Taper fade haircut is one of the most fashionable long top, short sides haircuts today. The popularity of this haircut increases day by day among hairstylists and barbers.

It has got the admiration of many men due to its clean neat and stylish. Also, this haircut is compatible with every environment.

What Is The Taper Fade?

The taper fade is not actually the name of a haircutting technique. It is a term belonging to barbershop terminology. We can say that It is a mixed haircut formed by combining two different hair cutting techniques. It is obtained by using fade and taper cuts on the sides and back of the hair.

While taper fade applies, it is possible to prefer other popular hairstyles such as quiff, slicked back, a pompadour, comb-over for the upper part of the head.

Taper vs Fade: What is the difference?

Taper and fade are basically different hair cutting techniques and styles. But there is confusion about these haircuts. So we see that both hairstyles are often used interchangeably. We will try to explain what is the difference between the two hairstyles to eliminate this misunderstanding.


Taper haircut is applied only to two areas of the hair. These are the sideburns and nape. Firstly, a 45-degree or curved guideline is set on the sideburns. Also a straight line is trimmed as a neckline on the nape. Then the hair is trimmed gradually above both lines with a hair clipper. Sideburns are vague in the taper.

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Fade is a smooth transition between different hair lengths on the sides and back of the head. It starts from the bottom hairline on the sides and continues until the top. The hair is shaved completely at the bottom hairline on sides. Then it is trimmed gradually upward to the top. The hair length at each level is more than the previous level. Also the hair is blended on the sides and back.

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We can say that fade is a haircut that often includes a taper hair cutting technique. But it is not the same for taper. Because fade also contains the nape and sideburn parts of the hair.

How To Ask Your Barber For Taper Fade?

We want to confess something before we explain this. Unfortunately, many people don’t know what taper fade is, including some barbers. You might think it’s a very brutal criticism. But it’s true.

There are actually two different approaches for taper fade haircuts:

  1. It is used the fade technique on the sides and back of the hair. Also the “taper” technique is applied to the nape and sideburns. The combination of two haircut techniques creates a mixed haircut.
  2. It is used both taper and fade hair cutting techniques on the nape and sideburns.

We would like to emphasize that we support the number one. So we created an article about taper fade based on the first approach. Because our subjective idea is that the second approach has no difference from the classic taper style.

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Thus you should be careful while describing the haircut you want to your barber. If you will say only taper fade, you may only get a taper cut. Talk about the details as much as possible.

For instance If you want a low taper fade, you should clearly explain that you want a low fade cut on the sides and back and that you want a taper application for your sideburns and nape.

Taper Fade Gallery

1.  Low Taper Fade

The low taper fade is risk-free and a very stylish haircut. Because there is no high contrast between the top and sides of the hair in this haircut.

When it comes to low taper fade haircut, there are two guidelines for the sides. the first guideline is pretty low. It is used a trimmer to set the first guideline. It curves just above the ears and goes behind the head. The bottom of this line is trimmed totally.

After that, the barber creates a new guideline by going up about an inch. At this stage, the gap between these two guidelines is cut to different lengths with a hair clipper (no guard). Thus the blending is complete.

Finally, the hair is trimmed by increasing the hair length gradually upward.

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2.  Mid Taper Fade

The mid taper fade is one of the most popular modern haircuts. Especially young men often prefer this haircut.

The only difference between mid taper fade and low taper fade is the first guideline. As you might guess, this reference line is higher in the mid taper fade. It is set with a t-outliner about an inch above the ear. All the hair is balded out below this line.

the hair is tapered by using different guards from top to bottom on the sides and back. This cut creates a smooth transition on the sides of the head.

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3.  High Taper Fade

A high taper fade is the type of fade which has the highest shaved part on the sides. It looks disconnected and creates a high contrast between the top and sides.

This haircut is a clean and neat haircut that usually gets attention. Also, high taper fade can combine many cutting techniques such as textured crop, slicked back, quiff, and caesar cut.

In addition, it is managed, maintained, and styled quickly.

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4.  Drop Taper Fade

The most specific feature of the drop taper fade is that it looks like a drop behind the head. So the first guideline starts at the temple, goes back like a regular fade and lastly drops down at the behind of the head. The hair at both sides of the head looks the same.

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The part under the bald initial guideline is shaved down to the skin level with a shaver. barbers use a hair clipper for the fade process above the guideline. At the first point, the lever all the way is closed and the hair is blended upward progressively.

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5.  Bald Taper Fade

The bald fade is often confused with high fade. There is a curved line that goes behind the head in the high fade and the hair which is bottom of this line is completely shaved down to the scalp. But when it comes to bald fade, this guideline goes straightly around the head.

In short, the shaved area behind the head is bigger compares to the high fade.

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6.  Skin Taper Fade

This haircut has become quite fashionable today. Besides we can say that it is one of the newest members of the fade family.

Skin taper fade and bald taper fade are the same hair cutting technique according to most of hairstylist and barbers. Also the common feature of both fade styles is that the hair is trimmed to the level of the skin.

The hair of the sideburns and nape area is tapered in this haircut like other taper haircuts.

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7.  Taper Fade With Quiff

The quiff is a hairstyle that is applied by basically combing the hair from the forehead upwards and backward. Also, it is highly compatible with the taper fade haircuts and complements each other.

The quiff is generally better for medium length and long hair. This way it looks more voluminous.

It is styled with a hairdryer and comb. In addition, hair-holding and styling products such as wax are used to protect the shape of the hair.

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8.  Taper Fade With Pompadour

There is not much to say for a pompadour. It already tells its appearance itself. It has always achieved to be fashionable and popular. Also, almost every barber has applied this hairstyle at least once.

The pompadour style gets a modern look with a taper fade haircut. In this style, the hair at the top of the head is combed back and held. If you like it, we definitely recommend you to try this Elvis’s hairstyle.

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9.  Taper Fade With Comb Over

Although comb over is normally a classic hairstyle, it is possible to have a contemporary hairstyle when preferred in combination with taper fade. Besides, this variation is suitable for any situation. It’s versatile.

In comb-over hairstyle, the hair at the top of the head is divided into two and one half of the hair is combed to the side. Low, mid or high taper fade cutting technique can be used for sides and back.

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10.  Taper Fade With Hard Part

The hard part is also called to as razor part. It is a clear and straight-line shaved down to the scalp with a trimmer or razor. Also, this cut style reveals a disconnected look on the hair.

In fact, it is often a variation of the side part haircut. It spares the hair into two different parts.  The taper fade and hard part combine perfectly together.

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11.  Taper Fade With Fringe

Fringe is one of the iconic and cult hairstyles. It is particularly good at hiding receding hairline.

Haircut styles such as caesar cut and french crop are the hairstyles you can try with peace of mind. The fringe part can be of different lengths and can be a good duo with taper fade.

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12.  Spiky Taper Fade

In this hairstyle, the hair at the top of the head is upward and they are pointed. We can say that styling and managing the spiky hairstyle is a bit troublesome. But it deserves some effort because of its stylish look.

A cut with scissors is applied to achieve this appearance. You can use some hair styling products according to your hair condition. It works well with all taper fade variations.

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13.  Afro Taper Fade

The afro taper fade is one of the most popular black men’s haircuts. Sponge twists and natural curls can be preferred at the top. In addition the coarse hair type is extremely suitable for these hairstyles.

Also, when it comes to this style, the hair is tapered from top to bottom on the sides, while the upper parts are left long. The fade cut can be of different degrees. In addition, hairlines can be shaped in the forehead area with a trimmer.

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14.  Curly Taper Fade

There are also gorgeous taper fade haircuts for men with curly hair. The fringe hairstyle can be a good choice for this mixed haircut.

If you have wide curls, you can increase the hair length at the top of the head for a more voluminous and eye-catching look.

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15.  Taper Fade With Design

We often see hair designs in haircuts such as fade and taper. it is especially useful for young men. Because these applications are more suitable for daily use.

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Editor’s Picks

Before leaving the page, we recommend you to check out our gallery, which includes special taper fade alternatives we have prepared for you. We strongly believe that you can find a haircut style that matches your own character.

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