Taper Fade 101: Everything You Need to Know

What’s a taper fade haircut, you ask? Let us educate you about this trendy hairstyle and give you some tips on how to style it, too!

You’ve probably heard of the fade haircut, but do you know what it is, exactly? If not, you might be missing out on a cool hairstyle that could look really good on you! Yes, with so many hair trends popping up here and there, it gets harder and harder to keep up. But you’re here (yay!) and you’re about to find out everything you need to know about this cut.

fade haircut
A fade haircut is one of the simplest but stylish ways to add zing to your look. Credit: @baldmonkey_barbershop

It might sound like it has something to do with hair color, but it doesn’t. The fade cut is a cut that goes from one length to another. It starts off long at the top and gets shorter (or balder) on the sides and the lower back, creating a seamless blend that makes the hair look like it’s fading into nothingness. (Exhibit A, above).

There’s a fade haircut, and then there’s a taper fade haircut. These two hairstyles for men are often used interchangeably, but the thing is, they’re not the same. So, what’s the difference? Basically the length. These two hairstyles are similar in that they are both gradient haircuts. As we said, they go from one length to another. But a regular fade typically goes from short to even shorter, while with a taper fade, it starts with hair that’s about a few inches longer. See where the confusion comes from? Now that that is clear, let’s move on to the fun part.

There are more different ways to wear this cut, and depending on how funky or conservative you are with haircuts, you can choose whether you want to do it low (hair is tapered down the shortest, near the ears), mid fade (a few inches higher), or a high fade (hair starts to shorten high up on the head.) There are a lot of different variations, and they can easily liven up your style. We’ve got a few cool looks right below.

1. Side Part Taper Fade Hairstyle

side part fade haircut
A fade cut will give your side part style a modern twist. Credit: iStock

Upgrade your classic side part style by combining it with your choice of fade. To create this look, use a comb to part your hair on the side while it’s still damp. Apply a coin-sized amount of wax onto your hair to take it where you want it to go and keep it there. A blow dryer can help set your style.

Editor’s tip: Use a hair product that can give you a long-lasting hold so you can keep your style throughout the day. We recommend TONI&GUY Mattifying Putty for Men.

2. Curly Taper Fade

curly taper fade haircut
Accentuate your curls with a fade haircut. Credit: iStock

Who says only the straight-haired guys can have all the fun? This curly style is a more subtle fade but it’s cool and stylish just the same.

3. Man Bun Undercut Taper Fade

man bun undercut fade haircut
Combine your fade cut with a trendy man bun. Credit: Dvora

Go for this style if you want a fun and funky hair fade. The man-bun-fade-cut combination automatically gives you fresh, youthful vibe. Nobody can accuse you of being boring and old-fashioned!

Editor’s tip: Wearing a fade haircut will give people a peek at your scalp. Make sure it’s free of dandruff by washing your hair regularly with CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men. It’s formulated with Bio-Nutrium 10, which activates scalp’s natural protection layer and keeps your hair flake-free.

4. Brown and Thin Fade

guy is kind of laughing while sporting a fade haircut
The fade haircut also looks good in brown. Credit: Shutterstock

As you can see, the fade haircut is very much suitable for thin hair. So, if your hairline is starting to recede, this is a good haircut to have since it doesn’t emphasize it too much. The fade makes your hairline discreet and makes you look more masculine and attractive. Ain’t it great?

Editor’s tip: Are you starting to get concerned about losing hair? Wash your hair with with Clear Anti-Hairfall Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for MenYou’ll be protected from hair fall, as well as from dandruff which is also a cause of hair fall. 

5. Short and Curly Fade

guy wears a leather jacket and has short curly fade hair
Make your curls look tamer with this ‘do. Credit: Shutterstock

Some men like to wear their curly hair long while some others like it short. But hey, whichever is your preference, this fade haircut suits. If you have short hair, the top part will be longer than the rest but it is short enough to stay in place. You can either style it the wet look or shiny way or keep it simple and dry just like this guy.

Editor’s tip: We like the wet look and shiny style for this curly fade haircut, so we recommend using TONI&GUY Finishing Shine Spray. Get the right smooth, shiny, and polished hairstyle all day.

6. Easy Comb Over with Fade

Guy in a blue sweater is smiling
The fade hairstyle can also be styled to look more formal. Credit: Natasha Estelle

Do you want to exude the boy-next-door kind of vibe? Then, wear this formal fade haircut and you’ll surely look nice and well-polished. With your sides being thin and the top of your head looking a bit heavy and thick, you’ll look more clean and fresh. This hairstyle is perfect when you need to head to a meeting prior to taking your girl out on a date. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone!

Editor’s tip: Keep your hair in place longer with a little touch of VO5 Rough It Up Putty. Its texture is not heavy and it is non-greasy so you can wear it as if it’s not even there. 

7. Straight Hair with Fade

Asian man with straight hair with fade haircut wearing a white polo and smiling
Slicked-back straight hair with faded sides makes for a dapper look. Credit: Hariono Halim

Straight, slicked-back hair goes well with a fade haircut. It’s a smooth and polished hairstyle you can wear together with a crisp dress shirt and suit.

8. Quiff with Fade

Filipino man with a quiff wearing a blue shirt outdoors
Show off your fade by styling your hair into a quiff. Credit: Michelle Pedron

This kind of fade haircut gives you a clean look, and when you style your hair into a quiff, you get to exude a friendly, boy-next-door vibe. Go for this look when going out on weekend walks or hanging out at your friend’s house for game night.

Cool, huh? So why don’t you go and give the taper fade haircut a try?

Next Read

Are you thinking of making a hairstyle change? Go for the clean-cut hairstyle by checking out these great options.