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Difference Between Fade and Taper Haircut That You Need to Know About

Difference Taper and Fade Haircut

A lot of people always find themselves asking…

What is the difference between fade and taper haircut? 

In truth:

The answer to that question can be quite tricky!

Yes, there are differences between these types of haircuts, but there’s also a great resemblance too. 

Looking at both haircuts, it’s easy to come to this simple conclusion

“A Taper is a Fade, but a Fade cannot be a Taper!” 

Luckily, this in-depth article has been tailored to help you understand the basics of both hairstyles and the unique qualities that set them apart.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into it!

The Difference Between Fade and Taper Haircut

As mentioned earlier, both haircuts are almost similar, but there are some differences too.

To better understand this – a few definitions have to be made!

What is a Fade Haircut?

It quite easy to spot a fade…

Fades can be characterized by a bald (no hair) appearance along the sides and back of the head.

Fade Haircut
Source: @javi_thebarber_


The top of the head will be filled with long hair, but the hair grows short as you move downwards eventually ending in a region of no-hair just above the hairline.


Since we are looking for the Difference Between Fade and Taper Haircut, it would be wise to note that fade haircuts are usually cut extremely lower that taper cuts.

The fact that hair goes from bald (at the bottom hairline) to long hair (at the top of the head) is what gives you that “Faded look.”

Are there any types of Fade Haircuts?


Indeed, there are quite a number, but here’s a list of the top and best fade hairstyles in the world.

Bald Fades

Bald Fade Haircut

Faux Hawk Fades

Faux Hawk Fade Haircut

High-Top Fades

High-Top Fade Haircut

Low Fades

Low Fade Haircut

Mid Fades

Mid Fade Haircut

What is a Taper Haircut?

When talking about the taper haircut, one thing comes out clearly!

The concept is the same!


The hair gradually reduces in size as you move from the top of the head down to the sides and back of the head and the hairline!


Yes, there is a big BUT!

With a Taper cut, the hair is fairly longer than a fade.

Tapers don’t have bald or no hair regions!


All the hair remains intact, but the hair at the top of the head is often longer than the side and back hairs down to the hairline. – Part of the reasons why even women love Taper haircuts.

Some of the most popular Taper cuts include:

Side Part Taper

Side Part Taper Haircut

Classic Tapers

Classic Taper Haircut

Low, Mid and High tapers

Low Taper Haircut

Short Tapers

Short Taper Haircut

Faint Tapers

Faint Taper Haircut


Since we all know the Difference Between Fade and Taper Haircut, I’ll talk about the taper fade haircut!

I know what you are thinking…

The Taper Fade Cut is a combination of both style – which is so true, but HOW?

What is a Taper Fade Haircut?

If you are a fan of the Fades but would like to try out a taper cut too, then the Taper Fade may just be what you are looking for.


You can ask your barber for a taper fade haircut. – But, only if your hair allows.

A taper fade is simply a taper cut with a fade (bald) finish on the sides and the back of the head along the hairlines.

You should, however, note that the term “Taper Fade” is not yet deeply rooted in the barber world! Therefore, you need to know how to ask for a taper fade from your hairstylist.


That’s just about everything you need to know about the difference between Fades, Tapers and Taper Fades.

Next time you walk into a barber shop, you’ll know what type of haircut to ask for!

Happy Haircut!

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Comments to: Difference Between Fade and Taper Haircut That You Need to Know About
  • January 12, 2018

    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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