22 Looks that Prove the Taper Fade Is a Classic
Call it the trend repeller.
Skin is in! Crisp crew cuts, sleek comb-overs, even an artfully done man bun get top marks in the day-to-night swag department. These looks, together with our latest obsession, the classic taper fade, are classics in their own right: All are seasonless styles that have stood the test of time—not to mention held their own amidst the dozens of campy viral trends we’ve seen online.
Scroll on down for a bunch of our favorite skin fades, from natural to high and tight, sure to keep you (quite literally) looking fresh. We love a great fade, and these skin-baring versions are as sharp as it gets, my friend! Read on to check out some of the hottest taper fades out there:
Long Classic Taper Fade Looks
Need some taper fade inspiration? From long styles to short buzzed looks, check out these classic taper fade looks.
Yep, fades can run on the longer, more natural side, and there’s no reason to assume you need to chop it all off to sport a shaven hairstyle. It’s all in using the proper clipper guard (but go to the pros for this one) and seamlessly blending the top with the bottom. Natural fades that start thinning out below the temples/near the sideburns are a popular choice. As for the crown? Afros, pomps, short dreads, a bowl-cut undercut—the sky’s the limit, provided that it turns into skin gracefully near the neckline. A soft styling cream, like AXE Natural Look: Understated Cream, can help you blur those edges!
Want to keep your fluff, but need to edge it out? Get a cut that can do both. This genius mashup features a tapered baby ’fro on the crown that blends into a skin fade near the nape.
2. Bowl Cut
Funnily enough, this ’80s staple went viral again fairly quickly last year—but we’re not complaining. Cut with the right angles (like a shorter crown comb-over and cleanly faded sides, as shown), it turns from cheesy to cool in no time.
A nice-guy fade, if there were such a thing, would probably look like this: A simple, almost floppy, angst-free shape met with some even texture, with some slight edges for good measure.
4. Short Dreads
Chock-full of personality, these wiry curls somehow perfectly set off a cool Brooklyn fade (or a fade haircut with angular temples). This is a great look for anyone who may be transitioning to or from the dreads hairstyle.
Want to show off that thick, full mane while keeping on trend? Keep some length up top that you can easily style into a high pompadour, and just take the clippers to the sides and back.
Medium to Short Taper Fades
A bit of tuggable length styled in a quiff, or maybe even a true-blue high and tight fade—these shorter cuts are meant for the guy with confidence in his angles (and his head shape!). The bald taper fade with a tiny bit of length up top offers some versatility in style, so go for a casual quiff or something razor-parted for a bit of a street-style kick, and give it some oomph with some non-greasy wax, like AXE Messy Look: Matte Wax.
6. Long, High and Tight
A neatly styled look, this high and tight is longer than your regular version and is a winner for both the office and after-hours. One simply can not go wrong with this classic take on the high-taper fade haircut.
This cool hairstyle is a clever twist on a bald taper fade: It features a razor part on one side before it fades out. Pair this look with a grown-out mustache or beard for the ultimate high-taper fade look.
8. Natural Neckline Taper Cut
In case you were shopping around for a casual cut with an easy grow-out, a clean, low-skin fade might be just up your alley. This taper look is perfect for so many occasions. It is also suitable for a large variety of hair types.
9. Subtle Undercut
Create a fade that leads into a subtle undercut for the best of both worlds on one cut. Create some hold for this style by adding a little bit of AXE Texturizing Cream to the top. This is a great way to put a modern twist on the high-taper fade haircut.
We can see this no-nonsense high and tight looking on-point with a business suit as well as casual or even sportswear. This a great way to style this look, especially on afro hair types and hair textures!
Buzzed Taper Fade
If length (or lack of it) ain’t a thing, then nothing is sharper—or more straightforward—than a legit buzz cut. Although oftentimes of uniform length all around, some like to play around with a marginally longer top area for contrast or even play around with some strategic clippings on the side for added interest to your classic taper fade. Product-wise, a drop of gel, like Dove Men+Care Control Gel, is all you’ll need for shine and control.
11. Two-Toned Classic Taper
Takes a bit of personality to pull this off (we’ve even seen some celebs rock a bleached blonde version), but it’s doable even without any hair dye, provided you’ve got a base color darker than your scalp. Achieve this classic taper by using longer clipper guards for the top than the back and sides.
12. Cropped Classic Taper Fade
Everything about this clean, natural look is correct—from the well-blended side fade to the subtle temple notches. Bring the high fashion look into your everyday look with this take on the high taper fade.
13. High Temple Fade
If you need to mimic some angles, 90-degree notches buzzed high into the temples, giving you a temple fade haircut, which can help give your face a squarish shape. This is great for anyone with an oval to square face shape who wants to better frame their face.
Deliberate or nah? This buzz is equally cropped all around, giving it a nice, clean look even a few weeks after the cut. Ditch your classic hairline shape up and grow it out for this lowkey yet trendy look.
15. Devil’s Horns
Guys starting to recede at the temples can still squeeze a great year or two of fades by opting for a short buzz that’s cut straight across the forehead. This cut is all about focusing on your hairline
We’re totally digging the subtle temple clippings in this bald taper fade, which do the double duty of transitioning the hair as well as providing a visual quirk. This style is a totally cool variation of the classic taper fade, and we’re here for it.
17. Widow’s Peak Classic Taper Fade
If you’ve been blessed with a widow’s peak (as well as a finer peach-fuzz texture), keep it less severe with a longer buzz at the top. This is a great way to mix a buzz cut with a classic taper fade.
18. Classic Taper Fade Gelled
No hair is apparently too short to benefit from some product. We’re digging this deliberate cowlick, which, in addition to the natural, almost Caesar-cut hairline, is giving us serious 1990s vibes.
Fadeception? Although we think this result was this guy’s natural density pattern, those with thinning hair can certainly employ this strategy to mimic some fullness where they need it most. The trick is using multiple guards to give you longer hair on the tops.
20. Straight Part
Look closer, and you’ll see that a hard part is razored in from the temples to the back of the head, adding more interest to a regular buzz. The perfect look for anyone who loves adding a bit of edge to their look while keeping it a bit subtle.
A super-short squarish crop is a handsome classic taper fade option for men with a natural or curly texture who want to give more structure to their buzz. This hairstyle is a great way to shape up your afro if you do not want to wear it out fully.
22. 360 Waves
Though not completely grown in yet, a natural texture cut in a skin-faded buzz is a great starting point for a trendy wave. This classic taper fade is the perfect setup to grow out your look.
Whether you want to try out a mid-length fade or you’re going for an ultra-cropped look, there are many ways you can show off this classic style.