Articles > Styling > Improve Your Skin Fades & Clipper Art With These Tips
Last updated: April 02, 2021

Improve Your Skin Fades & Clipper Art With These Tips

Watch & Learn How 3 Wahl Professional Artists Approach Fading

Are you a barbering beginner wanting to learn how to fade or a seasoned pro wanting to go over the basics? Whatever your starting point, there’s something here for you. From creating a low fade versus a skin fade to freehanding designs in the hair, watch how three Wahl Professional artists approached the same technique in three VERY different ways! 


Wahl Professional Select Team Member Taylor Leven (@by.taylorleven), Wahl Pro 1919 Creative Director Jamie Digrazia (@jamiedigrazia) and Wahl Pro Artist Team Member Tina Sapia (@sapiathebarber) demonstrated everything you need to know about fading and creating graphics in your clients hair with the help of Wahl Pro National Director of Education Lisa Finucane (@lisafin1). Keep scrolling to grab the tips and check out the finished looks, plus don’t forget to watch the full tutorial!


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Wahl 5-Star Cordless Senior Vs. Magic Clip

Wahl Professional 5-Star Magic Clip is the easiest clipper to use for beginners, because it features a staggered tooth blade that produces a diffused line of demarcation that’s easy to blend and eliminate lines. The Wahl Professional 5-Star Cordless Senior has a powerful motor that allows it to remove hair quicker, but it requires a light touch or you can remove too much. Jamie recommends using the Cordless Senior with a #2 guard to remove bulk and using the 5-Star Magic Clip to fade.


Check Out The Before & After By Taylor!

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Use The Light To Help You Fade

Taylor started her fade by first removing bulk using shears, before going in with the 5-Star Magic Clip clippers. She used a #2 guard with the lever open to start removing hair in the back and gradually closed the lever for a closer cut.


To create a low fade on her model, she started off with a line using the Wahl Professional 5-Star Detailer before blending it out with the 5-Star Magic Clip using no guard and with the blade open. Taylor notes that a fade only exists because of the way lights hits the hair. So when fading it’s important to position the head outward to allow the light to flow through so you can see the fade clearer.


Note: Remind your clients that short hair can be a lot of maintenance. So if they’re not willing to come in every two weeks, don’t recommend they get a skin fade or a line up. Talk to your clients about the grow out process to avoid any awkward stages and retain loyal customers.


Check Out The Before & After By Jamie!

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Finding The Fade Line

Fading isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of haircut. It needs to be customized for each individual client. Jamie uses the client’s head shape to determine where the fade line is going to start. To do this, she places a comb beside the client’s head and wherever the comb leaves the head is the high fade zone. Then she takes her hand and places a finger where the high fade should be, another where the mid fade starts at the temple area even with the eye and another where the low fade is at the side burn area.


Pro Tip: When fading, push the clippers straight up and let the client’s head push the clippers away. Don’t turn the clippers into the hair or you’ll cut everything the same length.


Check Out The Before & After By Tina!

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Mastering The Bald Fade

Tina bald faded the neck and the side burns on her model in two steps. She first started with the blade closed all the way and brought it down to a certain length to create a line of demarcation, then opened the blade completely and faded the line out.


To make things easier, she doesn’t create a line before fading. Instead Tina starts off her cut with a long clipper attachment before transitioning down to no guard so she can control where the fade is going to go. It might take longer than creating a line and fading it out, but it’s an easy way for beginners to get used to the technique.


Pro Tip: You have more control over the cut by moving around the head, instead of taking things in sections. It also helps you keep track of where you are in the haircut.


Wahl Professional Artists Jamie Digrazia, Taylor Leven and Tina Sapia with Wahl Pro National Director of Education Lisa Finucane!


3 Tips For Creating Graphics

When creating designs in the hair Taylor likes to use the 5-Star Detailer, because they cut nicely straight out of the box without having to adjust them. She recommends beginners to hold the clipper like a pencil with your fingers close to the edges of the blade for more control.


So, how do you decide where to add the design? Jamie follows the grain of the client’s hair and the head shape when she freehands her lines. The first shape starts off the foundation of the design and the shapes after add in more details. If you’re not advanced enough to freehand, use a white pencil or eyeliner to mark off where you want the lines to go.


If you want sharp, crisp lines try flipping the 5-Star Detailer upside down. Tina uses the corners of the blade to create the first line and cut the top of the hair, before flipping the clipper upside down and going back over the line to cut the bottom for a crisp look.


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