• Men's hairstyles

Taper Fade, Short Taper and Fade haircuts for men

Taper fade men haircuts


There are now more options available for men hairstyle and haircuts for than any other time. As barbers continue to get more creative and skilled and also as new tools for cutting hair are being developed the number of cuts and styles will only continue to increase. However short haircuts are by far what most men prefer, and it is these cuts that can be credited with the development of the taper and fade. Men like to keep short hair, but most of them will prefer to keep the crown longer than the sides and back. In the old days, men would have the sides shaved to a bald level while keeping the short hair at the crown. This changed when they discovered that instead of having smooth shaved sides and back they could design the hair to recede gradually in length as you move from the crown to the back. This technique is what is now known as the fade, and a taper is only a variation of it. An in-depth look at what the two are and some of the types currently available will help explain why they have become popular even with men who like to keep long locks.

Types Of The Taper Fade

The taper fade is simply a variation of the traditional fade design. However, despite having many similarities with this conventional design it also has some unique characteristics, and it is these that make it a distinct style. The main difference between the short taper and fade is the hair length that they maintain. For the former the hair is longer and may require some maintenance but for the latter it is very short. Another difference is that with the taper you can be able to see the hairline on the back and sides, but this is not the case when you choose to go the fading way. The history of this design is fascinating especially given the fact that barbers had been cutting it for many years without realizing that it could be a distinct hairstyle.

It is tough to classify this cut into a particular number simply because there are many ways to shave them and each different way can rightfully qualify to be called a type. Various barbers also have their unique way of shaving, and this makes the hairdo have many kinds. However few ones are very common and widespread, and they include the low, high, afro and the Mohawk taper fades.

Modern Fade Hairstyles

No short hairdo would be considered complete without the fade, and now it has become so common that some barbers will give it to you automatically as they know what haircut goes with which variations. There are many options of fades to choose from, and they are mostly classified as low, medium, high, temple, and there are also other specific ones that are created by adding a twist to these common ones. Sometimes even two are combined to create a unique look and so with these designs your only limitation will be your barber’s creativity. Some haircuts such as spiky, Caesar and high tops also require particular or unique fades to look good and so when you go out to get these hairstyles the barber will quickly figure out what to do. Although the style has not been around for as long as others celebrities such as Drake and others who like to keep short hairs have popularized them so much and now every man wants to try them out at some point.

Low Fade


The main difference between the various types of the fade is the particular point on the head where the visible hair ends. For this haircut, hair will disappear halfway towards the back and the ear, and this is also roughly about an inch from the natural hairline at the back of your head and sides. The term low comes from the fact that you will hardly see any hair halfway through the head, but this should not mislead you to think that it is bald shaved. It is also important to note that the actual line for this fade will depend on your personal preferences.

Mid Fade


Mid-type, on the other hand, has its origins in the military where it was very popular but somehow found its way to the outside world. It involves back, and sides shaved very close to the skin, and this is why the term “Mid” is used. Although it might sound confusing an experienced barber will have no trouble at all shaving it.

High Fade


This is probably the most popular of them all and it can be found in many short and also some long haircuts. There are also many variations of these fade and the best depends on the hairstyle on the crown section and also the preferences of the wearer. For this design, the hair disappears anywhere between one inch and two inches below the top. It is most suited for African men with black hair due to the color of their scalp.

Faux Hawk Fade

Although the short sides of a faux hawk are often referred to as a fade, they are more of a taper, but this should not be an issue since tapering is a form of fading. The hair on the sides of a faux is equal in length throughout when looking at it, but it is actually receding in length as you move towards the ears but the change is very subtle, and most people will hardly notice it.

The Bald Fade Haircut

For the bald fade the hair ends half way through the head and the rest of is razor shaved bald. This fade is commonly used when creating a disconnection between the hair and sideburns or facial hairs. The disconnection is brought about by the bald section on the back and near the ears.

Skin Fade haircut

The skin fade is similar to the bald in many ways, and most people will even use the two as synonyms to describe the same design. However, some people have argued that they are different since in a skin fade the hair ends gradually, and the last inch or two inches on the sides and back is skin shaved or bald. For the bald one, the hair comes to an end abruptly, and you can clearly see where the close shave begins.

Temple Fade

As the name suggests, it is done on the temple part of the head. It is very similar to the low fade and the only thing that makes it a different style is that the hair disappears abruptly unlike in the low. This fade is also known as a temp, blowout or the Brooklyn fade and its popularity comes from the fact that it looks good on almost all hair types provided the crown hair is long.

Comb Over Fades

Comb-over hairstyles never go out of trend, and one of the reasons behind this is because they have some of the best fades. Since the longer top is side swept, the other that is usually shorter is often given a low fade. However you can choose any other if you do not like the low but regardless of what you choose most of these fades are stunning.

The Fade Haircut Numbers Available

The secret to getting this style right is using the right fade number. Once you tell your barber what you want, he should be able to figure out what to use. But this is not always the case especially if he is not very experienced and this may ruin your look. The numbers are simple, and each one of them will give a distinct look and so it is crucial to know a few of them if not all. The most widely used for these hair designs are numbers zero, one, two and three. But, two is more versatile, and so some barbers can use it to give you almost all the fades. You do not have to master what fade haircut number 2 or number 1 is used for, but it is important to do some research on what can give you the specific style you want.

Zero Fade

#1 Fade

#2 Fade

#3 Fade

Afro Fade

See also: 65 Stylish Fade Haircuts for Black Men

Curly Fades

Curly high top fades, taper fade with curly hair.

Taper Fade for Long Hair

Fade with Part

The part line can be found on many hairdos ranging from short to long ones. It can be a center part or the more modern side part. Fading is usually done with the side part line as it separates the two levels of hair on the crown and sides/back. The fade is then done on the sides and back which for most haircuts are shorter than the top. Tapering is also a standard feature on the sides and back for many haircuts.

Buzz Cut Fade

Buzz cuts are short military hairdos and are among the neatest a man can wear. They can be uniform in length throughout the head at about an inch long or some creative fading done on them. You can go with bald on the sides or gradually reduce the length and have it smoothed at the back and close to the ear.

Skin Tight Fade

To know that you have the perfect skin fade you should be able to see your scalp an inch just before the ear. This style is mostly used in short haircuts where the crown is about two inches long because it helps to shift more attention to the top as in most cases it is usually the focal point for the hairdo. There are no hairs on half of the head in a skin tight, and so the longer top will draw more attention.

High Top Fade

Some men like to keep longer hairs on the crown that are then styled up to give them some height. These hairstyles are often referred to as high tops but to spice them up fading is done on the sides. The most commonly used is the high fade where the hair disappears about two inches from the high top.

Regular Fade

This is a common variation of this design where the hairs below the crown are receding in length as you move towards the back and the sides. All types can rightfully be called regular, but few break from the norm by introducing unique patterns such as curved lines to the fade.

Line Up Haircut Fade

Shaping up the hairline is important for any hairdo to look great and the beautiful lines created on the front or back of the head can look fabulous with some tapering or fading. A line-up haircut makes the fade more detailed and noticeable and so even if you do not like shaping up your hairline you can try it as it will enhance the appearance of your cut.

With Fohawk

Fohawk Taper Fade Haircut

For Boys

How to Ask Your Barber for the Fade Haircut

Before going to the barber for any fade or taper, it is vital to know exactly what you want and how it should look like. You can ask friends to help you describe the design in more detail or do some search online for a better understanding of the same. Although there are many techniques for tapering and fading, the difference for some is small and so without enough information, you can get something different from what you had in mind. If it is possible, you can take a photo of the fade that you want to the barber. Once you are seated down and before anything is done on the hair try and describe to him as much as possible what you want and ask for a portfolio of their fades and tapers to see if you can find it there. Tell the barber the point where you want the hair to disappear, for example, at the temple for a temp fade. Even if you do not know the name of what you wish to have, explain to the barber the general look and make references to celebrities that have something similar or closer to that taper so that he can have an idea of what you want. All in all, the best ways to ask for fades or short tapers is to describe them by name or have a photo of what you wish to get.

How to: Step by Step Fade Haircut Tutorial

How to Cut a Fade Haircut in 12 Steps (with Pictures)

Face shape and hair type recommendations

One of the greatest advantages of fading and tapering is that they look good on almost any face shape. Skilled barbers can create something to go with your face shape and so with these hairstyles there is something for everyone. However, men with thinning or balding hair may want to keep away from these styles as they make things worse for them. For example, if you have a receding hairline or balding hair it will be tough to create a beautiful fade because no matter how creatively you try to do it the hair will not have that uniformity brought by fading. Men with voluminous hair and round face shape will look best on most types of these hairstyles.

Tips and Tricks

  • Always go with a taper or fade type that goes well with what is on your crown and consider things such as the length and color. For example, a high fade works well with pompadours and high tops.
  • If you are not sure what will look good on you, it is not a bad idea to combine two fade designs to create a unique look.
  • Make sure that the hair is not too short as it will limit your fading or tapering options. In fact, if you are thinking of doing some fading you should let the barber do all the cuts as they know the right size to leave.
  • Regular retouching and use of quality hair products are the surest ways to keep your tapered hair looking sharp and neat for long. It’s all about keeping the right size and the hair grows the fading or tapering appearance will disappear and hence the need for retouching regularly.
  • Try not to copy too much or replicate a fade exactly how it looks on a friend or in an online picture as the results may not be the same. Instead, you should let your barber create something that conforms to your facial features and hair type.
  • The trick behind attractive taper and fade styles is trying different ones till you get the one that looks best on you.

The Recommended Products

Since the hair is very short in these hairdos, you will not require using many types of products. However, this will also depend in the hairstyle you have in the top, but some gel and a moisturizing product will probably be sufficient. Some shampoo for cleaning your hair is also a must have, and you can also use other products such as pomade on the longer top, and natural/organic oils to keep the hair healthy. Apart from this, hair sprays can also be useful to give you a beautiful shine.

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