How to Get a Great Blowout Haircut

This easy cut could be your new signature look.

By Jessica Punter

It’s hard to pinpoint when and where hairstyles emerge, but the origins of the ‘Brooklyn fade’, or the blowout haircut, are relatively easy to place. It started in the 1990s in the aforementioned district of New York and spread to New Jersey, Philadelphia and the East Coast hubs of the USA, before becoming a worldwide sensation.

One early adopter was tangerine reality star Pauly D, from MTV’s Jersey Shore, with some people referencing his thickly-gelled style as a winning example. We have nothing against Pauly, but we prefer the way stars like Chadwick Boseman, NBA baller Nick Young and from the UK, dancers Ashley and Jordan Banjo have styled it in recent years.

It’s a great look for afro hair, but David Beckham and Adam Levine have proved that versions of it can work with straight follicles too.

The point is, blowout haircuts can look very different from one another. The key feature is simply about blending a fresh fade and short sides with a longer, well-shaped and styled top.

What is a Blowout Haircut?

A blowout cut should not be confused with a ‘blowout’ or a blow dried hair style, as Dan Chung, stylist at top London salon The Lion & The Fox explains: “A blowout cut is also known as a temple or taper fade. It has a strong contrast line up around the ear. You can go shorter or longer on the top, but the main points are where it’s tapered around the temple, sideburns and neckline.”

Whereas the sides and lines are tight, the top is more grown out and can be styled with some height if you wish to exaggerate it. Flat top styles, slick backs and a messy nest of curls can all work. Or you can keep it relatively short and blend it smoothly with your beard.

What To Ask For At The Barbers

In general, if you’re asking your barber for a blowout, you’re asking for the hair to be tapered at the neck, sideburns and temple area. “The line at the nape or the front hairline is important,” says Chung, “in particular the line up around the ear. You shouldn’t go shorter than a grade one above the ear.”

You want to keep the length on top, so minimally trim this area if the length isn’t quite there yet. Also consider if you want to keep the hairline natural, shape the edges, add tramlines or clean up the line around the forehead, like Drake does, for example.

Dense, dark hair works best with a fade and your hair type will inform how it should be styled. After washing, afro hair should be left to dry naturally and finished with a little oil, with a longer top that isn’t overly shaped. Asian or caucasian hair should be styled with a pomade or wax – or even paste or cream – with a matt finish to keep the texture.

Be warned, tight fades need regular maintenance so if you’re not that familiar with your barber, you’ll be getting better acquainted with regular trims needed every two weeks to keep those lines on point.


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