The precise, clean drop fade might be what you need to change up your look this season. Find out what you need to know about this haircut in our style guide, complete with photo examples that are trending right now!
Considering a Drop Fade?
Drop fades give you a way to dress up a short haircut without making it harder to style. If you like to keep things low maintenance and neat, adding a drop fade to your preferred haircut is always a good idea.
This type of fade looks great with almost any haircut – long on top and short on the back and sides, a polished crew cut, or with a high-contrast bald fade.
It’s a great “add-on” option that changes only the back of the haircut. And it pairs well with any other type of fade.If you’re thinking about asking your barber for a drop fade at your next haircut appointment, you’re in the right place.
We’re going to talk about what a drop fade is, look at photo examples of this trendy haircut, and cover things you should consider before committing to it.The drop fade could be the perfect finishing touch for your next haircut. First on the list: Let’s look at the elements that make up a drop fade.
What Is a Drop Fade?
In a traditional or classic fade, the “fade line” where the hair begins to progressively shorten can be high, mid, or low, is straight, and follows the curve of the head all the way around.In a drop fade, the fade line can be high, mid, or low, is curved, and dips downward around the back of the head.
The fade line drops in the back, which is where this haircut gets its name.You can get a high, mid, or low drop fade. But most commonly, you’ll see high and mid drop fades. A low fade height doesn’t give enough room to really show off the dip in the back.
This type of fade may feature a gentle curved fade line or a sharp, pointed fade line in the back. The dropped section usually extends from behind one ear to the other. It’s all about your preferences and what your barber is comfortable doing.
The hair on top can be any length you choose with this fade. Keeping it short to medium in length seems to be the trend at the moment. Drop fades offer such crisp, clean look that they naturally pair well with short or precise haircuts.
But that’s not to say that medium and long hair don’t go with this type of fade.Longer hair on top only opens up your styling options, allowing you to choose different looks for different occasions.
You might choose to slick longer hair on top back, part it to the side, pull it up in a man bun, braid, or ponytail, or wear your natural texture tousled with a little gel or mousse.
Drop fades give the appearance of fuller hair in the back because the longer section on top covers more area than in a classic fade. No wonder they’re one of the most popular types of fades! We’ll show you several examples of the trendiest versions of this popular haircut below.
10 Trending Drop Fade Haircut Examples
Ready to see how other guys are rocking fades of the drop variety? We found 10 trending examples that perfectly illustrate the crisp precision and versatility of this men’s haircut. Check them out below:
1. Mid Drop Fade Crop
A short cropped haircut is super low maintenance for guys who hate spending too much time styling their hair in the morning. Add a medium-height fade that drops in the back to make the look your own and add a little interest to an otherwise classic cut.
2. Mohawk Bald Drop Fade
This unique mashup features elements from the mohawk, the high-contrast bald fade, and the trendy drop fade. The center of the drop extends down to the neckline, which gives this cut a standout look.
Read Next: Mohawk Fade Ideas
3. High Drop Skin Fade
This fade starts high up, around the temples, but gradually dips down in the back. This is a great idea if you have thinning areas around the crown since this cut leaves you with a little more length in the back.
4. 3-2-1 Mid Drop Fade
You can’t go wrong with the ol’ 3-2-1 fade! Add a drop in the back to mix it up a bit. The hair on top is cut with a #3 guard, then #2 and #1 around the back and sides to taper that length nicely. A section of the middle back dips down lower to create the drop in this mid fade.
5. Drop Bald Fade With Line Up
The longer top section covers the top of the head and dips down in the back in the shape of a cap or bowl. The edges are blended and faded in length from short to shaved. The front is precise and shaped with a quick line up around the temples.
Read Next: Bald Fade Examples
6. Caesar Drop Skin Fade
Take the short bangs and straight lines of the Caesar cut and combine it with a bold skin fade that drops in the back for a one-of-a-kind haircut. The stark, short bangs are a little different from other styles, but they’re definitely on trend and a mainstay in both the Caesar and French crop haircuts.
7. Long Braided Top With Pointed Drop Fade
For guys who prefer wearing their hair long but want ways to keep it contained, French braids are a smart solution. The long top is braided toward the back here, which contrasts nicely with the shaved skin fade. It all wraps around to a pointed drop in the back.
Read Next: Braided Hairstyles for Men
8. Mid Drop Crew Cut Fade
Clean cut and dapper, this classic look has a modern touch with the dip in the fade line around the back. Starting the fade line around the halfway point at the sides makes it a mid or medium fade, and it looks like the barber did a simple 3-2-1 (hair clipper sizes) fade here.
9. Cropped Top With Steep Drop Skin Fade
The steep drop in this fade makes it stand out from other styles, but you can make the dip as steep or shallow as you want. Keep the top short and closely cropped with shaved sides to give this cut a neat and clean look.
10. Tousled Pompadour With Subtle Drop
Keep your styling options open when you keep the top a few inches long like this. A casual, tousled look is easy to achieve with a little gel or texturizing mousse. The cut has a clean precision thanks to the subtle drop/bald fade that pulls the length in to keep the volume concentrated on top.
Read Next: Pompadour Haircuts
Things to Consider
Fades have become almost a default haircut – it’s not so much a question of whether you should get a fade, but rather which fade you should get. If you’re thinking of getting a drop fade, there are a few things to think about first to see if this is the right haircut for you. Here’s what you need to consider.
- This type of fade is generally low maintenance, but regular trims are needed.If you prefer your barber shop visits to be far and few between, you might want to opt for a different haircut. This type of fade makes new growth more noticeable and obvious, so if you want to keep the fresh look, you’ll need to schedule regular trims every few weeks or once a month.
- It’s not DIY friendly.Some haircuts are pretty simple to do yourself at home, but a specialty fade like the drop requires some expertise (and the ability to clearly see the back of your head). It’s hard to create a symmetrical line around the back of the head to cut this type of fade, especially where it dips down in the back. Make sure you leave this kind of fade to a barber!
- The length of the top changes the look. If you’re aiming for low-profile, sleek, and suave, you might want to leave your hair medium length so you can still slick it back or create a side part. If you like the crisp, clean look, keep the top and sides short and combine the drop with a skin fade. Or if you enjoy the casual or boho vibe, leave the top as long as you want and pull it up when you want to show off the fade.
- Shape the drop however you want.Most drop-style fades feature a gently curved, diffused fade line in the back. But we also showed examples of cuts where the fade line was steeper or even pointed. Don’t default to a curved line if you want to try something a little different. The shape of your drop is up to you!
Is a Drop Fade Right for You?
When you’re ready to experiment with a drop fade haircut, bring screenshots of examples you like the best and be ready to explain to your barber how you want the finished cut to look.
Make sure you indicate how long you want the top and sides, the fade height (high, mid, or low) you prefer, how you want the drop shaped, and how far down the drop should extend. The result will be a haircut that is uniquely yours and one that you’ll rock with confidence.
You Might Also Like:
- What Is a Fade Haircut?
- High Fade Haircut Ideas
- Mid Fade Haircut Ideas
Different hairstyles suit different face shapes, and unsurprisingly, the drop fade is no exception. “This particular style suits round or square face shapes,” says David Stanley, senior stylist at London-based barber Man Made. “This is because it complements a boxier head as it graduates in length at the temple ridge.What is a drop fade? ›
A drop fade haircut is a play on the classic fade similar to a skin fade that drops behind the ear creating an arc shape while creating a unique section. It starts from the temples and drops as it ends behind the ears down to the nape and is usually done with clippers.What is the most popular skin fade? ›
Mid skin fade
Clients can also ask for a mid-skin fade haircut, which is typically the most universally flattering skin fade. This skin fade style involves an even balance of short and long hair with the transitional gradient sitting in the middle of the head.
Fades and tight lines are out right now. More relaxed styles are in. You'll see men growing their hair a bit longer, and keeping it a touch messy but still with a very intentional look and still making sure to use hair product to keep things looking good. We'll likely see more of these natural styles in the next year.What do I tell my barber for a drop fade? ›
A common way of asking for a fade is to specify what clipper guard your barber should be using at the end of the fade. So a #1 fade will terminate in hair that's ¼ of an inch. In this case the fade tapers all the way down to the skin and is usually finished with a razor blade by your barber.How do I choose a fade haircut? ›
Opt for a high fade, a medium fade, or a low fade, with each offering its own look. In essence, the lower the fade, the more coverage you're left with. So, while a high fade leaves you with a mop-top and little else, a low fade will taper subtly down your head, with the absolute shortest cut just around your ears.What is a shadow drop fade? ›
A shadow fade is any fade that actually starts with hair on the sides and again blends into any length on the top. There can be high skin fades, medium and low skin fades, and the same thing with shadow fades they can be high medium or low.Is drop fade good for round face? ›
Because of this height on top, it's best suited to those with round or oval faces. The short sides of the drop fade can elongate the face even further, so err on the side of caution if you already have a long face.Who looks good with a fade? ›
Choose a high fade if you have a round, square, or heart-shaped face. A higher fade elongates the face, especially when it's paired with a pompadour or quaff on top. Go for a low fade if you've got an oval, rectangle, or diamond-shaped face.Are skin fades classy? ›
The low skin fade haircut is a fresh yet versatile take on the style. The low skin fade haircut starts just above the ears. Clean-cut and classy, men like low skin fades because they very gradually blend and taper the sides and back to create a cool yet understated look.
For one, it can work with a variety of hair types and lengths. Whether you have thick or thin hair, curly or straight hair, a skin fade can be tailored to suit your specific hair type. Additionally, a skin fade is both modern and timeless, making it a great choice for anyone looking to refresh their current hairstyle.Are fades still in style 2023? ›
In the words of Buffalo Bills barber Jesse Ciffa (@barber. chief), 2023 is the year of “anything goes” for men's hair trends. With clients looking for both timeless and manageability, there's been an influx of every haircut under the sun: Skin fades, mullets, texture—the list could go on.What are the most common fades? ›
While there are quite a few variations of the fade, the most popular styles include the razor fade, skin/bald fade, temple, burst, drop, flat-top and high top fades. Each style provides different possibilities, and gives your hair a look unique to that style.How long does a fade look good for? ›
If your hair grows quickly, you'll need to get it trimmed more often than someone with slower-growing hair. For example, if you have an average growth rate of 1/4 inch per month, your fade should last about two to three weeks before it needs a trim.What is the best head shape to have? ›
Oval: Your face is often longer than wide, with the forehead standing out as the largest area of your face. According to Papanikolas, this form is typically regarded as the most attractive facial shape.What fade is best for oval head? ›
The taper fade is the perfect all-around fade. It's not too short or too long. This is the best option if you aren't sure which fade to go with. It gradually fades from the bottom of your head to the top.Should I get a taper or drop fade? ›
If you're looking for a safer, inoffensive cut then taper is more likely to be the one. Whereas if you're looking for something with a little more edge and bravado, consider a fade.