When it comes to men’s hair, it’s the little nuances that make all the difference. The pompadour and low fade hairstyle is becoming increasingly popular for this reason.
It’s a phenomenal blend of the old with the new. The classic, vintage elegance of the pompadour combined with the modern edge of a fade.
You’d think a blend such as this would come across as forced or awkward, but it works astonishingly well.
Before we look through some incredible examples of this glorious style with its many variations, let’s briefly discuss what it really is.
What Is A Pompadour Low Fade Hairstyle?
It’s any hairstyle that consists of a pompadour with a fade trimmed approximately an inch above the top of the ear.
Pompadours are characterized by vertical volume.
The hair is swept upward and backward away from the forehead. Its fullness and volume are usually achieved using pre-styling mousses, blow dryers, and a round brush or comb.
Unlike a quiff where it’s just the forelock (hair above the forehead) that’s swept upward, pompadours are usually swept all the way back.
They’re typically pristine and glossy, although there are definitely more messy, modern variations that work just as well.
Adding a low fade into the mix gives this classic hairstyle a very modern vibe.
A fade is the gradual tapering (increase in length) of the hair as you go up the back and sides.
They mainly differ in where the main point of the transition is. With a high fade, it’s usually around the temple, and with a low fade, it’s about an inch above the top of the ear.
A mid-fade is in between the two.
As you’d expect, a high fade is a more in-your-face and attention-grabbing feature, simply because the sides appear so short compared with the top.
A low fade is appealing for its simplicity and subtlety. This is one of the reasons it works so well with pompadours that are famously “big” and bold.
Now, let’s get to the fun part.
12 Great Pompadour Low Fade Styles
Here are some fantastic examples of this style done correctly.
Use it as a source of inspiration and don’t be afraid to team up with a trusted barber and experiment regularly.
1. Pompadour With Side Part And Low Fade
This style has the tidiness and curvature of a classic pompadour. It could easily pass for that of a silver screen heartthrob in the 50’s.
But the low fade brings it right back to the present day.
Although fades aren’t exactly new, they’ve definitely taken off in the last decade.
As I mentioned, it’s a great way to mix classic and modern styles.
The side part is well-defined here, as the pompadour has been neatly swept backward and to the right using a brush and medium heat, most likely.
The shine can be achieved by using a gel or pomade. If you’re looking for more of a matte finish, there are plenty of clays that’ll do just that.
It’s a great example of how good an exceptionally tidy pompadour can look with a low fade. Overall, it looks slick, neat, and highly effective.
2. Pompadour With Low Fade And Line Design
This is a much more modern example, with several features that really catch the eye.
One feature is the angular nature of the pompadour. Compare that with the more curved example before this one.
Angular pompadours are generally considered more “modern” and may well be better suited to your preferences.
A pomade with a strong level of hold will serve you well here.
Of course, you can’t ignore the line design here.
It may not be for everyone, and definitely shouldn’t be something you experiment with on your own.
If you’ve got a barber you trust, it may well be something you consider if you’re looking to stand out and stand out hard. It’s a lot more modern and striking than your average, classic pompadour but if it appeals to you, why not try it out?
The sideburns are very finely trimmed here. Again, an immediately eye-catching feature.
The low fade is trimmed down to the level of the skin, which is why it can safely be labeled a “skin fade”.
Overall, this is definitely a high-maintenance style, but it may be exactly what you’re looking for.
3. Tousled Pompadour And Low Fade
If you’re looking for a more textured pompadour, this one might be for you.
The wavy, tousled appearance of the pomp can be achieved using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers.
Finger-combing your pompadour is something you should definitely experiment with. You can achieve textures that would be impossible if you were to use a round brush or a comb.
It isn’t as perfect-looking as your typical, classic pompadour, but that’s part of what gives this its wide appeal.
The low fade is just as subtle; it isn’t a skin fade and the transition isn’t as stark.
The light stubble beard goes so well with the hairstyle. This is often the case with pompadours.
It’s probably because stubble adds a rugged and “imperfect” edge to a hairstyle which is typically neater and more pristine.
4. Neat Pompadour Undercut And Fade
An undercut is any style where the hair on top is left long while the sides and back are trimmed short.
It’s different to a “high fade”, for example, because there’s no gradual transition in length between the top and the back/sides.
There’s more of a stark contrast, which is why it’s usually called a “disconnected” hairstyle. It’s like the top, back, and sides aren’t connected to each other.
But even undercut styles can have tapering of the sides and back, despite being “disconnected” from the top as a whole.
The long hair on top can be styled however you want. You could go for a fringe, a man bun, or yes – even pompadour.
This picture is an excellent example of all of this put in action. The pomp itself has a slight tilt to the right and has the healthy sheen of a pomade.
The full beard is a phenomenal touch and gives the lower jawline a lot of definition.
The sides being trimmed so short like this does give the pompadour even more fullness and volume.
This is something to consider if you want to draw as much attention to the pompadour as possible.
5. Pompadour With Subtle Low Fade
Not all fades have to be so obvious.
As you can see here, there’s a very subtle tapering upward. This starts around an inch above the ear.
Yes, this is a pompadour with a low fade.
It’s a great option for men looking for a less obvious tapering to their sides and back. The difference in length between the shortest and longest lengths is minimal.
But it’s enough to be noticeable and effective. For many men, that’s all that’s really necessary in any case.
The pompadour here has a nice sheen. As you can see, some hairspray may be necessary to keep it in place; nice and tidy.
The chinstrap beard is also a nice touch. It blends very well as it travels up into the faded sides.
Chinstrap stubble beards such as this are a great way to add definition and contouring to the jawline. There aren’t many facial hairstyles that can do this for you.
Ultimately, simplicity is very appealing. Subtle and just-about-noticeable low fades might be what you prefer.
6. Short Pompadour Low Fade
Not all pompadours have to be big. A lot of modern pompadours definitely take that emphatic principle to heart.
Smaller and shorter pompadours look great with low fades and this picture is a prime example.
It’s a good option for men with shorter hair who aren’t willing to grow it long enough for serious fullness but still want some vertical volume.
The side part here is, once again, a nice touch. Well-defined lines in your style such as this just give it a meticulous, carefully-sculpted aesthetic.
The beard is interesting here.
It hasn’t been tapered or faded into the sides. There’s a pretty hard line at the top of the sideburn. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s been lined up so well that it works.
7. Puffed Pompadour And Subtle Low Fade
The swirling, wavy forelock is best achieved using a round brush and blow dryer.
The pompadour has a lot of lift and volume; this light and airy texture looks very natural and laid-back.
Here’s another example of a subtle low fade. It isn’t bold, but it’s impressive.
The sides have been lined up exceptionally well with the stubble beard. This adds a lot of definition to the bone structure of the face.
Although this meticulous shaping takes time, as you can see, the results are worth the effort.
8. Slicked Back Pompadour And Low Fade
It may not be possible for everyone to slick their pompadour straight back so elegantly like this.
The hair needs to be relatively thick and long enough to allow you to do it.
You may find that it won’t stay in place, or might flop forward, or naturally tilt to one side or the other.
Some styling product will definitely help, whether that’s wax, pomade, gel, or clay.
If you’re able to sweep it straight back, go for it. It gives the pompadour and the face as a whole a nice sense of symmetry.
This picture is a great example of just how sophisticated it can look, particularly when combined with a low fade.
The short boxed beard is well-maintained and compliments the hairstyle incredibly well.
Definitely one to consider.
9. High Volume Pompadour And Low Fade
Getting serious volume will be easier the thicker and longer your hair is.
As you can see, the taller the pompadour, the more attention it’ll grab.
If you’ve got enough hair to work with, why not try it out?
It’s a particularly good option for men with rounder or “shorter” face shapes, as styling tall pompadours are a fantastic way to elongate the face.
Combining it with a beard with a bit of length at the chin (like this one) will achieve this effect as well.
The low fade is subtle here and perfectly blends into the chinstrap on either side.
Once again, the sides being clipped so short makes the top look even taller and fuller.
Here’s one for anyone looking to make a statement.
10. Wavy Pompadour Low Fade
Waves are best achieved by styling your pompadour using your fingers or a comb.
It may take some time to create the look you’ve got in your head, but work the hair in different ways using your fingers until you’ve got something you’re happy with.
Here’s a great example of a wavy pompadour with a low fade.
The sides are tapered very effectively and the transition between the sides and top is so sharp that it should technically be called an undercut.
The goatee beard is a fantastic way to add some length and strength to the chin.
Together with a tall-ish pompadour such as this, it’s a good option for men looking to elongate their face shape.
If your face is already on the longer side, however, be warned. This refers to men with oblong, rectangular, or diamond-shaped faces, for instance.
Pompadours and beards may just act to make the face even longer. For these men specifically, a different style may be more suitable.
11. Neat Pompadour With Low Drop Fade
The neat, intricately layered appearance of this pompadour isn’t as hard to achieve as you might think.
It’s most likely been created using a round brush, a blow dryer set to maximum speed and medium heat, and a light pomade or styling gel.
But the most striking feature here is the drop fade.
A “drop fade” is a fade with an arc shape, traveling neatly around the ear. This is in contrast to the usual straight line of your everyday fade.
But much like any other fade, it can be low, high, or mid. This one you could say was either a low fade or a mid-fade.
Either way, it looks great with the neat pompadour.
12. Pompadour With Subtle Taper Fade
The “taper fade” is as low as it gets. In other words, it’s even lower than a low fade.
The name is quite confusing; technically all fades are “tapers”.
But in most contexts, a “taper fade” is one where the fade ends at the top of the sideburns, without extending beyond the ear like a “low fade” would.
It’s the most subtle form of a fade you could ever really achieve while still remaining noticeable.
This is why it’s an excellent option for men who aren’t looking to make their fade the most distinctive feature of their hairstyle.
The pompadour is very much the most prominent component of the hair here. But the taper fade gives it a sleek and sophisticated edge, while also being a nice way to transition into the short beard.
As you can see, there are many, many different variations of this increasingly popular style you can try out.
The pompadour and low fade hairstyle appears to be here to stay.
Whether you prefer it messy, neat, tall, or short, it’s one where it really is hard to fail.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.