The high top fade, also known as the hi-top fade, is a popular men’s haircut that is easily recognizable around the world. As a cool hairstyle for black men in the 80’s and 90’s, the high top symbolized the entrance of hip hop into mainstream pop culture. Because the high top fade continues to be a go-to style among the African-American community, you can find a number of modern variations on the cut, including the high top fade with curls or even high top dreads. Whether you have curly hair, an afro, or twists, read on to learn how to get, cut and maintain a high top fade haircut.
What Is The High Top Fade Haircut?
Although many guys confuse the high top fade with the flat top, the two hairstyles are different. Technically, the flat top is a type of hi top fade, which is any haircut where the sides are cut short and the hair on top is styled very long. This is why high top hairstyles actually include a number of different types of black haircuts.
The best thing about the high top fade is its versatility. Whether you have straight or curly hair, the style works. For example, there is the curly top fade (or high top with curls), where your barber will cut a high skin fade on the sides and leave your curly hair long on top. Similarly, black men with dreads, twists or afros can also request the cut at a barbershop.
Lastly, high top styles lend themselves beautifully to hair designs, allowing men to customize their haircuts to fit their personality.
How To Cut A High Top Fade
To cut a high top fade, we highly recommend you find a barbershop that is intimately familiar with the hairstyle. Because the haircut requires a talented barber with an eye for detail and style, be sure you trust him before asking for the cut. And, as always, it is ideal if you save a picture of your favorite high top haircut styles to show your stylist!
The key to high top fades is the short, clipped hair on the sides and back using clippers with a guard size between #1 and #4. A high skin fade will look the best and really emphasize the contrast between the hair on the sides and top.
As for the top, you should have at least 3 inches of hair; although how long or short your high top is depends on your preference. The rest depends on the type of hair you have on top and how you want to style it. Some men may want a slant to their hair, while others may want to blow out their afro.
Just remember that, unless you plan to visit your barbershop every couple of weeks, you’ll need to learn how to maintain the high top fade so the style stays neat.
Best High Top Fade Haircut Styles
If you’re ready to try the high top fade, check out our gallery of the coolest hi-top styles for inspiration. You’ll find a number of different designs for every type of hair and guy!