4 Tips & Tricks For A Flawless Taper & Fade Haircut
A men’s cut might not cost as much as balayage does, but male clients are loyal and will consistently come to the salon every two weeks (versus every three plus months to refresh an old color!). We know tapers and fades can be intimidating, but once you have the skills down you’ll have access to a client base that’s guaranteed to keep your pockets lined.
BTC attended Wahl Professional’s first ever Pop-Up Academy in our hometown of Chicago taught by Wahl Education and Artistic Team Member Nieves Almaraz (@howtofadehair). Nieves gave us his expert tips for achieving a flawless taper and fade that will save you time behind the chair so you can bring in more money! Scroll down, for the deets!
1. Start With A Longer Blade
You always want to use a longer blade first when starting to taper or fade, over your shortest blade. If you start with a shorter blade first, you’ll end up creating a harsh line in the cut that will be harder to remove later.
To eliminate any confusion, the Wahl Professional 5-Star Mentor Detachable Blade Clipper comes with four detachable blades that are designed to be used in order from longest to shortest: 1A, 1, 0A and 000. This way your harshest line is created with the longer 1A blade, which is easier to blend out and optimizes the speed of the haircut.
2. Use The Corner Of The Blade
If you have trouble creating those seamless fades you see on Instagram, you might not be doing this. Nieves recommends using the corner of the blade when blending and fading. “A lot of people lay the blade flat [to the head]. They’ll end up cutting into the previous section or try to erase demarcation where it doesn’t need it, and create another [unwanted] line.”
3. A Softer Touch Is Key
Another way to avoid unwanted lines in your cut is the way you hold your clipper. “Be light with your clipper,” advices Nieves. “It’s almost like when your drinking a cup of water…you’re only tipping [the cup]. You’re not too aggressive and chugging.” Approaching the cut with a more delicate touch will assist you in getting a softer transition line, so you can immediately go in with your clipper over comb work versus wasting time trying to remove accidental lines.
4. The Line Up
After you’ve finished with your clipper work, that’s when the trimmers come out to clean up the perimeter of the cut. Nieves uses the Wahl Professional 5-Star Cordless Detailer to line up along the hairline and to remove the hairs along the neck.
He notes that the blade on front of the trimmers moves, so you don’t want to rake it across the skin during the clean up. That can cause unwanted abrasions or skin irritation. To avoid that, simply mark where you want to start with the moving blade, then flip the clippers over and go over the skin with the solid blade instead to prevent irritation.