22 Looks that Prove the Taper Fade Is a Classic

Call it the trend repeller.

Skin is in! Crisp crew cuts, sleek comb-overs, and 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!

1. Afro

afro bald taper fade
Anchor that fluff with a sharp fade that starts at the temples. Photo credit: Dvora

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

bowlcut bald taper fade
It’s more versatile than you think. Brush it up at an angle for a bit more polish, or muss it up for a bedhead feel. Photo credit: Dvora

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.

3. Natural

natural bald taper fade
Evokes some ’90s boyband charm too, and we’re kind of really happy about that. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

If there were such a thing, a nice-guy fade 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

dreads bald taper fade
Uptown Funk with a Brooklyn fade? Sign us up. Photo credit: Dvora

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.

5. Pomp

pomp bald taper fade
Volume tip: Apply some mousse and blow-dry as close to the root as you can manage while tugging upwards. Photo credit: Dvora

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

long high and tight bald taper fade
Polished and dapper, without looking stuffy. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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.

7. Spiky

spiky bald taper fade
A classic with a twist! That razored part is subtle but makes all the difference. Photo credit: Dvora

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

natural neckline bald taper fade
A well-tapered nape is the hallmark of a great haircut.

If you were shopping 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

classic taper fade undercut
Create fade with an undercut. Photo Credit: @barbersofbt45

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.

10. Clean-Cut

clean cut bald taper fade
The perfect everyday bald taper fade.

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

two tone bald taper fade
Dark hair color against a white-walled base makes for a high-contrast look. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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

cropped bald taper fade
So fresh, so clean. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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

high temple bald taper fade
A strong hairline makes up for a softer jaw. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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.

14. Grown-Out

classic taper fade grown out
The uniformly cut bald taper fade: Another neat and all-occasion look we can get behind. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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

devil's horns bald temple fade
Camouflage those receding temples by opting for a straight(ish) hairline. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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

16. Clippings

bald taper fade with clippings
These stylish graphic designs are subtle enough for work.

We’re digging the subtle temple clippings in this bald taper fade, which do the double duty of transitioning the hair and 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

widow's peak bald taper fade
A longer length diffuses your hairline. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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. Mixing a buzz cut with a classic taper fade is a great way.

18. Classic Taper Fade Gelled

gelled bald taper fade
A baby-gelled comb-over is a good way to work around a widening forehead. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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.

19. Fade-On-Fade

fade on fade bald taper fade
Use different clipper guards for a more nuanced length. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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

staright part bald taper fade
A razor-thin part also breaks up the peach fuzz effect. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Look closer; 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.

21. Squarish

squarish bald taper fade
A more structured cut gives natural textures more definition. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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

360 waves bald taper fade
Baby waves: Profesh and on-trend at the same time. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

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 go for an ultra-cropped look, you can show off this classic style in many ways. Also for more haircut inspiration, check out our newsletter below!

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