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Last updated: November 24, 2020

3 Tips for a Tapered Fade

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3 Tips for a Tapered Fade

What’s the secret to achieving a cool-guy tapered fade? For Matty Conrad (@mattyconrad) aka “The World’s Most Interesting Barber” and founder of Victory Barber & Brand, it’s all in the blending. We stopped by Matty’s class at the International Salon & Spa Expo 2019 in Long Beach, Calif. to get his expert tips on how to achieve a seamless fade using clippers and we are sharing all the deets. Scroll down for everything we learned!



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The Flick of the Wrist

To preserve length at the top while also blending, take note of your wrist motion—the movement of the clippers up the client’s head is the most important motion, Matty says. Here’s how to do it:

  • Keep your working elbow down, close to your body
  • Smoothly flick your wrist while holding the clippers.


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Matty Conrad onstage at the International Salon & Spa Expo



Use the Skip-Guard Method As A Working Guide

Creating levels in your fade will help create a working guide that can be followed up the haircut, from nape to crown. Matty taught the “skip-guard” method onstage and explained it as follows:


  • Beginning at the nape, start with your razor at a No. 1.
  • Depending on the depth of the fade, work the razor up into the hair, creating about a 1-inch level.
  • After creating that section, change the guard on the clippers to a 2 and begin another section right above the previous clipped section.


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Matty Conrad onstage at ISSE 2019 in Long Beach, Cali.


Brush and Blend

When a client has hairs that won’t cooperate (like growing sideways for example,) Matty suggests using a small brush like the Victory Barber & Brand Barber’s Brush to blend hairs into your clippers. Unlike a comb, Matty explains, a soft bristled brush is more comfortable to your client and is small enough to grab all the tiny hairs that just won’t line up with clippers. Keep in mind, “brushing is blending.”


Scroll through to see more of Matty onstage! 


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