Iman Shumpert and the High Top Fade

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Iman Shumpert and the High Top Fade-by Phylicia Goins:

Perhaps you’ve noticed people in your community wearing a certain type of haircut or style where the hair  is cut in a high fade on the sides and back of the head, while the hair on the top is grown out and then shaped with hair clippers to create the flat surface on the top. This is known as the High Top Fade.

High Top Fade

Photo Courtesy of She’s the Barber

Common among young black youths in the years between 1985 and 1993, the High Top Fade was a trend symbolizing the Golden Era of hip hop and urban contemporary music.

The style fell completely out of fashion by the late 90’s, but  began to slowly reemerge in popularity and surfaced again in 2012 as a new generation of black musicians, athletes, and actors began to embrace this hairstyle. A prominent example is Cleveland Cavaliers guard/forward Iman Shumpert.  [Source]

NY Times’ Nate Taylor: Shumpert has grown the hair on the top of his head but has kept the hair on the sides and lower back of his head trimmed. “At first, it was just to see how long I could grow my hair before I came back,” said Iman ShumpertShumpert, who shares the look with Miami’s Norris Cole, perhaps the only current N.B.A. players wearing the high-top fade. Shumpert, who was born in 1990, added: “When I was growing up, all my cousins had high-top fades. I thought it would be cool to see how long I could grow a high-top.

“It’s cool because you have hair, but you have a fade at the same time,” Shumpert said. “I could put designs in it, parts,” he said before pausing to add, “all that type of stuff. At the same time, you still have the pick-style Afro.”  Shumpert said he also takes pleasure in knowing his hairstyle helped him in a small way get through his rehabilitation. “I had a lot of fun with it,” he said.

A hairstyle can be a reflection of who a person is and a sign of their identity. A person’s relationship with their barber is a sacred bond and an individual’s choice of hairstyle is personal but also public.  So what message are you sending with your hairstyle?

About the author:

Phylicia GoinsPhylicia Goins also known as Fe, is a barber located in Washington, D.C. Phylicia operates She’s the Barber LLC, a full-service barbershop specializing in men and women’s haircuts. She’s The Barber LLC is dedicated to sharing and expressing artistic creativity by providing a unique grooming experience for a variety of individuals from all walks of life.



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