The drop fade is a variation on the classic fade that will spice up any haircut and truly take it to the next level. The kind of fade is so named because the fade drops behind the ear. This creates a tidy arc to the fade. The result is a clean looking haircut with a nice, even appearance.

The fade (or taper) is an element of many snazzy men’s hairstyles. It looks great when paired with an undercut, a pompadour, and pretty much everything else. This is because the fade adds a layer of definition to any haircut that makes it instantly stand out and gain another dimension. Keep in mind that the drop fade can be combined with any haircut and create unique styles.

Sharp skin fade faux hawk hairstyle
Disconnected Drop Fade Faux Hawk, @z_ramsey / Instagram

How to Get the Drop Fade

The drop fade is a technique that most (if not all) barbers will be able to do, but some of them may not know it by name. Because of this, we recommend finding a picture of the kind of drop fade you want and showing it to your barber so you can get the most accurate drop fade haircut.

The drop fade is a variation of the skin fade, so a skin fade is what you’ll want to ask your barber for. But you need to be specific here––getting a drop fade isn’t as simple as asking for a skin fade.

Here’s what you need to ask your barber for in order to get a drop fade: You want the fade to create an arc over your ear so that the fade “drops.” That is, the fade is lower behind the ear than it is in front of the ear. Again, this can be somewhat difficult to describe, so make sure to bring a picture.

(Note: Some barbers use “taper” in place of “fade,” so if your barber looks a bit confused when you ask for a fade, ask for a taper instead.)

The fade should be blended so that there’s a gradual fade all the way up.

How to Maintain the Drop Fade

Since the drop fade is a fairly meticulous style, it will require regular trips to the barbershop. If you want to maintain it and keep the fade nice and tidy, then visiting your barber routinely is a must.

Alternatively, if you have clippers handy at home, you can maintain the fade yourself. This will probably be tougher if you don’t have much hair experience, but if you’re handy with clippers, you can try maintaining it yourself. But as always, we recommend visiting your barber and letting them take care of it for you.

Below you can find more examples of the drop fade haircut:
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Wavy Hair, Skin Fade, Taper, Beard
@cutscoolcats

Wavy Hair with Beard

A slightly messy yet elegant style, this drop fade takes advantage of wavy hair to create a lot of motion. The beard rounds out the style and adds balance.

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Drop Fade Pomp
@barber_djirlauw

Drop Fade Pomp

This classy combination of a drop fade and a matte finish pompadour puts a few trendy twists on a classic look.

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Blow Out Drop fade
@rumbarber

Blow Out Taper

If you like the blown-out look, you might like this style. The hair is brushed and teased while the fade keeps the focus on the blowout.

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Curly Messy French Crop with Drop Fade
@z_ramsey

Curly Fringe with Taper

As shown here, fades work nicely on curly hair, as they add definition and provide contrast to the messier hair up top.

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Drop Fade with Beard and Longer Top
Drop Fade with Beard and Longer Top, by @criztofferson

Drop Fade with Beard and Longer Top

Here’s a head-turning fade with a prominent side part and a layered, brushed back top. The gradual fade also blends the hairline and beard together for a seamless appearance.

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Thin Hair with Pompadour
@franchobarber

Thin Hair Pompadour

Pompadours are generally best with thick hair, but here’s a variation that works well with thinner hair. The evenness of this cut is crucial to ensure that it looks good.

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Wavy Drop Fade
@dannyandcobarbers

Wavy with Short Elephant Trunk

For a more casual “just rolled out of bed” look, try out this wavy drop fade with a short elephant trunk curl.

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Drop Fade
@jarredsbarbers

Textured Fade with Design

This fade has a lot of unique aspects. A satisfying peak is created where the sides meet the top, and the two shaved lines add a surprising amount of depth to this look.

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Faux Hawk with Disconnected High Skin Fade
Side Swept Undercut, by @conortaaffehair

Faux Hawk with Disconnected High Skin Fade

Combining two popular styles––the faux hawk and the disconnected haircut––this style has an edgy attitude that’s all its own.

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Layered Pompadour with Low Fade
@aaron_kiely_hair

Layered Pompadour

Pompadours typically have a shiny finish, but matte finish pompadours are rising in popularity. This offers a different look that’s a bit more contemporary.

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High and Tight High Skin Fade
High and Tight High Skin Fade, by @conortaaffehair

High and Tight High Skin Fade

The high and tight is a classic men’s haircut, and this updated version is perfect for fashion-forward guys who like mixing old and new styles.

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Low Drop Fade with Undercut
source

Low Drop Fade Undercut

This longer undercut uses a slicker finish and gradually faded sides, so it’s great for guys who like medium length hair. Best for thick hair.

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Side Swept Undercut + Faux Hawk + Angular Fringe
Side Swept Undercut + Faux Hawk + Angular Fringe, by @barberdeano

Drop Fade with Side Swept Undercut

If asymmetrical hair is your style, this haircut is an excellent option. It takes a simple undercut and builds on it with a long fringe that hangs to one side.

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Colored drop fade faux hawk
@z_ramsey

Dyed Drop Fade Fohawk

Faux hawks and dyed hair are always a good match. This style strategically uses a fade to place all the attention on the color of the hair on top.

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Drop Fade and Elephant Trunk
@barberiaharo

Drop Fade and Elephant Trunk

Here’s a simple drop fade with a small hint of asymmetry thanks to the small elephant trunk on the side.

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High and Tight Drop Skin Fade + Hair Design
High and Tight Drop Skin Fade + Hair Design, by @javi_thebarber_

Drop Fade With Design

Shaved designs are making something of a comeback, and this style shows just how creative you can get with this approach.

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dropfade-charliegray248
@charliegray248

Angular Drop Fade

This is a very unique twist on the drop fade. We especially like how the hair comes to a point in the back and forms a line straight down.

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Layered Pompadour with Hard Part
@menpeluqueros

Layered Pompadour with Hard Part

Here’s another matte pompadour that features a hard part for increased definition. There’s also a subtle line up, which is a nice touch.

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Faded Haircut with Tapered Neckline
Faded Haircut with Tapered Neckline, by @rumbarber

Drop Fade with Tapered Neckline

For guys with curly, matted hair, this fade haircut will work very well. Due to the tapered neckline, this style looks full even though the hair is quite short.

20/52
Disconnected undercut faux hawk
@z_ramsey

Disconnected Drop Fade Fohawk

This casual fohawk has the hair spiked for emphasis, while the disconnected sides help to frame the fohawk itself.

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Irregular Top with Swanky Mid Fade
@v.hugostyles

Irregular Top with Swanky Mid Fade

This highly textured style takes full advantage of a mid drop fade. Fades are great at adding contrast between the top and the sides, and that’s on display here.

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Tapered Dyed Drop Fade
@thatkris

Tapered Dyed Drop Fade

If you’re looking for something a bit bolder, try this one out. Featuring a dyed top and a sculpted drop fade, it’s an eye-catching look that’s great for the fashionable man.

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Subtle Drop Fade with Grizzly Top
@rorrothebarber

Subtle Drop Fade with Grizzly Top

Want something more subtle? Here’s an application of the drop fade that’s understated yet stylish. With the clean fade and wavy, textured top, this fade is a solid all-around haircut for any guy.

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Drop Fade with Fancy Neckline
@bodiabarber

Drop Fade with Fancy Neckline

This high-volume style is incredibly unique and definitely meant for the guy who wants to make a statement. The hair is styled almost into a faux hawk, while an around-the-ear drop fade and designer lines add contrast.

25/52
drop-fade-patty_cuts
@patty_cuts

Subtle Finely Taper Faded with Lengthy Top

Here’s a tidy, more formal haircut that’s an excellent choice for work or school. The defined part and clean fade make for a polished gentlemanly look.

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Drop Fade with Line Up Yes Please
@peteyrock_thebarber

Drop Fade with Line Up Yes Please

Along with the drop fade, the line up creates fine lines that add definition and tidiness to this overall style.

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Dyed Drop Fade with Subtle Taper
@jakfinchhair

Dyed Drop Fade with Subtle Taper

Unlike most of these styles, this drop fade is taken higher up the head for a more minimal look that creates more space and places the focus on the dyed top.

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Drop Faded with Messy Top
@nomadbarberbln

Drop Faded with Messy Top

Whether you have straight, curly, or even coiled hair, this messy drop fade style is a stylish option. The contrast between the unkempt top and the neat sides takes the classic undercut formula and adds a fresh change.

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Drop Fade with Afro Disconnection
source

Side Swept Undercut Drop

If you want a style that’s as fun and outgoing as you, give this side-swept cut a look. The hair on top is grown out until it’s almost at the chin, with the drop fade and hard part providing a definition.

30/52
drop fade
@blackfishbry

Furious Low Drop Fade

For a more classic look, you can go for a drop fade like this one. The hair on top is brushed up into a small pompadour, with the fade adding a modern flair.

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Modern Pomp Drop Fade
source

Modern Pomp Drop

This type of style––consisting of a tall pompadour or quiff with super short sides––has been all the rage in recent years. The addition of a dyed top makes this look even trendier.

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Subtle Drop Fade
@raduvitca

Subtle Drop Fade

Subtle yet impactful, this drop fade makes use of a thin hard part and a messy top to create a multi-dimensional style.

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drop-fade-2-anthonythebarber916
@anthonythebarber916

Straight Mid Fade

This is a straightforward, no-fuss haircut for the man who wants something that’s stylish but also relatively low maintenance and adaptable.

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Curly Top with Drop Fade
source

Curly Top with Drop Fade

If you have curly hair, you can rock some unique looks with a drop fade. Here, the drop fade offsets extremely messy curly hair.

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Low Fade Clean Simple
source

Low Skin Fade

Looking for something traditional? Check out this simple low drop fade that’s obviously retro-inspired yet still fashionable and fresh.

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Vivid Drop Fade with Simple Top
@xbigwesx

Vivid Drop Fade with Simple Top

Whereas most haircuts focus on the hair on top, this cut is mostly about the fade. The fade is expertly done, and a line up finishes off the look.

37/52
Drop Fade and Pompadour
@moohammad_hamze

Styled Pompadour

This style is for the guy who wants something that will make him stand out from the crowd. With an incredibly voluminous pompadour and a designer fade, this haircut is sure to turn heads.

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Pomp it Drop Fade

Pomp and Drop Fade

Old meets new with this pompadour style. The top is styled rather classically while the sides are drop faded, and the hard part is the cherry on top.

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Textured Top Skin Fade for Men
source

Textured Top Skin Fade

How can one not like this? It’s a mash of classics, a sweet taper fade on the side with top bring brushed up. All of it plus a whiff of the french crop on the forehead with line up being tapered but not strictly faded. All of that ending with a subtle stubble beard which is a nice touch to balance.

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Curly Top with Mid Fade
@the_ramsey

Curly Top with Mid Fade

Short curls will always be adored, I mean just look at that hairstyle as a whole, the top is all dense with sides being taper faded. The temple is totally faded that pulls attention on top with that crown volume that sits on top.

41/52
I Love My Fade and I Drop It Too
@benji_thebarber94/Instagram

I Love My Fade and I Drop It Too

Drop fade plus a short shave slit plus top that is very much casual and laid back is something to envy by others. The way to go is to add a slight brush up on top to give it more life and fade that temple just as he did and then see the change. Plus that shave is what you need for a cleaner look.

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Modern Side Brush Up with Lowest Drop Fade
@menpeluqueros

Modern Side Brush Up with Lowest Drop Fade

Modern Steve jobs, is that you? The top has so much more length and that thick hair strand offers more girth to the style. The sides are tapered with extra care towards the temple where it eventually fades. The line up is very short and just tapered a bit.

43/52
Casual Brush Up with Drop Fade
@ jessro_abq

Casual Brush Up with Drop Fade

Casual brush up with that drop taper fade is what makes this style so casual yet very trendy. The brush up is swayed on the sides making it very easy to pull off yet not very generic. Pair a temple fade just like this and it makes it look all cleaner, the shave makes a very clean move too.

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Chill Toss Top with Skin Fade
@gerrybarber

Chill Toss Top with Skin Fade

Clean fade with this lovely tosses top and with this clean drop fade makes one great look. All of that with those tattoos on that neat look makes everything look fancy.

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Pocky Brush up with Drop Fade
@andrewdoeshair

Pocky Brush up with Drop Fade

Low subtle Drop fade with this pocky brush up makes this style one crazy look. The sides are tapered to emphasize the brush-up. The beard here is one step thicker than stubble which brings out the haircut quite good.

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Pitch Perfect Drop Fade
@ marcovfialho

Pitch Perfect Drop Fade

Fades can be quite versatile especially with high low and medium height but this one is quite a unique yet common one. The drop texture goes all the way back which enhances the top quite well with the rounded pompadour.

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That Drop Fade with Brush Up
@ryancullenhair

That Drop Fade with Brush Up

Drop fade really knows how to enhance a sleeker look but that on its own won’t be that much effective as it does here. We see that brush up coming in hot for rescuing the look and making it look thicker with those standing strands.

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Lucifer Inspired Drop Fade with Pocky Temple
@faraz_rouhi_

Lucifer Inspired Drop Fade with Pocky Temple

The sharp looks of it are the main attraction points of this hairstyle. The temple is quite long with its uniquely sharp looks. The top is equally thick with its stranded look and the beard that is semi-faded comes in to play quite well.

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High Drop Fade with Slits
@faraz_rouhi_

High Drop Fade with Slits

Drop fade is a very neat hairstyle but when styled with different elements like the one here becomes one of the trendiest looks one would ever see. The slits here those elements that make everything quite cheeky with a slightly dyed and pushed back top make everything a tad more trendy.

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SIde Parted Thick Top
@ blackriverbarbershop

Side Parted Thick Top

This is definitely not your usual drop fade. The side is high in contrast with its taper fade and the top is also in contrast with its volume. The side part here is supported by this drop fade which makes everything quite neat yet stylish!

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High Faded Curled Top with Clean Shave
@jakfinchhair

High Faded Curled Top with Clean Shave

Undercut comes in different shapes and forms, the one we have here is high faded on sides with curled dense shag on the top. The key is to highlight it blonde dye and use the color sparingly. The temple fade enhances the clean shave look making it look neat.

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Side Brushed French Crop
@tmcuts

Side Brushed French Crop

A very neat yet trendy look here with a cheeky side brushed french crop making its way in the front with tapered sides there handling the neat boat quite well. Topping it off with a low faded drop fade for that last KO punch to the style.