3 Fade Haircut Trends of 2023

The number 3 fade haircut has become a popular trend among men. This style features hair that is cut with a number 3 guard, which is approximately 10mm in length, at the sides and back of the head.

The hair gradually gets longer as you move towards the top of the head, creating a fade effect that is both stylish and versatile.

Number 3 Fade Haircut

This haircut is a great choice for those who want a low-maintenance style that still looks sleek and well-groomed. It is also a popular option for men with short to medium-length hair who want to add some dimension to their look.

Looking for the perfect haircut to rock this summer? Check out this Youtube video: “Skin Fade / #3 On Top Simple To Follow Haircut Tutorial (HD)” for a step-by-step guide to nailing the trendy 3 fade haircut.

You won’t regret learning this simple yet stylish cut!

What is a 3 Fade Haircut?

A 3 fade haircut is a popular men’s hairstyle that involves cutting the hair with a number 3 guard (10mm) at the sides and back of the head, gradually getting longer as it moves towards the top. The resulting fade or taper is a smooth transition between the shorter hair at the back and sides and the longer hair on top.

The number 3 haircut leaves the hair on top around 3/8-inch thick, which is the longest guard most barbers use for fade haircuts.

The use of a #3 guard at the start of the haircut makes it easier to blend the shorter and longer lengths of hair for a seamless fade. This haircut is versatile and can be customized to suit different face shapes and personal styles.

It is also low-maintenance and is a great option for those who want a stylish yet easy-to-maintain look.

3 fade haircut

The Evolution of Fade Haircuts

The fade haircut has been around for almost a century, and it has undergone various transformations over time. The history of the fade haircut dates back to the 1930s when electric trimmers were first invented.

However, it wasn’t until the 1940s and 50s that it gained worldwide recognition due to its adoption by the military for newly enlisted cadets to signify strength and discipline. The original style was a sharp and angular cut on the sides and back, almost to the skin level.

The 1960s saw the introduction of longer hair on top, popularized by the Beatles. The style had a tapered look, with shorter sides and gradually longer hair on the top.

This style was known as the mod cut, and it was prevalent in the UK.

The 1970s saw the popularization of afros, and the fade cut evolved to accommodate the style. The afro fade features a high top with a low fade cut on the sides and back, creating a distinct contrast.

In the 1980s, the style moved towards a more masculine and sharp look due to the rise of hip hop culture. The style, also known as the high top fade, was defined by a boxy, straight top with short, sharply tapered sides.

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The 1990s saw a revival of the classic fade, with the sides cut short, and the top kept relatively longer, and a shift towards a more textured and less formal look. In recent years, the hairstyle has been popularized by celebrities like Drake, Odell Beckham Jr., and David Beckham.

Different Types of Fades

Low Fade

A low fade is a popular trend and is perfect for men who prefer a short, clean cut. The hair is trimmed down to the skin at the bottom of the hairline, and it gradually fades into the longer hair on top.

A number 3 guard is used for the sides and back of the head. With this style, barbers usually create a slight arc around the ear to make it stand out a little more.

The low fade is ideal for men with round or oval-shaped faces.

Mid Fade

Mid fade haircuts have the hair gradually tapering to the skull’s crown, which makes the look more modern, especially when combined with contemporary cuts. This gives the hairline a clean, definitive split between the longer hair on top and the shorter hair on the sides.

The mid fade is typically used to add contrast to the hair on top, particularly when combined with other styles, such as slicked-back hair, quiffs, or messy styles. A number 3 guard is used for the sides and back of the head, but the fade can be blended into longer hair on the sides.

This style is ideal for men with oval, square, or heart-shaped faces.

High Fade

A high fade is a sharp style that creates a contrast between the hair on top and the shaved sides. This type of fade haircut usually reaches the crown of the head, creating a noticeable difference between top and bottom.

A number 3 guard is used for the sides and back of the head, with the hair trimmed close to the scalp starting from the eyebrows. The high fade is ideal for men with long, thin faces and offers a unique way to make a statement.

Top 3 Fade Hairstyles of 2023

Buzzcut with a Number 3 Fade

A buzzcut with a number 3 fade is a classic and low-maintenance hairstyle. The hair on top is cut evenly with a shorter buzz, while the back and sides are tapered with a number 3 guard.

This hairstyle is perfect for those who want a sharp and neat look. It goes well with facial hair too.

You can leave it as is or style it with a side-swept look or textured spikes.

Buzzcut with Number 3 Fade

Slicked-back Undercut with a Number 3 Fade

An undercut with a number 3 fade is a stylish and modern hairstyle. The hair on top is left longer, typically slicked back, styled, or combed over, while the sides and back are tapered with a number 3 guard.

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This hairstyle is popular among young men who want a trendy and edgy look. You can style the hair on top with a wet or messy look to add texture and depth.

Slicked-Back Undercut with Number 3 Fade

Textured Top Knot with a Number 3 Fade

A top knot with a number 3 fade is a versatile and practical hairstyle. The hair on top is styled into a bun, while the sides and back are faded with a number 3 guard.

This hairstyle works for both formal and casual occasions, and is perfect for those with longer hair who want to keep it out of their face. You can add texture to the bun for a messy, but polished look.

Textured Top Knot with Number 3 Fade

How to Get a 3 Fade Haircut

If you’re looking for a haircut that’s neat, trendy and easy to maintain, you might want to consider a 3 fade haircut. This style typically involves cutting the hair on the sides and back with a #3 guard, which is around 10mm in length.

Here’s how you can get a 3 fade haircut:

Tell your barber you want a number 3 on the sides and back

The first step is to let your barber know that you want a 3 fade haircut. Specifically, you should ask for a #3 guard to be used on the sides and back of your head.

This will ensure that your hair is cut short, but not too short. It’s also a good idea to let your barber know how high you want the fade to be.

Decide on the height of the fade

The height of the fade refers to how high the hair is cut on the sides and back of the head. There are three main types of fade haircuts: low, medium, and high.

With a low fade, the hair is cut very short near the ears and neckline. A medium fade involves a more gradual tapering, while a high fade involves cutting the hair very short almost to the top of the head.

Be sure to let your barber know which type of fade you prefer.

Discuss the length of the hair on top

The length of the hair on top of your head should be left longer than the hair on the sides and the back. When getting a 3 fade haircut, this typically means leaving the hair around 3/8 inch thick.

However, you can adjust the length as desired. Be sure to let your barber know how long you want the hair on top to be.

Overall, getting a 3 fade haircut is a simple process that can result in a stylish and low-maintenance look. Just make sure to communicate with your barber to ensure that you get the haircut you want.

The 3 Fade Haircut Maintenance

A 3 fade haircut is a stylish and low-maintenance haircut. However, it’s important to take care of it properly to keep it looking fresh.

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Here are some tips on maintaining a 3 fade haircut:

Regular Trims

To keep your haircut looking sharp, it’s recommended to trim it every 3-4 weeks. This will prevent the hair from growing too long and losing the fade effect.

If you prefer a longer hairstyle, opt for a higher number guard for the sides and back.

Use the Right Products

Invest in good quality hair products that work for your hair type. Use a shampoo and conditioner that keeps your hair looking healthy and doesn’t weigh it down.

If you prefer a textured look, consider using a matte finish styling product.

Protect from Sun Damage

Exposure to the sun can be damaging for the hair. The UV rays can cause hair to become dry and brittle, so it’s important to protect it by wearing a hat or applying a leave-in conditioner with SPF.

Don’t Overwash

Washing your hair every day can strip it of its natural oils and cause it to become dry and dull. It’s recommended to wash a few times a week and use a dry shampoo in between washes to absorb excess oil.

Regular Touch-Ups

To keep your fade looking fresh, it’s important to get regular touch-ups. This can include cleaning up the sideburns, neckline, and around the ears.

You can either go to your barber or do it yourself with a good quality trimmer.

By following these tips, you can maintain a stylish and low-maintenance 3 fade haircut. Remember to take care of your hair and enjoy your fresh new look!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of hair works best with a number 3 fade?

A number 3 fade is suitable for most hair types. It works best with hair that is not too curly or too thick.

How often do you need to get a number 3 fade?

It is recommended to get a number 3 fade every 2 to 3 weeks to maintain its sharp look.

Is a number 3 fade suitable for all face shapes?

A number 3 fade suits most face shapes, but it may not be the best option for those with a round face. It can make the face look wider.


The 3 fade haircut trend is a popular style among men that has been around for decades. It originated in the 1940s and 50s as a result of strict military grooming standards and has since evolved into various types of fades.

The number 3 fade in particular is a versatile haircut that leaves the hair on top around 3/8-inch thick and is the longest guard that most barbers use for fade haircuts. It is a great option for those who want a faded look without going too short.

Remember to communicate clearly with your barber about the specific style and height of fade you want. With proper maintenance, a fade cut can stay looking fresh for up to three days.

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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