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Mid Fade | 10 Trending Cuts & Style Guide

Mid fade haircuts shape up your mane and keep you looking clean-cut with an edge. In fact, they’re one of the trendiest styles right now. Think it’s the next cut for you? Check out our style guide, complete with photo inspiration!

Considering a Mid Fade Haircut?

The Mid Fade depicted in a graphic with an explainer of what the hairstyle is

The mid fade just might be the king of all fades. Hear us out – it’s an in-between fade height that happens to flatter most face shapes. It’s low maintenance and easy to style. It can be customized in hundreds of ways to suit your specific style. What’s not to love? 

If you’re hearing a lot about mid fades lately or just want to switch things up for your next haircut, you’re right to consider the medium fade. It’s the most versatile haircut for men, and it looks great on everyone. 

What are we waiting for? Let’s take a look at this suave haircut, what makes a mid fade, and check out some photo examples! Then we’ll talk about a few things you should keep in mind when deciding if this is the right haircut for you. Shall we begin?

What Is a Mid Fade?

A mid fade haircut is a fade that begins about halfway down the head, somewhere between the temples and ears. Mid fades are sometimes called medium fades. Not too high, not too low – mid fades are juuuuuust right. 

Medium fades are what you’ll get if you ask a barber for a fade and don’t specify. They are the dependable default in the fade world because they’re so classic. Mid fades are done by starting from a fade line that’s about halfway down the head.

This line will run somewhere in the zone between the temples and ears. Check how the barber has carved the mid fade line into the guy’s hair below. This line will be his starting point – the hair below the line will be shaved with the #0 guard, while the hair above the line will be cut and faded with slightly longer guards like the #3 and #2.

Guy in a barber's chair getting a mid fade haircut from a barber in a dark blue hoodie and a hat

BAZA Production/Shutterstock

The medium fade height looks great on everyone, which is a distinction other types of fades don’t have. While high fades can be unflattering for heart, oval, and oblong faces and low fades can be problematic for round or square faces, the mid-fade provides just enough volume on the sides to flatter any face shape while letting your best features shine. 

10 Trending Mid Fade Haircuts

Now that we’re clear on what a mid fade really is, are you ready to look at some examples of the most popular versions of this haircut? Here are the top 10 trending medium fades we’re seeing today. 

1. Slicked-Back Mid Burst Fade

Guy getting a mid fade with a pompadour

Parilov/Shutterstock

One of our favorite trends right now is wearing a classic mid-fade crossed with a burst fade (where the fade is concentrated around the ears and doesn’t touch the back). Bring the best of both worlds together by keeping the top a little longer and slicking it back for a look that’s as tough as it is debonair. 

2. 3-2-1 Mid Fade With Pushed-Back Bangs

3-2-1 Mid Fade With Pushed-Back Bangs

MZStock/Shutterstock

This modified 3-2-1 haircut is cut with a #3 guard on top, #2 high on the sides, and #1 around the edges. But the front is left a little longer to create “bangs” that create a boost in volume up front and give you a few more styling possibilities. 

3. Caesar Cut With Mid Taper Fade

Caesar Cut With Mid Taper Fade

BAZA Production/Shutterstock

Like the edgy lines of the Caesar cut or French crop? Pair it with a medium-height fade that tapers in length between the temples and ears. This is a trendy look that reads as classic. 

4. Shaped Up Mid Fade With Side Part

Shaped Up Mid Fade With Side Part

Oleggg/Shutterstock

If you like clean precision and edges, have your barber shape up (some call it a line-up or edge-up) the hairline like this around the temples. This medium fade looks neat and fresh with the top gelled and styled in a side part. 

5. Mid Skin Fade With Shaved Designs

Mid Skin Fade With Shaved Designs

Serhii Bobyk/Shutterstock

One way to make even the most popular haircut unique to your style is by adding in shaved designs. Clean, precise designs are tough to do, so this is a job for the most skilled barbers. Start the fade below the temples but above the ears to make it a mid or medium fade. 

6. Long Mid Fade With Pompadour

Long Mid Fade With Pompadour

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

How long is your hair right now? Before you cut it off to get the fade you want, consider a style like this with longer hair on top. Slick it back with a little volume up front in a pompadour, part it to the side, or push it over to one side for different looks. The fade starts under the temples and above the ears, putting it into the “mid” category that’s flattering on most men. 

7. Coiffed Medium Skin Fade With Hard Part

Coiffed Medium Skin Fade With Hard Part

BAZA Production/Shutterstock

Keeping a longer top makes more styles possible, including this suave side-parted look with cleanly faded back and sides! Fade it down to the skin for the leanest look, or leave a little more length by asking your barber to scissor-trim the top and use the #3 and #2 to fade the back and sides. 

8. Over and Back Mid Skin Fade

Over and Back Mid Skin Fade

Parilov/Shutterstock

A medium fade height combined with a skin fade creates a clean, neat look that makes you look put together even if you just rolled out of bed. Style the longer top by working in a dollop of gel, brushing it over to the side, then combing the hair in front back. 

9. Medium Crew Cut Skin Fade

Medium Crew Cut Skin Fade

Serhii Bobyk/Shutterstock

A medium fade paired with a crew cut is a crazy-flattering haircut on any man, no matter what your face shape is. The look is clean-cut but has a little edge thanks to the skin fade that turns the classic crew cut on its head. 

10. Mid Bald Fade Bowl Cut

Mid Bald Fade Bowl Cut

BAZA Production/Shutterstock

Introducing the comeback kid of haircuts: The modern bowl cut! Here, the long hair on top is precisely and neatly cut at the medium fade height all the way around the head. The edges are then faded with clippers down to #0 (a skin or bald fade) to keep the focus on top. 

Things to Consider If You Want a Mid Fade

Medium fades are classic, versatile, and universally flattering. But there are a few things you need to know about this haircut that you may not realize until you’ve had the cut for a few weeks.

Skip the learning curve and find out ahead of time what you need to know about mid fades before you get one. Make sure you don’t regret your next haircut by reading these things to consider before your next appointment! 

  • Medium fades look best on the short side. We love how a longer top looks paired with a medium fade (did you see that pompadour look above?). But to make it more flattering, keep the length concentrated on top only and don’t leave too much length on the back and sides. A lot of volume from longer hair around the sides has a widening effect on the face – a huge no-no for round and square faces. 
  • Combine elements from your favorite haircuts. Make your mid fade truly unique to you by combining different elements from other haircuts and fades you like. In the trending examples we showed above, you can see that many combine drop, burst, or skin fades with mid fades to mix things up.
  • Browse lots of inspiration photos before committing. Check out as many inspiration photos for your medium fade before you head to the barbershop. If you can, look for examples that show your specific hair type and texture. This ensures you’ll have a good idea of how the finished cut will look on you, and you’ll get a lot of haircut ideas from browsing the photos! 
  • Switch to a high fade if you don’t dig it. The cool thing about starting with a medium fade is that you can easily cut it into a contemporary high fade if you don’t like the look. High fades just not your thing? Try an undercut, all-over shaved look, or take it a step further by turning your fade into a skin fade for an edgy twist. 
  • Work with a barber who knows what they’re doing. If you want a standout mid fade haircut, you need to visit a barber who’s known for being the best in your area. Since this is such a common and classic cut, you’ll quickly realize that every barber can do them – but not every barber does a great job. Be picky about who cuts your hair!  

Whether you call it a mid or medium fade, this haircut is a contemporary classic suitable for almost anyone. With tons of versatility and options to make it your own, you can confidently rock a mid fade with any hair type or texture.

And this is a haircut you can wear with almost any length on top! Shave it down to the skin around the back and sides in a mid skin fade, let the length on top dip down in the back in a mid drop fade, or concentrate the shorter sections around the ears in a mid burst fade. 

Whatever you decide to do with this haircut, two things are certain. You’re going to love your new mid-fade haircut, and you’re going to look good doing it! 

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