The fade haircut is one of the most popular men’s hairstyles. It features short hair on the sides and back that gradually gets longer towards the top of the head. Fades can vary from being very low and tight to higher and more blended. But no matter what type of fade you get, a common question is how long does a fade haircut last before it grows out and needs to be cut again? In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that affect the lifespan of fades so you know what to expect.
How Fast Does Hair Grow?
Before looking at fades specifically, it helps to understand the average human hair growth rate. Hair typically grows about 0.5 inches per month. This amounts to about 6 inches per year for the average person. However, many factors can affect individual hair growth including age, genetics, diet, and health. Teenagers for example may see faster growth, while older adults may experience slower growth.
In general, the sides and back of the head where fades are cut tend to grow at a slightly slower rate than the top. Fades tend to start growing out most noticeably after about 2-4 weeks as the shorter hairs around the ears and neckline begin to increase in length.
Type of Fade
The type of fade you get will impact how fast it grows out. A high fade cut starts fading higher up the sides and back of the head. It creates more contrast with the longer hair on top. A high fade leaves more hair which buys you more time before it needs to be trimmed again.
A low fade on the other hand tapers very low and tight around the hairline. This leaves less hair and leads to the fade growing out faster. For example, an extremely low bald fade may start showing growth in as little as 1-2 weeks.
A mid fade strikes a balance between the two. It trims closer than a high fade but leaves more hair than a low fade. Most barber shop regulars opt for a medium fade as it provides a happy medium between a sharp look and maintenance.
The texture and thickness of your hair also plays a role. Coarse, curly, or wavy hair tends to take longer to grow out than straight, fine hair. The curl pattern can disguise new growth along the hairline and behind the ears. Men with very straight, thin hair may notice fades growing out sooner.
Some men choose to complement their faded style with a cleanly shaven head. Going completely bald with a razor down to the skin gives an extra smooth look. But it also means the hair will grow back faster. The absence of any hair to start with means any new stubble will be noticeable within a week. Using a razor creates the need to shave the head just about daily to maintain the look.
Like the head, shaving the facial hair area around a fade impacts growth. Men who shave the neck and sideburns extra close will see the fade grow out faster as stubble returns. Using a precise trimmer leaves slightly more hair that takes longer to grow back. So those who go clean shaven experience faster growing fades overall.
The condition of your scalp also plays a key role. A very dry or flaky scalp prone to dandruff indicates an imbalance. Hair growth could slow as follicles produce thinner hairs. Itchy scalp and hair loss are other symptoms of poor scalp health. Making sure your scalp stays moisturized and exfoliated promotes optimal growth.
A diet lacking key nutrients can potentially affect hair growth rates. Being deficient in proteins, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and fatty acids may interrupt the hair growth cycle. This leads to thinning hair or reduced growth speed. Eating a balanced diet rich in these hair healthy nutrients provides the best environment for normal growth.
Some men simply inherit genes for faster growing hair. Hair that is programmed on a sped up growth cycle is bound to grow out from fades quicker. There is little one can do to change this apart from planning to get regular touch up cuts. Being aware of a genetic predisposition for fast growth sets proper expectations for fade maintenance.
Hair that is excessively dry, porous, and damaged by chemical treatments can sometimes have growth stunted. Bleaching, coloring, perming, and straightening hair can all affect the integrity of the cuticle over time. This damage causes hair to get stuck in the growth phase rather than moving on to actively growing. Avoiding unnecessary chemical treatments helps hair growth return to normal.
Something as simple as the weather or changing seasons impacts hair growth. When the weather is warm and sunny, increased blood flow to the scalp boosts the rate of hair growth. Colder, dry months and winter seasons tend to see slower growth as blood circulation decreases. Staying warm and keeping the scalp covered helps maintain growth year round.
In summary, the typical fade haircut can last anywhere from 2 weeks to a month before needing a touchup. Many factors like the type of fade, shaving habits, health, genetics, and environment all play a role in the process. Being aware of what affects the lifespan of your fade helps you plan ahead. Aim for a fresh fade every 2-4 weeks to keep it looking sharp. And supplement occasionally with trims if needed. Keeping up with regular haircuts is key maintaining a well groomed faded style.