Giving yourself a fade involves using several guard attachments and both bracket settings on the clippers. Cutting hair into a fade takes a minimum of 20 minutes and requires clippers with guard attachments and trimmers. Scissors and a comb may also be needed.
- Cut off excess hair
Cut the top of the hair first, either with scissors or the clippers with a long guard. If you are cutting more than an inch of hair from the sides and back, run the clippers over these areas with a long guard attachment.
- Start with the long guard attachment
Attach the longest guard you plan to use to the clippers. Working from the bottom up, clip the hair. Do not follow the shape of the head beyond its widest portion. Instead, pull the clippers back as you reach the curve of the head. Blend the line with scissors.
- Utilize the bracket settings
Hair clippers have two settings on the blade bracket, with one affording an additional 1/8 inch. Always start on this longer setting, cut the hair, then set the blade on the shorter setting. Cut the hair again with the same guard attachment on the lower setting.
- Use successively shorter guard attachments
Work your way through the guard attachments, using the two bracket settings with each. Decrease how high you go each time. By the time you get to no guard attachment with the long bracket setting, you should be clipping only the bottom 1.5 inches of hair at the nape.
- Finish the haircut
Use trimming clippers to shave a straight line at the nape of the neck, around the ears and at the sideburns.