For some reason, some barbers just don’t get it right. But there are a lot of Toronto barbershops to get a fade haircut where the barbers are pros, specialize in men's styling and will hook you up with airbrush fades and razor-sharp line-ups.
A proper fade isn’t easy to do, and if you’re reading this, you’ve probably been a victim of a bad fade in the past: that rainbow created by the clipper along either side because it wasn’t blended nicely, the brucked up line-up, the I-just-got-drafted buzz cut.
A fade haircut should look seamless, be airbrush-even and grow in so perfectly it'll still look sharp weeks later or can be restored to look like new with a $10 line-up. Not everyone has the time or budget to get their hair cut every week or two, you know.
So for your benefit, here are ten barbershops in Toronto to get a fade haircut, listed in no particular order. We don't claim to be know-it-alls or pick favourites. What we do know is that these places take what they do seriously and have pride in not only their work, but time-honored barbershop traditions. Of course, you could always go to Magicuts.
This is in no way a complete list of places to get a fade haircut in Toronto. Do you know any more Toronto barbershops that do great work? Submit the barbershop you feel gives you your best fade using the place suggestion form below. Also, be sure to check out our full list of barbershops in Toronto for more locations.
Onyx Barbers on Yonge is the ultimate home of the line-up, hot shave, specialty design, and fade haircut in Toronto. Located right across from the Eaton Centre, these dudes are one with the razor and have been cutting hair for years, with the outlook on haircutting as more of an art form than a way of just making you look good. Onyx Barbers has a cool, energetic atmosphere where they’ll hook you up with one of the sharpest haircuts one can get in Toronto.
Proper Barbers have just moved out from the back of Proper Reserve and into their temporary location at 161 Spadina Ave. They will be moving shortly, though, to a new location in Kensington Market. This place is pretty much appointment-only, but you can try your luck with a walk-in if you’re in an emergency situation. Don’t count on it, though. Appointments are especially important at Proper Barbers because these guys take their time with each client to assure quality cuts. A smart man with an effed up mop will call to book his appointment, especially before the weekend.
Because The Mad One is located at the back of the Black Market vintage clothing shop, you probably wouldn’t know about the place if it wasn’t for word-of-mouth. That’s all they need for business though, because they're always busy with people waiting to get the “get laid fade” from any of the barbers. And waiting is probably what you’ll have to do since they don’t take appointments, but people don’t seem to mind given the quality of the haircuts and proper rates. The last time I was there they had new couches, which make waiting a lot more comfortable than those hard plastic shits they had before. Plus, there are enough things to do in the Queen and John area if you want to sign in and come back when they're ready for you.
Prince Cuts Kings is a one-man operation located inside Red9 Tattoo. That man is Justin “Prince” Picones, who started up the business a couple of years ago after working in some well-known barbershops in Toronto. With an artistic approach to haircutting and fine attention to detail, this dude is all about clean fades, flawless line-ups and custom designs. His resume speaks for itself with such clients as Drake, The Weeknd, Amir Johnson, Flo-Rida, and Cory Gunz. Justin does take walk-ins but suggests booking an appointment by email or phone since priority is given to anyone with an appointment.
Cut N’ Run is the official barbershop of Raekwon and his Ice H2O Canada imprint, but the haircutting history of owner Peter Gowdie is a pretty interesting one that goes way back before Rae decided to set up shop north of the border. He started from haircutting in basements to becoming a professional barber in both Toronto and Atlanta where he learned to cut hair in ways that just weren’t being done here. After getting into a bit of trouble down south and being deported back to Toronto in 1998, he opened the original Cut n’ Run location in 1999. The current location on Kingston Road is a more mature version of the original Cut n’ Run, where barbers specialize in designs and airbrush fades, the atmosphere is laidback and conversation always interesting.
Alright, so if money isn’t an option and you’re really looking for the extra services other Toronto barbershops don’t provide, The Original Grooming Experts is for you. Opening in July of 2013, OGX is a more upscale Toronto barbershop offering a high-end haircutting experience at its space on Richmond Street. The Original men’s haircut runs you $45 for a shampoo and conditioning, hand wax, hot towel treatment, haircut, and style. The good thing about this one is you get a complimentary touchup within two weeks of your previous appointment. And you can be assured you’re getting a haircut that’s completely 100 since the barbers here are pros at proper fades, line-ups and lots of other men’s hairstyles. You can book appointments through their website or by phone, which is strongly advised – weekends are booked solid for most stylists weeks prior.
The term “hipster” gets thrown around a lot – especially in Toronto, and you may hear this Kensington Market barbershop labeled as such a place. I’m not one for labels. All I know is there’s a reason why Crows Nest Barbershop is appointment-only and one of the most popular barbershops in Toronto, with an old school approach to the entire haircutting experience. Far more than just offering flawless haircuts, Crows Nest has an awesome, friendly atmosphere where the barbers know how to specialize in various hairstyles for men as opposed to other Toronto barbershops specializing in fades that only know one style: short. They do take walk-ins, but it’s not recommended and chances are you’ll be getting an apprentice. They have an awesome online booking form that may require a few days in advance to find an available spot.
From the moment you step in, you’ll notice Hollow Ground is a clear homage to the vintage days of barbering. The Dovercourt Park barbershop opened in 2011 and has been one of the most popular men’s grooming spots in the neighbourhood ever since. Along with professional haircutting and shaving services, Hollow Ground has a laidback, old school atmosphere with its exposed brick walls, checkered tile floor, wood-framed mirrors, and vintage barbershop items. They specialize in fresh cuts and shaves with friendly service and since they’re walk-in only, they’re usually pretty busy. But after you sign in you can just head to any of the restaurants along Bloor to grab a quick bite while you wait.
In an age of overpaying for haircuts at places that offer the haircutting experience with lattes and artisan barbers, Ernie’s Barbershop is a true no-frills, old school Italian-owned Whychwood barbershop where you can get a fresh fade or any other style of haircut for cheap. There’s nothing wrong with a $19 haircut here and even if the barbers here have a bit more age under their aprons than you might be used to, they’re not your typical old man you’ll-get-what-I-give-you barbers. These guys offer pretty legit airbrush fades, designs, line-ups, and shaves.
With a name like Fade King, this Scarborough barbershop better offer the best fade haircut in Toronto. And they may very well do just that, depending on who you ask. The place has been around since 2004 with a supreme clientele of customers who get their heads right on a regular basis. Customers know they’re getting fresh fades, blowouts, clean line-ups and shaves. Fade King does not take appointments, so you’ll have to rely on a walk-in and the probability of waiting around a bit for your cut.
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