What is a Burst Fade Haircut? A Bold, Modern Style for Men

The burst fade haircut is a popular modern men’s hairstyle that combines a fade cut on the sides and back with longer hair on top. This cut creates a high-contrast look that is eye-catching and stylish.

Sharp Mid Fade
Source: @_deepercut

How the Burst Fade Gets its Name

The burst fade gets its name from the way the very short faded hair “bursts” into the longer hair on top. It creates a burst-like effect of volume and texture. The burst fade works well with many different hair types and lengths on top, making it a versatile choice for men looking for a fresh new cut.

Creating a Burst Fade Haircut

To get a burst fade, start with longer hair on top, generally 2-5 inches. The hair can be worn straight, curly, wavy, spiky, or styled however desired. The sides and back are tapered down using clippers, fading from the longer hair on top down to very short near the neck and around the ears.

The fade can be high, mid, or low, depending on personal preference and face shape. A key characteristic of the burst fade is keeping the fade very tight and clean. The hair is tapered down to the skin and ideally should be bald or nearly bald at the bottom of the fade. This creates strong contrast against the fuller longer hair on top, completing the “burst” look.

Styling a Burst Fade

The burst fade haircut offers versatility in styling. For casual wear, the top hair can be worn messy or naturally textured. Using pomades or waxes, the hair can also be styled up or given a sleek, polished look. The tight faded sides contrast with the styled top to create a stylish, modern finish.

Wavy Fringe, Medium Fade
Source: haircutinspiration

Variations of the Burst Fade

There are several variations of the burst fade haircut to choose from:

  • The temp fade adds a temple fade into the sides, with hair tapered shorter in the temple area. This creates an angled effect.
  • The shadow fade leaves stubble at the bottom of the fade instead of going fully bald. This muted look provides subtle contrast.
  • The burst taper fade combines a tapered neckline with a fade. Hair tapers longer toward the neck.
  • The burst comb over pairs the fade with a side part and combed over style on top.

Why Get a Burst Fade?

The burst fade haircut is a great option for men looking for a contemporary yet professional style. Its versatility and high-contrast shape flatters a variety of face shapes and hair types. With regular trims to keep the fade tight and hair on top styled, the burst fade makes a bold, fashion-forward statement.

FAQs about the Burst Fade Haircut

How do you maintain a burst fade?

To keep the burst fade looking sharp, get the sides and back trimmed every 2-4 weeks to maintain the very short faded look. Schedule regular cuts to trim the longer top as needed.

What face shapes work best with a burst fade?

The burst fade tends to flatter oval, rectangular, and triangular face shapes most. The angled fade helps add balance to longer face shapes. Very round faces may look better with a fade that starts lower, like a mid or low taper.

How short are the sides for a burst fade?

The sides and back are tapered very short, ideally bald or nearly bald at the bottom of the fade. This high contrast against the longer top creates the burst effect. Sides are typically faded to a #1 guard length or shorter.

What products work best for styling a burst fade?

The best products for styling the longer burst fade top hair are waxes, pomades, or gels with some hold. Apply to dry hair and style as desired. Use a matte product for a natural look or wet-look gel for slicker styling.

What should you tell your barber to get a burst fade?

Show photos of burst fades you like, and tell your barber you want a high, tight fade on the back and sides with longer hair on top. Specify if you want a high, mid or low fade, and how short to taper the sides. This will help them tailor the cut to your preferences.