6 Fast Facts About The Fade — One Of The Most Enduring Haircuts Of Our Time

By Dianna Mazzone via Allure Magazine

Angelo Deligio | Mondadori Portfolia via Getty Images

What began as a military haircut in the 1940s has been elevated to an art form, largely by Black and Latinx barbers—plus a few NBA players and pop stars. The fade just keeps getting better with time.


Clipper lengths required for a smooth fade. Some barbers use upwards of 10 settings, plus a straight razor, for perfect lineups.

2 ¼

Length in inches that hair on males may not exceed under current United States Air Force regulations. Per a memorandum released in September, hair must have a “tapered appearance on both sides and the back of the head.”


Approximate likes on a tweet featuring a photo of a so-called quarantine fade (as in, an endearing but not-so-successful attempt at a DIY haircut under social-distancing orders).


The jersey number for former New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, who, in 2013, has the Adidas logo carved into the bottom half of his hi-top fade cut. Due to an NBA rule that states players may wear logos on their shoes only, Shumpert has to remove it, leaving an empty triangle on the back of his head.


Degree of the sloped fade singer Bobby Brown debuts in 1989, which comes to be known affectionately as “the Gumby,” the rumored result of an accident caused by Brown’s barber.


Year in which Grace Jones releases the album Warm Leatherette, marking her first appearance with a fade—perhaps Jones’s most iconic look.