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The Most Stylish Taper Fade Haircuts in 2023

The taper fade continues to be one of the most popular haircuts for men. This classic style features hair that gradually gets shorter from the top of the head down to the hairline, creating a clean fade into the skin. There are many ways to customize and style a taper fade to suit your face shape and personal style. In this article, we will explore 18 of the coolest and most stylish taper fade haircut variations to try in 2023.

A taper fade haircut is popular for many reasons:

  • Versatility – A taper fade can be customized in many ways. You can choose to have a high, mid, or low taper fade. Your fade can be blended or have clearly defined lines. The hair on top can be very short or up to a few inches long to allow for various styling options. This versatility makes the taper fade a great choice for men with different hair types, face shapes, and personal style preferences.
  • Clean and Sharp Look – The tapered sides and back create an instantly sharp and polished style when freshly cut. As hair fades down into the skin, it provides strong visual contrast with longer hair on top.
  • Low Maintenance – A taper fade grows out gradually and doesn’t require very frequent trims to maintain its shape. Touch-ups every 2-4 weeks are often enough. This makes the taper fade an easygoing option.
  • Professional Appeal – The taper fade has a clean, sophisticated look that works well in professional settings. It’s a go-to choice for many businessmen, politicians, athletes, and other high-profile men.

With so many advantages, it’s no surprise the taper fade remains one of the most requested cuts. Next, let’s look at some of the coolest ways to wear this iconic style.

1. Classic Low Taper Fade

The low taper fade is the original version of this cut. It features a gradual taper that begins around the top of the ears and fades down into the nape of the neck and sides. This leaves ample space for longer hair on top.

This versatile look can be worn with many different types of styling, from short textured hair to longer comb overs, quiffs, pompadours, and more. It’s a great choice for guys who want a clean fade but don’t want an excessive amount of contrast between the top and sides. It’s an easygoing style suitable for casual and professional settings alike.

2. High Taper Fade

The high taper fade places the start of the tapered cut much higher on the head – about two inches above the top of the ears. This creates a sharper disconnect between the longer top and closely faded sides.

A high taper fade works well for men who want a bold, high-contrast style. It complements buzzed cuts, crew cuts, and very short hairstyles on top. It also pairs well with longer slicked back, spiky, or messy styling. The dramatic fade draws eyes up and highlights the styling on top.

3. Skin Taper Fade

A skin taper fade takes the high contrast concept even further. As the name suggests, this style tapers hair down to completely bald skin rather than just very closely buzzed stubble.

Skin taper fades require precise barbering skills to get that ultra smooth finish. They create the sharpest disconnect possible between the top and sides. This attention-grabbing fade puts all the focus on the styling of the longer hair on top. It’s a great choice for very short cuts like faux hawks.

4. Taper Fade Pompadour

The pompadour is a classic men’s hairstyle featuring voluminous, swept up hair in front. Combining it with a taper fade creates a modern twist on this retro style.

The pompadour works well with a mid to low taper that provides enough of a canvas to sculpt the signature volume and height in the front while keeping the sides clean. This dapper haircut makes a bold fashion statement for guys who want a vintage vibe with a contemporary edge.

5. Taper Fade with Hard Part

Adding a hard part to a taper fade amps up the contrast even more. A hard part is a straight razor-sharp line shaved into the hair, separating the faded side from the longer top.

This detail creates an eye-catching divide and allows even more of the skin underneath to show through. It works with all taper fade placements, but looks especially bold with high tapers. It complements messy textured hair as well as slick styles.

6. Taper Fade with Shaved Designs

Shaved designs take the taper fade to artistic new heights. Talented barbers can shave patterns, logos, words, and more into a taper fade. Stars, stripes, zig zags, and geometrical shapes are some popular options.

This barbershop style allows guys to show off their personal tastes and interests through the haircut itself. The designs pop thanks to the smooth foundation of a tight fade. Just be aware these intricate cuts require more frequent maintenance.

7. Taper Fade Comb Over

The comb over is one of the easiest styles to wear with a taper fade. Simply sweeping longer hair on top to one side complements the tapered sides underneath.

Whether neat and polished or loose and textured, a comb over always looks sharp with a fade. A mid to low taper fade prevents the combover from looking overly conservative or “old mannish”. For added interest, get a hard side part and shave the part line into the fade.

8. Taper Fade Mohawk

The mohawk and taper fade combine two edgy styles into one extreme look. The mohawk features a strip of spiked hair down the middle of the head with closely buzzed sides.

Blending those short sides into a fade makes the longer hair really stand out. This bold, rebellious cut is perfect for guys who want a statement-making punk or rocker style. Use a strong gel or wax to sculpt the mohawk strip to gravity-defying heights.

9. Taper Fade Buzz Cut

Even very short buzz cuts can benefit from the added shape and contrast of a fade. A buzz cut taper fade helps add definition to an otherwise one-length style.

Guys who don’t want the maintenance of longer hair can still get a contemporary, sculpted cut with this simple combo. Keep the top buzzed to a uniform short length, about a #2-4 guard. Ask your barber to taper the back and sides down to the skin for that crisp edge.

10. Taper Fade Crew Cut

The crew cut is another famously short hairstyle that pairs well with a tapered edge. This classic style features hair clipped to roughly one inch all over the head.

Blending the sides and back down to the skin gives the uniform length more shape and visual interest. It also helps sharpen up the hairline at the temples, nape, and sideburns for a clean finish.

11. Taper Fade Faux Hawk

A faux hawk has the rebellious attitude of a mohawk without the dramatic length commitment. Hair is buzzed short on the sides with a strip of longer spiked hair running front to back across the middle of the head.

This medium length strip contrasts with a high bald fade on the sides and back. The result is an edgy style that’s easier to wear than a classic mohawk but still makes a statement. It’s great for guys who want a subtle punk look.

12. Taper Fade Quiff

A quiff is similar to a pompadour but with looser, more textured volume that sweeps upward and back. This casual, voluminous style looks great with a fade.

The tapered sides keep the look from appearing messy. A mid to low taper provides balance for the height and body of the quiff. For added polish, use pomade to smooth flyaways and create a slight sheen.

13. Taper Fade Slick Back

Slicking back longer hair creates a dashing, dapper effect that commands attention. The taper fade streamlines the sides, preventing them from looking unkempt.

This combo works best with longer to medium length hair, around 2-5 inches on top. The ample length allows you to sweep hair straight back and sculpt it into a classy, polished style with minimal flyaways. Use pomade for best hold and shine.

14. Taper Fade with Curly Hair

Natural curls and coils look great with a taper fade too. The faded sides neatly frame and contain the volume of curly hair on top.

This stylish pairing works with curl patterns ranging from loose waves to tight spirals. The taper fade edges prevent awkward triangle shapes that sometimes form at the hairline and nape when growing out curls. Keep curls well-conditioned and defined for best results.

15. Taper Fade with Twists or Dreads

Taper fades also complement African hair that’s twisted, loc’d, or locked into dreadlocks. Like curly hair, the faded sides minimize the “triangle head” effect that can happen when growing out textured locks.

This stylish combo contrasts the organic texture of the twisted hair with the precision of the tapered edges. Keep the locks neatly separated and use products like oils or balms to prevent frizz and flyaways along the hairline.

16. Burst Taper Fade

Also known as a blowout fade, this fun variation pairs a taper fade with an explosion of full, rounded curls on top. It creates the illusion that your hair is “blowing up” and bursting out of the fade.

This unique look works best with very curly or coily hair textures. Let your natural texture grow out to a longer length on top so you have enough length to shape into a rounded silhouette. Define those curls and shape them high off the forehead for the burst effect.

17. Temple Fade

A temple fade tapers hair down only at the front sides of the head, leaving the back and lower sides fuller. This places more emphasis on the hairline edges by the temples and sideburns.

Temple fading works well with partially slicked styles like pomps and combovers since it keeps their sides neat and streamlined. It also complements short bangs and fringes that are fuller through the top and crown.

18. Taper Fade with Caeser Cut

The Caeser cut features short bangs cut straight across the forehead. Blending the hair at the temples back into a fade gives this short fringe style a modern edge.

The taper fade prevents the Caeser from looking too blunt and heavy across the front. Keep hair two to three inches long on top to get that signature straight fringe. Style the bangs forward and give hair a slight upward lift in front for a flattering effect.

How To Get and Maintain a Taper Fade

Now that you’re inspired to get a taper fade, here are some tips for making the most of this popular cut:

  • Bring photos of the specific taper fade variation you want to ensure your barber understands the placement and degree of contrast you’re looking for.
  • Get your taper fade edged up regularly by your barber to keep lines crisp. Schedule appointments every 2-4 weeks.
  • Use a mirror to monitor your fade grows out and the crispness starts blurring. Then it’s time for a trim.
  • Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to keep both your scalp and hair from becoming dry or irritated from frequent shaving.
  • Apply hair oil to the bald portions of the fade to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps after shaves.
  • Style your tapers fade haircut daily to get the most mileage out of the sharp lines before your next trim.

The classic taper fade haircut will likely maintain its well-earned popularity among stylish men for years to come. With so many cool variations to choose from, you can customize a tapered cut that complements your personal style and face shape. Use the inspiration in this article to experiment with taper fade placements, pairings, and styling to find your perfect look.


Q: What is a taper fade haircut?

A: A taper fade haircut is a popular men’s hairstyle that gradually blends the hair from longer on top to shorter on the sides and back. It creates a stylish and clean look.

Q: What is the difference between a taper and a fade?

A: A taper refers to the gradual change in hair length from longer to shorter, while a fade refers to the gradual blending of hair lengths from shorter to longer. In a taper fade, both techniques are combined to create a smooth and seamless transition.

Q: How does a taper haircut differ from a taper fade?

A: A taper haircut refers to the technique of cutting the hair gradually shorter from top to bottom, resulting in a neat and well-groomed style. On the other hand, a taper fade combines the taper technique with a fade technique, creating a sharper and more defined look.

Q: What is a low fade?

A: A low fade is a taper fade haircut where the fade starts and finishes very close to the bottom of the hairline. It creates a subtle and clean look, making it a popular choice among men.

Q: What is a high fade?

A: A high fade is a taper fade haircut where the fade starts much higher on the sides and back, leaving a significant amount of hair on top. It creates a bold and edgy look, especially when paired with shorter hair on top.

Q: What is a mid taper fade?

A: A mid taper fade is a taper fade haircut where the fade starts in the middle of the sides and back, between the low fade and high fade options. It offers a balanced and versatile look, suitable for various hairstyles.

Q: Can taper fade haircuts work for men with long hair?

A: Yes, taper fade haircuts can complement men with long hair. The taper fade on the sides and back creates a clean and stylish look, while allowing the longer hair on top to stand out and make a statement.

Q: Are taper fade haircuts suitable for black men?

A: Absolutely! Taper fade haircuts are popular among black men, as they create a sharp and well-defined look. The gradual fade and taper techniques work well with the natural texture and volume of black hair.

Q: What hairstyles can I pair with a taper fade?

A: Taper fade haircuts can be paired with various hairstyles, including pompadours, quiffs, comb overs, textured crops, and buzz cuts. The versatility of the taper fade makes it compatible with different lengths and textures of hair.

Q: Do I need to go to a professional barber for a taper fade?

A: While it is recommended to visit a professional barber for a precise and well-executed taper fade, some individuals with barbering skills may be able to achieve it at home. However, for best results, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a professional.

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