There’s an easy way to fade, and there are hard ways to fade. Ivan Zoot, aka ClipperGuy, has posted a six and a half minute video at www.youtube.com/clipperguysays to demonstrate the easy way to cut a classic fade in a four-step process that takes just four minutes. The result is a fast, easy, natural looking fade.

“The most time consuming part of the fade is the cutting your fade line, which takes two of the four minutes in this process,” says Zoot, director of education and training with the Andis Company. “The most common mistake in a clipper fade is made at this point by putting in a line that later needs to be taken out. In the video, I show how not to put the line in, so you don’t have to take the line out.”

Zoot uses Andis’ SpeedMaster II Clipper to demonstrate four simple steps for the perfect fade haircut. Step one is to pick your fade point. Step two is to cut your fade line all the way around the head, moving sideways with the clipper. Step three is blending the top, using the clipper over comb method with a little help from the guard. Step four is gutting out the bottom.

To select the fade point, Zoot demonstrates with a baseball. The outermost part of the ball would the spot to pick for your fade point. Putting the clipper beside the ball, it’s obvious that only a small section of the clipper would touch the ball, as long as the widest point is selected. The analogy is excellent for helping to choose the fade point on someone’s head; it should be at the point where the head is the widest, which is called the contact point, where the blade touches the head.

Once the fade point is selected, Zoot cuts the fade line by setting the clipper in, then tipping it out, resulting in a natural progressive fading, away from the head. With the clipper at this angle, a stripe is cut around the head, slowly and carefully, to produce an even transition, with shorter hair at the contact point, moving up into longer hair above, without a distinct hard line.

In the blending step, Zoot uses the clipper over comb method, careful to hold the comb at an angle, working from the shorter hair beneath to the longer hair above. The process is easier using a light comb with dark hair and vice versa. The second part of the blending process is to use snap on attachment guides or guards, placing the clipper against the skin with a little tension to take off any ghost of a line.

The last step is to gut out the bottom, cutting off all the remaining hair along the bottom. It’s not necessary to fade the bottom portion, just cut it off. The last finishing touch is to line up the front with finishing comb, liners and edgers.

Zoot is an experienced educator with an exuberance for teaching. He recently set three haircutting records for the Guinness Book of World Records. His videos are full of tips that he has picked up during conversations and observations all over the world. This video is one of thirty-four (at last count) that he has posted on YouTube. Viewers can receive free videos via email each time a new one is posted. Simply log onto YouTube, create a free user name and password and click on subscribe.

Andis Company, founded in 1922, is a leading manufacturer of handheld tools to trim, cut, curl, straighten and dry hair. The company’s products are purchased worldwide by barber and beauty shops, consumers, hotels, motels, resorts, small and large animal groomers, and shearers. To find a local distributor, call the company at 800-558-9441 or visit their Web site at www.andis.com.