What is The Burst Fade?

Published 03rd Oct 2023 by Josie Jackson

The Burst Fade, sometimes referred to as The Gentlemen’s Mohawk or the South of France Haircut, is a variation of a fade that was made popular by Usher and his barber, Curtis Smith. As such, the style remains popular amongst those with afro hair types, and more recently, those with thicker hair of all types, with Rhys Whitehouse, Wahl Ambassador, adding: "Thicker hair allows for a more striking result."

"The style most commonly begins at the middle of the tip of the ear and fades in a circular motion, a bit like a sunset", according to Wez Jones, owner of Heartbreak Barber Club. However, like any style, execution can vary, with Kevin Luchmun, International Artistic Team Lead for Andis, sharing: “It involves blending and tapering the hair seamlessly from a shorter length on the sides and back to a longer length on top, but that being said the burst fade can be done from a particular area.”

What is The Burst Fade?Andis

How to Cut a Burst Fade?

The first step of any successful cut is a consultation. “You need to find out what the client wants done with the length on top and then figure out how high or low to take the fade,” says Kevin. “It’s always best to keep things slightly longer and that way you can always take things shorter if need be.”

Sharing how he would cut a Burst Fade, Charles Rose, owner of Crate, explains that he would treat it like a taper, extending round the ear and leaving the back: "I would use clippers and put a fade line with it dropping down right at the back., then I would work down my clipper guards to ensure we don’t take the fade to high.”

“By creating a canvas for the fade, dependant on hair density, I would probably use a two guard, then create a starting point using a trimmer, before using aa ascending fade technique to control the circular shape,” Wez shares, offering up his preferred approach.

What to Watch Out For

Depending on the client’s hair type and density, the pressure points for a Burst Fade can vary, however Charles suggests: “Make sure to take your time on putting your fade line in and dropping it right behind the ear, as your client still wants hair at the back, hence why they are after a burst fade.”

Kevin also offers up some advice, sharing: “Make sure you take a step back and have a look at the cut from a distance, so you can see the overall shape that you’ve created.”

Now that you're familiar with The Burst Fade, why not find out more about The Edgar Cut?

Lead image: Wahl

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 03rd Oct 2023

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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