How To Ask Your Barber for The Perfect Burst Fade Haircut

The burst fade haircut is a popular modern style that combines a fade haircut on the sides and back with longer hair on top. It creates a high-contrast look that is edgy yet clean-cut. When done right, the burst fade makes a bold fashion statement.

High Burst Fade
Source: @giancardinale

If you want to get this haircut, the first step is finding the right barber. Look for an experienced barber or stylist who is familiar with doing fades and working with longer hair on top. Bring photos of the burst fade style you want so they understand exactly the look you’re going for.

Two-tone Burst Fade on Curly Hair
Source: @jya_pervieux

When you sit down in the barber’s chair, use the following tips to clearly communicate how you want your burst fade cut:

Length on Top

  • Specify how long you want the hair left on top. Common lengths are 2-3 inches or 4-6 inches. The longer the hair up top, the more dramatic the burst fade effect. Tell the barber if you want to maintain your current length on top or go shorter/longer.
  • Also note if you want the hair on top trimmed a certain way. Do you want it cut with textured layers? Tapered closer on the sides versus stacked in the back? Detail how you want the longer top shaped.

The Fade

  • Request a “high burst fade.” This will taper the sides very short at the bottom and gradually get longer as it goes up higher on the head.
  • Ask for a skin fade if you want an extra high-contrast look. The hair at bottom will be shaved down to the skin. An easy guideline is asking for a #00000 blade length at the bottom.
  • Determine how high you want the fade to extend. It can be blended halfway up the sides or go nearly all the way to the top of the head. Specify what height you want the fade transition to end.
  • You can also request a fade on both the sides and back or just on the sides. Most burst fades taper the hair short all the way around.
Burst Fade + Side Part
Source: @rajeevthebarber246

The Hard Part

  • A shaved line set into the fade adds extra emphasis. Ask your barber for a “hard part” if you want one cut in.
  • Say where you want the part placed. Common locations are near the front corner by the temple or further back on the side of the head.
  • Specify if you want the part on just one side or symmetrically on both sides.

The Edge Up

  • Crisply delineating the hairline completes the burst fade look. Request an “edge up” to get clean lines.
  • Be specific if you want the edge cleaned up along the forehead, around the ears, and/or at the neckline. Most edge ups outline the entire hairline.
  • Note if you want the edge lines cut straight across, arched, or angular. Look at edge up photos so you can explain the shape you want.

The Beard (If Applicable)

  • If you have a beard, the barber can taper it to align with the burst fade hairstyle.
  • Request for the beard to be trimmed with clearly defined lines to complement the edgy haircut. Bring in beard photos if needed.
  • You can also ask for your beard to be lined up along the cheek line, jawline, and neckline for precision.

Maintenance Tips

  • Tell the barber this is your desired new hairstyle and ask for tips on the best products and routine to maintain it.
  • Inquire how often you should get the fade retouched and the top recut to keep its style. Every 2-4 weeks is standard.
  • Ask if there are products they recommend for styling the longer hair on top. Waxes, pomades, or matte pastes work well.

The more details and examples you can give your barber, the better your chances of walking away with the burst fade hairstyle you really want. Bring photos and communicate clearly. The end result will be an awesome, custom fade haircut that perfectly suits you.