Have you ever found yourself struggling to decide what to get as your next visit to the barbers looms?
There are dozens of great-looking hairstyles out there-not to mention quite a few questionable ones-but one of the most versatile aspects to incorporate into your hairstyle is a taper fade haircut.
A taper fade allows keeps your hair short around the back and sides while blending gracefully into your hairstyle of choice.
And there are a lot of choices. So many that we’ve put together a list of our favorite taper fade hairstyles for you to browse. See anything you like?
(You could use the table of contents below to jump to the sections that are most important to you.)
- 1. The Low Taper Fade
- 2. The Mid Taper Fade
- 3. The High Taper Fade
- 4. The Bald Taper Fade
- 5. The Comb Over Taper Fade
- 6. The Neat Comb Over and Taper Fade
- 7. The Modern Quiff Comb Over and Taper Fade
- 8. The Curly Comb Over and Taper Fade
- 9. The Precise Taper Fade and Comb Over
- 10. The Faux Hawk and Taper Fade
- 11. The Mohawk and Taper Fade
- 12. The Fringe Taper Fade
- 13. The Hard Part and Taper Fade
- 14. The Slick Back Taper Fade
- 15. The Spiky Hair and Taper Fade
- 16. The Dreads and Taper Fade
- 17. The Undercut Taper Fade
- 18. The Braids with Taper Fade
- 19. The Short Crop Top and Taper Fade
- 20. The Long Top and Taper Fade
- 21. The Taper Line Up
- 22. The Neck Taper Fade
- 23. The Brushed Up Taper Fade
- 24. The Side Swept Taper Fade
- 25. The Tapered Neckline Fade
- 26. The Taper Fade and Beard
- 27. The Caesar Fade
- 28. The Afro Taper Fade
- 29. The Wet Look and Taper Fade
- 30. The Quiff and Taper Fade
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
1. The Low Taper Fade
Probably one of the most popular haircuts for men to this day, the low taper fade works with a huge range of haircuts.
It doesn’t expose too much scalp, leaving plenty on top to be shaped into a variety of modern and classic styles.
The fact that it doesn’t expose a lot of the scalp can also make it a favorite during the colder months, offering a little more protection from the low temperatures.
2. The Mid Taper Fade
If you want something a little higher than a low taper but you are not prepared to go all the way to high, the mid taper offers some excellent middle ground.
After all, it’s in the name! Mid fades can be combined with a range of longer hairstyles to create a significant contrast between the style and the back and sides for a more striking look. Or you can have a more subtle fade for something a little more business-like.
3. The High Taper Fade
As you’ve probably guessed already, the high taper fade exposes the most scalp, with the fade starting just below the start of your main hairstyle on top.
High taper fades put the most emphasis on your main hairstyle since there will be almost nothing below it, so this kind of fade is particularly appealing to those of you who want all eyes on the top. It can also be highly practical if combined with a short cut.
4. The Bald Taper Fade
Also known as the skin fade, the bald taper fades blend your hairstyle down to bare scalp at the sides.
It can be combined with any height of fade and hairstyle on top, but instead of a “short back and sides,” it is more of a no back and sides.
This type of fade is very popular in summer when it gets hotter. If combined with a short cut on top, it can make for a very practical, low-maintenance haircut.
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5. The Comb Over Taper Fade
There are several types of comb-over haircuts, of course, but the basic premise is the same as far as the fade goes.
Bringing the fade-whatever height you choose to go with-up to a clean edge on one side, hidden on the other, is a distinctive haircut that can be just as suitable for the workplace as it is for a night out on the town.
If you’re interested in other comb over-taper fade combinations, don’t worry, we got you…
6. The Neat Comb Over and Taper Fade
A particularly popular style in recent years, the neat comb-over is a business-like hairstyle that is as stylish as it is formal.
It can work with any length of fade-though shorter fades tend to suit the style more and-differs slightly from a regular comb-over in that it will typically be firmly held in place by-product rather than allowed a bit of freedom. No wispy strands of hair getting in your eyes here!
7. The Modern Quiff Comb Over and Taper Fade
The quiff may seem like something you’d expect to find on a leather-clad biker from a TV show out of the 1950s or 60s, but fashion and style have a habit of coming back around, and the modern quiff is most definitely in style right now.
Essentially a regular comb over with a peaked quiff-also known as a pompadour, it takes a little more work than a standard comb-over, but the effort is well worth it.
8. The Curly Comb Over and Taper Fade
Everybody’s hair is a little different, and while you can often overcome the less cooperative aspects of your hair, sometimes it is just better to work with what you got.
For the curlier haired among us, a curly comb-over is a great option to embrace your naturally unruly mop and still have a great do.
This style works with any height or length of fade because the star of the show is those natural curls of yours.
9. The Precise Taper Fade and Comb Over
Almost the polar-opposite of a curly comb-over, the precise taper fade, and comb-over involve crisp, clean lines and precise styling. It works especially well with a pompadour and a high fade.
That being said, despite “precise” being in the name, there is some flexibility with how you apply this style.
As you might expect, it’s a little higher maintenance than some of the other fades on this list, but there’s really no alternative for that clean, crisp look.
10. The Faux Hawk and Taper Fade
The faux hawk-a more subtle version of the mohawk-rose to prominence in the early 2000s with the likes of David Beckham adopting the style, and it has shown no signs of going out of style since.
This hairstyle features a high center on top that gradually tapers down to your fade. As for the fade, it can either be blended in or terminate in a crisp, clean line for a more defined faux hawk.
11. The Mohawk and Taper Fade
We couldn’t mention the faux hawk without giving a little love to the style that inspired it. The mohawk is the whole deal-bigger, badder, and meaner than the faux hawk.
Traditionally it would be accompanied by completely shaven sides and a partially shaven top, but with a taper fade, the overall effect is much softer. Ideal for those who want the rebellious look of the mohawk without going the whole way.
12. The Fringe Taper Fade
We’ve spent a lot of time screen real estate so far on hairstyles that are quite neat and tidy, but not everyone is aiming for that “ready for a day at the office” look.
With a fringe taper fade, you get the neat back and sides of a fade with a wonderfully wild mop on top. A blank canvas to style as you please. Just don’t opt for this style if you don’t like hair getting in your face.
13. The Hard Part and Taper Fade
In keeping with our habit of jumping from one extreme to the other, the hard part and taper fade is a very neat and tidy style that involves razoring your parting to achieve a strong, clean line between the fade and the top style.
The top itself is neatly combed over, though not necessarily as crisply as a precise comb-over. The hard part is great for adding definition to your style.
14. The Slick Back Taper Fade
Another style for fans of the hairstyles reminiscent of the 1950s is the slick back taper fade.
One way to think of the slick back hairstyle is as a comb-over but going front-to-back, rather than side-to-side. Adding a taper fade into the mix softens the transition between the sides and the top and gives the overall style a more modern twist.
Beware; however, the slick back style does expose your hairline, something that not all men are comfortable with.
15. The Spiky Hair and Taper Fade
Spikey hair is one of those versatile styles that can be both one of the lowest maintenance hairstyles you can have or one of the highest.
If you decide to keep things short and chipped, getting ready to head out can be as simple as putting some product in your hands, closing your eyes, and going to town on your hair. Whatever your choice, spikey hair goes great with a taper fade.
16. The Dreads and Taper Fade
The typical image that springs to mind when you think of dreads is of a long hairstyle that covers the ears and neck. They may look good, but they can be incredibly warm at certain times of the year.
The introduction of a taper fade will allow you to keep the unique style of dreads while keeping things a little more practical, not to mention cooler-in a temperature sense, dreads are already pretty cool!
17. The Undercut Taper Fade
You may think that we’ve already covered this one with the slick back, but it would more accurate to think of the slick back as a substyle of the undercut.
This basically covers any hairstyle where the top is left longer and allowed to grow over the point where the sides meet the top. The sides don’t have to be a fade, of course, but introducing a fade gives a nice, soft transition.
18. The Braids with Taper Fade
If you are looking for something a little more elaborate, introducing braids into your taper fade haircut is undoubtedly that.
Essentially, you get a short back and sides with a fade height of your choosing, and then the top is left long enough to braid together.
This is most definitely not a hairstyle for those of you who don’t like spending hours getting ready in the morning, but it is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive looks on this list.
19. The Short Crop Top and Taper Fade
Sometimes it is more about functionality than fashion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look good while having a practical hairstyle.
Once again, we bounce from one of the more high-maintenance styles in braids to one of the lowest maintenance in a crop top.
Nice and short, you won’t need to do anything with this style if you don’t want to. Simply hop out of bed or the shower, and you’re ready to go.
20. The Long Top and Taper Fade
It can help to think of this style as something of a freeform alternative to some of the styles we’ve mentioned, such as the mohawk and the slick back.
With this style, you get your taper fade of choice with plenty of lengths on top do with as you please.
One of the advantages of this style is it can always be cut back to something else if you decide you don’t like it.
21. The Taper Line Up
This one is purely about the taper and can be paired with a wide variety of hairstyles.
Typically, more suited to a low fade as it gives you more hair to play with, this style involves trimming the edges of your fade around the temples and your hairline into clean, crisp edges.
The end result is a meticulous appearance with a distinctive look. You may also hear this style being referred to as an edge up or shape up.
22. The Neck Taper Fade
To picture a neck taper fade, first, imagine a tapered line up-those clean, crisp edges around the temples, the nicely trimmed framing of the face.
Now take those edges and go ahead and twizzle them round to the back of the neck. That’s basically what a neck taper fade is.
Instead of fading the hair all the way down, it ends in nice, clean lines, usually following the contours of your neck.
23. The Brushed Up Taper Fade
For those of you with thicker hair, the woes of hair products that are not up to the task will be well known.
Fortunately, there’s a hairstyle for that. The brushed up taper fade strikes a nice middle ground between spiked hair and a blowout.
The good news about having hair like this is that once you get the cut right, the styling is almost as easy as spiking short hair. Almost.
24. The Side Swept Taper Fade
How do we describe the side-swept taper fade? Okay. Imagine a comb over taper fade… but in a 90s boy band music video.
Unfortunately, this style won’t be the easiest for the thicker haired among you, but for those with flowing locks, this light and airy style can be a great way to show everyone how silky smooth your hair is. This is also a good one if you have highlights.
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25. The Tapered Neckline Fade
Most of the tapered fade hairstyles you will see have a more or less straight line transition to the main hairstyle on top that circles around the head.
While this looks great, some people prefer to keep a bit of length in the back. Don’t worry if this is you; you’re not going to be stuck with a mullet. The neckline fade loops over your ears and plunges down to give the back of your head more coverage.
26. The Taper Fade and Beard
Okay, you got us; this one isn’t technically a hairstyle as such, but it is a very stylish look, and beards have never been as popular.
Any length of fade will do, and there’s no limit to what kind of hairstyle you can have on top. It looks especially dapper if you have the fade gradually tone down to whatever length you are going for and then start to ramp back up into the beard itself.
27. The Caesar Fade
We’ve already had the curly comb-over and the undercut fade; well, the Caesar fade can be thought of as a little bit of a cross between the two.
You’re going to need some curls for this one, but rather than combing them over to the side as you would with a curly comb-over, you’re taking it to the front.
If it wasn’t obvious, this style is named for the famous Roman emperor who rocked this style waaaay back.
28. The Afro Taper Fade
Nobody should make you feel ashamed of your natural hair, but being proud of the way you look doesn’t mean you can’t bring the flavor.
As the name suggests, an afro taper fade takes your typical fade on the back and sides and graduates up to an afro.
The most favored style of this could be described as similar to a slick back in shape, but with the more densely packed curls of an afro.
29. The Wet Look and Taper Fade
The wet look is something you achieve more through product than haircut since it can be applied to a range of styles.
The wet look tends to work best with an undercut, comb over, or slick back hairstyle, though this is by no means a definitive list.
Using your product of choice, you can achieve a glossy, slick look that is both sleek and stylish.
30. The Quiff and Taper Fade
While some of the styles in this list feature a quiff, this versatile feature of taper fade hairstyles deserves a mention of its own.
The quiff can be a lifesaver for those of us with unruly fringes or who choose to grow their fringe but need that hair up and out of the way for a spell.
It also helps to add volume to your hairline, which is great if you’re not thrilled about the natural shape of your head!
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve collected a few of the most commonly asked questions about the taper fade haircut for men, so keep reading.
What is a taper fade haircut?
A taper fade haircut is one that fades gradually from the longer hair to shorter hair, eventually fading to the skin. There are many different types of fade.
What does a taper fade haircut look like?
The basic look of a taper fade hair cut is the age-old “short back and sides“, though the modern flavor of this style often creates a much starker contrast between the top and sides. The taper fade can be paired with an enormous variety of styles on top.
How long does a taper fade last?
The exact period between haircuts will depend a lot on how fast your hair grows and what style of cut you have chosen.
As a general rule, the shorter your hair, the longer it will be before you feel the need to get it cut again. That being said, two to three weeks is a common interval between cuts.
Should I get a low or a high taper fade?
Naturally, we can’t issue a blanket statement that will work for everyone.
If you do not like the idea of having too much scalp fully exposed, or you are looking for a less stark contrast between the back, sides, and the top, opt for a low fade.
This is a more gradual fade and covers more of your scalp. A high fade, on the other hand, gives lots of contrast and exposes more of the scalp. As you would expect, and mid taper fade hits the middle ground between the two.
Will a taper fade haircut suit me?
The fade is a very versatile and stylish cut, but we would be lying if we said it suits everyone. If you have a more oval-shaped head, you might want to consider a different hairstyle.
And there we have it; our mammoth selection of taper fade hairstyles. Hopefully, you found something of use in there. You certainly shouldn’t be short of ideas the next time you visit the barber.
When it comes to practical and stylish solutions to the transition into your hairstyle, the taper fade is hard to beat. It is comfortable, it looks great, and it allows you plenty of freedom on top to make your mark with a hairstyle that expresses your personality.
Then again, maybe you just don’t want your hair getting in your eyes or tickling the back of your neck. Taper fades are good for that, too.