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.
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:
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.
Drop Fade Pomp
This classy combination of a drop fade and a matte finish pompadour puts a few trendy twists on a classic look.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Disconnected Drop Fade Fohawk
This casual fohawk has the hair spiked for emphasis, while the disconnected sides help to frame the fohawk itself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Low Skin Fade
Looking for something traditional? Check out this simple low drop fade that’s obviously retro-inspired yet still fashionable and fresh.
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.
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.
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.
Textured Top Skin Fade
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.
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.
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.
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.