How to Get a Taper Fade Haircut: Tips and Tricks

Taper FadeIf you’re a man looking for a new hairstyle but feeling indecisive about where to start, we’ve got the perfect suggestion for you: the Taper Fade. This haircut is a true classic and is known for its versatility and recognition. It provides a sharp and clean look with crisp lines, making it a fantastic choice for any man looking to elevate his style game. The best part? It works for both formal and casual occasions, so you can look great no matter what the day brings.

With modern men placing more emphasis on grooming and styling, the Taper Fade has quickly become a favorite among stylish gents everywhere. With its many variations, there’s a Taper Fade that can work for any hair type or personal preference. And, for those who want to add an extra touch of edginess to their style, a Taper Fade with a design is a perfect choice. So, whether you’re after a classic look or something a little more daring, the Taper Fade is the perfect choice for a modern man looking to up his hairstyle game.


What is a Taper Fade?

The Taper Fade is a unique combination of two different hair cutting methods: the Taper and the Fade. The Taper gradually shortens the hair length from the top of the head down to the natural hairline, including the sideburns and nape of the neck. On the other hand, the Fade creates a gradient effect that transitions the length of the hair on the sides and back to that on top of the head. It’s crucial to have a professional hairstylist do the Fade to avoid any rough lines or messy edges. Trying it at home could result in a disastrous outcome.

Unlike other haircuts that require frequent trimming and maintenance, the Taper Fade provides the versatility to try different styles as your hair grows. This cut is perfect for anyone and can be paired easily with facial hair.

There are several types of taper fades to choose from. Let’s explore some of the basics:

  • Low Fade: This is the least aggressive style and is perfect for a formal setting. Hair begins to get shorter above the ears, meaning above the hairline. Though it requires a visit to the hairstylist every two weeks, it requires less day-to-day maintenance. Justin Timberlake famously rocked this style back in 2014.
  • High Fade: The most drastic of the fades, the high fade starts near the temple, approximately two inches from your hairline. It’s a bold choice and may not be appropriate for the office, but it’s becoming more accepted in formal settings. Celebrities such as David Beckham, Will Smith, and Zayn Malik have sported this look.
  • Mid Fade: The mid fade starts about an inch above the ears and fades up to the eye line in the middle of the head. It’s a blend of formal and informal styles and can be paired with a wide range of hair lengths. Chadwick Boseman rocked this style perfectly, complimenting his afro and beard.

To choose the right taper fade style for your head shape, consider your face shape. Oval, round, or square faces usually look better with longer hair at the top of the head, making a mid fade, undercut fade, or low fade taper the best choice. If you’re unsure which style to try, start with the low taper fade and work your way up.


How to Get a Taper Fade Haircut

Getting a taper fade haircut can seem intimidating, but with the right guidance, it can be a breeze. Follow these steps to get the perfect taper fade haircut:

  1. Choose the right taper fade style for your head shape. Consider if you have an oval, round, or square face, which usually look better with longer hair at the top of the head. This makes a mid fade, undercut fade, or low fade taper the best choice.
  2. Find a good hairstylist who understands the technique and can create a smooth fade with no rough lines or messy edges. Communicate with them clearly about the taper fade style you want and any specific requests you have.
  3. The hairstylist will use clippers and a flat comb to set the guidelines for the taper on the sideburns area and the back of the neck. Next, they’ll blend those two lines together to avoid rough lines or edges in the fade. This step is crucial and may take some time to complete. Depending on the taper fade style you choose, they’ll continue setting higher guidelines and blending until they reach the desired length.
  4. Once the guidelines are well blended, the hairstylist will connect the side length to the top length of the hair using clippers and a flat comb. The goal is to have a smooth transition between the side length and the length at the top of the head. At the bottom of the fade, where the shorter hair meets the skin, some hairstylists may use an electric shaver to create a smooth finish.
  5. To perfect the look, some hairstylists may use hairspray on the hairline and blow dry it to control the hair’s movement, particularly in the forehead area. A shaving gel and a shaving blade can be used to perfect the edges of the front and sideburns, giving the haircut an extra sharp edge.

If you’re feeling extra edgy, you can even add a design to your taper fade. Communicate with your hairstylist about what design you want and where you want it placed.

With these steps, you’ll be able to get the perfect taper fade haircut. Just remember to choose the right taper fade style for your head shape, find a good hairstylist, and communicate your preferences clearly.


Taper Fade Designs

taper fade with designAs we said, there are many variations to the taper fade, and among those variations you can also choose taper fade designs. A good design can help give an extra edge to your hairstyle. The taper fade with side part or comb over, for example, features short sides and back but the hair at the top of the head is usually longer and parted to one side.  The textured crop taper fade, on the other hand, features a shorter top length and a short fringe.

Choosing the right design for you depends on your personal identity and staple. Any of these styles can look good in both formal and informal settings, it all depends on the overall style you’re going for, including your clothing choices. If you are going for something more accepted in the formal setting, we recommend the comb over taper fade, which you can also style with hairspray and gel and be ready for the day.


Taper Fade vs. Other Types of Fade Haircuts

Taper fades are often confused with other types of fade haircuts, such as the skin fade (or bald fade) and the undercut fade. However, each of these styles has its own unique features.

The skin fade is distinct from other fades because it goes from short hair to skin, rather than fading from short hair to even shorter hair. This gives it a sharp and powerful look, as seen on Peaky Blinder’s Tommy Shelby. Although it is a short hairstyle, the contrast between the longer hair at the top and the skin fade makes it stand out.

On the other hand, the undercut fade is typically styled with much longer hair on top of the head, with the fade beginning high above the ears. This creates a very defined contrast between the longer hair and the fade, resulting in a classy but informal look. Brad Pitt in Fury is a great example of this style. Unlike the skin fade, the undercut fade shows a more extreme fade that contrasts with the longer hair on top.

Compared to these styles, the taper fade is a versatile and subtle option for a classic and low-maintenance look. It gradually transitions the length of the hair from the top of the head to the sides and back, creating a clean and sharp look. Additionally, the taper fade can be easily combined with facial hair and is suitable for a wide range of head shapes and hair types.

In summary, while skin fades and undercut fades have their unique features and style, the taper fade offers a subtle, classic, and low-maintenance look that is both versatile and flattering.



In conclusion, the taper fade is a timeless hairstyle that offers a clean and polished look suitable for any occasion. Its versatility and low-maintenance nature make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to switch up their hairstyle. So why not give it a try and see how this classic look can enhance your personal style?