Taper vs Fade : What Is The Difference Between Tapered And Fade Haircut?

Taper vs Fade HairCuts

Taper vs Fade Haircuts: Choosing the right hairstyle is just as important as choosing the right outfit to represent your personality. Knowing what style works for you makes it easier to select the perfect complimenting hairstyle. Taper and fade are two of the most popular hairstyles with men these days who want to go for an edgy look. The two cuts are fairly similar in looks and most of the times people confuse them to be the same, but there are some significant differences that we will describe here.

What is a Taper Haircut..?

The taper haircut has longer hair at the top and it gradually gets shorter towards the back of the head and the sides. Normally in a taper haircut, the hair at the top are 2-4 inches long, depending on the preference and is much shorter at the back and sides. But even though the hair at the back and sides is very short but they aren’t completely removed.

How to Do Taper Haircut ?

Taper Haircut Turorial

  • First run a comb through damp hair and make sure that it is going in the same direction
  • Find out the desired length for hair on top and choose if you will cut with the grain or against it
  • Use the 1/8 inches blade on the cutter and start cutting hair from the crown to forehead. Make sure that you don’t miss any hair and move slowly. Start from the center section and then around the head for side sections
  • Complete cutting the hair on the crown and around the head, make sure to cut in the direction of the grain on the crown to avoid ending up with hair looking uneven.
  • Around the head, cut from back to front following the direction of growth and repeat it on the opposite side of the temple as well
  • You should start the taper on the temple area, it should be diagonal from the temple to the top of the ear
  • Go from the longest length to the shortest to get the desired look and repeat the procedure on all sides
  • Finish making an outline of the haircut and mark the points to blend the taper at
  • Make an arc from the temple area down to the side burn
  • Make on outline at the back of the ear
  • Once the haircut is tapered properly, rub in hair products and stylize the hair to finish

Types of Taper Haircuts:

There are many types of taper haircuts. Here are some ways tapered haircuts are done:

Classic Tapers

Classic Tapers

This hairstyle is easy to maintain and style. It has long hair at the crown and it gradually tapers on the sides and back where it’s cut very short

Side Part Tapers

 Side Part Taper

This variation has a distinctive side parting, the hair is longer where the parting starts and tapers off towards the sides and back

Short Tapers

Crew Cut

In short tapers, the top of the hair is shorter than the normal taper haircuts. They usually have one inch long hair at the crown which taper down towards the ears and the back of the neck

Long Tapers

Pompadour Disconnected - Atoz Hairstyles

Long tapers are preferred by those who don’t want to cut their hair too short. In this haircut, the hair at the crown are longer than the normal taper cut, and even though the hair tapers at the sides, it’s not very short and the scalp isn’t visible on the sides either

Faint Tapers

Faint Tapers

Faint tapers are not as dramatic as the other tapered cuts, the lengths don’t vary on the sides and crown, but there is a tapered effect on the temples and around the ears

Long Crown

Long Crown

This is a form of long tapered haircut, but the hair on the crown are even longer than the hair in a long tapered cut and the sides have comparatively shorter hair

What is a Fade Haircut..?

Fade haircut features no hair on the sides at the back of the head, hair are only present towards the top of the head. Although fade haircut is very much like the tapered haircut, but absolutely no hair at the sides and back makes it stand apart from tapered cuts.

How to Do Fade Haircut:

  • Make the hair damp by spraying water onto it and comb them thoroughly and part the hair
  • Choose the desired guard size for the clipper to get the length required. It is a good idea to start with higher guard size for longer length and use lower guard size for the sides and to shave the sides and back
  • Mark where the fade line goes, as this line is the point of transition from one hair length to the other
  • Make sure that you move the clipper vertically and move against the direction of growth to get a closer shave
  • Move the clipper carefully sideways along the fade line to get an even line of transition
  • Don’t try to tackle large sections at once, instead work on shorter sections to improve accuracy
  • Once you have shaved the sides and cut the hair on the crown according to the desired length, use varying guard sizes to create the fade
  • Make the fade line neat and even once the fading is done by using a comb with clippers
  • For the final touches, use unguarded clipper to get a clean shave in the sides and back of head areas and make sure the fade line is well blended
  • Brush off the excess hair and stylize the hair using hair products to get the final look

Types of Fade Haircuts:

There are many variations of the fade haircuts. Here we have listed the different types of fade haircuts:

Bald Fades

Bald Fade

This is the most common kind of fade haircut. It has longer hair at the crown which tapers down as it goes to the sides and back and then the hair is completely shaved off around the last part of the head’s perimeter

Temp Fades

Temp Fade

As the name suggests, temp fades are characterized by hair fading at the temples and around the ears only. The rest of the hair doesn’t vary dramatically in size and appearance, so it’s a tamed down version of the fade cut

Disconnected Undercut Fade

Pompadour Disconnected - Atoz Hairstyles

Disconnected undercut fade has a dramatic and distinctive sharp disconnecting line after the top hair, instead of fading gradually, the longer hair part is disconnected sharply by a thin bald line and the rest of the hair is very short

Faux Hawk Fade

Faux Hawk with High Parting

Inspired by a Mohawk, the faux hawk fade has long hair in the middle of the head and the sides gradually fade downwards

High Top Fade

Extra High Pompadour

The signature style of the 80s and early 90s is popular with teens and the hip hop crowd. It features a box like cut at the top of the head and hair then fades from the sides

Side Part Taper Fade

Long Top Short Sides

This hairstyle has a distinctive side parting, with hair being longer where the parting starts and then fading gradually towards the sides

Differences between Taper & Fade Haircuts

  • In taper haircut, the hair is longer at top and tapers to shorter length as it moves towards the sides and back of the head, while in a fade cut, the hair is cropped from all the sides
  • The hair on the top are also comparatively longer in a tapered haircut as compared to those in the faded haircut
  • Taper cuts don’t give a bald look, while fade haircuts are characterized by bald sides and back of the head
  • Taper hairstyle best suits the people who want to have short hair and yet be able to style them fashionably, while fade haircuts are chosen by people who want low maintenance yet stylish short hair
  • The hairline is visible in a taper haircut but in a faded haircut, the hairline isn’t visible due to balding at the sides and back of the head
  • In tapered hairstyles, all the hair are intact; while in the faded hairstyle a portion of hair is completely shaved off
  • Tapered haircuts allow men to have longer hair while maintaining a well-groomed appearance, while the faded haircut doesn’t support hair longer than 2 inches
  • Tapered haircuts allow movement of hair while faded haircuts don’t have a lot of hair movement
  • Tapered haircuts have more flexibility for styling as compared to the faded haircuts
  • Tapered haircuts require more maintenance than faded haircuts


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