The buzz cut fade is one of the simplest haircuts for guys who like to keep things clean, short, and easy. Not only does a buzz cut fade look great, but it practically styles itself!
This haircut hinges on getting a clean, seamless fade, keeping the top, back and sides super short, and figuring out which type of fade will work best for you.
Find out all you need to know to make your buzz cut fade look great, see examples of this haircut, and find out which fade type will best suit you in our quick guide.
What Is a Buzz Cut Fade?
- Super-short, buzzed length on the top, back, and sides
- Short buzz cut length fades gradually to even shorter length
- Fade can be high (temples), mid (above ears), or low (ears)
The buzz cut fade is one of the simplest haircuts a man can get while still looking sharp. It features short length (the “buzz cut” portion of this look) on the top, top back, and top sides that gradually shortens in clean gradient (the “fade” portion of this look) near the bottom part of the cut.
Buzz cut fades are more like a category of haircut than a specific cut, though. There’s a lot of variation with several different types of buzz cut fades to choose from!
You can choose your general fade height – high, mid, or low – and make a few modifications to make your fade more unique. We’ll cover the different types of buzz cut fades below in more detail.
Popular Buzz Cut Fade Types
If you’re thinking about getting a buzz cut fade, you’ll need to be a little more specific to tell your barber exactly the look you’re going for. Or if you’re doing your own haircut at home, it’s helpful to consider the different types of fades you can choose from!
Here are some of the most popular types of buzz cut fades. First, choose your general fade height (high, mid, or low) and tweak the results by working in a few modifications if you like (like a drop fade, burst fade, skin fade, or shaved designs).
A high buzz cut fade means the fade begins high up on the head, near the temples. This leaves less of the buzz cut length in the cut. The top is the only section untouched by this fade type.
A high fade is great if you like clean, stark fades that leave the smallest amount of hair on the sides and back. High fades generally look best on men with round, oval, or square faces (they’re not the best for heart face shapes).
But since they concentrate the length on top and keep that length very short, this buzz cut/fade look is best for guys with round or square face shapes. It can elongate oval faces and exacerbate the small or pointy chin of a heart face shape.
A mid buzz cut fade means the fade begins near the middle of the head, usually midway between the temples and ears. This type of fade leaves more of the “longer” (but still short!) length intact than a high fade and is the most classic type of fade. It doesn’t look as severe as a high fade.
Mid fades will look good on all face shapes, but aren’t the ideal choice for heart face shapes (low fades are). These fades concentrate most of the length on top like high fades.
Where they’re different is the band of extra length running around the temples and back. It’s a great choice for guys who want a sleek, tight fade without bringing it all the way up to the temples.
A low buzz cut fade means the fade begins low on the head, usually near or just above the ear level. Low fades are less common, but can be a unique and attractive way to sport a buzz cut/fade combo.
Low fades leave the most hair intact and feature the smallest/shortest fade zone. Low fades can look good on all face shapes, but they’re perfect for heart and oval face shapes.
Keeping more length intact above the fade adds extra volume to the sides. That bulks up and strengthens the jawline of a heart face and fills out the sides to prevent an oval face from looking “long.”
More Types of Fades
High, mid, and low fade templates can be modified and tweaked to create even more types of fades. These include drop fades, bald (or skin) fades, burst fades, and fades with shaved designs.
- Drop fade. The fade line dips downward in the back; may look like a high or mid fade in front and a mid or low fade in the back.
- Bald/skin fade. The bald fade gradually shortens down to the skin, leaving the area below the fade totally shaved; may be used with high, mid, or low fades.
- Burst fade. The areas above and behind the ears are faded in a circular fashion to create fade “bursts”; may be used with mid or low fades.
- Shaved designs. The fade features precisely shaved patterns, lines, or designs through the short length; may be used with high, mid, or low fades.
12 Buzz Cut Fade Examples
Want to see some examples of the different types of buzz cut + fade combos? We found some awesome looks on different hair types and lengths to show you just how versatile buzz cut fades can be.
1. Buzz Cut High Drop Fade
The fade line begins high up at the temples, dipping down in the back to create a drop fade. The hair is kept short all over, but it’s shortest on the sides and back. The shortest length is about ⅛”, so it’s close to a bald fade but not quite!
2. Buzz Cut Mid Bald Fade
Mid fades are so classic and look great on everyone! Combine a mid fade (beginning midway between the temples and ears) and a bald fade (shaved down to the skin below the fade line) for a clean-cut, polished look.
3. South of France Buzz Fade
The South of France haircut features an extended burst fade that comes back a lot further. This forms a wide strip of hair that runs from the front to the nape of the neck with clean, gradual fading on the edges. This is a variation of a high fade and burst fade.
4. High Buzz Cut Bald Fade
This high fade is cut in a straight line, giving it a geometric and precise look that many guys really like. Pairing a high fade with a bald fade creates a stark contrast between the short length and the shaved area below, especially with dark hair colors.
5. Low Buzz Cut Short Fade
A low fade is often seen shaved down to the skin below the fade line (bald fade), but this example is a little different! Keeping some hair intact below the fade line makes the length difference less stark and works around the “white scalp” issue you can run into with skin fades.
6. Mid Buzz Cut Burst Fade
Mid fades are placed a bit lower than high fades and have a more classic, timeless look. When you pair a mid fade with a burst fade around the ears and a buzz cut, you get a modernized twist on the look that’s super easy to style and care for.
7. Short Buzz Cut High Fade
If the stark contrast of a light scalp against dark hair isn’t for you, consider a basic high fade instead. This leaves very short length below the fade line to cut down on the stark, severe look while keeping your hair very short and easily manageable.
8. Short Buzzed Temple Fade
Temple fades are “lined up” (the hairline is cut with geometric, precise angles to contrast with the seamless, gradual fade). This cut begins fading at the temples, so it’s definitely a high fade. Keeping the hair very short on top makes the contrast between the different lengths less stark.
9. Buzz Cut Caesar Fade
We love the way this Caesar cut looks shaved down to the skin below the fade line. It really tightens and tidies up the look, especially with the very short length on the top! Precision is key with bald/skin fades – make sure you’re going to a skilled barber or know what you’re doing if you plan to DIY.
10. Buzz Cut Classic High Fade
A classic high fade isn’t shaved down to the skin, but is kept ultra-short on the sides and back for a tidy, clean look. The hair on top is a bit longer in this example with about an inch in length. This gives you a little hair on top to style over to the side or brush forward.
11. Bleached & Buzzed Low Fade
Low fades are seen much less often, but they’re such a great option for oval and heart face shapes. Pair a low fade with a buzz cut and bleach the longer section for more contrast if you’re up for it!
12. Buzz Cut Mid Bald Fade
If you want to leave more hair intact without bringing the fade down too low, a mid fade is the perfect compromise. Shaving the hair below the fade line adds an air of precision and tidiness to this cut, but does up the maintenance requirements a bit!
Tips and Things to Consider
Think you’d look good with a short buzz cut fade? Here are a few helpful tips and things to keep in mind before you get this haircut.
- Clean up any buzz cut fade with a line up. If you want your fade to look a little more precise and clean, a line up will do the trick! Use clippers or a straight razor to shave the hair at your temples into a clean angle and watch how it transforms any fade. Or just ask your barber for a quick line up for a professional’s touch!
- Don’t DIY unless you’ve got the right stuff. We’re talking about a good, quality set of clippers with a wide range of hair clipper sizes (essential) and the skills to use them properly. If you’re a haircutting novice, fades are not the place to start. Feel free to do your own buzz cut as a barber newbie, but leave the fade to a pro. But if you’re feeling froggy (or do have the skills), here’s our guide to cutting a fade at home: How to Do a Fade Haircut | Step-by-Step Guide.
- Prepare properly for a bald fade. Bald fades can reveal a too-white scalp if you haven’t been cutting your hair super short. This contrast is more noticeable if you have dark hair and will make any inconsistency in your fade more obvious. Prep properly by doing an all-over short buzz cut for a month or so first. This will give your scalp some sun and make the white color a little less shocking when you go for a bald fade.
- Want the most natural look? If clean-cut precision is not for you, the most natural-looking way to don a buzz cut and fade is a mid or low drop fade. Avoid bald fades to keep things natural and steer clear of severe high fades. You want a gradual, seamless length transition from the top down to the bottom hairline. A drop fade better follows the curve of your head for a very casual, natural look.
Is a Buzz Cut Fade the Right Cut for You?
From the stark contrast of high bald buzz cut fades to the seamless, soft blend of low drop buzz cut fades, there’s a version of this fade type that will definitely work for you. You just have to keep the tips and things you’ve learned in this guide in mind!
Your face shape is a great indicator for the types of fades that will work best for you. Oval faces look best in low buzz cut fades, but mid fades with a buzz cut look great, too. Avoid high fades, especially high bald fades, which can elongate the face.
Round faces have to be careful with buzz cuts because the wrong type can make the face look broader or rounder. Avoid low buzz fades that leave more volume on the sides and opt for high or mid buzz fades instead.
Square faces, like round, don’t need any additional volume on the sides that can make the face appear boxy. Choose a high or mid buzz fade for the most flattering look that further sculpts and highlights your chiseled jawline.
Heart faces look best in low buzz fades. But truthfully, a heart face shape can do with a little more length on top and volume on the sides than a buzz cut fade can offer.
Consider leaving your hair a little longer – maybe 2 inches on top and faded or tapered down the sides and back like an Ivy League American crew haircut for the most flattering look.
As long as you keep these things in mind while choosing the best fade for you, you’re going to love your results. Short length, little to no daily styling, and easy maintenance are in your future if you go with a buzz cut fade. What could be better than that?