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Long Natural Hair with Fade Haircut or Short on the Sides - Best of Both Worlds
09-21-2015, 12:00 PM (This post was last modified: 09-21-2015 12:03 PM by MarkusAurelius.)
Post: #1
Long Natural Hair with Fade Haircut or Short on the Sides - Best of Both Worlds
Hi all,

I come back and forth to these forums every few months for inspiration but this is my first post.

I need some help.
I have coiled curly hair as a 22 year old Dominican. I have just moved to NYC and the amount of awesome hair is staggering. It makes me want to do something different than my consistent fade.

So here is my dilemma. The longest I've ever grown my hair out is probably 2-3 inches. I like my hair for a little while after that awkward transition stage, but there comes a point when my hair goes from wavy to dinstinctly curly. I like that my hair is curly but what I don't like is how feminine it looks. I like the fade haircut because it is angled and means business and I feel highly attractive with it, but I feel that it lacks any sort of life or my personality.

I am in search of a hairstyle that can bring me to a happy medium of masculine angles and/or fades, with the personality to finally grow out my curls. I have tried in the past to do fades on the side and let my hair grow up top, but it just doesn't look right. The transition from long hair to short hair is distinctly awkward given that my hair is dense.

On all sites, it's hard to find ethnic hairstyles for me to emulate that doesn't call for full-on natural untamed mess. I just need some inspiration to grow to so I can have a plan as I grow along. Not just grow and figure it out as I go along, that hasn't worked in the past.

I am also a personal trainer, so it is important for me to feel clean and professional when working with clients or prospecting for more. This has also been a reason why I hold back from growing out my hair.

But again, I am in search of a hairstyle that allows me to exhibit my curls in a clean, professional manner while still retaining some sort of masculine angular nature to it.

Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Or must I commit full on to either side of the spectrum ?

PLEASE HELP!! And thank you in advance.

- Markus
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09-22-2015, 01:03 PM
Post: #2
Grow your curls long on the top while keeping the sides and back in a fade haircut.
It's absolutely possible to have (with natural hair) longer hair on the top while keeping the sides and back short. As a barber that is the setup that I recommend most men with coiled curls or kinky curls if they want to have long hair but not shoulder length hair or really long hair.

I take it from your post that you're looking to have a good amount of hair length on the top to let the natural coils look good and make you proud of your natural hair but you aren't looking to grow your natural mane so that it dangles and it's beyond the length of the shoulders, correct? I took the liberty to add a little to your title based on your post so that it's easier for others to find and read.

What I would do is start from a setup whereby you keep you current length on the top while the sides and back are done in a high fade, similar to a high top fade haircut. WHat you'll then do is continue to grow the top of your head longer while getting your high fade re-done every two weeks if possible as any longer tends to break the aesthetics of the fade haircut.

You have coiled curls so instead of a textbook high top fade hairstyle you will have a shake and go hairstyle. It's a very easy hairstyle in that it's based around what the name of the shake and go hairstyle implies. Use a hairstyling cream if you want bouncy and dangling curls or use a hair mousse product if you would rather have your hair with more hold and styled up or angled towards the back.

So for the shake & go hairstyle you will coat your wet hair with either a hairstyling cream or a hair mousse product, then you shake your head to the sides while leaning your head forward and down. Finally you get your head back in place and a little bit angled towards the back and shake your hair again. Your coils will sit freely on the top of your head so you can then proceed to use your fingers to set down the final shape of the shake and go hairstyle (which is any shape that you want). All you're doing by shaking your head with your curls wet and coated in either a hairstyling cream or a hair mousse product is to keep them free-flowing and easy to style and look natural.

This would be my approach if you're wanting to make the most of your coils with a masculine image. I agree that long curly hair can look a little bit feminine but it depends on the male and how you carry your hair. Search for celebrity guys like Troy Polamalu (NFL guy) or Rogelio Samson (Manly Curls guy, he has posted in this forum before) for two guys who have coiled long curly hair and look masculine. It isn't so much the type of haircut that you get as the confidence that you have in yourself and how you carry yourself.

If you're wanting to grow a longer curly top and you believe that a fade haircut is the type of haircut to help you with this, then I would say to definitively go for it. Fade haircuts clean up the sides and back of the head which makes your facial features stand out more, which then makes your face look more masculine. It's the same masculine trait that affects all the military haircuts in this haircut guide where you can learn about other types of short men's haircuts for the sides and back of your head, like the high and tight haircut and the undercut haircut.

For some cool curly hair inspiration go through the following thread. The forum member who started that thread is Rogelio Samson by the way: http://www.menshairforum.com/talk/Thread...ion-Thread

If you search around the curly hair section of the forum you will find many more threads with lots of pictures of medium length and long length curly hairstyles for coiled hair like yours.

Right New York is the place to be for lots of inspiration and that includes hairstyling inspiration and haircutting inspiration for us barbers too. Just make sure that you find a good barber who can fade hair, usually a black barbershop will do the job. Don't be afraid though to go into an ethnic hair salon, at least for the fist couple of times to get the best of you haircut. I'm aware that you may be worried about the masculine-less endeavor of going to a hair salon but you won't find anywhere else so many hairdressers who know curly hair inside out than at a New York ethnic hair salon.

This is coming from a black barber who likes to keep his haircutting as much as old-school as possible.
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09-22-2015, 04:02 PM
Post: #3
RE: Long Natural Hair with Fade Haircut or Short on the Sides - Best of Both Worlds
Hello Panther,

Thank you for the very detailed response and one that is so timely!

I have tried a similar approach to the flat top method that you have described.
But I feel like my hair just looks like a flat top, which is not what I want to look like. Do you have any good photo examples?

Here is an example of my hair when I did not like how it started to look like a flat top.

I am not necessarily committed to a fade haircut, I am just looking for something with sharp lines in balance with the curls. Any suggestions I am open to!

And I have definitely been scouring these forums for inspiration! Haha

Thank you again Panther, seriously appreciate the help.

Edited: Actually never mind I am not at the post count to post the photo of my previous hair.
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09-23-2015, 09:57 AM
Post: #4
A fade haircut or a taper haircut for men's curly hair works great for aesthetics.
I've just upgraded your account so that you can post/upload/embed pictures. He (i.e. Panther) must have forgotten to do so as our forum moderators are allowed to upgrade accounts, and, in your case, it'd be very useful to see your pictures.

I do agreed on keeping the sides and back short and tight. The top of the head can be as long as you want it to be, but bear in mind that, if you decide to grow your hair long, you will be in a bad situation with regards to rowing your hair longer from such a hair-length discrepancy.

Curly hair in men is always best grown long from an even length. However, if you're sure that you won't be wanting to grow your hair to a length where it hangs down (for coiled hair it's about 8 to 10 inches), then a fade haircut on the sides and back is a great haircut for what you're trying to accomplish.

Just as important as getting a fade haircut for long curly hair, it's also important to get a skilled barber to fade your hair. An unskilled barber or hairdresser will have you ending up with more of an undercut haircut than a fade haircut, and curly hair doesn't do well with undercut haircuts. Ask around and ask your barber or hairdresser specifically about his or her experience with all the types of fade haircuts from the high fade cut to the low fade cut and everything in between.

Lastly, there's no need to solely go with a fade haircut for your curly sides and back. Any kind of short-to-medium taper haircut will work great for men's curly hair provided that the hair on the top of your head is longer than 4 inches. Taper haircuts are easier to do than fade haircuts, so just tell your barber or hairdresser that you'd like a taper haircut finished with a hair clipper (i.e. the barber/hairdresser will use a short hair clipper length to finish off the hair across the scalp's hairline).

Here are some pictures of men's curly hairstyles with tapered sides and back from some of our look-books. Notice how all the bulk of the hair is concentrated on the top of the head while the sides and back of the head remain very short and gradually decrease in length (i.e. the hair is tapered).

[Image: d4246c56bc1c5dc3ca86aa1e2926e99a.jpg]

[Image: bbc81687f20dc288e42d01f326b2dfe6.jpg]

[Image: 8522aac2a979680528c598c190f036ef.jpg]

[Image: cfa328dcb78bc4a035a67d625247ba29.jpg]

[Image: 32e469bf014969ef04df01b617205d76.jpg]

[Image: ac9c733f809f4678df70b94b042311e7.jpg]

On the other hand, the last picture is of an undercut with curly hair from our guide on Joey Essex's hairstyles which shows how bad a regular undercut haircut will look on curly hair.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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09-23-2015, 10:30 AM
Post: #5
Avoid the undercut haircut if you want to keep your curls long on the top.
On the other hand, the following picture is of an undercut with curly hair from our guide on Joey Essex's hairstyles which shows how bad a regular undercut haircut will look on curly hair. So the key here with tapering men's curly hair is by getting the disconnected haircut taper correctly, which any good barber or hairdresser will do for you easily.

[Image: 37WYZYZ.jpg]

If, instead, what you want is to grow your hair quite long (e.g. to the shoulders or about 12 inches in length), then, as said earlier, it's best to start from an even hair length all across the scalp (and then cut the hair once you've reached your hair length goal). Here's an example of curly hair that has been grown evenly (notice how there's no disconnection of the hair at the sides of the head).

[Image: 711b46ff7cc480029cd9ebf34aa8f071.jpg]

However, from the looks of it, you already seem to have the hair on the sides and the back short, so simply keep getting a fade haircut or a taper haircut as the hair on the top grows as long as you want it to be.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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09-24-2015, 02:47 PM
Post: #6
RE: Long Natural Hair with Fade Haircut or Short on the Sides - Best of Both Worlds
Wow. Thank you very much MensHairForum seriously. That first picture of the redhead is exactly what I would love my hair to look like. However, I am Dominican and have somewhat between Type 3 and Type 4 hair curls (based on Rogelio Samson's typification).

So here is my hair at various lengths and hairstyles.

With some slight growth it becomes wavy, but not yet curly.

[Image: early%20growth.jpg]

With a little bit of pomade, it looks like this.

[Image: IMAG0156.jpg]

These next two, are about the longest I have ever grown my hair. I like my hair itself, but I don't like the hairstyle if that makes sense. When I look in the mirror, I feel like I look like a typical 40 year old Dominican father lol

[Image: curly%202.jpg]


[Image: curls1.png]

Now this is when I tried to taper the sides and let it grow on top. I honestly hated this look, felt like I had a strict flat top with "mushroom-head".

[Image: high%20top%202_1.jpg]

[Image: high%20top%201.jpg]


So guys, I appreciate all the help up to now. I am looking for some guidance before moving forward. I really do love my hair, but I don't like how feminine and not sharp I feel when I have them. My hair gets to a point where the curls on top keep curling but the sides keep growing out, so the sides tend to look longer than the top and I just feel silly.

I know a mistake I have made in the past is to get line-ups while still growing my hair out, this definitely affected how my hair grew, but without them, I felt sloppy.

Any further advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks again!

- Markus
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09-25-2015, 10:48 AM
Post: #7
A high fade haircut with long curly hair on the top will suit you as a hairstyle!
I can see what you're trying to get, which is basically the same hairstyle that you had in the penultimate picture (with the 3 ladies behind you) but with a looser top as per one of the pictures that I posted and which you referenced.

Since you have Type IV curls, that means that you need a lot of length for your hair to loosen up. The high top fade haircut is a great hairstyle for men with Type V curls (which we also call kinky curly hair in our hair type guide) as this type of curly hair is the curliest of all hair types and thus it stands up on its own without the use of hair products. On the other hand, Type V curls need a huge amount of hair length to be able to stop defying gravity (i.e. start to hang down).

I can't recall the exact number of years, but, if you've read Rogelio Samson's The Curly Hair Book, there's a table there with all the years for each of the curly hair types. Doing the math, it's about 5 to 7 years for Type V curls to start hanging down, while straight hair or Type I curls only take about one year to start hanging down.

In your case, I would recommend that you add an extra 3 to 4 inches to the hair on the top as illustrated in that picture which I am referencing. You want to make your hair more "malleable", and this is achieved by growing one's hair longer.

About the haircut, it looks like you have an Undercut in that picture, and the Undercut (with curly hair) is not a suitable haircut. Instead, you want to go with a high fade, which will smooth out the mushroom-head effect. You already know what a high fade haircut is, but, as a rule of thumb, your hair must "disappear" into the skin some 2 to 3 inches below your temples. We have dozens if not hundreds of pictures of fade haircuts here in the forum, but feel free to ask if you're not sure about the high fade haircut. It goes without saying that you should only allow a skilled barber to fade your hair; avoid for the time being fading your own hair as the haircut is a very tricky one if doing it by oneself.

Following from the above, you must ensure that the sides of the top of you head (i.e. where the hair on the top of the head meets the hair on the sides and back of the head) is as vertical as possible. Tell your barber that you want the rim of your high fade haircut to make the hair on the top stand up and not to the sides. A classic example of a high fade haircut gone wrong is when the hair at the disconnected haircut line (i.e. the aforementioned area of your head where the top meets the sides and back) is puffing out to the sides. You can see this effect in your last picture where your disconnected haircut was done too low, which then makes your curly hair grow out to the sides over the area where the top meets the sides.

Don't worry if you don't understand what I've said above very well; a good barber will know how to fade your hair and remove any room for your hair to grow out to the sides over the rim of the haircut. If in doubt, just tell your barber that you want your high fade haircut to be done as high as possible on the sides and back of the head; he or she will know what you mean by that and what to do.

With a highly-cut high fade haircut, you want to be able to leave your curly hair styled up easily and following the pattern that you want. This means that the fade haircut should start at the temples (i.e. the corners of your forehead), which any good barber will know how to do without even asking you. The temples are a great height (within the sides and back of the head) from which to start any type of fade haircut and it is usually the height used for most disconnected haircuts like the Undercut haircut or the executive contour haircut.

You have the nice curl shape going on, so the hairstyle that you have in mind is doable and you will achieve some great aesthetics once you reach your final hair-style destination. The key here is to get a good high fade haircut and to remain patient. Since you're probably aware of the visible length and extended length concept of Rogelio Samson, you want to have around 8 inches of extended hair length on the top of the head. This length will allow you to keep your hair standing it somewhat vertical while being easier to manipulate and style.

Bear in mind that men's hair grows at an approximate rate of half an inch per month (that's half an inch of extended length). This poses a problem for curly men like you as it's very difficult to notice your hair growing due to the shape of the curls. Many curly guys give up growing their hair longer because it looks to them like their curly hair isn't growing, when in reality it is growing. However, due to the spiral-like shape of curly hair, the hair growth achieved monthly isn't as visible as the hair growth experienced with straight hair.

Remain patient as you grow your curly mane to 8 inches of extended hair length and get a good high fade haircut every 2 to 3 weeks. Lastly, switch over from pomade to either hair mousse or a hairstyling cream. Using pomade with curly hair is fine if your hair is short; however, for the long length that you will be trying to achieve, pomade will just make a big mess on the top of you head.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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09-30-2015, 06:04 PM
Post: #8
RE: Long Natural Hair with Fade Haircut or Short on the Sides - Best of Both Worlds
Hi guys,

I just want to thank you all again for the extremely detailed information. It's seriously been a great help.
So today I start my journey for the hairstyle that I desire, and I got my hair faded today.

Week 1
[Image: image.jpeg]

I'll be keeping record of my journey in a separate thread. Thanks again everyone! The community here is super helpful, I hope it continues to grow.

- Markus
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