Getting stuck with a fade shorter than what you wanted is never fun. Understanding fade lengths is the first step toward avoiding that. Here’s everything you need to know about the 1.5 fade.
Let’s get to it.
What Is A 1.5 Fade Haircut?
A 1.5 fade is an effect where the sides and back gradually and seamlessly increase from a number 1.5 length (4.5mm or 3/16 inch) at the bottom into longer lengths further up.
As with any true fade, there are no harsh lines separating the different lengths. The barber will blend them into each other creating that classic blurred effect that fades have.
But the defining feature of the 1.5 fade is the fact that the shortest length of the fade (at the bottom) is a #1.5 – clipped using the 1.5 guard.
It’s important to note that many clippers will not come with a 1.5 guard. Budget hair clippers usually don’t.
Even the more premium pairs of clippers sometimes don’t, simply because the brand doesn’t offer it.
Wahl, Andis, and Babyliss Pro clippers often come with a #1.5 guard once you get above a certain price point.
If you’re looking to trim this length, it’s important to ensure that the pair of clippers you buy comes with it.
While a #1 clipper guard with the lever open will come close, it won’t be exactly the same.
Finally, 1.5 fades on the sides and back can be combined with practically any hairstyle you can think of on top. I’ll show you some examples shortly.
The options really are endless.
1.5 Fade Haircut Examples
Here are a few examples of the 1.5 fade to serve as inspiration for your next haircut. The first thing that will probably cross your mind is the variety of styles you could potentially include it within.
1.5 Fade With Comb Over
Here’s an example with a 1.5 fade at the sides and back with a long comb over on top.
This is actually a 1.5 “drop fade” as the fade appears to drop in an arc-like fashion as it passes behind the ear, instead of traveling around the back of the head more horizontally.
The reason it works so well is due to the contrast between the long, textured top and the short, tapered sides.
It’s the contrast that makes the style so attention-grabbing.
In addition, removing fullness from the sides by clipping a 1.5 fade is a great way to produce a slimming effect on the face and define the jawline.
Keeping the hair on the sides this short is also a great way to keep them effortlessly tidy – you won’t have to worry about strays and flyaways.
Instead, you can focus all of your attention on keeping the hair on top perfect.
1.5 Fade With Spiked Quiff
Here’s a perfect example of how a 1.5 fade can be combined with a messy, yet intentional spiked and textured hairstyle.
This is a “mid” 1.5 fade because the #1.5 length starts to gradually transition into longer lengths around an inch above the ear.
It works because of the contrast between the messy hair on top and the clean-cut appearance of the tapered sides.
In addition, removing hair from the sides and spiking up a relatively tall quiff is a good way of elongating the face.
This is a great option for men with rounder and shorter face shapes.
1.5 Fade With Stubble
This is an example of how a 1.5 fade can be tapered downward into a stubble beard.
It’s pretty high maintenance because you’ll need to taper the beard into the sides at the sideburns.
But as you can see, it’s extremely effective and professional-looking.
1.5 Fade Heights
Understanding fade heights is important, especially when you’re communicating what you want to a barber.
You’ll need to tell the barber how high up the sides you want the fade. You’ve got four main options – taper, low, mid, and high.
1.5 Fade Taper
A 1.5 fade taper is an effect where the sides are clipped down to a number 1.5 (4.5mm) only up until the top of the sideburns. At this point, it gradually starts to blend into longer lengths as you go further up.
Essentially, it’s the most subtle form of a 1.5 fade you could possibly get, as only the sideburns are clipped down to the shortest length.
It’s a good option for people that don’t want to commit to a #1.5 length on a larger proportion of their sides and back. They’d rather have more length and fullness above the sideburns.
It’s an effect that’s hardly noticeable, but that appeals to some people. They want subtlety and that’s exactly what they’ll get.
Low 1.5 Fade
A low 1.5 fade is an effect where the sides are clipped down to a number 1.5 (4.5mm) up until approximately half an inch above the ear. Above this point, the hair will gradually blend into longer lengths.
Low fades are more noticeable than tapers but still pretty subtle because only a small part of the sides and back are clipped down to the shortest length (#1.5).
But you’re still clipping down enough for the effect to be obvious and to produce a nice and tapered appearance when viewed from front-on.
Mid 1.5 Fade
A mid 1.5 fade is an effect where the sides are clipped down to a number 1.5 (4.5mm) up until approximately one inch above the ear. The hair will then seamlessly blend into longer lengths further up.
Compared with low fades, mid fades are more obvious because around half of the sides and back will be clipped down to the shortest length.
When you’ve got a mid fade, the fade itself will become a more prominent component of the overall hairstyle.
While this may be what you want, it can sometimes draw attention away from the hair on top.
The good thing about a mid 1.5 fade, however, is that it’s still short enough to be quite subtle – compared with a skin fade, for instance.
High 1.5 Fade
A high 1.5 fade is an effect where the sides are clipped down to a number 1.5 (4.5mm) up until approximately the level of the temples. The hair will then blend into longer lengths further up.
High fades are the most striking, bold, and obvious forms of fades.
Most of the sides and back will be clipped down to the shortest length – a number 1.5 length.
High fades are a good option for people that want the fade to be the focus of the hairstyle as a whole. It’s also a good option for those that want to remove a lot of fullness from the sides.
For people with rounder face shapes, it may be ideal.
That was hopefully everything you could have ever wanted to know about the 1.5 fade.
What it looks like and what it could potentially do for you.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.