The taper fade is a classic men’s hairstyle that has been around for decades. It remains trendy and popular due to its crisp and clean appearance. The versatility of this forever popular style is what keeps it relevant to men of all ages and lifestyles.
A taper is a type of men’s cut that gradually changes the length of hair from the top of the head down to the nape (neck). The hair starts off longer at the top and gets shorter as it reaches the nape. A fade cut is typically much shorter than a taper, with the short hair on top getting shorter to the skin when you reach the nape.
What are the different taper fades?
This type of fade marries the popular taper and fade styles together as a mid-length option for men. What you need to determine with your barber is if you want a high fade, a low taper fade, or keep it in the middle with a mid fade. A high fade can start nearly at the crown and stay heavy down to the temple, while a low fade doesn’t start to taper in length until reaching the temple. A mid fade falls somewhere between the two.
Another variation of this fade to note is a bald fade. With a skin fade, the sides of the haircut aren’t faded any higher than the temple area. And the back of the haircut isn’t faded any higher than the occipital bone. There’s a so-called drop fade, too, which creates a faded and curved effect that drops behind the ears.
Lastly, the shadow fade is also a popular option due to the shadow effect it can give off when done properly. It starts with the hair lighter on the sides and smoothly fades up into the desired length.
Before your next haircut, check out these pictures of the top taper fade haircuts for men:
#1: Long Top with Designs
A simple line can elevate a cut to new heights as you can see in this long top style. It has been faded tightly around the ears and the design has been etched in with mini clippers and shaved in to make it stand out more. The top has been left longer and styled with volume to create the finished look. The pattern will grow out quickly so you can change your design with each cut.
#2: Blonde Long Curly Top
It can be difficult to decide what to do with your curly hair, this blonde long curly top is a styling idea. It has been cut short, about a grade 1, on the back and sides which flows into the beard. The top has been disconnected to make the most of the length. You can wear your curls naturally but it helps if you use product, this will form the curls nicely. Be sure to not brush the curls otherwise this will cause frizz and will be difficult to style.
#3: Pumped Up Taper Fade
Men with straighter hair will enjoy wearing a pumped-up taper fade like this, no doubt! Achieve this look by asking your barber for a faux hawk with a taper fade.
#4: Faux Hawk + Taper Fade
A faux hawk + taper fade is a must-try for versatile guys. Style it sky high to give punk rock vibes, or slick it straight back for a day at the office. When well-executed, this cut can take you from day to night to late-night.
#5: Undercut Taper Fade
Undercut taper fade is a great way to showcase the length on top of the head while creating a pristine look on the sides. The undercut taper fade can be slicked back into a pompadour while exhibiting its versatility with different styles to choose from, like adding a topknot or a tighter slick back, for example.
The undercut can remove weight from thick hair to reduce the density and extra bulk. An undercut taper hairstyle requires more frequent trips to the barber to ensure that the taper fade is well-maintained.
#6: Tapered Faded Mullet
This taper faded mullet has been modeled on the classic mullet cut with a bit of a modern twist. Classic mullets are short on top, long at the back and the sides short and disconnected. The front of the hair has been cropped and a line razor-ed in to match the blunt fringe. It’s better if the design is shaved in with a cut throat, this will make the design stand out more. If you want a dry natural finish then a styling powder will be best.
#7: Buzz Cut and Bald Taper Fade
Opt for a buzz cut and bald taper fade for a clean and luxe finish. If you want a buzz cut to keep your hair short and tight, then discuss its upkeep with your hairstylist to maintain the haircut well. Keep in mind this taper fade is skin tight from the sides, so if you prefer sideburns, this may not be the taper for you.
#8: Flat Top with a Taper Fade
The twist on a flat top with a taper fade brings this style right up to date, making it the perfect men’s hairstyle for those with super straight hair. Fading the sides give a sharp blended finish to the hair. Working into longer lengths on top adds height and strength to the haircut.
#9: Mohawk + Taper Fade
Get the perfect mix with a mohawk with a taper fade. This cut is for anyone conscious of their head shape. The style keeps a textured length throughout the top and back, allowing the haircut to create a shape or even hide indentations in the back of the head. It has the extra benefit of short tapered sides for a clean, luxe finish.
#10: Curly Taper Fade
The curly taper fade is a go-to for men with curly hair. Skintight taper erasing sideburns and any hairline in the nape area. Curly hair men usually struggle with hair hanging over ears and on the nape area, which can get annoying. Ask for a curly taper fade when wanting to clean up those curls.
#11: Taper Fade + Dreads
Taper fade with dreads is a skin-tight taper erasing any sideburn fading into dreads in your temple area. A must when considering cleaning up around any man dreads. A razor-sharp hairline completes any taper fade.
#12: Slick Back Taper Fade
A slick back taper fade offers a cool remodeling on a classic cut that works on all face shapes and hair textures. For coarse hair textures, be sure to use a strong or firm hold product on wet hair to style hair firmly in place.
#13: Caesar Taper Fade
A caesar taper fade unites a classic close fade and a crew cut top. With the 90’s trending, it is no surprise that this classic cut is making a comeback. The caesar requires little styling or upkeep and is perfect for all hair types. It can be styled forward with a fringe or with texture and pushed back to give it a modern look.
#14: Taper Fade Comb Over
The taper fade comb over consists of using hair clippers in cutting the hair from short to long. The top part is cut and styled into a clean and tight coiffure. When using hair clippers close to the scalp, special care should be taken into consideration in blending the sideburns with the beard.
#15: The French Crop with Taper Fade
The French crop with taper fade is a classic masculine cut. The clean, crisp edge with a gradual taper makes the cut professional-looking, while the razored texture of the hair on top is left to fall forward, naturally giving the overall look an air of youth. To enhance the texture, a small amount of hair clay or pomade is applied to the fingertips and then applied to the small sections of the hair.
#16: Mid Taper Fade with Texture
This mid taper fade looks casual and very striking! It’s a mini quiff with a taper fade. Men can make this cut their own go-to look.
#17: The Crown with a High Taper Fade Haircut
A modern and elegant high taper fade draws the eyes up, so make sure to style the hair on top. It makes a great option for men with a receding hairline.
#18: Clean Short Taper Fade
This neat and sharp short haircut proves that the classic taper fade with a sleek style can make every man look very attractive!
#19: Sharp Tapered Fade with Hard Part
What’s great about this hard part with a taper fade is its versatility. It sure works on men with any hair types and texture.
#20: Low Taper Fade
This is a low taper fade that features short sides to add emphasis and density to the hair on top.
#21: Spiky Clean Skin Taper Fade
This spiky and clean taper fade cut with a side part is a “Barber/Stylist” look, according to barber Cat Ferrara of Las Vegas, NV. The sides are tightly faded to the skin, and have a clean, crisp hard part separating the fade from the multi-directional texture on top.
Ferrara’s best tip is, “only go as low as skin if your scalp is moisturized and clear of bumps or other imperfections. If you have issues with your scalp, keep a shadow fade (a half to a #1 guard) to camouflage any flaws.”
This spiky hair with taper fade is a very fun haircut with an edgy style and clean, sharp edges. It’s a great style when you want to feel casual but low-key trendy.
#22: Airy Textured Medium Pompadour with Taper Fade
This is a pompadour with a taper fade hairstyle by barber Maurice of Amsterdam.
“I cut the top so he can wear it all to the back like in the picture, or comb it to the left or right,” Maurice states.
Maurice recommends hair products depends on the hair type. For medium-length straight locks, Maurice says to use a Matt Clay by Osmo UK.
A taper is good for any face shape. It’s clean and neat, and also for a guy who wants a clean cut while rocking a sporty look.
#23: Textured Hairstyle with Blended Taper Fade
This taper cut is modern, clean, low-maintenance, and textured. This particular one was created by stylist Danny Willis of Mill Creek, WA.
“I love the versatility. He can style it multiple ways or just wake up and go because of the undone nature of the textured cut that gives it its movement,” says Willis.
Willis describes it as “tight on the sides but not so tight that they have to come in every 2 weeks.” This cut works better with fine hair because of the texture. With fine hair, there’s no need to use as much product. Just mess it up and go!
#24: Masculine Texture with a Tapered Fade
This taper fade haircut is called the surfer pomp by barber Frazier Dyson of Tennessee.
“The top is wild and he can run his fingers through it, but the neckline and sideburns have a more traditional taper, so it grows out well,” states Dyson.
“This haircut works great for dudes wanting the ability to dress up or down their hair. He could easily use a hi-gloss pomade and achieve a more classic look. I used a clay for a more mattè, beach look,” Dyson explains.
#25: Blowout Taper Fade for Long Hair
A men’s haircut like this blowout taper fade is a perfect mix between modern and classic. According to barber Jesus Ruiz of Colorado, the best thing is the detail that made this haircut unique.
“I always advise men to try new haircuts. Life is too short, why not make it fun?” Ruiz says. Having a longer hair length is important. It matches the soft fade that goes down the neck.
#26: Textured Top with Faded Taper
This men’s taper fade hairstyle features a textured top with a really smooth skin fade. It’s a masterpiece by hairstylist Csobán Sándor of Hungary.
This hairstyle is recommended for cool and sporty guys, and looks extremely awesome with a faded beard!
“I recommend styling this hair with By Vilain Dynamite Clay Wax or By Vilain Blow Powder for a proper effect,” Sándor adds.
#27: Tapered Clean Cut Edge
This certain taper fade style gives a visual high contrast that no other hairstyle can provide. When done properly, it’s a great way of mixing both clean cut and edgy into one look.
According to barber John Carmona of Denver, “another great thing is that it can be paired with almost any hairstyle on top. It can be blowdried with a round brush to add volume. If it’s cut short and close to the head, it can create a clean, no-maintenance look.”
Since this haircut accentuates the head shape at the shortest part, it’s great for guys with an oval to wide face shape. By having less length on the sides, it causes your eye to travel vertically instead of side to side. This makes the face appear longer.
#28: Taper Skin Fade with Length
This particular look is a skin taper fade with some length and texture on top. Florida-based stylist Dallas Gent added a little pick in the fade to break it up. This gives it a nice contrast with the skin.
“My favorite thing about this style and cut is the process of the grow out. When this haircut grows out, it still looks nice and consistent with the growth of the top,” says Gent.
Gent’s advice to a guy wanting this cut is to own it! A well-executed skin fade looks great on every man. It’s a very strong and powerful look.
#29: Taper Fade Afro with Beard
This is a taper fade afro with a twist sponge style for black men, made by barber Derrick Noel of Joliet, IL. To give it some swag, Noel added the moon-shaped part, plus he tapered the head and beard to show the fade work.
“The crisp lineup on the head and the beard to make the bald taper pop and give you that transition effect. The twist sponge at the top gives the retro afro a modern curly look for guys,” Noel explains.
This afro taper fade has a controlled messy look and by controlled. It requires daily maintenance. Shape-ups as well as brushing the sides are a must.