The History Behind This Popular Black Hairstyle Goes Back Centuries

young black man with a fade haircut
Adé Hennis
February 16, 2024

Fade haircuts come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter what it looks like, it has a strong Black influence. The style became especially popular in the 80s, but Black people have rocked the fade for decades.

Many believe the hairstyle originated in ancient Egypt, referencing how Queen Nefertiti's crown resembles a modern hi-top fade. But in the 1980s, another Black queen made fade haircuts popular.

Singer Grace Jones sported a flat-top fade on her Warm Leatherette album cover in 1980. And since then, artists like Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, and Cameo have also rocked the look, making the fade a standard in Black culture.

There are various types of fades, including the low fade, mid fade, high fade, and taper fade, each offering a different aesthetic and level of boldness. While the haircut has evolved over time, what hasn’t changed is its tie to Black culture.

The fade hairstyle became a symbol of pride – a way for Black individuals to reclaim our cultural identity and express individuality while also connecting to our community. No matter how mainstream Black culture becomes, we should protect it from anyone who tries to whitewash it and erase our history.

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