The versatility of a taper fade allows any man to find a style that matches his tastes. It can be side-parted, combed back, tousled or spiked up. And these are just a few of the styles you can do. Most looks work best with hair styling products and/or pomades, so don’t hesitate to use them. To get more insight into the cut and draw some inspiring ideas, keep on reading.


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    What Is A Taper Fade Haircut?

    A taper fade haircut is similar to its brother, a taper haircut. Both haircuts feature longer hair on top of the head and short hair around the sides and back. The short hair section is about four inches but can be longer (high, low or medium fades). The hairstylist works with the short hair section and fashions it to gradually advance toward the back of the head or “tapers” it.

    Source: @z_ramsey via Instagram


    What Is The Difference Between A Taper And A Fade?

    When you compare taper vs fade, you may notice that the taper section can be buzzed or scissor cut, whereas the fade section is progressively buzzed to appear as though it’s merging into the skin. Another difference in fade vs taper comparison is that with the former, some areas of the head may have no hair at all, which generated the term “bald fade,” whilst with the latter, the locks are gradually cut in different levels of length.

    Source: @ahmetaslanhairsalon via Instagram

    Types Of Tapered Fade

    There are basically three main types of taper fade: low, medium, and high. Let’s work out the meaning of each of them.

    The way you’re going to style your fade tapered hair is fully dependent on the type of cut you’re trying to pull off. For more intricate hairstyles, such as a high fade faux hawk, you’ll need a generous amount of styling product with a stronghold. If you’re going for something lighter, say, a classic tapered fade haircut, it’s up to you to decide whether to style it or not.

    So that you didn’t have to spend much time choosing the look that will suit you best, we’ve selected the most stylish options below.


    Low Taper Fade

    To get the low taper fade, you’ll need to start it at the top of your ears, bend it over them along the hairline, and land to the nape. This is a professional-looking haircut, so you’re welcome to sport it on any occasion. As the low fade taper focuses on the back and sides, the top should be left longer for a contrasty look.

    Source: @alan_beak via Instagram

    Mid Taper Fade

    What is a medium taper fade? Unlike the low taper, the mid taper fade starts at the center of your sides and back. It’s not overly bold yet not too plain, which makes it a perfect choice for guys who like to have a balance in all areas of their lives. No matter what hairstyle you’re flaunting, a faux hawk or Afro tapered fade that starts at the middle of the head can complement them all.

    Source: @joshconnollybarber via Instagram


    High Taper Fade

    It’s not hard to guess that the high taper fade starts high on the sides and back, a bit below the crown area. Guys who choose to live on the edge are bound to enhance their look with such a daring element. The high fade haircut makes any style very contrasty, so you won’t need to go overly creative on the top to get a really distinguished look.

    Source: @xbigwesx via Instagram

    Taper Fade Curly Hair

    With a taper fade curly hair looks much neater and more defined. So, if you want to give your curls additional prominence, a taper fade is your way to go.

    Short Taper Fade

    Guys who are reluctant to grow out long hair can get away with a short taper fade easily. This haircut appears sharp and intense.


    Classy Taper Fade

    If you choose a classic and elegant style but want it to appear more up-to-date, this haircut will help you to get the desired look. The haircut type depends on the effect you want to achieve. For more definition, get a simple side part in above the tapered area.

    Source: @sean_the_barber_ via Instagram

    Blowout Taper

    A blowout taper fade is one of the most popular hairstyles of choice among guys who prefer to have more volume on top with the sides being neatly trimmed. To pull off the look, you need a volumizing hair product, a powerful hair dryer and a pinch of a certain attitude.

    Source: @andrewdoeshair via Instagram

    Skin Taper

    A skin taper will make your hairstyle look even more impactful and edgy. As it removes pretty much hair from the sides, you are free to style your top as intricate as you want. Spiked up hair, a comb over, a quiff or curtain bangs are some of the best options to pair with a skin taper.

    Source: @ahmetaslanhairsalon via Instagram


    Long Hair Taper

    For long hair taper fade is always a great addition since it instantly makes the hairstyle easier to maintain while giving it a defined silhouette. The way to style the hair on top is up to you. This can be just anything, from a top knot to a Viking braid.

    Source: @ahmetaslanhairsalon via Instagram

    Brushed Back Taper Fade Mid

    A taper fade haircut takes your hair on top to the center of attention. So, you can style it in any way you like, and rest assured that your hairstyle will look head turning. If you need an elegant and stylish hairstyle, get the top brushed back and complement it with a mid taper fade.

    Source: @r.braid via Instagram

    Mid Taper Mullet

    A muller haircut is one of those comeback male hair trends that you cannot miss. Though, to give it a modern feel, pair the elongated top and back with a mid taper haircut on the sides. This combo looks very bold and fashionable, so you are guaranteed to collect compliments left, right and center.

    Source: @xbigwesx via Instagram


    High Taper Fade Curly Hair

    Curly hair and a high taper fade are made for each other. As your kinks may be very tricky to keep in order, a taper fade will make things easy for you. For ultimate contrast and boldness, opt for a high taper fade, which takes off pretty much hair from the side, making your hairstyle much easier to maintain.

    Source: @xbigwesx via Instagram

    Taper Fade Straight Hair

    For straight hair, a taper fade creates much needed definition. As a result, your haircut looks more pronounced. You may accentuate your top with a layered haircut and apply a texturizing product for a more voluminous and structured look of the cut. The type of taper depends on you and your preferences.

    Source: @joshconnollybarber via Instagram

    Middle Part Taper Fade

    Middle parted hair is still at the peak of its popularity. Yet, you can take it to another level by accompanying the look with a tapered fade haircut. This will provide ease of maintenance and styling, as you remove bulk from your hair. As such, with taper fade long hair gets a lot of benefits.


    Low Taper Fade Curly Hair

    It’s not usually easy to find trendy hairstyles for men with curly hair. Not so anymore. This model shows how taper fades make curly hair men look fantastic. This model’s fabulous curls will instantly make women want to run their hands through them.

    Afro Taper Fade

    A taper fade is an awesome way to tame such unruly locks as Afro. Having your sides and back tapered gives your hairstyle a neat and dapper appearance. At the same time, you get a really trendy and stylish look, thus killing two birds with one stone. Do not forget to emphasize the bold texture of your kinks on top with a blob of a hair styling product.

    Source: @z_ramsey via Instagram

    Long Hair Low Taper Fade

    A long hair low taper fade is a match made in tonsorial heaven. Because the hair on the sides and back is tapered with fading, the overall appearance of your hairstyle comes out neater and cleaner. And since a low taper fade suggests a gradual change in length, it is less harsh compared to other tapper fade haircuts.

    Source: @ahmetaslanhairsalon via Instagram


    Faux Hawk Low Taper Haircut

    A faux hawk haircut is the first that you’ll want to pair with a taper fade. To achieve this hairstyle look, you’ll need to have your hair on top long enough to form a crest, while the sides, unlike the traditional mohawk, shouldn’t be shaved but tapered instead.

    Parted Brush Up Low Fade Haircut Taper

    This hairstyle will be beneficial for guys with fine and limp tresses. Although it requires pretty much styling, the final result fully pays off. Get the sides shorter and complement the look with a taper fade for a dramatic yet tasteful kick. The hair on top, in its turn, should be brushed up using a generous amount of a hair product and a powerful hair dryer.

    Source: @andrewdoeshair via Instagram

    Clean Neckline Taper Fade

    For a sharp and masculine look, you should not necessarily go with a high or bald fade. Even a subtle taper fade haircut on the sides may add a stylish and dapper touch to your overall appearance. However, to give your hairstyle a pronounced edge, opt for long hair on top.

    Source: @keller_konturen via Instagram


    Caesar Inspired Taper

    Do historical figures inspire you for life changes? Why don’t you try a Caesar haircut then? It pairs perfectly with a fade tapered haircut and an elaborate design.

    Source: @johnny_snips via Instagram

    Curly Taper Fade

    A taper fade haircut is especially beneficial for guys with curly locks. This is how you can keep them tamed and groomed. Use a texturizing product to enhance your hair structure on top and give your curls a pronounced shape. For a more reserved hair look, go for a low taper curly hair cut.

    Source: @johnny_snips via Instagram

    Comb Over Fade

    The comb over fade offers several styling options. This model side parted his and then slicked it back. Bald men and those with thinning hair like the taper fade comb over as it allows them to conceal hairless patches.

    Source: @johnny_snips via Instagram


    Choppy Short Low Taper Fade

    Men with thick hair no longer need to get thinned out, short cuts. Choppy haircuts with taper fades will give them edge, polish, and sophistication. They can even choose whether they want short choppy hair or, like this model, wear it longer. Taper fades offer so many options.

    Source: @diego_djdgaf via Instagram

    Taper Fade Blonde Hair

    When opting for a taper fade black men get many benefits. A taper fade Afro is easier to maintain than a traditional Afro. Besides, with a taper fade black men achieve a face-framing effect and a bolder look.

    Source: @ dexterdapper via Instagram

    Flowy Swept Back

    To give your hairstyle a breezy and relaxed appearance, incorporate flowy strands on top. To achieve high contrast with this look, you will need to sweep back the hair up top and get the sides faded to the skin. If this seems like too much for you, then you are welcome to go for a gradual taper fade on the sides and back.

    Source: @keller_konturen via Instagram


    Textured Short Top

    A taper fade works for hair of any length. So, if you prefer shorter haircuts, complement them with a high taper haircut for more definition. For the same reason, the hair on top can be texture cut.

    Source: @alan_beak via Instagram

    Medium Blowout

    When you need to look your best, a medium blowout haircut with tapered sides is your way to go. Elegant and neat, it suits almost any ambiance, from semi formal to professional.

    Source: @alan_beak via Instagram

    Low Drop Taper Fade

    A low taper fade haircut comes out looking tasteful and reserved. It may not be particularly eye catching, yet it still adds a stylish touch to your look. For an added emphasis, go for a drop taper fade haircut.

    Source: @z_ramsey via Instagram


    Tapered Buzz Cut

    As we already mentioned, there are no limits in terms of length when it comes to a mens taper fade haircut and the wide variety of both short and long taper fade images existing nowadays successfully proves it. So, if a buzz cut is your haircut of choice, a tapered cut will become a great accompaniment to it.

    Source: @xbigwesx via Instagram

    Short Blowout

    For a dapper look that doesn’t require much maintenance, turn to a blowout haircut on top and a tapered low fade haircut on the sides and back. To make it even edgier, add a line-up along the forehead and temples.

    Source: @hayden_cassidy  via Instagram

    Long Textured Low Taper Haircut

    If you prefer long top short sides haircuts, then this is your way to go. With a low taper long hair on top will become the focal point of the whole look. So, make sure to give it a more intricate shape. To achieve this, get the strands texture cut and apply a hair product for more emphasis.

    Source: @ryancullenhair via Instagram


    High Top Fade

    This model’s high top hairstyle elicits the 1990s hip hop beats. Well, the look is back, and the high top fade modernizes it. It looks great on African American men and those with tight curly hair. These days, it’s extremely trendy. This model’s high top sits above a mid taper fade, which begins around the temple level and ends above the ears.

    Source: @diego_djdgaf  via Instagram

    Tapered Mohawk

    Mohawk hair, in some form or fashion, has YET to go out of style. This Mohawk fade, though spiked and atop a scruffy beard, nonetheless can still be sophisticated, if that’s what this model needs. It’ll be anything he wants, really. The Mohawk haircut isn’t just for punk rockers anymore.

    Source: @z_ramsey via Instagram

    Tapered Side Part

    Here’s another variation of a side part fade. This model’s hair is extra long on top, so he’s able to create a deep side part. As you can see, this side part haircut works especially well for wavy and curly hair. A man with straight hair can use a curling iron or wand to achieve the curl. Macho men absolutely use heat styling tools.


    Brushed Back Haircut

    Brushed back hair, along with a low taper fade, that is usually within one or two inches of the hairline, looks most dapper with coarse, thick hair, as this model sports.

    Source: @birdcobarbers via Instagram

    Textured Crop

    Although a French crop is somehow a controversial hairstyle, as not everybody is able to pull it off, the taper can make it more versatile. Go for a high tapered fade to keep the textured top a focal point of the whole look. If you have kinky and unruly locks, a French cropped fade black male hairstyle will become a perfect solution to not only tame them but also bring a stylish touch to the whole look.

    Source: @keller_konturen via Instagram

    Tapered Pompadour

    A pompadour hairstyle or pomp has short hair on the sides and back, long hair on top, and lots of hair in the front. So that the pomp can be fashioned, the hairstylist creates a high fade taper with the front hair. Those in the fifties slick back their pomp. This model shows us the contemporary pompadour fade. While the pomp is high, the tapered cut can be whatever the wearer wants (low, mid, or high).


    Quiff Top Taper Fade

    The quiff hairstyle somewhat looks like a pomp. They’re both swept back and high. The quif, however, has more bulk on the sides. This model’s snazzy mens quif with a mid taper fade shows how you have some choice about the length. It could be worn longer and more voluminous if you want.

    Source: @keller_konturen via Instagram

    Spiky Hairstyle

    Even if the hair on top isn’t very long, you can still add pizzazz with a taper fade. This model’s short spiky hair looks amazing and would suit any occasion. The taper fade nicely compliments the spiky hair and keeps it neat, fresh, and modern. Taper fades make so many styles ideal, even those you’d swear would be wrong. If you’re a conservative type, try out one of the short spiky hairstyles. You’ll definitely look handsome.

    Source: @z_ramsey via Instagram

    Spiky & Bleached

    With taper fades, you can even create hair designs or bleaches. It work especially well for a thick men’s haircuts taper fade. Just check out this model’s silver hair fade. Imagine the possibilities.

    Source: @diego_djdgaf via Instagram


    Brushed Up Tapered Haircut

    A taper fade is a perfect accompaniment for a brushed up hairstyle, as it allows you to easily keep the focus on the prominent top. Being a hugely eye-catching and stylish, this hairdo does not require a lot of effort and time.

    Slicked Pompadour + Taper Fade

    For an elegant and refined slicked pompadour, there is hardly a better company than a taper fade. It does not clash with the ambiance of the style yet gives it a modern and fashionable twist. All you need to get the style is a wide-tooth comb and a hair styling product with a matte finish.

    Source: @hair_by_marlo via Instagram

    Long Curly Bangs + Taper Fade

    If you have naturally curly locks, then a TF should be your haircut of choice. It gives the unruly coils definition and outline while accentuating their structure and pattern. For styling, you can simply run your fingers covered in a hair styling product through the curly bangs and you are good to go.


    Taper Haircut + Long Bang

    As the taper haircut makes you look clean and neat, you can pair it with the longest bang you want. If you are a really rough guy with a ton of patience, go for a chest-length full beard, which will look impressive with a tapered hairstyle.

    Source: @shrunknheads via Instagram

    Slicked Back Taper Low Fade Haircut

    There are plenty of ways to give emphasis to your hairstyle. If you do not want to turn to overly sharp cuts, then you can slick back your locks. This style will give boldness and elegance even to the plainest and most modest style, such as a short pompadour.

    Source: @alan_beak via Instagram

    Taper Fade Black Curly Hair

    One of the biggest advantages of a taper fade is that it makes your hairstyle look trendy without drawing attention away from the top. Instead, it allows you to make it the focal point of the whole look without much effort. Thus, if carefree and effortless hairstyles resonate with you, run your fingers through the hair on top to give it a tousled look. For an extra boldness and contrast, get your locks on top bleached while leaving the roots dark.


    Curly Top With High Volume

    Guys who have naturally curly locks should always try to take advantage of them. Thus, you can complement your curly hairstyle with a TF of any length and dramatic level while creating an ample volume on top. Employ a hair styling product with a matte finish and medium hold to give your tresses a shape and definition.

    Source: @xbigwesx via Instagram

    Textured Short Top Crop

    No matter whether it is your personal preference or dress code requirements, but if you do not wear your hair long, it does not mean you can’t look stylish or cool. There is an abundance of trendy short hairstyles to choose from, for instance, a crop top. To pull it off, you simply need to taper fade the sides really short and get a textured cut on top.

    Bald Taper Fade

    A bald taper fade is apparently not for everyone. Yet, going for it guarantees you an edgy and daring appearance. Moreover, a skin fade taper pairs nicely with a ton of different hairstyles on top.

    Source: @z_ramsey via Instagram


    What Do I Need For The Taper Fade Haircut?

    The TF haircut belongs to rather short styles. To pull it off, your hair should be around 2 to 4 inches long. You can leave it longer, of course, if you like. But keep in mind that striving for length, you can lose neatness. So, decide what you would sacrifice more readily.

    Apart from the optimal hair length, you should also figure out whether a tapered fade will suit you or not. As this haircut is so revealing, it will most likely emphasize any flaws you have on your head, such as scars, bumps and alike.

    Source: @xbigwesx via Instagram

    How To Get The Taper Fade Haircut

    Well, the answer is simple – ask your barber for it. However, if you are not sure that they will get you right, here is what it should look like. The top section of your hair should be left longer and decrease gradually in length toward the hairline. There is a myriad of taper fade styles, so choose the one that resonates with you and show its picture to your hairstylist.

    You will definitely find a haircut that will suit you, whether you have coarse hair, thick curly hair, or even if your hair is thinning. Try a style you never thought would look good on you. It could simply be a matter of changing a part or adding a few spikes. That’s how the fade works. You’ll look great, feel great, no matter what you do, and everywhere you go.

    FAQs: Taper Fade Haircut

    What does a taper fade mean?

    A taper fade is a kind of a mens haircut that implies tapering down the hair on the back and sides so that it fades into your skin.

    How do you ask for a taper fade?

    Unless you are intending to get a personalized version of a taper fade haircut, you can simply tell the barber what kind of fade you want, be it a high bald taper or a low fade haircut. For the best result though, it makes sense to show them a pic of your desired look.

    What’s better taper or fade?

    The real question is not what haircut is better but which of them works for you best. Thus, when choosing between the two, you should take into account the shape of your face as well as your personal style. So, those who prefer a more reserved style should take a closer look at a taper, while men who choose edgier and bolder look should turn to a fade.

    What does a low taper fade look like?

    When it comes to a taper fade low haircuts are one of the most popular. Beginning at the temple area, a low taper fade curves around the ears and goes down to the back of your head.

    How long does a taper fade last?

    On average, a taper fade may last around 2-3 weeks if you go for a bald taper and 4-6 weeks if it is a classic taper cut.


    Bryan Essick – Barber at Assembly Barbershop Owner.
    Leah Hayden – Cassidy Educator, Men’s Hair Specialist, UK Finalist 2020