The temple fade, or temp fade, is a type of haircut where hair gradually fades into the skin around the temples, making subtlety and versatility its key attributes.
Since its essential location is at the temples, this leaves room for a wide range of hairstyles on the rest of the head. This article will explore the variety of temple fade placements, to diverse hair textures, lengths, and styles it can be paired with.
1. Low Temple Fade
This is the most subtle version of the temple fade haircut. It is placed low enough that the highest point of the sideburns is just slightly visible as the hair blends into the skin. With facial hair, the head hair just briefly becomes short enough to clearly see skin before transitioning to the jaw and chin. This makes the temple fade less apparent when viewed from afar. This placement of the fade is appropriate for those who would like to try this style without grabbing too much attention. Another benefit of this hairstyle is that it allows more hair on the sides for those who want to add more width to their faces.
2. Mid Temple Fade
This is the most commonly thought of version of the temple fade haircut. The midpoint of its transition sits right above the height of the ear, allowing it to be noticeable, but not dominating over the head.
This also provides more space for the gradient of hair length to transition, allowing the fade to be more blended. The fading can optionally be brought back to the nape of the neck as well. This is a fitting style for those that want to blur their temple and neck hairlines while adding interest to their hairstyle overall.
3. High Temple Fade
This placement of the temple fade begins to blur the definitions between itself and other haircuts. The essential component of this placement is for the fade to blend up close to the top hairline.
While some versions may only blend the temple area, others may bring the blend further back behind the ear, almost resembling a burst fade. Some may even take this a step further and bring the fade to the back of the head, looking close to a drop fade.
Overall, the high temple fade has a debatable definition, giving room for different interpretations and presentations of this haircut.
4. Taper Temple Fade
Speaking of blurred definitions, the taper temple fade is essentially a longer version of the temple fade, where the hair is not blended down to the skin.
This still provides a gradient of length while allowing for more coverage from the hair, which is also helpful for those who would like to add more width to their face. While the taper fade and temple fade may be different haircuts, the taper temple fade is a style that includes elements of both.
5. Bald Temple Fade
Counter to a taper temple fade, the bald temple fade leaves a significant amount of skin hairless, which makes the hairline appear higher than it naturally is. This gives a more striking appearance to the look, with more contrast between the skin and hair.
This is ideal for someone who wants to take off some width and make their face appear longer. To maintain the baldness of this fade, it is necessary to touch up the edges of the fade every week.
6. Line Up Temple Fade
For those looking for more contrast in the form of lines, the temple fade haircut can be combined with lineups on other areas of the head, such as the forehead and neck hairlines.
This lets the wearer take advantage of the gradualness of fades while still having enough definition to the frame of their face. This is especially beneficial to those with rounder features who desire more edges to contrast this. The squared lineup is an example that can help bring this contrast.
6. Temple Fade with Straight Hair
With straight hair, sleeker styles are often paired with the temple fade haircut. These include an array of options such as slicking hair back in a pompadour, putting hair forward with various lengths of bangs, keeping it short like a crew cut, or even adding in razor lines to spice up the hairstyle.
Additionally, the transition of hair length down the temple fade tends to be smoother, as the hair appears to grow in a more unified direction. Specific hairstyles for straight hair will be covered in more detail later in this article.
7. Temple Fade with Curly Hair
Whether natural or artificial, curly hair can look even more stylish with a temple fade haircut. Curly hair offers more bounce and body to the hairstyle, allowing it to appear livelier.
The temple fade allows the volume of the hairstyle to more gradually transition into the width of the face. This combination is also compatible to those with smaller foreheads who would like it to appear larger. Haircuts and styles that suit curly hair include blowouts, bangs, and different types of undercuts.
8. Temple Fade with Coily Hair
Many outstanding hairstyles can also be achieved with coily hair paired with the temple fade haircut. Shorter hair can provide a more conservative, easier to maintain style that still shows off texture, while longer hairstyles can construct more bulk and give more power and personality to your hairstyle.
Similar to curly hair, more voluminous hairstyles can be gradually blended to the head shape with a temple fade. Examples of what can be paired with the temple fade are closely cropped styles, waves, cornrows, dreadlocks, various sizes of afros, and afro puffs.
9. Waves with Temple Fade
Waves are a hairstyle that is achieved when curly or coily hair is trained to stay in a tight pattern against the head through routine brushing and applying hair products, such as wave cream.
Adding a temple fade to this hairstyle gives it a smooth transition to the skin, allowing the waves to subtly fade. This hairstyle is most often known as 360 waves, since it typically consists of waves that go all around the head. However, this can be optional.
A more minimal version of this is to have waves only on the top of the head, and have them slowly blend to the shorter hair on the sides and back.
10. Buzz Cut Temple Fade
While the buzz cut is a simple hairstyle, it can be made more interesting by adding some gradation in the form of a temple fade haircut. This transition of hair length can be made even more apparent with slightly longer versions of buzz cuts.
Pairing this up with a lineup can also add more interest, making a basic hairstyle look more modern and put together, while still easy to maintain. Another positive aspect of the buzz cut is that it can easily work for all hair textures.
11. Cropped Temple Fade
Cropped hairstyles have a range of lengths that can be paired with temple fades. This can include forehead hair that barely passes the hairline to hair that covers a big half of the forehead as bangs.
The length on the sides can also provide different effects on the temple fade. Short hair on the sides allows more room for the hair to transition into the temple fade, while longer sides create the effect of an undercut or blunt transition, before the gradual transition of the temple fade.
This offers more variability to how the temple fade appears. Cropped hairstyles are also suitable for those with wider foreheads that they would like to appear narrower.
12. Spiky/Textured Hair with Temple Fade
A temple fade haircut helps add a smooth contrast to the jagged edges of spikey or textured hair. This style looks best on straight to wavy hair, and brings more volume to the top of the head, making it an effective way to add more perceived width to those with narrow foreheads that they would like to widen.
This type of hairstyle also permits more room to decide on how the hair can appear. For those looking for a more hardened look that references the late 90s and 2000s, spiking the hair up with gel and stiffening it with some strong hold hairspray works.
For those looking for a softer texture, applying hair wax or pomade and scrunching the hair up can help hold in some texture.
13. Blowout Temple Fade
The blowout hairstyle, or the Brooklyn fade, is styled in a way that looks like the hair has been windswept, which is achieved by using a blow-dryer and an assortment of hair products.
Similar to spiky or textured hair, gel and hairspray work best to keep it looking frozen in mid-air, while wax and pomade offer a softer look. This is a style that has been classically associated with the temple fade haircut, where the combination creates an even larger extreme of more volume on top that is faded into the temples and back.
That said, this is another hairstyle that is suiting for those with more triangular face shapes, where one might want to add more width to a narrow forehead.
14. Pompadour Temple Fade
The pompadour has been one of the most sought-after men’s hairstyles of the 2010s, and has been popular in other decades as well. Adding a temple fade is a way to update the hairstyle while adding visual interest.
This style is most often achieved by adding volume to straight or wavy hair, which can be done by training the hair to come forward slightly, then styling it back with pomade. This can be held in place with a bit of hairspray as a finishing touch.
15. Afro Temple Fade
Afros come in various sizes, but a temple fade haircut can be incorporated to any of them by adding some subtlety to their transition to the hairline. For easier maintenance, small afros or TWAs, which stands for “Teeny Weeny Afros”, are a great way to start a natural hair journey.
These can be kept short or grown to achieve a larger size, with the growing stages serving as a transition to gradually become more acquainted with taking care of longer natural hair.
16. Cornrows with Temple Fade
Cornrows are not only a protective style rooted in black culture, but also look stylish and can be braided in an array of creative ways. Temple fades can add some flavor to them by providing a gradient to the hairline while still allowing them to take center stage.
Cornrows can be done at braid bars or salons, but can also be achieved at home if one desires to learn and practice the art of cornrowing.
They can be kept in for as short as a few days to as long as a few months, depending on how well they are cared for and personal tolerances with having hair kept in the style.
17. Dreadlocks/Twists with Temple Fade
Dreadlocks and twists can vary greatly in length and are most suitable for those with coily hair. The edges are often tidied up and kept short to keep the style looking neat.
One way to cut the edges is in the form of a temple fade haircut, giving a more gradual change in length as the hair fades into the skin. Dreads and twists should be washed at least once a week with residue-free shampoo to keep them clean and healthy.
Depending on their condition, it is also important to moisturize them with water and water-based moisturizers as needed.
18. Undercut Ponytail/Bun with Temple Fade
For those with long hair, pairing it with a short temple fade haircut gives a striking contrast in lengths that can make your style appear more dynamic. Tying it up in a ponytail or bun allows you to show off your temple fade, creating a hybrid style.
This works for all hair types as well, where those with straighter hair can create updos with more visual simplicity, while those with coilier hair can create updos with more volume and visual interest.
Hair that is curly to coily can puff out more when tied in a ponytail, and can also be coiled into the aforementioned dreadlocks and twists, which can be secured into an updo.
Temple Fade vs. Taper Fade
Something to review before going into these hairstyles is to differentiate between a “temple fade” and “taper fade”. The key difference between these two haircuts is the way the hairline is blended between the hair and skin.
The temple fade haircut focuses on blending the hairline at the temples so that there is a gradient where the hair seems to disappear or “fade” into the skin as it gets shorter.
It is recommended for those interested in experimenting with fades, but not looking to commit to it all around their head. The taper fade haircut also has a gradient of length, but does not blend into the skin as gradually as the temple fade haircut, allowing the hairline to be more visible.
This considered, some sources may categorize the taper fade cut as technically not a fade, but more of a general taper haircut, since the hair does not blend into the skin.
However, in this article, it is classified as a fade. The taper fade haircut is best for those that prefer a more traditional haircut, but also want to look of the times. Even though it is not one of the top-of-mind types of fades, the classic taper fade haircut is a more timeless option.