How to Do a Fade Haircut with Clippers

How to Do a Fade Haircut with Clippers: Step-By-Step by Yourself

As a fade cut enthusiast, you might wonder how much getting such a cut at a barbershop may cost across different localities or quality of the shop.

It can cost between $10 to $100 based on some variable factors, and it’s without considering the frequent maintenance that’s going to be piled up on that.

Therefore, I present to you today the most convenient and straightforward method of ‘how to do a fade haircut with clippers & a step-by-step by yourself’ guideline.

With the right tools, some patience and acquired technique, you’ll be able to save all of that money and give yourself the perfect and most unique fade cuts each time!

Tools Required for a Fade Haircut

There are some tools you need to keep at your disposal to nail the fade haircut of your desire. I’m mentioning them so that you can set these around you when you sit yourself down for the cut!

With these tools, you’ll be ready to move on to my step-by-step self-cut guide!

Step-by-Step Fade Haircut Guide

I’ve broken down the self fade cut guide into eight comprehensive sections. Even professional barbers follow these steps and now you can mimic them to style up your hair into the world of fashion!


The preparation phase urges you to situate yourself somewhere in front of a mirror, a desk to keep your tools at and a place where cleaning up a hairy mess won’t be an issue.

Fade Cut Hair Wash

Once there, make sure to wash your hair with shampoo so that there’s no residue left when you start performing the haircut.

Dry the hair with a towel because not all of the hair clippers are waterproof and damp hair can cause uneven cuts which you’ll realize once everything dries up.

Choose Your Fade Style

It’s now time for you to decide which height of fade you want your haircut to include. Fade options are high, low, medium or you can simply taper around with the shortest possible cut.

High Fade

You can simply pick out a haircut number and opt for that length on the sides with a longer one up top. Fades are then included on top of it for style enhancement.

Start with the Longest Guard

Time for us to start trimming! For this, pick out the largest guide comb out of the different clipper guard sizes.

Fade Cut Guide Comb

By the longest, I’m suggesting something between a #4 or a #5 guide comb. Anything longer than this would work, but wouldn’t explicitly look like an authentic fading cut.

The guide combs that come with my suggested clippers are accurate in maintaining the length. If your clipper doesn’t have guide combs, you’ll have to make a separate purchase from the market.

Apply a Primary Trim

Once you’ve attached your guide comb, take your time and start trimming your hair off from the top.

Fade Cut Basic Trimming

Go from front to back and follow along the direction of hair growth. That way, you won’t accidentally trim too short from the point there’s no way to come back.

You’ll have to evenly get this cut out all over your scalp, even around your sides. Once there, you’ll be ready for the next step!

Begin the Fade

Now, if you’ve picked a particular fade style, time to apply them around your sides. To apply a self-fade, you’ll need some skill with the clipper which you can muster over time and with some practise.

Fade Cut with Adjustment Lever

Go for a guide comb #2 or #3 and start at the bottom of your side hair. Climb your way upward and perform the pull away animation as you reach toward the top.

If your clipper has an adjustment lever, things will get easier for you. Simply increase the cutting length as you climb up and this will automatically craft out a neat fade for you.

Use smooth and even strokes, don’t drag the clipper all the way up from the bottom. Such strokes will ensure your hair is evenly cut around the sides.

Create the Transition

You’re at a point where your top hair is slightly longer than the side hair and it looks sharp from the offset.

Fade Transition

So, you have to pick a hair clipper size between your longer cut and the fade cut. For instance, if you trimmed your top hair with a #5 guard and the sides with a #3, you’ll now have to opt for a #4 guard.

The motion I mentioned earlier during fading, it’ll come to play again this time and you’ll require a higher degree of precision to do things right.

This animation is called a ‘scoop motion’. With the guard attached, target the sharp, slightly longer hair area up top to trim it down at a length placed in between the previous two lengths.

That way, once you’ve finished, your hair will look smooth and neat without any area popping out as an eyesore.


The detailing phase implies outlining your hair and cleaning out the neck as well as behind the ear hair.

Fade Cut Detailing

You can either select a dedicated edge-up clipper or simply remove the guide comb from your fading clipper.

During cleaning up, don’t cut too much as it can ruin the shape of your hair. If you need to even out the top hair, this time use a comb and a pair of scissors for that purpose.

Check & Make Adjustments

Now both of your mirrors will come into play. Use both of the mirrors to check for uneven cuts or lines or discrepancy in the fades you’ve done.

Look for the evenness of the fades at both sides. If you find anything sticking out, make necessary adjustments to make everything look seamless!

Some Tips for the Perfect Fade

I’d now like to leave you with some basic tips you can apply while doing your fades. Most of you may know these already, I’d still like to iterate these for newly grooming enthusiasts.

  • Take Your Time: You don’t have to rush the process. Be patient and take all the time you need. If you keep on checking your progress and keep making adjustments, you’ll be able to refine your cut in a better way.
  • Blend Gradually: The more gradually you shift between your clipper guard sizes, the smoother your blends will be. So make sure to touch down on every guide size in between the gradients to squeeze out a neat look!
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: You have to practice your skills with clippers and different cutting animations. Only then you can reach a self-cut outcome for a fading cut matching the quality of a professional barber!

If you’re not confident with yourself, try out the cut on someone else at first.

Your Fade Haircut Maintenance

Once you’ve finished with your fade and gloating about it out in public, you must know there are some maintenance duties to follow to keep the cut in shape!

Regular Trims

Since fades are very short, you’ll find your hair growing out very quickly! Schedule your trim dates between 2 to 4 weeks depending on your hair growth to keep it clean!

Scalp Care

Fades expose your scalp to sunlight and dust all around you. So your scalp requires extensive protection like wearing a hat or applying sunscreen lotions.

On top of that, regularly wash your scalp to remove all of the dirt, otherwise it might hinder your hair growth or cause hairfall.


Never hold yourself back from experimenting! Once you get outside your comfort zone, you’ll be able to create new and modern renditions of fades to dazzle your friends!

Concluding Remarks

So, I hope this ‘how to do a fade haircut with clippers step-by-step by yourself’ article will guide you to land your perfect fade that you always wished to have!

With some practice, proper tools and a lot of patience, applying a fade cut on yourself is going to become a straightforward affair for you.

Imagine all the money you’re going to save and experimental cuts you’d be able to draw out to outshine all the generic cuts.

You could even give out fade cuts to your friends, family or close relatives and become the next master of the local block!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Protection Status
Scroll to Top