10 Unique Taper Fade Haircuts for Men Trending Now

Everything you need to know about this cut, and how to rock it like a pro.

When you aren’t barber-lingual, you actually miss out on the opportunity to try out one of the coolest classic men’s hairstyles around the taper fade. Some of you who aren’t up on the latest men’s hair trends might be asking, “What is a taper fade? And why are most of Hollywood’s leading men sporting it?” Rest assured that we’re about to shine a light on this essential hair query and help you nail this trendy style.

Ahead, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that’ll help you learn more about the cut that’s dominating the male grooming scene, plus how you should be rocking it for ultra-modern results.

Are you wondering “What is a taper fade?” We’ve got you covered:

What is a taper fade?

what is a taper fade brunette wet hair
Wondering what is a taper fade? Here’s what to know! Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

You’ve likely heard the word “taper” thrown around quite a bit in the men’s style and haircut discussion, and it’s important to know exactly what it is in order to get the correct style you want. Essentially, a taper fade is a cut that goes from one length to another (from the top of the head, down to the sides, and to the nape of the neck). It also usually starts off long and gets shorter towards the ends. Now, while hair merges and disappears in a regular fade, with a taper fade hairstyle, hair is left shorter and subtly blended for a more groomed effect (as demonstrated by this gentleman above). Cool, right?

what is a taper fade haircut blonde
The best thing about the taper fade? It works for all hair textures. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Who is the tapered fade cut for and how can you style it?

So now that you know all about the taper fade haircut, you might be wondering if it will work with your hair type. And guess what? It will. Most shorter haircuts for men can be turned into a taper fade, you simply have to ask your barber to use different clipper lengths on the back and sides of your head.

Editor’s tip: Since a tapered fade is naturally clean-cut, you’ll want to make sure that you use either a gel or a pomade, like AXE Clean Cut Look: Classic Pomade, to make your cut look extra sharp and slick.

Here are a few taper fade styles to inspire you!

1. Side-Part With a Bald Taper Fade

bald taper fade what is a taper fade light brown
Go bold with a bald taper fade cut. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

Firstly, we have a bald taper fade cut. Who said you can’t go bold (or should we say bald) with a taper fade? Add a modern touch to a classic side-part hairstyle by opting for a bald taper fade and you’ll instantly give your style an on-trend edge. It’s a stand-out look, but not severely so, meaning it’s suitable for the office and wherever else you might venture. Now go forth and flaunt your new style!

2. Curly Taper Fade

what is a taper fade dirty blonde curly taper fade
Bedhead curls and taper cutwork, too! Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Falling on the subtle side of the taper fade spectrum, this curly hair fade style is another example of how versatile the cut is. Just because you’re rocking a classic taper, doesn’t mean you have to keep your style looking put together 24/7. In fact, bedhead curls can work with a tapered fade and will also have you out of the door in seconds. You can’t argue with that!

Sea salt spray is the key product behind this look, so if you want to make the most out of your curls or waves, activate them with the help of Suave Dry Texture Finishing Spray.

3. Taper + Dreadlocks Combo

what is a taper fade natural hair
As we said before, the taper works with all hair types. Credit: Dvora

Are you a style-conscious hipster who doesn’t mind drawing attention to your style? Take a look at this taper and dreadlocks combo for inspiration. The tapered sides create a cool contrast to the textured lengths on top. This leaves you with an on-trend style that works with this particular hair type. If you have loose dreads, use a styling product like AXE Messy Look: Matte Wax. to separate and style your locs.

4. Taper Fade + Quiff Combo

what is a taper fade dark brown quiff
Have a quiff? Make it modern with a taper fade. Credit: Allyson Alapont

Already rocking a classic quiff hairstyle? For this season, the look is getting an edgier upgrade and being paired with a tapered fade. Because this look adds a charming modern touch to this otherwise retro style, the resulting look is undeniably on-point. #swag

5. Wet-Look Taper Fade

what is a taper fade asian hair wet look
Sleek strands are the name of the game. Credit: Indigitalimages.com

Whether you’re attending a wedding, have an important meeting at work, or just need a style that will ensure your strands are styled to perfection, a wet-look taper fade will do you proud. Seen on the heads of A-list stars and runway models alike, this slick style exudes a suave and sophisticated vibe that can work for either dressed-up or dressed-down events! Honestly, there’s no excuse not to try this universally sleek style this season.

6. Highlighted

taper fade highlighted
Wear it messy!

Brighten up your look by adding some strategic highlights. Talk to your barber about diving into the world of hair highlights and discuss a look you’re fully comfortable with. These subtle highlights are a great way to brighten up your look without going overboard.

7. Messy Taper Fade

taper fade messy
Wear it loose and messy.

Sometimes messy is best. This style can tend to lean towards the neat and tidy side of men’s haircuts, but wearing it slightly longer and messier can soften the style and make it more accessible.

8. Ultra Short

taper fade ultra short
Crisp and clean.

Alternatively, wear your hair crisp and clean in this ultra-short length. Keep it closely shaved for a crisp and clean style that requires minimal upkeep.

9. Closely Shaved

taper fade closely shaved
Keep it nice and short.

Another short haircut option, this closely shaved style requires minimal effort while still allowing you to get in on the trend. This length requires zero styling so it’s literally a wash and go option!

10. Clean-Cut

taper fade clean-cut
Try this neat and tidy style.

This neat and tidy style falls somewhere in between the ultra-short and long and messy options. Still crisp enough to feel intentional without being too long that it feels messy, this in between-length is that one size fits all haircut that works for just about everyone.

That’s all you need to know about this haircut trend!

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