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What Is a Beard Fade and How to Get It

Learning the proper way to fade a beard is a skill that any bearded man would want to know how to do. If you shave the sides of your head or love the bald life, faded beards are essential to maintaining your overall appearance. 

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The idea of a faded beard is to make the blend from your hair, to your sideburns, then to your beard, appear seamless and smooth - while avoiding any catastrophic missteps. Once you know the proper steps, achieving a beard fade is easy, not to mention versatile. 

beard fade to hair

What Is a Beard Fade?

If you're just beginning to learn the ins and outs of beards, you may not know what exactly a beard fade is. A beard fade is similar to a fade you might have for your head hair, but instead, it's on your face. It's essentially a subtle blending of longer to shorter hair where there's a gradual change in the length that's not too obvious. 

Personally, I think faded beards are a beautiful balance between looking manly and looking manicured. In the past they've provided me with a modern style, though there's a good amount of upkeep required to maintain it.

Faded beards can be long or short, but keep in mind that the longer you choose to make it, the more dramatic the fade's overall effect will be. 

bald fade with afro hair

Should You Fade Your Beard?

Most men who choose to rock beards along with semi-shaved or completely shaved head should strongly consider fading their beards. When you have a full head of hair that leads directly to the sideburns and beard, the transition isn't completely obvious or in-your-face. But, if you are a man who doesn't have a head full of hair, the transition can be very obvious. 

If you don't have a faded beard but you're sporting a shaved head, or faded or short hair, your facial hair's overall appearance can look scruffy or a tad ungroomed.

The idea of a faded beard is to incorporate a manly look with a manicured clean look. Chances are, if you've found yourself wondering if you'd benefit from a beard fade, the answer is yes.


How to Fade Your Own Beard

Before you begin the actual fade process, you'll need to prepare your beard for a fade.

Preparing Your Beard for a Fade

  1. Choose the length that you want your beard to be. If you have a short beard, place your trimmer on the longest setting and cut down to the desired size. For a longer beard, you will need to take more off along the sideburns. 
  2. Once you have trimmed everything, you need to tighten up the neckline. Begin by brushing stray beard hair down and placing your finger in the center of your neck. Run your trimmer circularly until you get to the top of your jaw on either side. 
  3. Trim any hairs that remain or appear loose with scissors. 

Now, you can begin fading your beard. 

beard fade 1

Fading Your Beard

There are four simple steps that you need to follow when you are fading your beard

  1. Begin by creating a rounded line that starts at the top of your sideburns and ends at the top of your mustache. Do this on both sides. 
  2. Using either a pair of scissors or a trimmer on your cheeks, trim up, and in an outward direction, so you do not accidentally go over the new line that you have just made. If you don't want to line up your cheeks, at least cut any straggly hairs under your eyes.
  3. Begin the fade by trimming about an inch above your jawline, ensuring that the length setting is set one below the length of your beard. Doing so will trim the hair slightly to begin the fade. 
  4. Move to your sideburns and trim about another inch towards the top of them. 

Repeat this process until you have reached the top of your sideburns, close to your hair. This can also work in the opposite direction (from the top of the sideburns downward) to achieve the same effect. 

Different Beard Fade Styles

There are a lot of options when it comes to styling your beard fade. Here are five of my favorite options so you can rock the faded beard look. 


Low Skin Fade with Line Up and Textured Top, Long Beard

This look is very sleek and professional. It is an option that appeals to a younger crowd or those who wish to maintain a manicured look. The sideburns and hair blend seamlessly to create an overall beautiful faded effect. 


Low Razor Fade With a Short Curly Top and Shaped Beard

This is a clean and professional look for African American hairstyle and those with curly hair. If you like to keep your curly hair short, this look is a great option for you. Adding the shaped beard, though more maintenance is required, will make you look especially well-groomed. 

beard fade with shaved head

Shape Up with a Full Beard

This shaped look with a long beard looks fantastic and screams "I care about my appearance!" If you prefer to have a longer beard, consider shaping it up and adding a fade with shaved sides. 


Beard Fade for a Bald Head

If you have little or no hair on top of your head but like to keep a full beard on your face, this is the style for you. It is easy to achieve and gives you a sophisticated, modern look. Fades look great with bald hairstyles, so learning how to do this yourself is almost essential.

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MoHawk with Beard Fade

If you are looking for a faded beard look that is slightly different from the generic styles, you should consider going for a mohawk to beard fade look. This option will set you apart from the crowd without making you look un-groomed or scruffy in any way. 

Beard Fade Infographic

Final Thoughts

A faded beard is all about achieving a smooth flow from longer to slightly shorter hair. Blending should be as seamless as the length changes. Faded beards are a sophisticated look for all types of beards.

If a fade is done the right way, you'll appear well-groomed and somewhat cleaner. Faded beards are fairly easy to maintain once you get the hang of it, so get out there and get to work on that new style. 


How Should You Ask Your Barber for a Beard Fade?

The best way to ensure you get the beard fade you want is to bring along a picture to show your barber. Remember that the shorter the style or the more dramatic the fade, the more upkeep it will require.

How Can You Fix a Bad Beard Fade?

Beard fades can be a pain to keep up, but the flip side is that mistakes grow out relatively quickly. If you’ve done a bad fade on yourself, it may be worth it to go see a barber to mitigate the damage.

If you’re trying to fix a professional mistake, trim your beard to a shorter length overall.

What’s the Easiest Way to Trim a Faded Beard?

If you have an adjustable trimmer or set of clippers, it’s very easy to maintain a faded beard. If you get an initial fade at the barber, pay attention to how he adjusts the clippers on different zones of your face.

When Did the Beard Fade With a Bald Head Come Out?

Shaved heads for men didn’t really become a fashion statement until the 90s or 00s. But in the 25 or so years since, the beard fade with a bald head has become a bold and masculine style perfect for those with thin hair or a receding hairline.

How Long Do Beard Fades Last?

It depends on how fast your hair grows, but a beard fade generally lasts about a week. The tighter and shorter the fade is, the faster it will grow out. Learning how to trim your beard fade at home will save you time and money.

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Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.

What Is a Beard Fade and How to Get It