The temple fade is more than just a call back to the early ‘90s, it’s an exercise in individuality by incorporating the unique shape of your temples for the final look of this hairstyle. No two temple fades are created equal, and as we will see in these next photos, the only thing limiting your creativity is your imagination.

Having been made infamous by the Jersey Shore’s DJ Pauly D, the temple fade was once relegated to the fringes of the modern hairstyle world for years, only to be crowned king, and then quickly dethroned again within a television season. Yikes!

Let’s take a look at some instances where this hairstyle has been worn right!

Tapered Sides with Temple Fade
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Tapered Sides with Temple Fade

This temple fade is a great way to add contrast and separation between the facial hair and head hair; as well as drawing attention to the recesses of the two.

Worn like this, it’s helping you achieve a younger look,  seeing as the ability to grow a full beard up to the temples is seldom found in men younger than 24.

Neat Line Up and Temple Fade
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Neat Line Up and Temple Fade

Maintaining your clean-cut style sets you apart from other men. It says that you take yourself seriously and pay attention to details. This temple fades add to his hairstyle by taking an already clean-cut look and making it look even cleaner.

Remember there’s nothing wrong with always trying to look your best, it shows that you recognize that others will value you when you first value yourself.

Temple Fade with Curly Top
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Temple Fade with Curly Top

A temple fade with a short, curly top might just be Justin Timberlake’s most well-known look. He wore that style for years during his Nsync days.

As iconic as he was with that look, in more recent years he’s gone over to having a slick back top and rocking stubble. No matter, we feel it still has its place in hairstyle history.

High Volume Top with Neat Line Up
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High Volume Top with Neat Line Up

Not all temple fades were created equal. This variation sweeps downwards past the ears, giving the hair a vigorously wind-swept look.

As hair around the ears tends to increase perspiration, this sportier style fits well on the sandy, sunny beaches of Cabo San Lucas or at a regional finals track meet.

Neat Side Swept with Faded Temple
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Neat Side Swept with Faded Temple

As we’ve seen on this list, the temple fade pairs extremely well with a longer top. The disheveled, wild look of a longer top goes together with a temple fade like peanut butter and chocolate.

Perhaps it’s the contrast of worlds, the free-spiritedness of full-bodied hair with the militant, always regimented buzz cut of the temple fade. A match made in heaven if ever there was one.

Related
Curly Mullet with Casual Top
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Curly Mullet with Casual Top

This style is a hodgepodge of various other looks and hairstyles. The front says business, the back says let’s party like it’s 1979. The sides say “sir, yes sir”, while the facial hair screams “the Northmen cometh!”

There’s not one single vibe to describe this look, but a series of several feelings strung up and posted on a billboard. If you’re a talker, then this style will definitely attract attention you crave.

Wavy Brushed Up Top with Temple Fade
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Wavy Brushed Up Top with Temple Fade

If your a fan of comic books, namely Superman this next style serves as a grand homage to the man of steel’s mild-mannered alter ego Clark Kent.

Whether attending socials or business meetings at the daily planet, this temple fade will keep your look clean-cut as can be and ensure that you won’t piss off your editor-in-chief.

Short Top with Short Fringe
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Short Top with Short Fringe

If Norman Reedus had sported a temple fade in the Boondock Saints, he would have had a similar look to this one(save the nose ring).

Like we’ve said before, a well-placed temple fade can turn a casual fashionista hairstyle into a sportier packaged two-seater look with the top down.

Wavy Texture with Gentle Temple Fade
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Wavy Texture with Gentle Temple Fade

For those of us who aren’t particularly fond of sharp contrast hairstyles, this temple fade is born of a softer gradient. The more gradual contrast lends itself to a more natural look here.

I say natural, but should you find yourself stranded on a desert island for years on end, I think you’ll find your hair naturally looking more like Tom Hanks’ hair in Castaway and less like this. Remember to thank your stylist next time to see them.

Sharp Side Swept with Undercut Temple Fade
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Sharp Side Swept with Undercut Temple Fade

Here we see two worlds colliding, the temple fade undercutting longer sides. It’s a very clean, delicately crafted look that puts your barber’s skills on display and makes you into a masterpiece.

Pairs well with either a scruffy or neatly trimmed beard, the former showing contrast while the latter shows to the world that every square inch of this facade has been intentionally sculpted.

High Volume Top with Thin hair
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High Volume Top with Thin hair

Longer, thinner hair in most cases has the tendency to look “messier.” That’s fantastic if that’s the look you’re going for.

If you find yourself searching for a sort of middle ground, adding a sharp fade to the base of the sides serves to clean up your style a bit as if adding borders around freedom like confining a rushing river behind a levee or dam.

Side Swept Long Strands
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Side Swept Long Strands

Long side-swept strands were all the rage amongst teens of the 1990s, just look at Edward Furlong in the movie Terminator 2.

If you’ve always wanted to sport this look but don’t want it to look so dated, you can try garnishing the bottom sides with a fade to make it look more 2020.

Afro Temple Fade with Mid Fade
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Afro Temple Fade with Mid Fade

Eddie Murphy wore a similar hairstyle in Beverly Hills Cop 3, although the top wasn’t as long. The mid fade is a fantastic way to take an already famous hairstyle and make it sharper.

Fading the sides down to the skin also carries the added bonus of making it look more fresh, making you look like a man who never misses his barber appointments.

Low Key Temple Fade with Pushed Back Top
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Low Key Temple Fade with Pushed Back Top

Jessie James (the custom bike designer not the outlaw) popularized the slick back hair with tattoos look in recent years. It’s become the Nuvo biker look and a brother to the other long-haired biker look that has been more widely known for many more years.

Here we see that adding a temple fade can clean the look up a bit while still maintaining it’s a tough exterior persona.

Subtle Temple Fade with Low Key Top
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Subtle Temple Fade with Low Key Top

Many of our servicemen are required to sport a hairstyle that is both functional and unobtrusive to their line of work.

This next style is great if your job requires you to be constantly on the alert, giving you as little intrusive hair as possible without needing to rock a buzz cut. Thank you for your service.

Casual Top with Taper Faded Temple
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Casual Top with Taper Faded Temple

We touched on the subject of military haircuts briefly in the last photo. And while different branches have different requirements, across all the branches of the armed services there is the consensus that hair cannot touch the ears, eyebrows or the neck of an active-duty serviceman.

This hairstyle would be a great addition to that line up so long as the top is kept shorter than 4 inches (a requirement for some branches of the military).

Neat Temple Fade with Side Swayed Top
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Neat Temple Fade with Side Swayed Top

This next style is great for rockabilly fans the world over. As rockabilly does at times cross over into the world of punk, it also works for punk fans who are at the wife or husband and two kids stage of their lives.

From rebels and punks with teen angst to cogs in the machine, when did staying home and going to bed early become goals instead of punishments?

Classy Top with Neat Temple Fade
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Classy Top with Neat Temple Fade

We can see in this next hairstyle that The era of Elvis, the king himself, is not dead. Even though the Godfather of rock didn’t himself adorn a beard, I don’t think he’ll be terribly offended if you choose to.

Temple Fade and Tapered ‘Fro
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Temple Fade and Tapered 'Fro

This next style was sported by none other than boxing’s greatest Muhammad Ali. Although Ali generally kept his sides a bit longer than we see in this example.

The stronger taper and fade make it appear a bit more modern while also staying as timeless as a Rolex Submariner.

Dramatic Temple Fade with Designer Taper
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Dramatic Temple Fade with Designer Taper

Having your stylist shave designs into your fade takes having a stylist with talent. Some of these can be expensive ranging from adding an additional $5 to $35 to the overall cost of the haircut, but on the other hand, they can create a look that stands out and is uniquely you.

In this instance, we see an exemplary fade design that utilizes the natural curvature of the scale to create this design that flows like music visualized.

Where Did The Temple Go?
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Where Did The Temple Go?
Neat Temple Fade with Curly Top
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Neat Temple Fade with Curly Top
Smoking Kills if Ignited
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Smoking Kills if Ignited
My Temple is Lost
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My Temple is Lost
Modern Temple Fade
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Modern Temple Fade
Temple Fade or Mullet, Both Please
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Temple Fade or Mullet, Both Please
Have You Seen My Temple?
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Have You Seen My Temple?
Afro Temple Fade with Faded Sides
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Afro Temple Fade with Faded Sides
Curled Top with Vanished Temple
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Curled Top with Vanished Temple