Hi-top fade is a haircut where hair on the sides is cut off or kept very short while hair on the top of the head is very long.The hi-top was a trend symbolising the golden age of hip hop and urban contemporary music during the 1980s and the early 1990s.

It was common between 1986 and 1992 and to a lesser extent in the mid–1990s (1993–1996).The hi-top fade is commonly called a crew cut, due to the great likeness of the two styles. In fact, the hi-top fade could qualify as a variation on the Flattop.In 1986, rappers like Schoolly D and Doug E. Fresh had the first, somewhat developed, styles of the hi-top fade in hip hop. However, their hairstyles lacked the geometric precision that characterized the more modern hi-top fade styles.In the hip-hop community, one of the first public appearances of the more modern hi-top fade hairstyles was in the “Tramp” video by Salt-N-Pepa, released early in 1987

The conventional hi-top began to fall out of fashion in the early 1990s and was changed by revolutionary RnB groups like Jodeci, who added slits and unique designs that are still imitated till this day. This style became the staple design set by the group who were the self-imposed “bad boys of RnB”. The turning point was between 1995 and 1997 many people who had sported the hi-top fade started to move toward other men’s styles.Still, the hi-top remained common among many groups of young adults and teenagers for a few years longer.

As for the braided style of hi-top fades, it characterized an era of afrocentricity of hip hop and embracing the rap culture. Golden age MCs like Def Jef and the hip hop group De La Soul are known for their braided hi-top fade styles in 1989 and 1990. Many back-up dancers in many hip hop, dance, and R&B videos could be seen wearing similar hairstyles from 1990 to 1992. This trend continued until 1994 when urban hair style simplified into low-cut fade hair cuts and cornrow hairstyles. This hairstyle was also a fashion trend of new jack swing era.

The style began to slowly reemerge in popularity in the early to late 2000s, as a new generation of black musicians, athletes, and actors began to embrace this hairstyle. A prominent example is former Cleveland Cavaliers guard/forward Iman Shumpert. The hairstyle even surfaced again in 2012 with the late 1980s–early 1990s style returning. NBA players such as Nerlens NoelJaylen Brown and Norris Cole have sported hi-top fades.The hi-top has made an appearance in the UK since the late 1980s. The hairstyle also received some airtime during the second inauguration of Barack Obama, as sported by Barack and Michelle Obama’s nephew Avery Robinson.