Step-by-Step: Low-Medium Bald Fade

Seen on some of our favorite male celebs, including Ryan Reynolds and Justin Timberlake, the ever-popular fade is timeless, versatile and sharp. In this step-by-step, Wahl Educator and Artistic Team [WEAT] member Miguel Rosas (@newstyle84) walks us through a low-medium fade with an optional design. 

1. Removing bulk. Run the Wahl #1 1/2 clipper attachment up towards the parietal-ridge to remove the bulk and to set up the next step which is clipper-over-comb. 

2. Clipper-over-comb blending. Use your comb to lift the hair out at a 90-degree angle from the parietal ridge to then cut away the hair so that it blends with the longer hair that is left on top.

3. Creating our blend line. In this step we use our Wahl Detailer trimmer to cut the hair away from natural hairline. The hair will only be cut in the nape area about 2 inches from where the natural neckline is. The hair that is cut by the temple and behind the ears will only be about a half-an-inch up. The scalp that is exposed where we removed the hair behind the ears shall follow and dip down towards the neck-line towards the nape. Once this is achieved we will blend the hair in to the hair that we previously left at the #1 ½ length.

4. Blending or fading. Using the Sterling Reflections clipper, we begin to blend the hair by lowering our clipper to its shortest setting which is at zero. Run the blade into and above the hair that is at a 1 1/2 by only an 1/8 of an inch. Next step is to attach the 1/16 clipper attachment to the Sterling Reflections and blend that area in to the hair that is left at 1 1/2. If there is still a weight line, the clipper attachment #1 can be utilized to remove shadowy areas.

5. Finishing the blend. In this step we will get the hair cut down all the way to the scalp. This helps the blend look clean and smooth. Using the 5 Star Finale we will run these up into the natural hairline about an inch up into the nape area across the neck and only about a 1/4 inch above the ears and down the natural neck line back towards the nape. Once that step is done there will be a shadowy area or even a line left. To remove this line, put your 5 Star Finale about an 1/8 of an inch above the shadowy-area/line and instead of going up towards the hair, we will run this at a downward motion going with the grain of the hair. The ​blend is complete and our design process will begin.

6. Choosing and planning the design. The best way to learn about this kind of design is by looking up "tribal flash art" on the Internet. Once we find something we like, we can get a good idea as to where to place it. Remember to always make the design flow with the curvature of the client's head. For beginners and intermediate professionals, I advise that you draw the curvature of your design on the client’s head using a white eye-liner pencil when beginning the design process. Once the design is drawn where we want it, we can begin cutting it out.

7. Cutting and shaping the design. We all begin this process by using the corner blade of our "Wahl Detailers." When cutting into the hair, always have the teeth facing down towards the head. The blade should never be facing horizontally from the head. When cutting a line to the right, always use the left side of the blade while the teeth face downwards, making sure that the right side of the trimmers are angled so that they don't cut into the hair. When cutting to the left, always use the right side of the blade while the teeth are facing downwards, making sure the left side of the trimmers are angled so that they don't cut into the hair. Begin cutting out the design that was previously drawn on. Once the design is cut out just go through it and make sure everything is even and bold. To achieve a sharper design, a straight razor can be used afterwards.

8. Final touches. The haircut and the design are now complete. Shampoo the client and finish the hairstyle with a nice pomade or gel, wax. Once the hair is styled, it is time to make this design really pop. We are going to apply a little color enhancer to the design to make it bold. Using a little gel eyeliner, we carefully brush it into the design. This will actually last for a couple of days and will look very good for a picture that any professional can add to their portfolio.