When it comes to short hairstyles, and haircuts for men on the whole, you’d be forgiven for thinking the minefield of cuts would be pretty simple to navigate, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Despite a lack of length when concerning men’s short haircuts, there is actually a myriad of options to choose from. One of the most common and popular men’s short hairstyle is the fade.
Adopted round the world, fade haircuts for men combine style and sleekness into one manageable haircut.
However, the fade could be a little too drastic for some men, and so to get obtain a similar result without showing as much skin around the head, the taper fade haircut is here to save the day. A taper fade is essentially a combination of a taper haircut and a fade haircut.
Taper, by its very definition, means to gradually get smaller towards one end, or as is the case with haircuts, to gradually get shorter. If you’re someone who likes to keep some length on top of their head, but can’t tolerate longer hair around the sides of the head, the taper fade could be your saviour.
Taper vs Fade: What’s The Difference?
So, which one wins in the taper vs fade debate? Well, the main difference between a fade haircut and a taper fade haircut is that with a fade, the hair all around the headline will be cut at the same level, a taper fade, generally, only concerns the hair on the sides of the head, over the ears (although will also extend to the neckline so as not to be completely out of proportion).
It’s an incredibly versatile haircut too, as you can choose whether or not you have your hair cut down to skin level (something that is far more common with regular fade haircuts), and you get to decide how long you leave the hair on top.
The taper fade differs from the classic taper in that, with the latter, the hair is generally kept at a similar length around the sides, although may get ever so slightly shorter as it approaches the ears. A taper fade will see a more gradual change as you move down to the ears and neckline.
Low Taper vs High Taper
There is also the question concerning a low taper vs a high taper. The main difference between a low taper and a high taper is where the hair is cut up to. A low taper will see the hair cut at the lowest portion of your head, around the neckline. A high taper will see the hair cut above your ears.
What Are The Best Taper Fade Haircuts For Men?
But of course, within the taper fade hairstyle, there are several variations from which to choose from, and your face shape or hair type may dictate which one is best for you. And so, to help you through the dizzying world of taper fade haircuts, we’ve compiled together a list of some of the most popular options, complete with images so you have something to take to your barber with you next time you need a cut.
Taper Fade Haircut FAQ
What is the difference between a taper, a fade and a taper fade?
A taper and a fade can be easily distinguished. A taper hairstyle will see the hair on the sides of the head gradually get shorter as it gets closer to the ears, but doesn't have to expose skin. A fade will have a more distinct line and contrast between the longer hair and the faded hair. A taper fade is essentially a combination of the two, where the hair gets shorter to the point it fades to skin level.
Should I get a taper fade haircut?
A taper fade haircut is a great option for men with virtually all face shapes because of its versatility. The length and starting point of the fading section can be adjusted according to your face and hair type, so there will definitely be a style to suit you.
Low Taper Fade
The low taper haircut will follow the hairline around to the nape of your neck to keep everything in check. Because of a general lack of contrast compared to what you would get with a mid or high taper fade, the low taper fade can work wonders with medium length hair, or even long hair, because it will help accentuate the tapering effect.
Mid Taper Fade
Whichever option you choose, the mid taper fade is a great option for those wanting to take some weight off of their hair, particularly benefitting those with thick hair. It also means you’re able to let loose a little more with how you style your hair on top as, like with the low taper fade, the mid taper fade works well with slightly longer hairstyles such as pompadours and quiffs. It is also a great option for men with curly hair, or even those with less intense wavy hair.
High Taper Fade
High taper fades should definitely be considered by men with thick hair, since the extra density will add even greater contrast (which is what you’re going for in the first place if you opt for this cut) but that’s not to say men with thin hair can’t benefit, they just may need to consider the length on top.
Caesar Taper Fade
Bald Taper Fade
A bald taper fade also allows you to show off your personality through your clothing choices instead, which is no bad thing. Just bear in mind that because of the sheer lack of hair covering your head, that you don’t have any scars or other blemishes that you don’t want other people seeing, as they’ll be exposed front and centre.
Afro Taper Fade
Skin Taper Fade
Curly Taper Fade
Fortunately, the taper fade is one such hairstyle that plays very nicely with men’s curly hair, no matter the length, although short hair will have its advantages with being easier to style and control. However, the the key appeal of a curly taper fade is contrast, contrast, contrast. Curly hair can look particularly effective when paired with a taper fade and styled forward, in a similar vein to a Caesar or a French crop, or when given some added volume and styled high.