Fading Hair at Home: Best DIY fade Guide for Beginners

fading hair at home

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Quarantine hair is real, and I’m sure it has pushed you to learn tips for fading hair at home. This year has been interesting, to say the least; just like you, I am forced to adjust and give myself haircuts again.

I am doing my part and social distancing; I’ve managed to avoid going to the barbershop by cutting my hair myself. Just like you, I used multiple online resources to learn how to fade my afro hair at home.

I intend to provide you with a step-by-step self-haircut fade tutorial to get you through the trying times. Let’s be real, the lockdowns don’t seem to be going anywhere soon, but I’m dedicated to doing my part.

Most people would lose their sanity, so I kept myself busy with Afrocurlsandcuts.com and practicing my in-home haircut skills. Learning to fade your hair with a clipper may sound intimidating, but it’s really not bad.

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The vision

I’ve decided to share my hair-fading skills and put together a list of things you’ll need to learn. These tips will you learn to fade hair at home and even improve other haircutting skills. Note, the benefit of learning to fade your hair is cost-effective once you’ve mastered it on your own. Anyone with a decent knowledge about haircuts understands that fading is the foundation of the haircut.

Without a good fade, you cannot get that fresh look, which may be important to you during these trying times. When this pandemic started, I knew grooming would be a big issue when maintaining my afro. So, I made it a point to learn how to fade my hair. I started my journey by searching the internet and finding self-fade tutorial videos on YouTube.

After a lot of research, I found useful materials related to the self-haircut fade tutorial. If you are interested to learn too, then stick around, and I’ll tell you all the things you need to know.

What is Hair Fading?

The “fade” haircut style is fashion for men, and it’s sometimes also called “military reg.”. Basically, the fade is a low hair taper from the bottom to the top. Keep in mind the fade haircut could be long or short in length to suit the need of the client.

It makes the side and back hair as close to the skin as possible. They use clippers, and these fades go up to different lengths on the top.

Note, the fade gained much popularity among the black and Hispanic communities and became a staple in urban barbershops. It first came to the US military in the 40s but gain much of its popularity in the 90s. The likes of Will Smith and Wesley Snipes propelled the low fade into pop culture, which took the country by storm.

Various types of fades

There are various types of fades- skin fades, tapers, low, medium, and high. Essentially this refers to the height of the fade on top of the head. However, the temple fades, and burst fades cover a smaller portion of the head but has a lot of impacts.

With all the variations of hair fades, I suggest you do the proper research before grabbing clippers and fading your hair. When learning to fade your hair needs you to understand the little details that go into making this amazing haircut. There is plenty of resources available online to help prevent bloopers during your fade haircut.

Quick sanitary tips for in-home barbershop

These 5 quick tips to prevent and fix messed-up haircuts should be useful to you if you’re learning to fade your hair. The tips provided in the linked article will be a beneficial arsenal to prevent mistakes when cutting your fade at home. You’ll learn home haircut DIY tips that you could use with any haircut style.

Sanitizing home haircut equipment

It is extremely important to keep the tools you use to cut hair at home clean. Often people who are beginners in fading their hair get overwhelmed and forget to clean their haircutting tools. A dirty hair clipper could not only ruin your haircut but also cause bumps after your haircut. One way to keep your haircut equipment clean at home is to use barbicide!

Alcohol after a home haircutfade hair for beginners

The concept of cleanliness apply here as well… After a haircut, you should disinfect your head with alcohol. Keep in mind by using alcohol after fading hair yourself will help prevent skin infection after a haircut. When you fade your hair with clippers, you increase the chance of experiencing small cuts from the blades. Be prepared for a stinging sensation; trust me, you’ll be happy you did in the long run.

How long does it take to fade your hair at home?

Honestly, it depends on a few things that may dictate how long it takes to cut your hair. On average, a fade at a barbershop could take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. As a beginner cutting your own hair, you can expect 15 to 30 minutes of haircut time added compared to your barbers’ haircut. Let’s explore the reasons that may cause you to have a slower haircut time than your barber.

5 factors that dictate haircut time

  • Equipment – The tools that you use to cut your hair at home could be a huge reason for a slower time than a barber cutting your hair. Note, faulty equipment like a tension spring in your clippers would absolutely result in slower haircuts. Check out the article link to learn how to assess the damage and fix the tension spring in the trimmer in 7 minutes.

          Read this in-depth guide to buying The Top 10 Best Edgers for black hair!

  • In-home barbershop Setup – You would be surprised how much your in-home haircut station could impact the speed of your fade. If your home barbering setup is lacking or cluttered, it could lead to a poor fade haircut. When you begin fading your own hair, you’ll need all the advantages you can get to speed up cut time, and that includes a proper in-home barbershop setup.
  • Skill level – It goes without saying you’re at a disadvantage when you fade your hair as a beginner, and it’ll take some time to adjust. When you’re fading your own hair at home, you’re focused on avoiding mistakes, not really the speed you cut your hair. Often, your skill level dictates how fast you get the job done.
  • Fatigue – Cutting your hair requires a significant amount of manual labor. Keep in mind that holding your arms up in a position to fade your own hair becomes tiring fairly quickly. Once fatigue starts to set in, you can expect the time it takes to fade your hair at home will increase dramatically. Once you become a better in-home barber, you’ll reduce fatigue during fading haircuts and increase speed when cutting your hair.
  • Distraction – By limiting disturbances during in-home haircuts, you can not only reduce errors but also reduce self-fading haircut times. Often distractions from TV, misbehaving children, and telephone calls could cause you to lose focus on haircut speed.

The benefit of taking time to fade my hair myself

Unless you’re in a hurry, the extra time it takes to perfect fade your own hair should not affect you too much. Think about it, you’re not paying labor, you’re in your own home, and you’re perfecting your skills in cutting hair. If you ask me, it’s not such a bad trade-off… lose a little speed to fade my hair for the convenience of saving money and in-home barber setup.fade your own hair with clippers

With Covid-19 threatening our very existence, learning to adapt, and learning to do things ourselves is more imperative than ever. Yes, it may take more time to fade hair at home than in barbershops, but you reduce the chance of catching the deadly virus. Therefore, I felt it was important to write this article to promote social distancing by learning to fade your hair at home. I wrote an in-depth article on how to protect yourself from illnesses at the barbershop.

How learn to fade hair at home?

You would be so surprised with how many resources are out there that teach people to cut hair for free. The World Wide Web has enabled the average Joe to become barbers from home. This is especially beneficial during the pandemic; self-haircut fade tutorials online limit contact with people and reduce risk.

Learning this skill is necessary if you want to embrace the new normal without compromising your vibe. I also have a detailed article about 1.5 with the grain haircut tips that’ll enhance 360 waves progress.

Most new people in their barber journey don’t have a massive amount of knowledge or skills to do fading hair DIY. I’ll be the first to admit this was the case for me too! Not only did I learn how to fade my hair on my own, but I also learned how to fade my afro without cutting it too short. This was all done by reading haircut articles and watching safe hair-fading YouTube videos!

Don’t worry; I’ve already done the research, and I will tell you the three most important tips you will need later in this article!

Different types of fades you can try.

Note there are several fade cut types, and you’ll need to get familiar with them before fading hair at home. As a beginner home barber, you’ll need to understand the different levels when fading your own hair. By understanding the different fade haircut levels, you will assure that you get the self-haircut that you desire! Let’s briefly go over some of the self-haircut fade levels.

3 types of fade haircuts

  • High Fade: Basically, a high fade is a close shave along the back and sides of the head. The high fades are shaved sides and longer hair on the top of the crown. Keep in mind the hair fades above the midway line level between the temples and the tops of the ears. This stylish, crisp fade haircut has gained popularity in recent years… Note, the modern fade look offers a vast range of styling options.
  • Medium Fade: The medium fade is a lower taper cut than the high fade. Similar to the higher fade, the medium fade for men cuts below the temples and above the ear. The close cut below the temple on the sides of the head is shaved. You can expect the medium fade haircuts to come in a variety of styles and looks like the high fade haircut.
  • Low Fade: The low fade is the lowest haircut out of the fade hairstyle and exposes the most skin. This low cut falls into the fade class but is embraced differently from the mid and high fade cuts. This shorter fade is widely viewed as the most elegant out of the bunch. Just like the other two higher fade cuts, the low fade has a close tapered down cut on the sides, and the hair is lower on the head. You guessed it, that’s where the name “low fade” comes from. Unlike the other two fade types, the low fade isn’t as versatile in options but offers a cleaner look.

Understand your skill level

As you navigate learning to fade your hair at home, you will need to be realistic with your skill limitations. You will need to learn a few set skills before you fade your hair as a beginner! Keep in mind the three types of fade require a level of skill before you attempt that. However, the low fade is the easiest to cut as a beginner within your in-home barbershop. Don’t worry; I’ll provide you with important tips for fading hair at home and assure perfect haircuts at home.

3 examples of the benefits of learning to fade hair at home

There is a multitude of great benefits to learning to fade hair yourself! To keep this article concise, I’ve decided to compile 3 important examples. Hmm… maybe I write a full article with more examples of the benefits of fade hair for beginners. Let me know what you guy’s think about the idea in the comment box below.

Here are three examples of benefits when I learned to fade my hair myself.

  • Convenience – If you do not already know, cutting your hair at home is extremely convenient. When you’re a busy person as I am, going to the barbershop isn’t normally a top priority. Honestly, it can feel like a chore that may consist of driving across town, waiting in line for a fade. Think about it you then drive back home and then go through the process of getting cleaned up. If you’re able to master fade haircut DIY, you’ll limit the hassle of traveling and waiting around for a haircut.
  • Control – Fading your hair at home gives you a massive amount of control. When you go to the barbershop, you are relying on someone to cut your hair and give up control. By learning to fade hair step by step with online barber tutorials, you’ll have control over time, money, and haircut style. Simply following a few self-haircut fade tutorials could save you time and money and empower absolute control over your hairstyle. Not a bad tradeoff, is it?
  • Build skills – Another benefit to learning to fade your hair at home is building skills. Becoming your own barber allows you to become more independent. I should also point out that learning to cut hair yourself allows you to earn money as a side hustle with a home barbershop. As you know, I was able to pay a portion of my college tuition by cutting my hair in my dorm room.

Self-fading haircuts at home increasing in popularity

The current pandemic has forced millions of people worldwide to build in-home barbershops and become self-taught barbers. This is to reduce exposure to the deadly virus!

Once upon a time, it was near impossible for someone with little knowledge in cutting hair to provide a decent fade haircut. Those days are long gone with the emergence of the internet and almighty YouTube. There are more step-by-step fade haircut tutorials available now than there were 5 or 10 years ago. With so many resources in both written and video formats, you’re bound to find a presentation that suits your needs.

Check out an article I wrote recently, 7 easy ways a self-taught barber learn to cut hair for free. The article covers seven self-taught resources to learn to cut hair and make you a better barber for free… you’ll be surprised as to how many options available you may have overlooked.

The overwhelming benefits of learning to fade hair from home have certainly increased its popularity. The current trend projects that more people will opt for DIY fading tutorials over physically going to a barbershop.

Going skin-tight while fading hair at home

It does take a while to get the hang of perfecting your home hair fading skill, but don’t let that discourage you from adding the skill to your arsenal. In fact, I encourage you to embrace timing the time to research and actually understand what you’re doing before fading your own hair.

One of the most difficult things for a rookie barber to grasp is the skin-tight fade technique in the beginning. Often beginner barbers will fade the hair unevenly or miss hair patches while attempting the skin-tight fade haircut.

I wouldn’t recommend attempting the haircut if you are unsure of what you’re doing. This requires some experience and a bit of skill… I suggest doing the proper research! AfroCurlsandCuts.com has a library of haircut techniques you can read through for professional barber tips! For example, this article offers pointers to perfect fade hair for beginners. Keep in mind that Fading hair at home will be a big step for some of you, and you want it to go as smoothly as possible.

Using Scissors during fading

I am often asked if it is possible to fade hair with scissors. The answer is yes, but not quite the way you think. Using scissors is not ideal for fading black hair. As you know, we have curly hair, which makes it difficult to accurately blend the fade levels with a scissor.

However, the scissors, after fading yourself, are often the finishing touch of the haircut. The scissors are used to trim loose hairs that were missed by the hair chippers.

Now, let me warn you about using scissors before I give you tips for fading hair at home. Scissors can be dangerous, and you can mess up easily if you’re not careful while trimming your fade. The last thing you want to happen is to cut a bald spot into your faded haircut because you were not paying attention. Your DIY fade will quickly turn into a DIY baldy cut.

Suggestions when fading hair with scissors

I suggest that you avoid using scissors in the beginning until you’re comfortable handling them when fading your hair at home. I should point out if you do use scissors, make sure someone is helping you… They’ll be able to handle to tool for you and catch and catch any blind spot while fading your hair at home. This will assure the reduction of any risk of error during your home haircut.

Personally, I prefer to just use clippers during my haircut; they seem to be more manageable. In fact, the only other haircutting tool that I use when fading my hair at home is a T-Outliner for edge-up. Everyone knows a line up after a haircut is the icing on a good fade. However, mistakes can occur while edging yourself up; check out these 3 tips that fix messed up shape up.

To drive the point home, scissors are amazing at the hands of the barbers… Sadly it’s usually a bad idea to use them while fading hair at home as a beginner. You need to get a lot of experience before using them yourself.

Basic tips for fading hair at home

Below are four basic tips that I think you should know when fading hair at home. Trust me, the suggestions below will make your life a lot easier while fading your own hair from home.

  1. Night wash – First basic tip for fading hair at home is to wash your hair the night before. This will ensure that your hair is clean, dry, and ready for your in-home haircut the following day.
  2. Comb before cutting – Make sure before you start to fade your hair that you comb it first. Combing hair before your haircut provides a picture of what you’re against and also untangles the hair before your cut. This technique is necessary before you fade black hair to assure the trimmers cut without a problem for an even fade haircut.
  3. Check your haircut – Make sure that you routinely check your self-haircut in the mirror, especially the back of the head. Mistakes are common with self-haircut at home; by repeated checking your work while you cut could reduce haircut errors.
  4. Disinfect your head – Last but certainly not least, remember to disinfect the head after your self-cut fade haircut is complete. It is important to clean the head with alcohol once you’ve completed the hairdo to avoid bumps after your self-haircut. You can read a detailed article about why it is imperative to use alcohol after a haircut.

Professional barber tips to remember.

The moment you have been waiting for… The time has come to revile helpful tips for a better in-home fade haircut. I’ve compiled some of the best tips to help you perfect fading hair at home. This fade tip for beginners article is intended for people who are unsure where to start. As you navigate through the fade hair step-by-step guide, you’ll find tips that you may not have thought existed.

Clean and lubricated hair trimmer

The first tip you should know when fading your hair at home is to assure the clippers are clean and well-oiled. Note, haircut trimmers that are not properly oiled will not cut your hair correctly. This causes the haircut tool to occasionally jam from friction. Jamming of the hair clippers occurs when it isn’t routinely cleaned and oiled, resulting in dirt build-up and rusting between the blades. This will surely affect the outcome of your fade.

Align your trimmer “Zero Gap”

I feel this one is often overlooked by beginners fading their own hair… before fading your hair, make sure to adjust the trimmers to “zero gap” to assure the blade isn’t crooked. You can adjust to zero gaps with the adjustable lever on the side of the clipper. Make sure that you move the adjustable lever until the top blade is even with the bottom blade. This scouting technique will help you see if your clippers need to be taken apart and adjusted to zero gap. By making sure the haircut tool at zero gaps, you’ll assure the blades are even and eliminate inconsistencies in your fade haircut.

  • Adjust clippers to Zero Gap – You will need to remove the two screw that holds the blade to the clipper. Once you have removed the blade, you will then flip the actual blade over to expose the two screws inside. From here, you will lose the two inner screws to adjust the upper and lower blades to zero gaps. Once you’ve achieved the task, you will then tighten the inner screws, place the blade back on the clipper, and screws the first two screws back on. Wala… You’ve adjusted your trimmers to zero gap. Simple enough, right?

Correct hand posture, pressure, and motion

Often the mistake that I see with beginners who are fading their own hair is limited understanding of hand posture and clipper pressure during haircuts.

  • Hand posture – Hand position when holding a hair trimmer is extremely important when you fade hair by yourself. Improper hand posture on clippers will mess up your haircut; it is important that you understand how to hold the haircut equipment. To properly handle the trimmers, hold the clipper using one hand with your thumb on top and two fingers on the back. This will assure that you have a sturdy grip and the correct angle with the clipper before cutting your hair.
  • Hair trimmer pressure – When you’re fading your hair at home, you’ll need to understand how much pressure to use when trimmer. Depending on the fade haircut, certain areas of the head may need more pressure during cuts than other spots.
    • Blending down – is an important tip that could stand on its own. I decided to link two because haircut pressure and fade blending absolutely tie in together. When you’re ready to start fading your hair, put on a guard and start with an open lever. This is to make sure that you do not cut too short in areas that need to be longer. The key to blending down is to gradually close the lever for areas that require tighter cuts. You should also take bigger strokes with the open lever and smaller strokes as the lever closes.

Cut motion – Fading hair at home takes skills and physics! Yes, you read that correctly… If you didn’t know, physics plays a huge part in the outcome of your haircut. A good rule of thumb when fading your hair from home is to motion clippers in a C shape when cutting the hair.


Fading hair at home can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Luckily, there are many online resources that offer a step-by-step tutorial on how to fade hair for beginners. When I first started out, that was the route that I took to learn to fade my hair. It took some time for me to adjust and get used to cutting my hair. Over time, I got better, and before I knew it was making a serious side income by cutting my dormmate’s hair in college.

The benefits of learning to fade your hair from home are endless, to say the least. No more long wait at the barbershop; you’ll be able to cut your own kids’ hair and save money. Remember, you’ll also be doing your part with social distancing during a critical pandemic.

Hopefully, you found this step-by-step fading hair from home guide helpful. Don’t hog the information to yourself and pass this article along to someone who may need it. The community is growing beyond my wildest dream… Thank you guys out there; I could not do it without you all! Let’s continue to build our community together… with that said, let’s share this article, like it, and leave comments below!

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