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How To Maintain A Fade: Easy Time-Saving Touch-Up Tips

Man getting a fade haircut

A clean fade is a surefire way for any man to look attractive.


A fresh fade haircut only lasts three days tops before it starts to fade - no pun intended. 😉

When hair starts to grow over the tapered sides, that's pretty much it.

Sure, you can always go back to the barber's, but not unless you're Micheal B. Jordan or have an unlimited monthly subscription. In short, not everyone can afford the time or money to frequent the barbershop.

Read on to find out how to maintain your fade haircut at home by yourself.

Get A Mentor

I don't mean you should get a mentor to teach you how to cut fade haircuts. Rather you should find an icon or celeb that rocks fades to get some inspiration for yours.

Take care to see that your fav has a similar head structure to yours, or else the style might look entirely different when it's done.

My relatively recent inspiration was Steph Curry's bald fade at the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Lakers.

If you already rock a desired style of fade, that's alright. We'll get you straight to the fade haircut maintenance tips. 

How To Touch Up Your Fade Haircut At Home

man wearing red trousers

If you have already bought the best clipper for fades, you're probably wondering, "Why can't I just do it myself at home? The truth is, nothing is stopping you. But it's only advisable to go ahead with that thought if you really feel up to it.

Because in the end, you won't get results anywhere near what your barber will do, especially on your first try.

Now, are you feeling up for it? Well, let's get to it! 

1. Less Is More

Since you don't have years of barbering skills under your belt, you're better off cutting less hair on a single pass. You don't want to scrape off a large chunk of hair and end up having to cut Dwayne Johnson or Samuel. L. Jackson's signature hairstyle.

To avoid such costly mistakes, start with a larger than necessary clipper guard size, like using a #1 at the lowest point of the fade.

This way, you can tell how much hair is coming off or go through multiple passes without significant damage. Consequently, you'll build confidence as you touch up.

Also, it helps the barber have something to work with if things go wrong. But I believe you've got this!

2. Stick To The Sides

Now it's time to get to work. But don't get anxious or expect to see the same results as your barber.

Your area of focus will be from the bottom of your hairline, working it up to the temple or eyes. Follow the "steps" your barber has tapered for the fade.

Next, trim overgrown hairs off the top. With these small touch-ups, you'll maintain the dapper look of whatever fade haircut you're carrying.


Cutting above the sides or altering the perimeter will likely alter the look, and you'll then need a stylist to come to the rescue. Just remember you're better off "underdoing than overdoing it."

No one expects you to get a perfect fade - just taking little hair off the sides and top will go a long way.

3. Shave, Too

black man in shower shaving

If you've got facial hair, maintaining your fade probably isn't the only priority. Overgrown hair around the neck, eyebrow, and ears can drown a fade haircut.

If you're particularly hairy, regularly shaving these areas will get you more time out of your haircut.

Use a straight or DE razor, and you'll save time and money as you learn. If you're proficient with the razor - or once you are-, you can even line up your hairline after trimming. This way, you'd maintain a clean look till you have to visit the barber in two or three weeks. Or not!

How To Maintain A Fade Without Using A Clipper Or Razor

Treat Your Hair Right

If your hair is in top shape, it will carry a luster that accentuates your haircut. The point is, your haircut would look better if you treat your hair right.

Toss harsh hair moisturizers or shampoos in the bin and go natural. Your scalp would thank you.

Wash your hair daily with an organic conditioner to keep it soft and shiny. Restrict shampoos to weekly usage, so you don't strip your hair of essential oils and nutrients.

If you have an afro on top, a styling gel hold makes the fade cleaner and more stylish. If it's a low-cut fade, you can rock waves to add a classy touch. 

Brush Properly

man in white shirt brushing his hair

You know how you are told to always brush your hair, right?

Well, there's also overdoing it, especially to all my wave buddies. You don't need to brush your hair 100 times a day or for one hour to see results. What you likely end up doing when you overbrush is damage your hair and reduce its shine.

Focus on getting rid of knots and not how many strokes or minutes you've brushed. Using the right brush and technique also goes a long way.

The last thing I'd tell you about brushing to maintain a hairstyle is to wash your brush weekly.

I, for one, broke all these brushing rules when I was a teenager and had to deal with dandruff and hair loss in my early 20's. You don't want hair issues coming up when all you want to do is rock a killer faux hawk or temple fade. 

Get A Haircut

Sooner or later, you'll need to ask your barber to bake you a fresh fade haircut.

A good barber visit schedule is every 2-3 three weeks.

Perhaps only when you have a special occasion to attend, especially if you've perfected how to touch up a fade at home.

However, a trip to the barbershop allows your stylist to correct mistakes you've made during the touch-up, presenting you with a new canvas to work on. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best style of fade for black men?

The low fade is perfect for almost any occasion or profession if done right. The barber only tapers slightly above your hair and down the hairline. This simple cut gives you a classy and stylish look and can also be conservative. Also, it's the perfect style to cut your fro into a fade if it's your first time because you don't lose much of your hair. 

Is it difficult to do my own fade?

Yes, it can be tricky if you're also cutting your hair for the first time. But with confidence and accepting that you'll make slight (maybe even serious) mistakes, it can be a walk in the park. Start with a large clipper guard first to get the hang of the cutting process. If you'll fade the back of your head, then find a second mirror or ask a friend to help.

Use this guide on how to fade your own hair:

Wrapping Up

That's all for now on how to maintain a fade haircut.

And I hope it’d become easy to touch up your fade and stay dapper week in and week out with confidence and practice after you’ve read this review.

Don't forget to treat your hair right, and shave, trim, or shape your nose, eyebrow, and ear hair.

To your success!

So now, tell me, what was your first experience maintaining a fade like?

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