10 Tips For Creating Clipper Fades
Looking for some barbering inspiration? Look no further than our recent Instagram Live with master barber Rodrick Samuels, Director of Education at Hair Lab Detroit Barber School!
During the Live, Rodrick demoed his technique for creating a fade on textured hair, including hand placement, edging and creating the perfect shape. Below, we’re sharing 10 of our favorite tips. Let’s go!
1. Sanitation is the New Luxury
We’ve learned a lot in the past year, but maybe the most important thing we learned? You want to make your guests feel as safe as possible. That’s why Rodrick recommends sanitizing your tools in front of your clients. “I use Andis Cool Care Plus to spray down the top and bottom of my clippers, then wipe off the excess,” says Rodrick.
2. When to Oil Your Clippers
How often should you oil your clippers and trimmers? “Every cut, every client, all the time,” shares Rodrick. He uses Andis Clipper Oil (never use oil sheen, he warns!) on his clippers, detachable blade clippers and trimmers, and applies the oil using this technique:
1. With the clippers off, put one drop of oil between the still blade and the moving blade.
2. Turn the clippers over, then put a drop on the other side.
3. Turn the clippers on and off, then wipe them down.
3. Finding Your Fade Length
Use this handy guide to determine the difference between low, mid and high fades:
- Place three fingers at the top of the ear.
- Where your ring finger is would be considered a low fade.
- Where your middle finger is would be considered a mid fade.
- Where your index finger is would be considered a high fade.
Caution: never take the fade up past the parietal ridge. You’re going for a fade - not a fauxhawk!
4. Why You Should Use a “C” Cutting Motion
When creating a fade in the side panels, you should always keep the blade flat and cut using a “C” rocking motion. Why? Using this cutting motion will automatically give you graduation, says Rodrick. Rodrick’s clippers of choice? The Andis Master Cordless Li Adjustable Blade Clippers.
5. Cutting Around the Ear
When you reach the ear, pull the ear down and use the corner of the clipper blade to notch around the area in a clockwise, and then counterclockwise, direction. This ensures you get even hair flow into the blade and prevents having to go back through later.
6. Always Cut with a Comb in Your Hand
You want to be able to comb through loose hair that may be sticking out during your cut!
7. When to Switch Your Grip
When Rodrick works on a higher panel, he uses his opposite hand so his eyes can focus on where the blade is. He switches back to his dominant hand when he wants to connect to the previous panel.
8. Creating the Shape
To create your shape, make sure the blade is in the closed position, and set a guide by starting in the center and cutting a straight line down the middle. Use this to shape the rest of the hair, slowly bringing the sides to match, then finish by squaring it off.
9. The Best Hand Placement for Edging
To get the cleanest line, start by combing down any loose hair around the hairline. Next, with the Andis T-Outliner, use your index finger as a brace, placing it flat against the head and lightly tap the trimmer along the hairline.
10. Here’s Rodrick’s Secret Formula for the Perfect Fade:
Panel #1: no guard, closed position
Panel #2: #0 guard, closed position
Panel #3: #1 guard, closed position
Panel #4: #1.5 guard, closed position
Missed the Live? Check it out below!