The taper fade haircut is one of the most popular men’s hairstyles. While the taper and fade are actually two different types of haircuts, they both combine to create the taper fade. Versatile, clean cut, and a blend between modern and classic, there are many variations of taper fades. Whether you have straight, thick, thin, wavy or curly hair, the taper fade is the best way to cut short hair on the sides and back.
If you’re looking to get a taper, here are the best taper fade haircuts for men. From a low, high, mid, skin and bald taper on the sides to pairing the cut with short, medium-length or long hair on top, check out our collection of pictures to find a cool taper fade hairstyle!
- 1 What Is A Taper Fade?
- 2 Taper Fade Haircuts
- 2.1 Low Taper Fade
- 2.2 High Taper Fade
- 2.3 Mid Taper Fade
- 2.4 Taper Fade + Long Hair
- 2.5 Taper Fade + Short Hair
- 2.6 Bald Taper Fade
- 2.7 Skin Taper Fade
- 2.8 Comb Over Taper Fade
- 2.9 Taper Fade Blowout
- 2.10 Taper Fade Afro
- 2.11 High Top Taper Fade
- 2.12 Curly Hair Taper Fade
- 2.13 Temple Taper Fade
- 2.14 Undercut Taper Fade
- 2.15 Side Part Taper Fade
- 2.16 Taper with Braids
- 2.17 French Crop Top + Taper Fade
- 2.18 Slicked Back Taper Fade
- 2.19 Quiff Taper Fade
- 2.20 Pompadour Taper Fade
- 2.21 Taper Fade with Part
- 2.22 Taper Line Up
- 2.23 Short Sides and Back Taper
- 2.24 Gentleman Taper Fade
- 2.25 Tapered Sides + Long on Top
- 2.26 Neck Taper Fade
- 2.27 Brushed Up Taper Fade
- 2.28 Drop Taper Fade
- 2.29 Taper Fade Mohawk
- 2.30 Side Swept Taper Fade
- 2.31 Tapered Neckline
- 3 How To Ask For A Taper Fade
- 4 How To Cut A Taper Fade
- 5 Taper vs Fade: What’s The Difference?
What Is A Taper Fade?
The taper fade haircut is a way to cut hair on the sides and back. The taper fade starts with long hair on top and gradually tapers the hair shorter down the sides of the head. The fading process blends the longer hair on top into the sides to create a clean faded or tapered style.
The tapering process is usually performed with clippers and scissors. Sharp and neat, the result is a high contrast, low maintenance haircut that doesn’t require any styling and thereby emphasizes the hairstyle on top.
Taper Fade Haircuts
Low Taper Fade
The low taper fade is stylish and easy to get, and continues to be the most popular fade haircut for guys. The low taper can be combined with any number of classic and modern men’s hairstyles. While the low cut still offers the traditional short sides and back, the tapered haircut doesn’t expose too much of the scalp.
From the side part to the quiff to the comb over, the low fade is perfect for business professionals, gentleman, young men, and boys. However, you can ask your barber to make the low taper fade very short and edgy with a skin fade finish. The bald fade will shave the bottom of the taper for a cool style.
High Taper Fade
The high taper fade is the shortest fade haircut you can try. The high taper starts just below the longer hair on top, and usually tapers quickly for a high-contrast look. Generally, the high fade looks better with modern styles like the textured quiff, French crop, faux hawk, spiky hair, and buzz cut.
Furthermore, if you want a short haircut, the high taper fade can get you the contrast necessary to focus the eyes on the short hair styled on top. Sleek, trendy, and badass, the high fade haircut offers a sexy cut and style that will look good on hipsters, bad boys, dashing young guys.
Mid Taper Fade
The mid taper fade is a great haircut for guys who want a happy medium between a high and low fade. The mid taper starts in the middle of the head and buzzes hair all around. Clean and fresh, a medium fade looks both professional and fashionable.
Match the mid fade haircut with a comb over, brush back, blowout, or fringe hairstyle to take advantage of the short sides, long top men’s hair trends. For a crisp and sharp finish, ask your barber for a line up along the edges.
Taper Fade + Long Hair
From medium to longer styles, the taper fade looks good with long hair. As one of the best short sides, long top haircuts, a long hair fade maximizes contrast on the sides and back to focus your eyes on the longer styling above. Medium-length to longer hairstyles also offer the advantage of versatility, giving guys the ability to try a number of different hairstyle ideas.
If you’re willing to experiment with the latest trends, textured and messy styles are great-looking and casual. Try a long quiff, comb over, slick back, brush up, faux hawk, or spiked up style. The long hair taper should be a natural fit.
Ask your barber to recommend a good taper fade haircut with long hair on top that will fit your face shape, hair length, and type.
Taper Fade + Short Hair
Short hair requires a taper fade haircut on the sides and back. To get any contrast on the sides that will emphasize the short haircut on top, guys will need a very short fade. A high skin taper fade with a shaved finish may do the trick.
From the high and tight to the buzz cut, textured crop top, and crew cut, there are many excellent ways to style a taper fade with short hair. Add a shape up along the hairline to enjoy an extra sharp, trendy trim.
Bald Taper Fade
The bald taper fade is a simple, smooth and handsome men’s haircut. Shaved down to the skin, the bald fade can be added to any taper cut for a clean, close cut. Like other kinds of fades, the bald taper can be low, medium or high.
If you’re looking for a short fade that blends the hair into your skin, talk to your barber about whether a bald taper fade haircut is appropriate for your look. The cut styles perfectly for men with all hair types, such as straight, wavy, thick, thin, and curly hair.
Skin Taper Fade
A skin taper fade is bold and rebellious, and offers a very short fade haircut for men. The skin taper works well with high, mid, and low fades. The low skin fade gives a modern touch to a rather longer cut, while the high skin fade is edgy with plenty of contrast.
Ultimately, there are countless cool men’s hairstyles that look good with a skin taper fade haircut, including short and long styles like the pomp, side part, spiked up front, fringe, brush up, high top, Afro, and mohawk.
Comb Over Taper Fade
The comb over hairstyle has made a major comeback in recent years as one of the best haircuts for men. Smart, elegant and good-looking, the comb over taper works nicely with many different hair types and lengths.
Try a comb over fade and add in a hard part, shaved line, shape up, or full beard for masculine touch.
Taper Fade Blowout
The blowout taper fade is usually cut with short to medium-length hair on top, with very short sides that are tapered off. The blowout taper hairstyle is often styled up and back with a good hair product such as a matte pomade, wax or clay. Guys with thick hair love the natural, textured finish of the blowout.
Taper Fade Afro
The Afro remains a popular way to style black hair. Inspired and outgoing, the Afro taper fade haircut starts with a low or high cut on the sides to contrast the thick, kinky hair on top.
Get a line up for sharp edges, a hair design for a unique look, or a surgical part shaved into the sides to tailor the style to your personality. As a cool hairstyle for black men, you really can’t go wrong with the tapered Afro.
High Top Taper Fade
The high top fade is a unique variation of the Afro and flat top. The taper fade cut on the sides accentuates the long hair that is brushed straight up.
The high top taper once symbolized the golden age of hip hop music and was therefore very popular among young black men.
Curly Hair Taper Fade
While curly hair can sometimes be difficult to work with, getting it faded and cut short can make curls more manageable and less frizzy. The curly hair taper fade allows guys to start with a low-maintenance, easy haircut on the sides and style their curls into a fringe, textured crop, or messy hairstyle.
Use a curl-enhancing cream or strong pomade to control your curly hair fade for a finished look that holds all day.
Temple Taper Fade
The temple taper fade, also known as a temp fade, is a classy haircut that starts near the top of the hairline at your temples and quickly tapers down the sides.
Sometimes called the Brooklyn fade, the temp taper is commonly paired with an edge up for a clean, fresh faded cut.
Undercut Taper Fade
The taper fade undercut combines the best haircut styles for men. While the undercut buzzes the sides all around and trims the hair one-length, the undercut fade tapers the cut and blends the look.
From the comb over to the slicked back, the undercut taper fade can transform your current style into a cool new hairstyle.
Side Part Taper Fade
The side part taper fade is the modern version of a classic style. Known as the gentleman’s haircut, the side part taper offers a classy and elegant look that can easily evolve to be stylish and edgy.
For starters, guys can get their fade with a part. And instead of a slick part to one side, the modern man can use a textured hair product for a loose, casual finish. With more volume and flow than the traditional flat styling, the side part fade provides versatility.
Taper with Braids
Man braids always look better with a taper on the sides. Whether you want short or long braided hair, a clean taper fade can truly make your cornrows stand out. From box braids to dreads, try a taper with your braided hairstyle.
French Crop Top + Taper Fade
The French crop has been all the rage in Europe. The textured crop top is much like a crew cut, but with the hair brushed forward and paired with a short fringe in the front, the short haircut is simple yet hot.
Naturally, short hairstyle requires a short taper fade on the sides for necessary contrast. To really highlight the cropped styling, choose a high taper.
Slicked Back Taper Fade
The slick back taper is another great men’s haircut. If you don’t want a skin fade or undercut on the sides, the slick back taper fade can get you this sleek, dapper look. The kicker is that the slick back styles perfectly with short, medium or long hair.
Guys with straight thick hair should apply a strong pomade or cream with high shine for the retro version. Otherwise, a matte wax or clay can maximize texture, volume and flow. When styled naturally, it can sometimes be called a brush back fade.
Quiff Taper Fade
The quiff taper makes for a timeless style. Nowadays, the quiff comes with tapered sides and a textured finish. Styled up and back for good volume and movement, the quiff fade is always fashionable.
Pompadour Taper Fade
The pompadour taper fade comes in many forms, but all of them require a pomp in the front with gradually shorter hair in the back. The sides are tapered short to underscore the distinct styling.
Whether you have short or long hair, one benefit of the pompadour fade is that you can easily change up your look and style a quiff, comb over or messy faux hawk with the same cut.
Taper Fade with Part
A cool way to tailor your haircut is to get a taper fade with a part. The hard part can be shaved into the natural line where you part your hair to one side, or it can be etched into your fade right before your barber starts blending the hair.
If you want to experiment with a different cut, tell your barber you want a fade and line part.
Taper Line Up
The taper line up trims and cleans up your hairline around the front of your head and along your temples to create crisp lines and edges. Also called a shape up or edge up in different barbershops around the world, the taper fade line up adds a badass touch for a sharp design.
Just note that you may need regular trims to keep the lines clean-cut and fresh so an Andis T-Outliner trimmer could be useful to have at home.
Short Sides and Back Taper
This short sides and back taper is the perfect example of how a good fade haircut can complement the best hairstyles for men.
Gentleman Taper Fade
A gentleman’s haircut with a taper fade on the sides can transform a classic style into a modern look. For this reason, most of the latest hairstyles include a taper or fade.
Tapered Sides + Long on Top
The best men’s haircut ideas start with a taper fade on the sides with long hair on top. The short sides, long top hair trend has produced many of the top cuts and styles you see today. The most notable way to style hair right now is messy and textured.
Neck Taper Fade
A neckline hair design can be a bold look for some; others will prefer a traditional neck taper. A clean cut finish to any haircut, the neck taper fade offers a fresh look from behind.
Brushed Up Taper Fade
The brushed up taper fade is a sweet balance between a blowout and spiky hair. A brush up fade works nicely with thick hair, and offers an effortless styling option. For maximum texture, volume and flow, apply a light cream or mousse.
If you want to keep the hair up all day, use a medium to high hold pomade or wax with low to no shine. Blow dry your hair into place.
Drop Taper Fade
The drop taper fade is a version of the classic fade that curves around the ears and drops down the neck. The drop fade then blends the hair behind the ear until it reaches the neckline.
The cool arc created gives this fade haircut its name. You can make any fade a drop taper so ask your barber if the look is right for you.
Taper Fade Mohawk
The taper fade mohawk may be the most rebellious and punk hairstyle on this list. Any version of the mohawk haircut stands out in a crowd.
Fortunately, if you don’t want shaved sides, you can pick from a high, medium, low or temp fade mohawk.
Side Swept Taper Fade
Side swept hair has been a cool new hairstyle for guys this year. By pairing a taper fade with a side swept hairstyle, you can enjoy an easy to get, simple to style look.
Brush it up and to the side or parted all to one side, the side swept taper is chic and fun.
There are many ways to get your neckline trimmed. Growing in popularity is the tapered neckline. Unlike the rounded, square or blocked cut, the neckline taper fades the back seamlessly into your skin. If you get a taper fade on the sides, ask your barber for a tapered neck.
How To Ask For A Taper Fade
When you ask your barber for a taper fade haircut, you’ll need to know how high or low you want the fade to start and how short you want the cut to go. With so many different types of tapered haircuts, it’s important to know how to talk to your barber to get the cut and style you want.
For instance, you can ask for a high, medium or low fade. The low fade begins just above the ears goes all around the sides and back. The high fade blends right at the top of the sides and quickly tapers the hair down.
Another consideration to keep in mind is how short or long you want the faded sides and back to be. This is where clipper guard sizes are crucial. A bald fade, or a number 0 fade, cuts your hair and fades the look into your skin.
A regular fade, which is often synonymous with a classic taper or a number 2 or 3, buzzes the hair short but leaves some length for a conservative trim.
Other fades include the temp, burst, razor, and drop. The razor fade is essentially where your barber shaves the sides. The temp fade starts at the temples and cleans up the hairline. The burst fade curves around the ears and down the neck for a unique look. And the drop fade starts high or low and curves around the neck, making it slightly different.
How To Cut A Taper Fade
To cut a taper fade, you’ll need a good pair of hair clippers with a few guard sizes for the blending process. If you a crisp, clean cut fade, we highly recommend you visit a barbershop. To do a fade, the hair on top must be the longest part of the cut. The hair on sides and back should then progressively get shorter.
Using different clipper guard sizes, slowly taper the hair. However, you can decide how quickly or gradually you want the fading to be.
To cut your own hair and do a taper fade effectively at home, you’ll need to seamlessly buzz your hair so it looks naturally graded from one length to another.
Taper vs Fade: What’s The Difference?
It is important to note that there is a difference between a taper and a fade. Although barbers use both cuts to smoothly transition between different hair lengths, the classic taper is different than a traditional fade. When you compare the taper vs fade, tapered cuts leave thicker, longer hair on the sides while fades trim hair very short and down to the skin.