Taper vs Fade: Discover What Suits You In This Post!

You see:

No matter the season, the taper and the fade haircuts are timeless and fresh. They look similar, and both give you a clean, masculine appearance.

So:

How do you know their style differences? And how do you determine which suits your style? 

Worry less! This article covers everything you need to know and tops it off with styling tips. Let’s get into it.

Taper vs Fade

While tapers and fades follow a similar pattern, the main difference between the haircuts is the hair length at the sides of the head. Also, a taper does not shed a lot of hair like the fade. In addition, a taper cut is more subtle than a fade.

The Main Differences Between a Taper and a Fade

Here are four qualities that differentiate the taper and fade haircuts:

TaperFade
A taper has longer hair at the back of the head and the sides.The fade has a skin cut or close-cropped hair at the sides.
The blend between the hair length at the top and the sides is subtle.There is an obvious contrast between the hair length at the top and the sides.
A taper does not shed a lot of hair.A fade sheds lots of hair.
A taper cut starts from the top to the sides.A fade begins from the sides and blends to the top.

What is a Taper?

Taper Haircut
@jarod_the_barber

Now:

The taper haircut is a unique style that begins with a full top that reduces in length at the sides and the back.

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Ideal Face Shapes: All

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Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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?

Fade Haircut
@felipe_navarrette

Now:

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.

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Ideal Face Shapes: All

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Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Classic Taper Haircut
@tysonclippz

Now:

A classic taper features a full top cut shorter as you move to the back of the head and the sides.

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Ideal Face Shapes: All

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Long Taper Haircut
@vi13es

So:

This hairstyle keeps the top long and the sides short, although longer than a regular taper.

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Ideal Face Shapes: Oval, Round, Triangular, and Square

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Side Part Taper Haircut
@barbershop_emstudio

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.

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Ideal Face Shapes: Diamond, Heart, Oval, Round, and Square

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: Straight, Thin, Thick

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Low Taper Haircut
@itsmerlaa

Now:

The low taper has a full top, with the hair fading from the ear region to the back.

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Ideal Face Shapes: All

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Tapered Neckline
@grant_heron919

Get this:

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.

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Ideal Face Shapes: Diamond, Heart, Oval, Rectangular, Round, and Square

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Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Low Fade Haircut
@_cutsbygio

Now:

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.

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Ideal Face Shapes: Diamond, Heart, Oval, Rectangular, Round, and Square

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Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

High Fade Haircut
@freshfades604

So:

The high fade starts close to the top, tapering off hair from the forehead level to the back while keeping the top full.

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Ideal Face Shapes: Heart, Round, and Square

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Mid Fade Haircut
@fadezbysanti

 Listen:

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.

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Ideal Face Shapes: Triangular, Diamond, and Oval

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Burst Fade Haircut
@mikey.pina

Get this:

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.

Here:

The fade follows the ear curve pattern from the front to the back of the head.

icon face_shapes_1
Ideal Face Shapes: Heart, Oval, Round, and Square

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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

Shadow Fade Haircut
@nappy__cutz

Here’s the thing:

The shadow fade keeps the top full with the back and the sides at minimum length.

Hence:

The hair at the sides is not completely cut off but is barely visible to create a shadow appearance.

icon face_shapes_1
Ideal Face Shapes: Diamond, Heart, Oblong, Oval, Rectangular, Round, and Square

icon hair_types
Ideal Hair Types: All

Styling Tips:

  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

So:

Now that you know what to look for, it’s easy to change your look!

Finally:

Share your thoughts about these hairstyles with us through your questions and comments in the comment section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

A taper is not the same as a fade. The main difference is that, while the fade shaves off the hair at the sides, a taper doesn’t shave off the sides.
The low taper consists of a full top gradually tapered off from the ear region to the back of the head.
The temp fade tapers off the hair at the temple region only. You can pair this cut with other hairstyles to give a stylish finish.

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Comments

Ferd Smart Ferd Smart

Often, I get confused about the difference between taper and fade haircut. While they look alike, I knew they're different but couldn't spot exactly before I bumped on this article. Thanks for taking your time to explain the difference between these two haircuts, it sounds very clear.

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