The Temple Fade: 2024's Most Versatile Men's Cut
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The Temple Fade: 2024’s Most Versatile Men’s Cut

A guide to the barbershop staple

Chances are, you’ve seen a temple fade in action. It’s easily one of the most popular styling techniques when it comes to men’s hair, and has been steadily taking over barbershops for the best part of three decades. Intrigued? We asked the experts what you need to know before getting one.

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What Is A Temple Fade?

‘A temple fade consists of a gradual fade at the temples, blending shorter hair at the front into length at the sides,’ explains men’s grooming expert and celebrity stylist Luke Benson. ‘To be more specific, a temple fade is a technique rather than a hairstyle on its own, but because it is so versatile we are seeing it evolve beyond just being used on shorter or afro hair. It suits a wide range of hair textures and styles, from curly to straight, and can be tailored to individual preferences whether going for a short, sharp look or something with more texture.’

The stylist also tells us that the temple fade, while incredibly popular now, has its roots in Brooklyn, New York – where it was also known as the Brooklyn fade. The technique was a hit in the 90s and early 2000s, especially in African American, Italian American and Hispanic American barbershops. The style eventually made its way across the pond, and is now a staple across global men’s salons.


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It also helps that a number of celebrities have helped boost the temple fade in recent years. ‘Two celebrities who wear a temple fade often are Paul Mescal and Mika Richards, but you can see different variations of this across many male celebrities,’ says Luke. ‘The modern version is a bit like the updated mullet, with a shorter temple area that allows length elsewhere without looking too unkempt.’

Who Suits This Haircut?

The consistent evolution of the technique means it can be adjusted for pretty much any hairstyle or hair type, as Luke notes: ‘This style works well on different hair types, including curly tops and afros, allowing for longer lengths on top while keeping the temple area short. The temple fade works across all hair types depending on the style; for curly, textured and afro hair it can work to highlight longer lengths, while for straight hair it provides a neat, short and sharp look.

‘This is a technique that is also flattering on all face shapes, adding definition and a giving a slimming effect,’ he adds.

@slidercuts How to…do a Temple Fade?! Watch a few times to get a good understanding 🔁 #Slidercuts #SliderCutsStudios #BarberTips #BritishBarber #TempleFade ♬ original sound – SliderCuts

How To Ask For A Temple Fade In The Salon

Before making an appointment, Luke highlights the importance of finding a stylist that can execute the cut you’re envisioning. ‘A temple fade needs to be really tight and requires precise clipper work over a small area, so you do need to make sure you go to someone who knows what they are doing here,’ he says. ‘Take a look at their work on social media to make sure they are skilled in this area specifically. There are lots of different fade types, so make sure you are clear on the one you are looking for.’

It’s also worth having a clear image of the hairstyle you want to try in mind, as well as plenty of reference photos for your stylist to work from.

Styling Tips

When it comes to styling, it’s important to get a feel for your hair type and the overall look you want. ‘Styling a temple fade depends on the rest of your hair,’ explains Luke. ‘The key is to maintain the neatness of the fade while choosing a style for the top and side. Whether you prefer a textured top, sleek back, or natural curls, the focus should remain on complementing the clean lines of the fade.’

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Classic Temple Fade With A Curly Top

‘A timeless style where the fade is complemented by a voluminous curly top,’ says Luke. ‘It’s perfect for showcasing natural texture.’


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Sleek Back With Temple Fade

‘Ideal for a more polished look, the hair on top is styled back smoothly, offering a contrast to the edgy fade,’ Luke highlights. ‘David Beckham has sported many variations of this style.’


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A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham)

Afro With Temple Fade

Luke says this style complements afro hair: ‘This style emphasises natural afro textures while keeping the temples neatly faded, a look that has been popularised by the likes of Micah Richards.’


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Textured Top with Temple Fade

‘Here, the focus is on creating a rugged, textured look on top while maintaining clean lines at the temples,’ explains Luke. ‘Actors like Ryan Reynolds have embraced this style for its rugged yet tidy appearance.’


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A post shared by Ryan Reynolds (@vancityreynolds)

Temple Fade With Part

‘A precise part adds a classic touch to the temple fade, offering a structured look that has been seen on professionals and celebrities alike, such as George Clooney,’ says Luke.

Featured image: Obi, Unsplash