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.