36 Trending Taper Fade Haircuts for Men

Updated on January 1, 2024
Tatiana Cooper By Tatiana Cooper
Tatiana Cooper

Expert writer, copywriter, and well-versed beauty and wellness enthusiast.

Table Of Contents

    Taper fadePIN

    36 Trending Taper Fade Haircuts for Men

    The phrase ‘get faded’ has a whole new meaning now.

    Instead of a drinking term, think of it as a haircut term. Yes, you read us right, haircut! One of the hottest hair trends for men is called the taper fade, and it gets your hair totally faded.

    All jokes aside, the taper fade is an excellent haircut for cleaning around the edges.

    What Is A Fade With Taper Haircut?

    The classic fade and a taper fade are different for many reasons. However, they both gradually cut the sides of the hair short while leaving the top longer. You get a taper fade when you combine a taper cut and a fade. A taper fade haircut trims the hair shorter, even to a point where you can fade to the skin.

    Since this is such a versatile haircut, many styles, and looks exist. We have collected our favorites so that you can find your style and understand what works best for your hair type.

    Before we jump into it, it may be helpful to understand the different hair types, such as:

    1. Type 1 – Straight
    2. Type 2 – Curly
    3. Type 3 – Coily

    You can have any of these or a mixture of a few. There’s no perfect hair type either, and it helps to understand your strands so you can better care for them and find suitable haircuts.

    Before you continue reading and see the different types of taper fades, yes, there are multiple, it may be helpful to see what you should consider when choosing a taper fade. Below is a table of a few things worth considering before choosing.

    Things To Consider Before Choosing A Taper Fade Description
    Consider your lifestyle This is a huge one because depending on your lifestyle, like being a lawyer vs. a musician, you may want different taper fade styles that suit your life. You should consult your barber about it; they’ll know what to do.
    Consider hair thickness The thickness or thinness of your hair matters when choosing a taper fade. For example, the thinner your hair, the less you want to shave off. If your hair is thicker, you may want to eliminate more hair.
    Consider length Figure out or talk to your barber about the length you want your fade. The shorter the hair, the more visible the fade will be.
    Consider head shape Choosing a fade that works best for your head shape is essential. The higher your fade, the more head will show. A low taper fade might suit you best if you have a larger head.

    High Vs Low Vs Mid

    There are three types of taper fades, high fade, mid fade, and low fade. They are all very similar; the only difference is where the fade starts. Aside from technicality, a few other differences between them are mainly visual, which would be worth knowing.


    It can get confusing with all these similar names, so we have compiled them into a chart to help you better understand each fade and its main characteristics.

    High Taper Fade Mid Taper Fade Low Taper Fade
    • Starts by the temples
    • Adds the allusion of volume to the top of the head
    • Can the frame face
    • Can make the face look slimmer
    • Starts between temples and ears
    • More pronounced than a low taper fade but not as drastic as a high taper fade
    • Casual
    • Helps make hair more manageable
    • Calls for less styling
    • Starts at or below the ears
    • Dosen’t have high contrast effect
    • Helps get rid of and tames fly aways
    • Draws attention to cheekbones

    Black Taper Fade

    Black Taper FadeInstagram@topzycutPIN

    People of African American descent typically have different hair textures and structures than other ethnicities. African American strands are usually beautiful, dark, and coily and need proper care and maintenance.

    There are a few options for African Americans with long strands to style their hair, such as:

    1. Perm – permanently straightening through a chemical process
    2. Weave – braiding the natural hair into cornrows and attaching extra hair to the braids with a needle and string
    3. Extensions – similar to weaves but don’t require braids
    4. Waves – hair is brushed and then flattened to create a pattern similar to ripples on water
    5. Natural – leaving the hair to do what it wants

    If you are looking for a haircut to accompany your style method or your natural strands, whatever you choose, we suggest the taper fade. Since African American hair can take an impressive amount of time to style compared to other hair types, a taper fade could help to cut some of the time down. The taper fade will clean around the edges, removing some of the hair and leaving you less to work with.

    Taper Fade Afro With Twist

    The internet wanted a taper fade afro with a twist, so that is exactly what you will get!

    African American hair typically grows in spirals, coils, zigs, zags, and loops, so it can grow up instead of down, forming in shapes like afros and puffs. We suggest incorporating some color if you want to switch things up, take a risk, and go for a taper fade afro with a twist.

    It doesn’t have to be this bright lime green color, and you don’t have to dye your eyebrow also, but we hope this gets your creative juices flowing for the different colors you could choose and experiment with.

    Zohna Tip

    Before dying your hair, we suggest getting hair extensions or a washout hair color spray to test out on your strands to ensure it's the right color for you.

    Mexican Taper Fade

    Not all, but many people from Mexico typically have curly hair. However, Hispanics aren’t one homogenous group of people, as they have multiethnic backgrounds, from European to Native American and to African, meaning many could have curly hair but also straight or coily hair, dependent on their ethnic backgrounds.

    In this instance, a Mexican taper fade refers to someone with curly, wavy hair with faded sides. In the photo, the person has curly hair with a mid taper fade that cleans up the edges. Curly hair can have a mind of its own at times; therefore, a taper fade helps to give it some structure and keep its edges at bay.

    Blowout Afro Taper Fade

    If you want to emphasize your hair’s natural twirls and swirls, giving your afro the blowout look will help to define it. The taper fade will accentuate your hair, making your afro look even more voluminous and pronounced.

    If you are worried about the health of your hair, we suggest using a heat protectant before using a blow dryer or any hot tools to help prevent any damage to your strands.

    Curly Loose Taper Fade

    We get it; sometimes styling your hair in the mornings before tackling the day is not worth the struggle. But now we have a solution for you, a curly loose taper fade look!

    Fading out the sides of your curly hair will help to clean the edges for a more put-together look. Plus, if you are a big fan of your curls, this will help to accentuate and emphasize their twirls. We’re going to let you in on a little secret…One of our favorite taper fade styles is the low taper fade curly hair look!

    Taper Fade Long Hair

    Sometimes, especially with thick hair, your long strands can get in the way and become pretty heavy. If you read this and you relate, try a taper fade long hair look at your next haircut. You could get a high, mid, or low taper fade, as each one will do its part to clean up your edges and remove some of your strands, lifting some weight off your shoulders…literally.

    Drop Fade Taper Fade

    If you’re wondering what a drop fade is, it’s similar to a fade haircut but lower at the back of the head and around the front hairline. A drop fade is more dramatic and less gradual than a taper fade. A drop fade typically fades closer to the skin.

    This could be a great style for someone with thinner hair who still wants a taper fade but with less hair removal, as you only really fade out one section with a drop fade since it’s less gradual.

    Bald Taper Fade

    There isn’t such a thing as a bald taper fade, as you need hair to do a taper fade. However, when men start to experience hair loss, a good amount opt for shaving their head, which ends up looking like an all-over taper fade.

    If you are experiencing hair loss and want a solution, we suggest a bald taper fade, where you shave the entire head, fading it out into your beard if you have one. Unfortunately, this won’t solve the issue, but it may help to eliminate any feelings of self-consciousness with your hair.

    Curly Taper Fade

    If you have tight curls in your locks that seem to have a mind of their own, a curly taper fade will save the day. Sometimes curls can look messy, even when we put time and effort into styling them. That’s why shaving around the sides will help give you that clean look we all strive for.

    To decide which taper fade best suits your curly taper fade, consider your hair thickness. The thicker the strands, the higher you can take the fade.

    Medium Taper Fade

    A medium taper fade is another name for a mid taper fade. A medium taper fade starts between the ears and the temples, gradually fading out to the ends of the hair. You can get a medium taper fade on any hair type, and they are the most common of taper fades.

    We suggest a medium taper fade for people with any hair thickness because you aren’t removing too much hair, but you aren’t removing too little.

    Taper Fade Mullet

    In recent years, the mullet has had a resurgence. Some argue for the best and others the worst. Either way, a low taper fade mullet is the newest and coolest rendition of the mullet. You can also incorporate a high or mid taper fade into your mullet; we think the low taper fade looks the best.

    The low taper fade cleans up the edges just enough to stand true to the mullet form, but adding some crisp faded edges gives it a clean look.

    Taper Fade Straight Hair

    Just as you can do a taper fade on curly hair, you can do it on straight hair. With straight hair, you have more leniency with the different lengths you can do. For example, when you have curly hair, you must keep the fade pretty short, or you will have half curls that look strange. When you have straight hair, you can fade it as short or as long as you like without running the risk of it looking a bit odd.

    Taper Fade Waves

    Waves are a hairstyle typically worn by African American men. Since African American hair is different from any other ethnicities’ strands, other style methods are used to style the hair, such as waves. The hair is brushed or combed and then flattened to create a pattern similar to ripples on water. If this is a style you typically use, we suggest adding a taper fade around the edges to accentuate the ripples.

    Ponytail Taper Fade

    If you have long hair and need clarification on styling it, try a ponytail taper fade!

    Long hair is the culprit for getting in the way at inconvenient times. Placing your strands into a ponytail will help keep it out of the way and out of your face. However, sometimes pulling it back isn’t a classy enough style. Long hair on men can look messy if not styled properly; however, incorporating a taper fade into your ponytail will help to give you a cleaner and sharper look.

    Skin Taper Fade

    One of the most beloved features of the taper fade is its versatility. You can shave as close or far away from the scalp as you want.

    A skin taper fade shaves as close as possible to the scalp, making it appear that there is almost no hair in that area. It looks like a permanent five o’clock shadow, but on your head.

    Short Taper Fade

    A short taper fade is similar to a skin taper fade, but the hair is longer and more pronounced. This is the more popular of the taper fade lengths as most people don’t get long taper fades as they don’t provide much change.

    A short taper fade can:

    • Add dimension
    • Add structure
    • Frame the face
    • Accentuate your facial features
    • Accentuate your hairs structure
    • Accentuate your hairstyle

    Blowout Taper Fade

    Sometimes, we’re in a rush and have wet hair. Sometimes our hair looks better when blow-dried. Either way, blow-drying your hair is an easy way to style your locks; we recommend it for those looking to take up a notch with their strands.

    However, we know that not everyone is familiar with a blow dryer and how to use it. If you want to learn how to get a blowout to pair with your taper fade, check out the chart below.

    How to Achieve a Taper Fade Blow Out Description
    Finding the right tools Ensuring you have the proper equipment before blow drying is half the process.

    You might need a few things:

    1. A quality blow dryer
    2. Volumizing mousse
    3. Heat protectant
    4. A round brush (depending on hair length)
    5. Hair clips (depending on hair length)
    6. Finishing oil
    7. A comb
    Hair prep We suggest waiting till the hair is 80% dried to prevent any damage, as your hair is the weakest when wet. Add your volumizing moose and heat protectant, and use a comb to help evenly distribute it through the strands. If your hair is significantly longer, use the clips to section it, leaving the bottom layer unclipped.
    Blow dry! If your hair is long, you can use a round brush to help smooth your strands and give them a natural curl. If you clipped your hair up, slowly let small sections down one at a time. Curl the hair around the brush and brush away from your head while directing the airflow onto the brush.
    Finishing Once everything is dry, use a finishing oil to help prevent frizz that may have come from the heat or the brush. The oil will help the hair look smooth and shiny and keep it healthy.

    Burst Taper Fade

    A burst taper fade is yet another type of hair fade!

    A burst fade is when you cut a semicircle shape above the ear, dropping down and behind it. The fade only sometimes continues down and along the nape of the neck, but you can incorporate that if you want!

    Taper Fade Comb Over

    If you have thinning hair, this taper fade comb over will help hide the balding bits and add some life back to your strands. Since your hair is already thinning, we only want to remove what is necessary. That said, we recommend either doing a low or mid taper fade and steering clear of the high taper fade.

    Taper Fade Middle Part

    If you have semi-long hair and can’t figure out the best way to part it, we say the middle part! Plus, the middle part is in, and the side part is 100% out.

    The middle parts are significant because they:

    • Complement the symmetry of your face
    • Elongate your face
    • Soften features

    Taper Fade With Dreads

    If you have dreadlocks and feel it’s time for a change but also don’t want to part with your dreads, fret no longer! We have the perfect compromise for you in this situation; the taper fade with dreads.

    You will have to part with a few locks, but only as many or as few as you want. Fading out the sides with bring change to your hair without being too drastic. You can add designs to the fade to further elevate your new hairdo.

    Taper Fade With Beard

    If you have a beard and worry about what adding a taper fade might look like, we don’t want you to stress anymore cause we have the answer.

    There are two ways to achieve a ‘taper fade with beard’ look. First, you can incorporate your beard by fading out your sideburns with your fade. This will create the appearance of coherence and accentuate your features. Second, you can leave your beard out of the fading process, highlighting your sideburns and beard, making them a prominent part of your features.

    Either option looks great, and you can’t go wrong with either. However, we suggest choosing based on the thickness of your beard. We recommend option one if you have a super pronounced and thick beard. We suggest option two if your beard is a bit thinner and sparse.

    Mohawk Taper Fade

    The answer to your question is, no, mohawks are not back in style. But were they ever in or out of style?

    If you want a mohawk, the best way to get a loud and proud one is to shave all the remaining hair on your head that won’t make it into the spike/bump. Technically, this would be a high-taper fade. Before trimming, remember to stick to your styling routine, or your hair may look extra funny.

    Asian Taper Fade

    People of Asian descent typically have super dark, thick, straight hair; hair we all wish we had. We suggest a taper fade to help thin out the hair and lift some weight off your shoulders. Not only will the fade thin the thickness out, but it will give you a clean, shaved look.

    Buzz Cut Taper Fade

    If you like things super short, take things the shortest they can go with a buzz cut taper fade. It might not seem like it, but it’s possible to have a buzz cut and a taper fade. The taper fade will have to be a skin taper fade, meaning the hairs are almost shaved down. However, we highly recommend this look for a sharp, professional look while still looking young and fun.

    Taper Fade Wavy Hair

    If you got some waves in your hair, it’s all good. Clean things up with a taper fade for a sharp new hairdo. You can pair a low, mid, or high taper fade with your wavy locks.

    Undercut Taper Fade

    Undercut Taper FadeInstagram@theroff_PIN

    An undercut taper fade does not mess around. The undercut is a haircut where the sides and back are disconnected from the top hair. There is little to no gradual fading involved.

    To make this cut even more eye-catching and distinct, we suggest adding a sharp line between the faded section and the long hair section on top.

    A few tools are used to achieve this look, such as:

    1. A professional-grade razor
    2. A one-blade razor
    3. A stencil (optional)

    Taper Fade White

    People of caucasian descent usually have straight or curly/ wavy hair depending on genetics and their ethnic backgrounds. However, that said, someone white is likely to either suit taper fade wavy hair, taper fade straight hair, or taper fade curly hair looks.

    Taper Fade With Braids

    If you regularly wear braids like cornrows or box braids in your hair, then this taper fade look might tickle your fancy. Adding a small taper fade to the sides of your hair will elevate and accentuate your braids, making them pop. Plus, if you wear braids regularly, you likely have thick hair, so you won’t be too upset to remove some and lighten the load.

    Man Bun Taper Fade

    Accentuate and show your pride for your man bun by incorporating a taper fade. The fade will add to that already slicked-back look you’re trying to achieve with the man bun. The fade will undoubtedly help draw attention to your man bun, which we know is exactly what you’re going for.

    Taper Fade Edgar Cut

    If you are searching for a new way to switch up your mop, this taper fade Edgar cut may be your new look. An Edgar cut consists of a cropped top, similar to a bowl cut, with the hair sitting in a straight line around the whole head.

    Side Taper Fade

    A side taper fade is another name for a taper fade that leaves the back of the hair alone, only fading the hair on the sides of the head. This technique is often used for a taper fade mullet.

    Kids Taper Fade

    We all know that kids are very unlikely to do much styling to their hair. We suggest a taper fade because the style is already in the haircut, and there isn’t much styling required if the barber trims and fades the hair correctly.

    Another fun kid taper fade haircut idea is incorporating some designs, such as:

    Taper Fade Slick Back

    Grab some gel and slick things back!

    Slicking your hair back is the best way to expose and show off your taper fade. We get it; if we had a cool and trendy taper fade, we’d also want to show it off.

    Light Taper Fade

    Not all taper fades need to be super distinct and harsh. You can add a light taper fade to your hair to add just the perfect amount of fading without having to change things too much. Think of the taper fade as a spectrum; many more ideas and options will pop into your head.

    Crew Cut Taper Fade

    A crew cut taper fade is another name for a taper fade. The hair on top of the head is kept longer than the back and sides, as it tapers down to a shorter length.

    How To Do a Taper Fade

    If you choose your bathroom mirror to be more suited to you then the salon chair, we applaud you (and wish you luck.) We’ve heard all the horror stories of people trying to cut their hair during covid, and that is the last thing we want for you. Therefore, we have created the perfect step-by-step tutorial on how to do a taper fade so you won’t become a horror story told for years to follow.

    First, you should know a few things, such as guard lengths and what tools you need. Here is a chart of the different guard lengths and what they trim their hair to in inches and mm!

    Guard Size For Low Taper Fade Inches MM
    #0.5 1/16″ 1.5mm
    #1 1/8″ 3mm
    #1.5 3/16 4.5mm
    #2 1/4 6mm
    #3 3/8 10mm
    #4 1/2 13mm

    Now that you know what guard length you might want to choose, here is a list of all the tools you will need to achieve a taper fade at home.

    What you’ll need:

    1. Professional-grade trimmers
    2. A comb
    3. At least two different guard lengths
    4. A spray bottle (optional)
    5. Hair clips
    6. Scissors
    7. One-blade razor (optional)

    Step #1

    The first step is to ensure the hair is ready to be trimmed. Give your locks a good spray of water to dampen them, or jump in the shower and wash your hair.

    Step #2

    Choosing the correct guard size is crucial to your taper fade. We suggest picking two to three guard lengths and basing them on whether you decide to do a low taper fade, mid taper fade, or high taper fade.

    Your professional-grade clippers should have come with different-sized guards. The higher the guard number, the longer the hair length will be, so we suggest starting out higher and working your way down.

    Step #3

    Choose where you want your fade to start. This depends on the fade you want. A low taper fade starts below the ears, a mid taper fade starts between the temples and ears, and a high taper fade starts at the temples.

    Another essential thing to consider before you start is your hair type. A taper fade curly hair look can be different than on someone with straight hair because it will get short as your curly hair dries. Just keep that in mind when you are trimming.

    Step #4

    To be safe, section off the top portion of hair so that you don’t accidentally trim any of that fall into your trimming area. You can use a hair clip to keep it on the top of your head if need be.

    Step #5

    Now that you are all set, it’s time to turn on those clippers. When you use the clippers, move them vertically.

    Step #6

    Move the clippers sideways along your chosen fade line.

    Step #7

    Make sure you use a steady hand and move in small sections to avoid mistakes.

    Step #8

    Once you’ve shaved down the area you want your fade, you will likely want to switch the guard to be a bit lower so you can trim the hair further down a bit shorter for that gradient look. The hair in the fade shouldn’t be all the same length; instead, get shorter gradually from where you started to the bottom of your hair.

    Step #9

    Once you are happy with how short and faded things look, go in for a cleanup with the clippers-over-comb method. Just place the comb in your hair and use the clippers to trim any hair sticking out.

    Step #10

    This step isn’t necessary but will help create cohesion. Trim the top of the hair you clipped up earlier to ensure it’s not too long.

    Final Touches

    If you thought you were finished, think again! These final steps aren’t necessary, but they are for our perfectionists out there. This would also be the perfect time to use that one-blade razor and add some designs.

    To ensure everything looks perfect, follow these steps:

    1. Shave the bottom of the hair with a beard trimmer or unguarded clippers for a close shave.
    2. Using the clippers and a guard, blur any visible lines that may remain from when you switched guards.
    3. Remember to clean up the neck area!


    • How Much is a Fade With Taper?

      We can’t give you an exact price for what a taper fade would cost you. It depends on whether you do it at home or at a salon. Technically, it is free if you choose to do it at home. However, if you go to the salon, you must pay.

      There are a few factors that contribute to the price, such as:

      • Where you live (city or suburb)
      • The salon you choose to go to
      • The barber you choose
      • The type of fade you want
    • What Guards Do You Use For a Taper Fade?

      People tend to use 4, 3, or 2; however, there aren’t set guards you need to use. Each taper fade style differs, meaning your hair will be cut to different lengths. Your hair type also dictates the length you might want your hair to be.

    • How To Maintain a Taper Fade?

      The only way to maintain a taper fade is to county getting it cut. We recommend going every few weeks for a quick cleanup.

    • How To Ask For a Taper Fade

      Your barber should know precisely what you mean when you ask for a taper fade. However, they may ask for clarification. Depending on the type of taper fade you want, low, mid, or high, show them where you want it to start and how short you are considering going.

      Bringing photos of what you want is always a good idea, so there is less room for confusion and miscommunication.

    Taper Fade All The Way!

    Perhaps before reading this, you thought there was only one kind of taper fade. Hopefully, we have proven you wrong. There are many different styles and factors to consider when choosing a taper fade for your next haircut. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of these taper fade styles, they all look great, and we know you won’t regret it.