After the Jheri-curl lost its favor, African-American boys preferred a more natural state for their hair, and the fade stepped out from the shade.
The compact, kinky curl of African-American hair was a great canvas for intricate razored designs and outrageous shapes. Remember Kid 'n' Play's Gumby-influenced fro and shock-wig, mile-high 'fro? Or Bobby Brown's lightning strke? Even white boy rapper Vanilla Ice joined in with a Caucasian version, sporting razored eyebrows.
There was no limit to the design possiblities, and boys spent hours under the mercy of the buzz-cut artists. White kids tried to compete by cutting bare designs into crew cut hair, but come on, you weren't fooling anybody.