Articles > 5 Must-Know Tips For A Perfect Fade
Last updated: September 15, 2022

5 Must-Know Tips For A Perfect Fade


5 Essential Tips For Creating A Tapered Cut With Clippers

When it comes to cutting ultra-short hair, clippers can be really intimidating. That’s why Sport Clips National Artistic Director Stacia Kelley (@scissor_ensemble) is sharing how she uses a singular pair of clippers to create a seamless fade with plenty of texture on top.


Keep scrolling for inside access to some of Stacia’s best pro barbering techniques and go-to tools!


Slide to peep the Before & After!

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1. Determine which fade technique works best for the client’s face shape

Stacia uses this cheat sheet for planning the right shape for her clients:

  • Thinner forehead = build weight in the parietal area by maintaining the length and starting the taper a bit lower.
  • Wider forehead = go for a leaner look, bringing the hair shorter and higher up.


Pro tip: When it comes to consultation, remember that you’re the professional. A lot of times, clients will bring in pictures of their dream cut, and it’s perfectly okay to have an honest conversation with them about realistically tailoring that to their specific hair type and face shape.


Want to watch all of Stacia’s barbering techniques in action? Click here!


2. Start with strategic sectioning

For men’s grooming, proper sectioning is essential. Having a solid blueprint helps the cut stay organized and avoids over-cutting in certain areas of the hair. For this tapered, texturized cut, Stacia prefers sectioning above the parietal ridge and at the crown because she wants these sections to lay at their natural fall.



3. Expect some disconnection with this haircut

When stylists think of disconnected haircuts, their minds don’t think fade! But disconnected cuts aren’t always obvious and can actually do wonders for the end result.


For Stacia’s tapered cut, she isn’t looking for an all-around connected result—and that’s okay! “Disconnection has been really great in the hair industry because it’s allowed clients to have long lengths on top, but shorter lengths on the sides for versatility in their haircut,” Stacia says. “If it’s in the top and it’s not visible, it really brings a lot of texture.”



4. Prepare to cut primarily on dry hair

Stacia recommends using clippers on dry hair so you can always see the natural fall. The only time Stacia really considers wetting the hair is when she is working on the top, heavily textured sections where she’d like to have some added control.


Pro tip: Using a guard on sections that use a clipper size smaller than 1 won’t actually cut anything. Save a guard for longer sections.


For more on-demand cutting education, enroll in BTC University!


5. Maintain body position to establish control & direction

Stacia warns that your body position will change A LOT when creating a fade with clippers. “Ergonomics are incredibly important,” she says. For example:

  • When you start to move higher up in the fade, hold the clipper like a pencil for greater control.
  • When de-bulking and detailing, hold the clipper sideways at a 90 degree angle and blend using the fine tooth edge—like point cutting with a different tool!
  • When working on the top, overdirect the hair backward and straight up from the head.


Stacia cuts toward her body, overdirecting the hair back to add length to the front of the hair.


Click here to learn Stacia’s entire method for a perfect, textured fade!

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