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The Power Of The Fade

Expert stylist, educator, and co-founder of Salt Lake Beauty and Barber Expo, Tyler Kelbert, gives you his step-by-step to creating the perfect stretched out skin fade with a line up. Transforming a classic style to something contemporary and camera-ready – this is the picture of modern barbering.


To create Mario’s look, the first step is to use a clipper with a number six attachment guard (3/4 of an inch). Go over the entire head with and against the grain of the hair until it is all the same length.


Next, you will create a triangular section starting at the recession and work your way to the apex. Then work from the opposite recession to the apex. Securely clip the fringe section out of the way.

Once you’ve section off the fringe, you will now work on the sides. Use your clipper with a number 2 attachment guard and make sure the taper lever open to debulk. 


Then use your clipper with a 1.5 attachment guard accompanied by your fade comb to connect the sides and top. Hold the comb vertically and ride the comb with your clipper from bottom to top. (Do this around the entire head so that the sides and top are fully connected).

Now use your trimmers to create a guideline about a fingers width above the ear. This will ensure we are leaving enough space to fade up towards the longer length of hair. Start at the front hairline and work towards the center back of the head. Then repeat the same process on the opposite side of the head.


After completing the previous step, we need to make sure that it’s symmetric. Take a step back so you can clearly see exactly what you’ve cut. Then refine the guideline if you see any inconsistencies.

Now, use your trimmers to remove the excess length of hair below your guide line and work up towards the guideline which we have initially created. This will make everything below the guideline the same length.


Next you will use your electric shaver and cut the hair down to skin. This is the shortest length it can possibly be. Work your way from the bottom of the head up to about a half an inch below your trimmer guide line which you initially created. 

Now use your shaver in a flicking out motion in the half of an inch area left below the trimmer guide line to create a smooth transition from skin to the trimmer length.


Next, use your clipper with the taper lever half way open to create a new guide line right above your trimmer guide line. This will be about an inch above your trimmer guide line. 

Now use the clipper with the taper level closed starting at the trimmer line and working your way to the second guideline we have Made with the clipper. As you move up towards the second guide gradually open up your taper lever. Once you get to the second guideline your taper lever should be half way open.

Now you will fade down starting just below the curvature of the head using your clipper with the number 2 attachment guard with the level open  and work your way down to the zero attachment guard with the level closed to blend into the second guideline we created;

Remember to consistently brush away any loose hair that is stuck to the skin.


After you’ve completed the fade, you will move onto the front hairline. Use your trimmer to create a straight line across. Start at the center and work your way to the corner that is naturally higher. Use the area you just completed as your initial guide. Then work from the center to the opposite corner. Be sure to not push the clients hairline too far back, you want to keep it as natural as possible. 

Once you’ve completed the front hairline, take a step back. Look at the front hairline from a distance to check for balance and consistency.


After finishing the front hairline, you will now move down to the sides of the front line up. Use the eyebrows and the corner of the eyes as a guide to check the line up for balance of both sides.


Next you will use a straight razor to go over the entire outline that you have created using your trimmers. The razor line up will improve the shape of the haircut and maintain the outlines cleanliness.


Now, use the styling product of your choice and apply it to the hair. Congratulations, you now have completed this look!

Find Tyler on Instagram as @tyler_kelbert

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