There are some styles that just seem to be everywhere. But that doesn’t mean they’re for everyone. So, should you get a skin fade?
When deciding whether you should get a skin fade, it’s important to consider your face shape, as well as the high maintenance and cost of the style. In addition, people that dislike shaving would do well to avoid skin fades and to choose a longer fade style instead.
I wanted to dig deeper here.
After reading this, you’ll know for sure whether or not you should go for a skin fade or whether you should give it a miss and go for something that suits you better.
Let’s get to it.
5 Things To Consider Before Getting A Skin Fade
Before you visit your barber and ask for a skin fade, consider these 5 factors. There’s a chance that any one of them may put you off from getting the style.
If it does – good. At least you found out before you got it done.
If none of them put you off, the skin fade is probably worth getting – even if it’s just to try it out and see for yourself.
1. Face Shape
When considering whether you can pull off a skin fade or not, it’s important to consider your face shape. Skin fades are quite versatile, but often suit people with rounder or shorter face shapes better than they suit those with longer face shapes.
Face shape is important when it comes to your hairstyle – that’s no secret.
Skin fades have the benefit of suiting pretty much everyone. They suit most face shapes. That’s the beauty of it.
But it’s important to understand that some face shapes just suit skin fades more than others.
Put simply, if you’ve got a rounder or shorter face shape (eg. square), a skin fade would most likely be a good option for you.
The reason for this is that it removes fullness at the sides and adds definition to the jawline.
Because skin fades lead to a significant amount of the hair at the sides being shaved. Of course, high skin fades have more hair shaved than low skin fades.
But either way, it’s slimming and also has the effect of elongating the face – even if it’s a subtle amount.
People with rounder face shapes would benefit from the lack of hair at the sides because it has a narrowing effect on the face.
In addition, those with oval face shapes (or near-enough oval at least) would be able to pull off a skin fade without much trouble thanks to the proportions already looking pretty balanced.
But, does that mean that people with long face shapes should avoid the skin fade?
But with longer face shapes such as oblong and rectangular, the lack of hair and fullness at the sides may lead to the face looking even longer.
Because of this, people with longer face shapes may want to go for a lower skin fade or a skin fade taper.
2. Dress Codes
Strict dress code?
Find out whether skin fades are actually allowed before you visit your barber.
Put simply, there are certain environments such as schools, colleges, and even stricter workplaces where a skin fade may not actually be allowed.
Fades are pretty widely accepted, however, so although this is possible – it would be uncommon.
But find out in advance of getting the trim.
There’s nothing worse than finally making the decision to get that high skin fade you’ve always wanted, only to find out your ultra-strict workplace may not look at it too favorably.
It may not even be an outright ban – it could just be considered “unprofessional” in certain workplaces.
For example, corporate workplaces may prefer a neat and tidy short back and sides as opposed to the bolder and more in-your-face skin fade.
Even if you think it’s fine to test out for a while, going to an interview somewhere like this probably isn’t the best idea.
The military is another place where you want to be extra sure you aren’t getting a trim that’s out of line.
If you’re testing the waters, go for a skin fade taper or a low skin fade before getting the higher ones. It’s just a safer play.
To sum that up, think twice before getting a skin fade if you aren’t sure whether your workplace, college, or school won’t take too kindly to it.
3. Maintenance And Cost
Skin fades are high maintenance.
In fact, they’re actually much higher maintenance than people may think at first.
Sure, you’re shaving the sides. You’d be forgiven for assuming that this would mean you have to get trims less often. After all, you’ve got more time to work with – right?
Skin fades require frequent touch ups if you want to maintain a consistent look and a fresh fade at all times.
The reason for this is that the growth of even a few millimeters of stubble can look pretty obvious.
After a week or so, that stubble will make it look less like a skin fade and more like a shadow fade or even a normal fade.
Skin fades rely on that clean-cut shaved finish pretty heavily. Once you’ve lost that, technically – you’ve no longer got a skin fade.
Because of that, people with skin fades often find themselves getting it redone or touched up every 2-3 weeks or so.
But most of them will readily admit that by the third week, that “skin fade” is looking like something else completely.
Ideally, they’d get it touched up every 1-2 weeks. A 3-weekly trim is just a compromise.
The cost for this really does add up. That’s a lot of visits to the barber per year.
Skin fades may take a little longer than normal fades given the need for shaving and a clean finish, but they really don’t take that long to do.
Barbers love them for that reason.
The point here is that if you’re considering getting a skin fade and maintaining it for the long haul, don’t underestimate the number of times you’ll need to get it done.
In addition, don’t underestimate the cost.
Learning to touch up a skin fade yourself isn’t for everyone – it does require some technical skill with a clipper and it is pretty easy to mess up.
A better idea would be to find a good barber whose skin fades last longer. A bad skin fade will always last a shorter amount of time than a good one with a seamless blend.
Another idea would be to try and find a barbershop that does often a certain number of free (or discounted) skin fade touch ups as part of their service.
Overall, however, expect to visit a barber at least every 2-3 weeks if you want that skin fade looking fresh most of the time. Ideally, however, a 2-weekly touch up would be best.
4. Shave Tolerance
It’s no secret that some people just hate shaving.
The feel of a razor is something they simply won’t tolerate. It’s why they choose heavy stubble or a short beard instead of clean-shaven.
It isn’t that they just love the look – it’s just that they really, really don’t like shaving their face.
Shave haters would do well to avoid skin fades.
Skin fades require shaving to get that clean finish. Barbers will either use an electric razor or a straight razor to achieve it.
If you just don’t get on with shaving, you probably won’t get on with skin fades.
Of course, the lower the fade, the less shaving required. A low skin fade will have less of the sides and back shaved than a high skin fade, for instance.
Ultimately, however, all skin fades require some shaving.
Going for a longer fade style such as a 1 fade, 2 fade, or even a zero fade would be a better idea. They don’t require shaving – just a clipper-trim.
While zero fades (i.e shadow fades) also go down very short, they don’t go down all the way to the skin.
You’re still left with very short stubble as you’re simply using a clipper with no guard attached – not shaving.
While this may not be ideal, it should still be a more comfortable option for them and achieve a look that’s close enough to a skin fade.
5. Standing Out From A Crowd
Here’s one you may not have thought of.
Skin fades have a lot of benefits – they’re simple, effortlessly neat, and an easy way to make practically any hairstyle just a little more eye-catching.
But it’s hard to deny that they’re pretty much everywhere.
They may be kind of eye-catching, but it’s tough to stand out from a crowd with a skin fade.
If you’re looking for a style that’s a little more uncommon, in a way, it may actually make more sense to go for a more “traditional” style.
In other words, fades have sort of become the new “normal”.
If you’re pretty keen on a skin fade, one way of standing out from the crowd would be to combine it with a bolder style up top.
For example, a classic pompadour (with a skin fade) will look more interesting and help you stand out more than a buzz cut with a skin fade would.
Overall, if you’re looking for a style that’s less safe, skin fades probably aren’t the way to go. They’re too common to be considered a bold choice.
But that’s by no means a bad thing. At the end of the day, if it looks great – many would say it doesn’t really matter.
Going through these factors one by one is the best way to figure out whether or not you should get a skin fade.
Hopefully, you now have a much better idea of what your answer is.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.