What Is Up With This Hair?

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 04:  Quincy Brown Hosts Smile Train YLC Los Angeles Benefit At Sofitel Beverly Hills at Riviera 31 on May 3, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Smile Train, Inc)

What Is Up With This Hair?

An exploration of how the 'braided fade' became a trend.

Published February 28, 2017

As Black men, unfortunately, sometimes our hair choices are extremely limited. We don't have much to choose from. The “1” “2” or “3” Caesar cut (for those who don’t know what numbers mean, it’s the level of length you want your hair to evenly be — 1 being very low to 3 being very full), and “the fade.” Currently, "the fade" is in by the way!

If you have a head full of hair, braids or dreds are always an option, of course. 

But it's 2017 and, though we might not have a lady president yet, boy, have we evolved! Men are now taking hair styling as seriously as our female counterparts. The generation of self-expression!

Last year, men went through an exploration of several options. You might remember the popularity of man buns, but now we are incorporating a hybrid. Hairstyles and haircuts have become one. 

Enter the “cornrow fade.” I asked a couple of my celebrity barber friends in Los Angeles and New York the name of this style and they all said “fade with braids,” so we're calling it the “Braided Fade.” The look has been trending for almost a year and is predictably super popular among musicians, as they tend to be the most experimental with their looks. 

Here are some of my favorites who I think pull the style off the well. 

Omarion, who refers to the style as the “Fly O’2.” 

Wavvs...🌊. 🤘🏾.

A post shared by Omarion (@1omarion) on

Chris Brown, who rocked the same Caesar cut since 2005 but grew his hair out and converted to the look.

(Photo: Chris Brown via Instagram)

Quincy Brown has made this style his signature look while filming the new show Star.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 04:  Quincy Brown Hosts Smile Train YLC Los Angeles Benefit At Sofitel Beverly Hills at Riviera 31 on May 3, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Smile Train, Inc)
(Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Smile Train, Inc)

Jason Derulo, who doesn’t mind trying cool looks with his hair but always manages to look dapper and fresh, rocked the style. 

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20:  Singer/songwriter Jason Derulo, hair detail, promotes performance at Hyatt Centric Times Square at Flatiron Plaza on October 20, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
(Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage)

The Game has even given the style his stamp of approval!

(Photo: The Game via Instagram)

It is always encouraging to see men take risks with their style, but do we think the braided fade trend will be short-lived like the high-top fade? 

Although, if you ask Iman Shumpert, that look is still hot. 

Written by Maurice Marcel

(Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Smile Train, Inc)

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