“The Fade”: Haircut made popular in the ‘90’s gaining popularity among African American Youth
SUN Spotlight On: Faheem's Hands of Precision
Owner: Faheem Alexander
2100 South 20th Street (20th and Snyder Streets)
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Appts: Between Monday and Tuesday, 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM; Wednesday 8:00 AM to Noon and 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM; Thursday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Friday to Sunday, 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Appointments and Walk-in welcome
Specialties: Classic Haircuts for men, women and children; Spa Services, Beauty and Personal Services
Facebook: Faheem's Hands of Precision
By Leah Fletcher
Although men of all races wear the fade, it is most commonly viewed as a popular African American hairstyle. One of the most basic haircuts available in most barbershops, it is worn by men of all ages, and increasingly becoming a trend among teens. The fade comes in a few different styles, but the general appearance of any fade is that the hair starts out longer near the top of the head and gradually fades in length down the sides.
The fade haircut was made popular predominantly in the '90s, but it was gaining fans in the '80s as well. According to South Philadelphia barber Wes Riley, many African Americans were leaving the era of Jheri curls and Afros for a cleaner-cut look. "The fade is noted for its simple style, and can go from the office to the streets," said Riley, who is a manager at Faheem's Hands of Precision. "It is easy to modify to suit the shape and size of a person's head."
Fade hairstyles come in different types explained Riley. The regular fade can be short, medium or long. The short fade, commonly referred to as the bald fade, features really short hair that is low to the head. Another type is the tapered Caesar fade, a partial fade that works with medium to short hair. This is a variation because only key parts of the head of hair are faded. Fades come in more kinds, all with minor changes to these basic types. Some men get intricate design cut into their fades, a declining trend in Riley's opinion, and some taper more conservatively. The teens, according to Riley, like short fades with curly tops or short Afro fades.
The bald fade is achieved when the customer desires his hair very short. The hair on the top of the head is the longest and the bottom edges of the head are bald. The hair gradually blends from no hair at the bottom to the longest hair at the top all the way around the head. The medium and long fade are the same except that the hair on top is 1 to 1 ½" inches long for medium fades and longer than 1 ½ inch for long fades. With the tapered Caesar, all hair on the head is cut to the same length, and then the back edges of the hair and the hairs directly above where the sideburns start are blended into the rest of the hair.
The benefits of the fade and its variations are popular because of the versatility of the haircut. It is appropriate for business settings as well as recreation. It is easy to maintain and cost-effective if services by a good barber.
The fade, said Riley, is one of the most common haircuts in the country, and has become a staple in the African American community. "You can see many Hip Hop stars sporting fade haircuts, " noted Riley. He believes, "The haircut is basic, and can be done in an hour or less, depending on the skill of the barbers, making it a standard in barbershops around the country."
Some fade hairstyles are named based on their geographical popularity or function. The Philly Fade, the Military Fade, the Brooklyn Fade, also known as the Brooklyn Blowout, the Jersey Fade are just a few. The Brooklyn fade is a haircut that involves shaving the hair on the sides of the head short and tapered, while leaving the hair on the top longer. The Philly fade in the East is the same as the Temple fade in the Midwest—tapered at the temples. The tapering can carry to the sides of the head and to the neckline, depending on the customer's desire.
Regardless of the hairstyle Riley advises that fade haircut wearers maintain their hair by keeping it moisturized; and cementing their relationship with a good barber, who knows his or her hair and provides them with outstanding service.
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