Black History Fashion Trend: The High Top Fade

In the late 1980s, as the Jheri Curl literally started to dry up, African Americans returned to more afro-centric looks and began to wear their hair sans-chemicals. Guys and gals alike were slowly growing their hair to new lengths, going up instead of down, and tapering the sides. Thus the high top fade was born.

Rocked by rappers like Big Daddy Kane, 2Pac, and MC Serch, the high top fade took to new lengths when Kid from rap duo Kid N’ Play sported his height-defying fade. The style saw many incarnations including a sort of female version of the ‘do (seen on Queen Latifah in her duet with fellow rapper Monie Love “Ladies First” video as well as on fashion icon Grace Jones) and had everything from a line in the front to elaborated scenery in the back to an asymmetrical slope known as the Gumby (worn by artists like R&B divo Bobby Brown).

By the mid to late 1990s, the high top fade was played, but the style saw a small resurgence in the late 2000s when the Retro Kidz came on the scene.

More flashback pics (even your boy Hov had a fade):

Check out these high top fade approved old school videos:

Big Daddy Kane: “Ain’t No Half Steppin'”

“House Party”: The Dance-Off Scene feat Kid N’ Play, Tisha Campbell, and A.J. Johnson

My sis had a high top fade back in the day. I’d post pics but I prefer to not get a beat down…lol. What are your high top fade memories?


  • Instagram

  • Shares