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A young guy, combing his afro with a wide-tooth comb.

Hair Style

The High Top Fade


The high top fade is a funky throwback to mens hairstyles on the streets of mid-'80s New York City, back when hip hop was on the rise and every self-respecting B-boy’s hair had to keep up. Debates still rage over exactly which of the five boroughs’ legendary MCs invented the high afro fade, but it’s been hot on every block from the Bronx to Brooklyn ever since. 

This look is all about an aggressively close shave on the back and sides. The transition from no hair to a full mane on top is abrupt – hence the name. It’s a style that’s graced the heads of many celebrities, and it looks tight with an afro. 

How it Began

The History

The high top fade is a variation on the flat top hairstyle, and first appeared in the early 80s during the golden era of hip hop. Worn by the biggest rap stars, it’s still going strong today. 

A young guy, checking his afro in the mirror.

The clue is in the name: high. Grow your 'fro as tall as it goes, and keep the slides close to work that juxtaposition.

Kieron Webb - The London Barber

Learn The Fundamentals


Learn The Fundamentals

  • 01


    Gently pick curls loose with an afro comb.

  • 02


    Squeeze a finger tip amount of Axe Natural Look: Softening Cream in to your hair.

  • 03


    Dab product through your hair with a damp sponge, using circular motions as you go.

  • 04


    A quick hairspray and it’s time to go.