What Do You Need to Create the Sharpest Skin Fade?

Every barber has one skill that they aim to perfect. For many, that skill is the skin fade!

A fade is probably one of the most popular requests in many barber shops. It’s flattering, can suit almost anyone and can immediately make your client look sharp and well groomed.

But, along learning how to do a skin fade, you need to make sure you have the right equipment too.

Along with your scissors, you will usually need:

  • Clippers
  • Shaver
  • Fading brush
  • Comb

What clippers do you need for a fade?

Getting the right clippers is essential for perfecting your fading technique. You need to have a good selection of guards so you can easily blend different hair lengths.

Another feature you need to look out for is an easily adjustable lever that allows you to open and close the blade smoothly. A cordless clipper will make the job easier too, while a powerful motor will allow you to work with the highest precision.

What else you need when choosing clippers for the sharpest skin fade?

Foil Shaver

Andis TS-1 Copper Edition Shaver

To bald out the hair at the baseline, you will need a foil shaver to get the closest result. The Andis TS-1 Copper Edition Shaver is ideal for this as it has staggered blades to allow you to get as close to the skin as possible.

You will likely need to cut the hair down a little first with a trimmer before going in with the shaver. Thin it out up to the weight line to make it easier to work with.

Some barbers even like to use a cut throat razor to bald out the bottom – though it’s only really recommended you do this if you are confident that you won’t cut the client. Be aware that it will likely also take longer.

Shave the hair in this way up to your first guideline, flicking up to begin the fade.

Clipper with comb guard

Wahl 5 Star Cordless Senior Clipper Kit

For the majority of the skin fade, you will be using a clipper. You will need to change the comb guard as you set out your guidelines, opening and closing the lever as required to blend them as you go.

An open blade cuts longer, while a fully closed blade cuts as close as possible. Use both to create a seamless transition between each guideline, being careful with a closed blade to avoid blockiness.

The Wahl 5 Star Cordless Senior Clipper Kit is a great option for skin fade haircuts. With a powerful motor and high blade speed, the battery holds up to 70 minutes runtime to allow you to do your best work. The adjustable thin profile blade allows for the ultimate precision.

In addition, this clipper comes with 10 comb attachments, taking you from grades 1 – 8, plus 0.5 and 1.5.

The Andis Master Cordless is also often hailed as the best clipper for fades.


To keep the cut sharp, you will also need a smaller trimmer to see to the details.

If you are having any trouble blending in your initial guideline, using a trimmer can sometimes offer you a little extra control. You can also use it to shave around the ear if your foils can’t quite reach some stray hairs

Fading Brush

Jack Dean Fade Brush Black

A fade brush is specially designed to help you remove any clippings from the head, allowing you to see how your fade is looking and check for imperfections

You can also use it to lift the hair up from the scalp by brushing upwards. This can help you get the smoother fade.

The Jack Dean Fade Brush by Denman is a classic barber shop tool, though barbers also love our Wahl Fade Brush and Dark Stag Fade Brush.

Barber Comb

As you get to the top section of the hair, you will need a good barber comb to continue the cut. Whether you are using a clipper-over-comb technique or trimming with scissors, you will need a comb that allows you to grip the hair easily.

See our blog on our best professional cutting combs for hairdressers and barbers for our top recommendations.

Styling Products

You can’t let your client leave your shop without giving them that final suave finish!

Depending on their style, you should have a few men’s hair products to match them. A matt clay is great for moulding the hair, though if they prefer a slicker look then a pomade or wax might be better. Texturising sprays and powders are perfect for creating a messy look.

See our blog on the best men’s styling products for barbers for some of our best sellers.

Don’t forget to check out our full range of barbering equipment online at Salons Direct

More barbering advice from our blog…

Essential Accessories Every Barber Needs | How to Offer the Best Hot Towel Shave Service in Your Barber Shop | How to Care For Your Barber Clippers

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