are no visible lines.

That faded effect creates a shadowed look, making it attractive to the eyes.

Usually, to get a very low trim at the back of the hair without showing skin, barbers use hair clippers that have no guard. A clipper with no guard is between 0.5 mm and 0.8mm in length, depending on the type of clipper.

A clipper with no guard, also known as a zero-grade trim, is all you need to achieve a low trim without having a clean shave that a razor or shaver will give. It’s important to note that this hairstyle varies depending on the length of the hair in front. It can be low, mid, or high.

Who Is The Zero Fade Haircut For?

zero fade haircut

According to research, zero fade haircut suits men with long and thick beards. This is because beards naturally enhance the appearance of a man.

So, having a zero fade haircut along sides neatly trimmed beards (stubble) will give a great look, and the transformation will be exceptional. The fade also helps to draw attention to the groomed beard, making you look neater and more appealing to the ladies.

While bearded men and fades are a match made in heaven, the zero fade haircut will also suit men with thick curly hair. The hair at the back of the head enhances curls, making you look more attractive.

Whether you have a full beard or not, the zero fade is sure to enhance your looks.

Read Also: Skin Vs Zero Fade Haircuts

Zero Fade Haircut Tutorial

The Zero fade haircut is a classic hairstyle, and you can get a professional barber to give you a zero fade or cut it yourself. The zero fade cut is beautiful, but requires you to be patient and strategic.

If you try to do it yourself, don’t rush because you can easily mess it up really bad.

If you do mess it up, click here to learn how to fix it.

1. Comb out the hair

The first step to getting your zero fade haircut is combing the hair to ensure it’s all even. This helps map out the areas needing a trim and what guards to use when trimming.

2. Trim the sides

After combing out the hair, the step is to trim the hair on the sides of your head with a clipper. No guards are needed for this as you’re more or less getting a skin fade here. Start by trimming from below the ear lobes to the top of your ear and maintain the line across the hairline.

This fade is called the double zero and helps set a guideline for the other trims. The fade should be even across the sides and can go lower at the back, depending on your preference. However, the fade line must be symmetrical to achieve that killer look.

3. The shadow fade

Once you’re done with the zero fade, the next step is to trim the hair slightly above your ears. You should do this with a guard one (number one) to ensure that the hair level is slightly higher than the fade. You’ll notice a shadow effect as you blend the hair into the zero fade.

4. Trim uneven hair

As you move closer to the top of your head, you’ll need to change the clipper guards. You should trim the hair level close to the upper part of your head with a guard two (number two) to show a distinct pattern in the hair levels. You should repeat this on both sides of the head until you have a perfect blend.

5. Fade the number one into the double zero

This step requires focus because you don’t want to cut more hair or create more lines. Blend all zero sides into the number one and ensure it’s even. Be careful not to make more lines while blending the sides. This step may require you to switch between your clipper’s zero, quarter, and halfway openings. You should also be careful not to cut the hair in the middle of your head.

6. Fade the number two into a number one

Right about now, your fade should have come to life. However, it still needs some freshening up. The hair on the upper side of your head (not in the middle) now needs to go lower, and you achieve this by using guard number one.

7. The front hair

Finally, the front hair. Comb out the hair your front hair and trim the hair strands that stick out unevenly till you are satisfied with the length. Proceed to create sharp lines at the edges of the hair. This process will define the hair and give it a more satisfying look.

8. Apply your preferred cream and style

This stage is an easy one. Apply your hair cream or any hair product to want. This will keep the hair shiny and healthy. After applying your products, you can proceed to style the hair. This part solely depends on you. You might want to put the front part into curls or blow dry it and make it bouncy.

Several hair clipper guards are used to achieve this haircut. You should only visit professional barbers with the necessary skill, experience, and understanding of how to use clipper guards and when to switch them. These hair clipper guards are usually in various sizes, from short to long hair.

Read Also: How Long Do Fade Haircuts Last

Zero Fade Haircut Ideas

You can recreate zero fade haircuts into different types depending on the texture of your hair and the style you want. There are quite a number of them, and they include spiked hair, wavy hairstyle, high top with highlights, Afro hawk, etc.

1. Wavy hairstyle

wavy zero fade haircut

You can style the zero fade in different ways, and one such way is the wavy hairstyle. Usually, the long hair in front is the one to be styled. Since it is long, then it’s capable of being wavy.

To achieve this style, use a hair gel or foam to style it and comb the bangs of the hair properly, so it touches the forehead.

This style is awesome for guys that already have curly hair (but not very curly). With the application of the foam for wavy hair, their hair will become curlier and paired with the zero fade it will look very badass and natural.

2. Braided top

man with braided hair

You might prefer to braid your hair after getting your zero fades haircut done just to give a different look. This look can be achieved by either weaving the top of the hair if it’s long enough to form knits or getting a hair extension to achieve the desired style.

I highly recommend this style for our black men friends who arguably braid their hair far more often and better than we do.

3. Afro hair with zero fades

afro hair with zero fade
Steph Curry with short afro hair and low zero fade

The Afro fade is ideal for men with African hair due to their hair texture. Since the top of the hair is often long, you can create afro hair.

You can take little sections of the hair and roll them with your fingertips or get a brush that is often rough on the surface and roll it across the hair. This will produce afro spikes, and you can repeat this process severally.

4. Spiked-up style

zero fade haircut with spikes

Spiking up the hair after a zero fade haircut will give the hair more volume, and you can achieve the look by applying a pomade hair gel, or preferably a hair paste or wax.

If you use a thick paste or wax make sure you dont apply too much product to your hair.

Take a little bit of the product, rub it in your palms and then apply it to your hair. If you need more you can always add. But, don’t overdo it. Also, do the process fast cause if it dries up you won’t be able to move your hair very easily and you will need to shower it before reapplying.

5. High top with highlights

zero fade haircut with highlights

After achieving the zero fade haircut and ensuring that the hair in front is long, pick some strands of hair in the front and highlight them with a nice color that will suit your skin tone.

This style is not for everyone. It is for men who wanna try new things and don’t care what others think about them. The first time you may not find the correct color or something else can go wrong.

But, in general, this style will make you stand out from the crowd and draw attention!

6. Zero fades with design

zero fade haircut with design

Some men love to add designs to their haircuts, and the zero fades can help to achieve that.

Ensure that the hair at the top of the head is long enough to accommodate your preferred design. You can create this design using a clipper or a razor blade.

Thousands if not millions of men daily try new designs to their hair! Again, not my style, cause I am quite conservative but I have seen some really badass designs. Also remember that hair grow very fast.

Even if you don’t like it, it will be completely gone in a week.

7. Afro Hawk

This particular hairstyle is ideal for textured African hair.

This is because the texture of African hair is strong enough to create the afro hawk alongside the sides product. The Afro hawk is also called the Mohawk style.

8. Line up cuts

zero fade haircut with line

This is also known as shaping. Line-up cuts have a lot of angles and curves, and this style gives the haircut more definition. Line-up cuts with a zero fade are a good one. Safe but also a bit modern and different from the mass.

To Sum Things Up

Zero fade haircuts are very appealing and make most men look way better than without the faded hairstyle.

These styles are very stylish and give the illusion that your face is more angular. You can also grow a pointed beard to make it look even more angular.

Although you can do this haircut at home, we highly recommend you visit a barber until you feel confident in knowing all the little steps.

In this article, we provide you with the zero fade haircut tutorial however as with everything else in life, it is easier said than done. (Especially having to look at the mirror while cutting your hair)

There are many hairstyles you can choose to pair with the zero-faded sides you will have. I normally go for a mid-zero fade with long hair on top. I apply matte paste with an extremely strong hold and natural result.

But, there are a ton of options when it goes to hairstyles.

If you are new to fade haircuts, remember that you can first try the number 1 fade or even the number 2 fade hairstyle and get your feet wet!

And that’s it for today! I really hope you found our article interesting and complete.

If you have any questions or you just want to share your thoughts with us, don’t hesitate to comment in the comment section below.

Until next time,

Stay safe,


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