The high top fade, which takes its origin in the early 1980s, is still one of the most favored haircuts for men with black hair. Its popularity comes as no surprise. Not only does it allow you to tame your unruly shag, but it also symbolizes the beginning of the Golden Era of hip-hop. Of course, throughout the course of time, it has set off numerous versions of the look. The coolest of them, we have put together in the following guide so you could have enough options to choose from.


    What Is The High Top Fade Haircut?

    For those of you who wonder how to fade hair, there is no definite answer. We have come up with so many high top fade styles that you’ll really need to take your time before choosing yours. In brief, to achieve this fade haircut look, your barber or hairstylist will cut the hair on the sides and back of the head short and leave the top hair quite long. Such smashing contrast is the calling card of the high top fade. What else makes it so widespread is the fact that it works for any hair structure.

    Source: @adrianfanus via Instagram


    How To Get A High Top Haircut?

    The haircut itself is performed with the clippers with a smaller size guard on the sides and back and a bigger one on the top. However, to achieve the best results with your high top fade haircut, here is the first thing to remember. As soon as you’ve decided on the high top fade style you want to rock, choose the barber who is capable of doing it. A real professional would be familiar with the different types of fade. Find a true master.

    Who Invented The High Top Fade?

    It all began in 1980 when Grace Jones, who is known for her singing, modeling and acting career, appeared on the cover of her album with a flat/hi top hairstyle. Several years later, Schoolly D and Doug E. Fresh, who are popular American rappers, introduced to the world of hip hop what is now known as a hi-top fade. Yet, their hairstyles were not as defined and precise as a modern high top fade. At the beginning of 1987, the world of hip-hop saw the video released by Salt-N-Pepa, where the dancers had the contemporary version of the style.


    Is A High Top Fade Professional?

    You may be wondering whether or not you can sport a high top fade to the office. As long as you do not have strict dress code rules at work, our answer is yes. This hairstyle looks very neat and clean, allowing you to keep your unruly locks in place. Thus, a high top fade is a completely suitable hairstyle for the professional environment.

    Best High Top Fade Haircut Styles

    So, let’s get down to business. We collected some of the coolest high top fade hairstyles and we sincerely hope our manual will give you tons of inspiration for your hair look choice.


    Modern High Top

    For a modern take on an original high top fade haircut black men should take off more hair on top and make the fade steeper.

    Source: @xbigwesx via Instagram

    Natural Bald Fade

    A failsafe way to make high tops haircuts more contrasty is by complimenting them with a natural bald fade for black men haircuts.

    Source: @nickthebarber via Instagram

    Low High Top Fade

    If you are not ready yet for a particularly bold look, a low high top fade is your way to go.

    Source: @mikes_custom_kuts via Instagram


    Line Design

    A line design is an easy way to give your haircut and instant upgrade, be it a blowout haircut or high top fade braids.

    Source: @adrianfanus via Instagram

    Tapered Sides

    Those guys who choose to be in the spotlight should take a closer look at this edgy high tops haircut with taper haircut sides.

    Source: @adrianfanus via Instagram

    High And Tight Fade

    If such an elaborate hairstyle as high top fade dreads is a little too much for you, go for a low key look, like a high and tight fade.


    Curly High Top Fade

    A curly high top fade is an intricate take on a classic high top hairstyle. Thanks to the faded sides and accentuated curls, it gives more exposure to your natural hair texture.

    Source: @nickthebarber via Instagram

    Line Up High Top Fade

    This haircut is the perfect example of an Afro fade due to its extended thick kinky top. Pairing it with the undercut skin fade makes the line up high top fade one of the most geometrically defined hairstyles for black men. An ideal addition to it would be a perfectly trimmed beard that would accentuate the sharpness of your cheekbones.

    Source: @sirpaulcharles via Instagram

    Medium Textured Hair

    Not that black short haircuts lack texture, but more is better, isn’t it? Just apply some water-based pomade to the top of your head and you’ll get yourself a stunning instance of the best men’s haircuts 2022. Note how appealingly the surgical parting enhances the brilliance of this hair look.

    Source: @fernthebarber via Instagram


    Purple High Top

    Can you think of another color that looks so freaking good with the flat top fade? The contrast it creates with the black roots is just out of this world. The high top fade with dye is a must if you want to stand out in a crowd.

    Source: @shawn_barbz via Instagram

    Frizzy High Top Fade

    To give your curly high top fade some boost, go for a very high skin undercut. This approach will put emphasis on your hi top hairstyle. A good idea would be to enhance the look with a trimmed beard.

    Source: @adrianfanus via Instagram

    Pomp Inspired Hairstyle

    This is the kind of high top fade white guy would definitely be able to pull off. It includes a high top pomp that is slicked back, and the fade undercut with the perfectly defined outline around the face.

    Source: @los_cut_it via Instagram


    Twist High Top Fade

    The high top twist is one of the trendiest Black men hairstyles, as it allows you to keep your kinks tamed while giving your appearance a stylish touch. To take it to another level, go for the high top fade twist, which can be then styled in a myriad of ways.

    Source: @braidedroots via Instagram

    Asymmetrical Design

    If you are not afraid to stand out in the crowd, ask your barber for a high top taper fade with an unusual asymmetrical hair design. For ultimate contrast, opt for a skin hi top fade on the sides, and for the top, you can get the most intricate pattern your imagination is capable of.

    Source: @los_cut_it via Instagram

    Textured Curly Top

    Seeking for some really fresh haircuts? Consider stepping it up a notch with the really textured curly top. The haircut fade goes really high this time. If your natural hair doesn’t give you the desired effect, just ask your stylist to help you with the curls. As a popping accent, you can add a carved side parting and several lines on the occipital bone.


    Mohawk Style

    Apparently, the Mohawk fade splendidly elaborates the haircuts for black men. The dreadlocks sit dense, creating the exceptionally gorgeous high top fade with a twist. Again, the strong outline around the face makes the most of this hair look.

    Arabic High Top Fade Style

    Not only do African American men take advantage of their curly locks to create the breathtaking hairstyle but Arabic guys do so, as well. The high top fade with a beard that looks slightly disconnected from the hair, flatters them outstandingly well.

    Nappy High Top

    Nappy high top hairstyles look awesome on their own. Though, for an added flair, you can pair them with a fade on the sides.


    High Top Fade Art Work

    This kind of high top fade curly hair would utterly compliment. Don’t restrict the creative impulse of your barber; let him or her express themselves. The conventional curly fade can be transformed into a real piece of art with the patterns carved on the sides and back of the head. Anything from lightning to a star will work just fine.

    Source: @nickthebarber via Instagram

    Luxurious Flat Top

    Not every black guy would dare to try this savage look on. Among all the Afro hairstyles, it suggests the least number of haircut designs. Just a high fade undercut with a buzz-cut outline on the forehead would be more than enough. The whole attention is focused on the particularly high top. It requires very high precision to create the perfectly solid shape. And also, you’ll need to decide how often you’re willing to visit a barbershop as this luxurious flat top is not so easily maintained at home.

    High Top With Sponge Twists

    It’s hard to think of a better way to enhance your twists than to go for a high fade haircut on the sides and back. Twisted hair looks eye-catching and intricate, so a fade allows you to focus attention on the top of your head. Still, if you want to add a hair design to your sides, you’re welcome to do so.


    Rounded Top

    This hairstyle comes out dapper and neat. The top already has a soft yet defined silhouette because of the round shape in which it’s cut. On top of that, the high fade on the back and sides adds a clean appearance to the hairstyle while the line-up brings sharpness and edge to it.

    Slanted High Top Haircut

    Nobody says that your high top fade haircut should necessarily be symmetrical. You can create a more interesting appearance by cutting the hair on top of the head at an angle. This approach makes your hairstyle look unique and attractive, which is obviously what we aim at. Add an elaborate hair design to it and your hair will instantly make you stand out from the crowd.

    Source: @nickthebarber via Instagram

    High Top Fade With Hard Part

    This high top fade haircut is all about clean lines and sharp outline. Also, it doesn’t feature a complex hair design, which makes this hairstyle low key and suitable for many situations. Just add a classic narrow hard part with a line up around the temples and forehead and you can knock doors on all occasions.

    Source: @mikes_custom_kuts via Instagram


    Flat Top Fade With Hair Tattoo

    For those who prefer more sophisticated hairstyles, the flat top fade with hair tattoo will become a real godsend. The top has a very defined shape, and the dimensional hair tattoo on the back perfectly echoes it. However, be ready that this isn’t a low maintenance hairstyle, so you will need to book several appointments with your barber in advance.

    Source: @f4fade via Instagram

    High Top With Shaved Stripe

    Shaved in stripes are a perfect enhancement to a high top fade haircut. Their versatility offers many different styles and directions. For instance, to create the impression of an undercut hairstyle, you can get a carved line that goes all along your head parallel to the bottom of the hair on top.

    Source: @shawn_barbz via Instagram

    Blonde High Top Fade

    In case you’re not really into shaved lines and intricate hair designs that require frequent upkeep but still want your high top fade to look bold, there’s a great option for you too. You can simply bleach the front section of your top to create a high contrast look and you’re ready to rock!

    Source: @mikes_custom_kuts via Instagram


    High Top Dreads

    Those guys who decide to commit to dreadlocks can actually take advantage of them while they still grow. Short high top dreads work perfectly for a high top fade, as they instantly draw the whole attention and add a stylish flair to the look. Though, if you’re in a mood for more, a line up and a subtle shaved line won’t hurt.

    High Top Fade Braids

    Long-haired men can also pull off a high top fade style. With such clean and clear sides and back that a fade provides, you can experiment with the style of your top as much as you like. A braided high top complemented with a fade looks unusual and nontrivial. Besides, due to a wide range of braids for men options, this hairstyle becomes hugely versatile.

    Box Braids High Top Fade

    Here’s one specific type of braids that you should take a closer look at. Box braids have become incredibly popular lately for good reason. They come out intricate and dapper and allow for a multitude of different looks. Besides, should you decide to get rid of them, they can easily be transformed into a high top.

    All in all, these are only the basics of the high top fade haircut. Don’t limit your imagination and combine different styles together. Whether you choose a low, high, steep or slope fade, it will certainly be a stunner.



    Is a high top fade professional?

    As it creates a clean and tidy appearance, a hightop fade looks appropriate in any work ambiance unless your dress code rules are particularly strict.

    Are high top fades back in style?

    You could say that a high top fade is in again if you ever considered it to be out. A high top hair cut as well as a fade never seem to lose their relevance. Thus, you can opt for them without worrying that your hairstyle is going to look outdated.

    Who invented the high top fade?

    It is hard to tell exactly who to blame for the invention of the hi top hair fade. Back in the 80s, there were many instances when a haircut resembling a high top fade could be seen. However, the way it looks today is majorly attributed to the lead vocalist of the Cameo band. Although the haircut he popularized in the middle of the 80s featured a little longer hair on the back and sides, the top was flat, tall and square.

    How do you style a high top fade?

    Faded high tops haircuts can be styled in several steps:
    1. Using an afro pick, eliminate any knots and tangles in your hair.
    2. Rub a tad of hair pomade between the hands and apply it to your locks by scrunching them gently.
    3. With the help of the afro pick, fluff the hair on the top of your head.
    4. To give your hairstyle texture and definition, twist random strands between the fingers.


    • Hi-top fade is a hairstyle or male haircut where hair on the sides is cut off or kept very short while hair on the top of the head is very long. Source
    • One of the coolest haircuts of all time. Source