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Embracing the Stylish Blend: Unpacking the 1 to 3 Fade Haircut

July 4, 2023
3 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • Fade haircuts offer a blend of sophistication and sleek style, adaptable to all hair types.
  • The 1 to 3 fade haircut transitions from a number 1 length at the bottom to a number 3 length higher up, offering a trendy gradient effect.
  • Choosing the right fade haircut can make a difference, as various fades cater to different aesthetic preferences and face shapes.
  • Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your fade haircut looking sharp and stylish.

Understanding the Fade Haircut

A fade haircut is a contemporary classic in men’s hairstyling, defined by a transition from shorter hair on the sides and back to longer hair on top. In a 1 to 3 fade haircut, the transition moves from a number 1 length (1/8 inch) at the bottom to a number 3 length (3/8 inch) higher up. To achieve this gradient effect, a skilled barber will gradually transition from number 1 length to a 1.5 length, then a 2 length, and finally to the number 3 length.

The choice of a particular fade is determined by where the hair starts to transition into a longer length. Thus, there are various types of fade haircuts, including taper, low, mid, and high fades, each offering a unique look.

Types of Fade Haircuts

The Low Fade Haircut

The low fade haircut focuses on the bottom inch of hair, as it tapers lower on the head. Its subtlety makes it versatile and adaptable to various personal styles. In a 1 to 3 low fade, the shortest length (number 1) is minimal, making the fade less noticeable overall.

The Medium Fade Haircut

The medium fade, or mid-fade, starts the transition from number 1 length to number 3 length about an inch above the ear. This gives the mid-fade a more attention-grabbing look compared to the low fade, as the shortest length covers approximately half of the sides and back.

The High Fade Haircut

The high fade begins its transition around the temple area, with the shortest length dominating most of the sides and back. This fade is the most prominent, attracting more attention and forming an integral part of the overall look.

The Taper Fade Haircut

The taper fade transitions from number 1 length to number 3 length at the top of the sideburns. It’s essentially a very low fade, even lower than the standard low fade. This style is incredibly subtle, with most of the sides and back remaining at the fade’s longest length.

Choosing a Haircut Based on Your Face Shape

Just as there are a variety of fade haircuts, there’s a range of face shapes, each with its unique characteristics that influence hairstyle choice. Understanding your face shape helps you select the most flattering haircut. Here are some pointers for matching hairstyles to common face shapes:

Haircuts for Round Faces

Round faces benefit from haircuts that add definition. Styles with height at the top and tight at the sides, like the flat top or pompadour, add structure to the face.

Haircuts for Long Faces

Long faces should avoid overly short sides or too much length on top. Hairstyles that allow hair to fall to the sides and across the forehead add width and prevent the face from appearing narrower.

Haircuts for Oval-Shaped Faces

For oval faces, hairstyles should create some volume and angles on top. Classic short back and sides with slightly longer hair on top work best.

Haircuts for Square-Shaped Faces

Square faces look great with haircuts that add some height at the top, soften the hairline, and balance the strong jawline. A variety of styles work, from crew cuts to slicked-back styles, and even longer hairstyles.

Maintaining Your Fade Haircut

Maintaining a fade haircut is key to preserving its sharp, trendy look. Regular trims are essential. As the cut grows out, the transition from short to long hair becomes less evident, reducing the impact of the style. Most men with fade haircuts visit the barber every two to three weeks, depending on hair growth speed.

Home care is also important. Shampoo and condition your hair regularly to keep it healthy and manageable. Use products suitable for your hair type and the style you are trying to achieve. For instance, if you want a sleek, shiny look, consider a pomade. For a matte and textured finish, clay or paste would be ideal.


The 1 to 3 fade haircut is a stylish and versatile choice that suits many men. It offers a smart, clean look that works for different face shapes, hair types, and personal styles. With a range of fade haircuts to choose from, and the right maintenance, you can create a unique look that matches your personality perfectly. Remember, though, the key to a great fade haircut lies in finding a skilled barber who understands your hair type, face shape, and personal style.

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About Levi Keswick

LeviKeswick serves as a vibrant hub for diverse individuals to share their stories, absorb and contribute to emerging fashion trends, lifestyle concepts, and innovative ideas. We offer valuable insights and advice, amalgamating information painstakingly curated by experts in the field, alongside fashion connoisseurs and influential social media personalities.