Taper vs Fade: A Guide by Barber Sunny
Confused about choosing between a taper and a fade? You're not alone.
Today, I'll break down the specifics, clearing up any confusion.
Understanding their differences is key – it's about getting the haircut you want and ensuring your barber understands your style.
Let’s cut right to the chase and guarantee satisfaction every time.
Taper vs Fade: The Main Differences
A taper is a gradual transition, typically around the sideburns, with variations in height. Unlike a fade, it stops at the top of the ear. In contrast, a fade encompasses the entire head, following guidelines around the temple and below. Both styles require precision, ensuring a clean blend and a tailored look to suit individual preferences.
Stay tuned for a detailed exploration of each style, enhancing your barbershop experience and ensuring satisfaction every time.
|Definition||A blend into the side bulk of the hair, around the sideburn area.||A gradual decrease of hair length around the entire head.|
|Location||Stops at the top of the ear.||Continues all around the head.|
|Variations||Low (ear to eye), medium (ear to eyebrow), high (ear to temple peak).||Based on height of the fade (e.g., high, mid, low) and extends beyond the ear.|
|Technique||Create a guideline with a zero guard, blend upwards in sections, adjust lever for smooth transition.||Start with a zero guard, remove bulk underneath, blend around the head with increasing guard sizes.|
|Beard Integration||Blend down into the beard, keeping above the ear based on client preference.||Not applicable as it focuses more on the hair around the head.|
|Final Look||Subtle or drastic blend, maintaining more hair on the sides.||Sharper, more pronounced contrast with less hair on the sides and back.|
What is a Taper?
The taper haircut is a unique style that begins with a full top that reduces in length at the sides and the back.
- Trim your hair regularly to maintain the tapered hairstyle.
- Use an electric clipper for a clean cut.
- Apply suitable styling products to keep the top sleek.
What is a Fade?
The fade is best described as a skin cut at the back of the head and the sides that gathers more volume as it blends into a longer top.
- Apply sunscreen to prevent sunburns on your scalp.
- Keep the top at a length you can maintain.
- Maintain a polished look with a regular trim.
5 Taper Haircuts
1. Classic Taper
A classic taper features a full top cut shorter as you move to the back of the head and the sides.
- Use styling cream or mousse to add volume to the top.
- Condition the top to keep it silky and smooth.
- Pair your haircut with a stylish quiff to achieve an edgy look.
2. Long Taper
This hairstyle keeps the top long and the sides short, although longer than a regular taper.
- You need about three to five inches of hair to pull off this look.
- Style your sideburns with a short fade to accentuate your look.
- Trim your hair regularly to keep a neat appearance.
3. Side Part + Taper
To pull off this look:
First, wash your hair and leave it slightly damp. Then, blow dry the top to your preferred side, tousle it a bit to add volume, and sleek it down with a styling gel or pomade.
Finish by tapering the sides to a shorter length.
- Apply conditioner to keep the top moisturized.
- Enhance your appearance with a well-groomed beard.
- Use a fine-toothed comb to achieve a sleeker look.
4. Low Taper
The low taper has a full top, with the hair fading from the ear region to the back.
- Use barber shears to trim the ear region and sideburns.
- Apply pomade to give the top a naturally styled look.
- Apply hair oil regularly if your hair is dry and thick.
5. Tapered Neckline
You get to rock any style and top it off with a taper cut from the back of your head to the nape of your neck.
In addition, the tapered neckline adds more style to the regular neckline finish.
- Choose a hairstyle that blends neatly with the tapered neckline.
- Get a regular neck trim to keep the neckline neat.
- Brush your neckline regularly to keep it tidy.
5 Fade Haircuts
1. Low Fade
A low fade starts just above the ear region to the back of the head. Then, the hair length at the center gradually increases and blends to the top.
- Use sea salt spray occasionally to improve your hair texture.
- Shampoo your hair weekly to keep it clean.
- Condition and moisturize your hair regularly to keep it healthy.
2. High Fade
The high fade starts close to the top, tapering off hair from the forehead level to the back while keeping the top full.
- Give the top a shine with pomade.
- Apply sunscreen to your scalp regularly.
- Keep the top short and sleek, or comb it upward for a spiked look.
3. Mid Fade
Short for medium fade, this hairstyle fades the hair from the temple region to the sides and keeps the top full. It is the right balance between the high fade and the low fade haircuts.
- Apply an alcohol-based hairspray after your haircut to prevent skin irritation.
- Use an unguarded clipper for a clean shave at the sides and the back.
- Trim your hair regularly to keep the fade line defined.
4. Burst Fade
The burst fade gives the illusion of hair bursting out from the scalp. It starts with a skin cut about three inches from the ear that blends into full hair at the center.
The fade follows the ear curve pattern from the front to the back of the head.
- Keep your hair slightly damp before styling.
- You can dye the top for a more daring look.
- Keep the top at a length you can maintain easily.
5. Shadow Fade
Here’s the thing:
The shadow fade keeps the top full with the back and the sides at minimum length.
The hair at the sides is not completely cut off but is barely visible to create a shadow appearance.
- Trim the sides regularly to maintain the shadow style.
- Use a fine-toothed comb to keep your hair tidy.
- Pair your hairstyle with a side part to accentuate your look.
As you can see:
- The taper and the fade are classic haircuts with unique styles.
- They are easy to maintain.
- They offer many styling options.
- They suit all face shapes and all hair types.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s easy to change your look!
Share your thoughts about these hairstyles with us through your questions and comments in the comment section below!