The Under-Cut Vs. The Fade – What’s the Difference?

under cut fade

A good haircut instantly changes the way you look. So, you need to carefully pick a hairstyle before visiting your hairstylist. Of the numerous hairstyles, the undercut and the fade have become quite popular in the 21st as they are followed by most of the celebrities. 

So, in this article, we’ll talk in detail about both the haircuts and also the differences between them. Once you know the difference, it will be much easier for you to know which one suits you the best.

What is an Under-Cut?

The under-cut is a new trend that is popular among celebrities across the world. It is basically a hairstyle where the sides and the back of your head is closely shaved while the top remains voluminous. 

It is pretty easy to get an undercut at home. All you need is a design you can rely upon and just go for it. The common trend in the under-cut these days is to keep the hair on the top portion of the head longer than the hair on the sides and the back.

Anyone with thick and healthy hair can just go for this haircut, as this hairstyle requires you to have thick hair on the top. If you are a newbie, it would be smart to go to a barber for this cut, since he will be able to do it better than trying it on your own . Also, once you have the basic outline of the cut, it will be easier for you to re-do it at home and trim it to shape.

Caution: if you end up screwing up your undercut, a buzz-cut is the only other alternative. So, be prepared!

How to cut an Under-Cut?

Now that you have decided to get an undercut, the next step is to actually know how to do it.

To cut the perfect under-cut you will need:

  • A comb
  • A pair of scissors
  • A mirror
  • Clippers
  • A trimmer

Step 1

While it’s damp, attempt to divide your hair into sections. The hair on the top of the head then needs to be combed in a way that there is enough room for you to create a parting. This parting between the top portion and the portion from where the cut actually starts mostly coincides with the temple line. The thinner the portion of hair on the top, the more Mohawk your style will look.

Step 2

Now make a part at the back of your head, this should be the same height as the sides. After you have decided the parting and have parted the hair properly on the sides and the back, using a trimmer start to remove hair, along the parting line.

Note: Be very careful while following the part line, because one mistake and a buzz-cut look will be the only alternative for you.

Step 3

It is very important to detail your undercut after trimming it on the sides and back. This means that where the hair had originally parted, the edges of that are made sharper and well defined. This distinguishes it from a normal buzz cut. The important thing to remember here is that you should follow your natural hair-line as much as possible.

Step 4 

To get the perfect look, the last step is to set the hair. The most common way to set it is by choosing pompadour style. To achieve this, the idea is to comb the hair in a backward and an upward direction. Then, in the end apply some gel or pomade to set your hair and style into place. Your look is complete.

Alternatively, you could also try various types and styles while giving yourself an under-cut.

5 Best Under-Cut Styles for Men

Here are some of the best undercut hairstyles we have got for you, so you can take some inspiration from them and choose the best cut for you. Take a look!

1. Slicked back under-cut

Slicked back under-cut

This is a classic hairstyle and is also very easy to create. You just have to let the hair on the top of the head be long and combed backwards. You can use a gel or a pomade to make sure that the hair stays in place. In this look, the sides of the undercut are highlighted as compared to the back of the head, because at the back there may be some hair, which may cover a part of the under-cut.

2. The disconnected under-cut

The disconnected under-cut

This hairstyle is very simple to create and gives a scintillating look once done. In this hairdo, there is a visible difference between the hair on the top of the head, and the sides, back. You can get this demarcation just by defining the partition properly.

3. The side parted under-cut

The side parted under-cut

The side parted under-cut is funky and best suits you if you want to try something new. In this the hair on the top of the head is long and hence can be styled in any way that you like. If you do a side part with the hair on the top then you can easily get this look.

4. Straight under-cut

Straight under-cut

This is a great look for men who have naturally straight hair. For this look, your hair must be a little damp. Then, you just have to run a brush and a blow dryer through your hair strands. This will make your hair set properly and fall naturally on your undercut.

5. Bangs with an under-cut 

Bangs with an under-cut 

This is one of the trendiest hairstyles in the undercuts. If you have thick and long hair, cutting them into bangs is one of the best options. In this hairstyle, the hair on the top is long and is brushed forward to create beautiful fringes.

What is a Faded Haircut?

The fade is another style which is extremely popular and is somewhat similar to an under-cut. It was popularly worn by the US military in the 40’s and 50’s. It made a come-back in the pop culture of the 90’s and is rocking it. The French Prince of Bell Air, Will Smith, are all wearing the fade and they look great.

The speciality of this fade haircut is that it can be clubbed with almost any other hairstyle. So, it is very popular and is still being worn by men world-wide. It suits all men with any face shape and hair texture.

Among all the fade cuts, the taper, low fades, high fades, medium fades and skin fades, all are extremely popular and are the most preferred ones across the globe.

Essentially, when variable lengths of hair are blended in together in some sort of way, it is known as a fade. These varying lengths can be coloured in different colours or can also be left natural. Either way, it creates a great effect and looks quite fantastic on a lot of men.  

How to Cut a Fade Haircut?

Unlike the undercut,It is not very easy to attain a fade at home. So, we recommended getting it done professionally by a stylist or a barber. The varying lengths which form the essence of the faded look may be a little difficult to achieve for some people.

If you still wish to give it a go, here’s how:

You will need:

  • A comb
  • A pair of scissors
  • A Trimmer
  • A clipper

Step 1

Start by trimming the top of the head with a pair of thin scissors. If there are any bangs, trim them too, make the hair on the top to an even length as much as possible.

Step 2

Next, trim the sides and also the hair on the back. This is where the faded look will actually appear. Now, using a trimmer, buzz the hair on the sides and the back, in such a way that the hair on the top of the head is much longer when compared to the ones near the neck and temples.

Step 3

Now, you will have to buzz the hair in layers. Here, the top of the head will have a maximum amount of hair. After that, the hair which is there on the crown of the head needs to be buzzed, but kept a little on the longer side. 

Step 4

The next step is to go step by step and buzz hair in each layer, and these layers must be selected according to your preference of the length.

Step 5

Set the hair on the top of the head properly. This must be in a way that you think suits you best. Then, blow dry your hair to have the desired faded look.

Check out this video to know about getting a perfect fade cut every time – 

5 Best Faded Hair Styles

Apart from the basic fade, we are offering you with a list of some of the trendy and unique fade cuts that every man can try on.

1. The Faded Taper

The Faded Taper

This hairstyle is a combination of a taper and a fade. In this haircut,  the hair on the top is set in a manner that there is a little puff. Also, the hair tends to become small and neat as the cut reaches the neckline. As this haircut has a nice pattern, this look is great for office wear and professional purposes.

2. The low faded look

Low fade with designs

This haircut  is called the low as the hair on the side and back is kept lower than usual. This is a soft haircut and suits most men.

3. The Mid Faded Look

The mid faded look

In this haircut, the fade starts from between the temples. This means the hair starts to become smaller right after your ears. Different lengths are what define the perfect faded look.

4. The High Faded Look

The high faded look

This faded look is exactly how it sounds. In this, the hair near the neck is completely shaved and then layers are worked upward. After this haircut, the top of the head has the most amount of hair, making it look voluminous.

Difference Between an Under-Cut and a Fade Haircut

Now that you know what exactly is an undercut and a fade and how do you get those, you will now know the basic difference between them, so you’re never confused.

The most common and visible  difference between an under-cut and a fade lies in the fact that the hair is cut much shorter in length in an undercut than in the fade cut.

However, there is one in common between the two. Both of these can be created in different ways and styles each and every time.

Some other differences:

  • In an undercut the hair is short while in a faded cut, the hair is cut in layers.
  • In an undercut, the short hair is buzzed to the shortest possible length. In a faded look, the layers are buzzed in varying lengths till you get the desired look.


As you might have noticed, there aren’t many differences between undercut and fade cuts as both the styles look fairly similar. Yet, they are different because of the effect they create once the haircut is done. Both styles are great and should be tried by you if you are looking for a quirky and unique outlook. Tell us in the comment section, which hairstyle you like the most and why!


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