Rock one of the freshest looks of the year by adding the taper fade haircut to your shortlist of hairstyles to get in 2022! The taper fade works well for all types of hair – be it from coarse or afro-textured, fine or straight hair.
So, before you take a trip to the barbershop, check out these taper fade haircuts ideas we picked below for some major haircut and style inspiration!
1. Short Taper with Back Fade for Afro-Textured Hair
We will begin with a taper fade that is highly popular among African American hairstyles. The hair is cut significantly short which also helps cut down on maintenance, in the long run. The main point of the hairstyle is the wavy top that is brilliantly complemented by the clean line up.
2. High Pompadour
As you will soon find out, taper fade haircuts are generally classified in two ways: high or low. Here, you can observe a high taper fade, meaning that the shaved part comes closer to the top than the lower alternative.
3. Comb Over with Part
If you want a dapper approach to your haircut, this is the style for you! The comb over provides the cut with plenty of class while the blurry fade boosts its attitude. Sport this hairstyle with or without facial hair.
4. Low Sharp
To showcase the opposite of #2, here is what a low taper fade looks like. As opposed to its high alternative, the shaved part comes closer to the neck and ears. Let’s say that it’s a discrete alternative to an undercut.
5. Part and Long Hair
Mixing long and short hair is an awesome way to rock this haircut. In other words, your taper can feature shorter hair, while the top can shine through its long locks. It’s the ideal look for the rebellious man who isn’t afraid to go against the grain when it comes to hairstyles.
Likewise, you can also mix taper haircuts with a mohawk – be it a shorter or a longer one. We recommend keeping it short if you have naturally afro-textured hair, we recommend you go for a shorter mohawk – it will create a cool effect, especially if there are some sponge twists involved as well.
7. Deep Part & Taper Cut
While this hairstyle is similar to the comb-over we showed a bit earlier, it stands out thanks to its deep part. This makes for a very clean-cut look – especially thanks to the surgical line that accentuates the different elements of this hairstyle.
8. Swept Up & Discrete Taper Style
Instead of combing the hair to the side, consider going for a swept-up look. This is the ideal hairstyle for men who have relatively short hair – just enough to gel it up in a flattering way and complement the tapered hairstyles.
9. Short Afro Hairstyle
Most fade cuts will look amazingly well with an afro hairstyle. This cutting technique will not only shape the afro in a way that complements the face shape, but it will also make both visibly easier to maintain over time.
10. Long Curly Top
Consider mixing a low taper fade with a long curly hair top to get one of the most original short sides, long top hairstyles out there! The fact that the taper fade is low highlights the hair’s natural texture. Feel free to experiment with high taper fades too if you have this hair type.
11. Waves Cut
We have seen how this haircut looks with deep waves, but what about naturally wavy hair? If you prefer longer hair on top of the head, this might just be the best take on a taper fade for you. Also, the subtle shaving will draw attention to your wavy locks while shaping them accordingly.
12. Bleached Hair
Adding a bit of color to your hair is always an excellent way of expressing your personality. If you resonate with summer vibes, splash some sun into your hair by bleaching it or going for a shade of blonde. However, be wary of the damage that long-term bleaching can cause.
13. Faded Tapered Undercut
This is possibly one of the most natural-looking alternatives to a taper fade haircut. It’s not as shaved down as other options so the outcome resembles a faded undercut. This can be a great cut for men with thick hair.
14. Curly Hair
It’s easy to see why the taper fade is so popular among men with curly hair. The contrast between the shaved portion and the curly top is remarkable. Moreover, it’s an inspired choice for summertime so you won’t “melt” from the added heat that long, thick, and curly hair comes with.
15. Thick Hair
Speaking of thick locks, here’s yet another fine haircut choice for men with this type of hair. The fading is gradual, ends in a skin fade, and emphasizes the thickness of the strands and contouring them in a suitable way. Don’t hesitate to go for a high or low version of this approach.
16. High Top Fade with Surgical Line Design
Remember what we said earlier about the visual impact of surgical lines? Well, this shot undoubtedly proves our point. If you don’t want to part your hair, consider getting this kind of line shaved on one side for bonus style points.
17. Wispy Layers
Another nice aspect of taper fade haircuts is that they go well with layered hair. As a result, if you have straight hair and a layered haircut, you can shave down the sides and the back to amplify the impact of the overall look.
18. Neck Taper Cut
Some men prefer a subtle approach to any haircut, so for that, we present the neck taper. As the name suggests, this cutting method focuses on the nape as it discretely shaves down just the back of the hair.
To confirm just how versatile this haircut is, here is a photo of a taper fade with a spiky hairstyle top. If you opt for this type of styling, we recommend going for a high taper fade to better complement it. A lower approach may not turn out as well as expected.
Here’s another example that brings out the dapper quality of a proper taper fade haircut. The hairstyle is based on retro fashion, particularly the trends that were popular among men in the 50s and 60s. It goes to show that some trends are truly timeless.
21. Hungarian Mustache
Taper fade haircuts are often paired with well-groomed facial hair. While you will notice a lot of beards in many of our examples, here is one where the spotlight is on the mustache and makes for a “hipsteresque” look.
22. Buzz Cut with Scruff
We often get inspired by military haircuts for modern and clean-cut hairstyles. One straightforward example is the buzz cut, one of the most common such cuts. To add a fresh touch to it, combine it with a taper fade.
23. Side Slicked
For that irreplaceable and irresistible rock’n’roll look, consider maintaining a medium-length hair top. When it’s about eye or nose-length, you can more easily toss it carelessly to the side for an effortless look.
24. Crew Cut
Crew cuts are also part of the military hairstyles family and another type of haircut that looks amazingly well with taper fades. Essentially, it’s a smart way of adding a modern twist to a classic hairstyle.
25. Textured Top Hairstyle
You can easily bring any hairstyle up to a new level with the help of some skillful layering. It’s no different for taper fade haircuts – as long as the top is kept long. Encourage your barber to layer away for a full, textured, and dynamic result.
26. Pompadour Hairstyle
We’re going back to the classic with this style and it’s easy to see why the pompadour has withstood the test of time. You can easily spice up a pompadour hairstyle with a taper fade and transform it into a modern and very cool look!
27. Low Cut with Large Beard
Even the largest of beards work fantastically well with taper fades. When getting your hair cut by an expert barber, talk to them about shaving and shaping the edges of your beard to make for a cool transition from the hairstyle to facial hair.
28. Low Afro
While some men like rocking a big afro, others prefer a shorter and well-trimmed one. In this case, we have this fresh hairstyle that works wonders for black men as it expertly combines a short hair afro with a taper fade and a skillful line-up.
29. Deep Undercut with Medium-Long Hair
Even though this example doesn’t showcase a classic taper fade haircut, it does give you a better idea of what it would look like when paired with a deep undercut. It is quite the statement hairstyle and requires mid-length to long hair to get it right.
30. Slicked Back
Returning to hairstyles for men who are more inclined towards subtlety, here is a slicked back hairstyle that shines through its clean lines. The taper fade itself is almost undetectable, but that’s the mark of a well-cut hairstyle.
Dreadlocks and a taper fade really are a match made in heaven. The two styles complete each other perfectly as they help bring out the best individual elements in each. Basically, it’s all thanks to the bold contrast between the thick, rugged dreads and the cleanly shaven sides.
32. Man Bun Style
No matter how long your hair is, you can always rely on a taper fade to help perfectly outline the hairline. Additionally, it’s a great haircut for men who would prefer to tie their long locks up in a bun – the combination will help highlight both the man bun and the taper cut.
33. Two Tone Hairstyle with Taper Fade and Decal Mullet
Why settle for one hair color when you can rock two (or more)? To boost the curly mohawk even more, consider adding a secondary hair color. Opposing shades like this dark brown with platinum blonde will make for a head-turning look. The short mullet also helps shines further light on the two-tone hair.
34. Very Messy Style
Over the past few years, a messy hairstyle converted from a sloppy look to a highly sought-after one. Go for a styled faux-messy hairstyle and do so by starting from a taper fade with long hair base. Then, simply rake your fingers through your hair and tousle it without a care and that is it!
35. Complex Undercut with Shaved Designs
Taper fade haircuts and undercuts, in general, can be the canvas for your creative nature and your barber’s skills. Make that haircut stand out even more by adding in some shaved designs. Take the ones below as inspiration and add your own to twist to them to make them truly yours!
36. Classic High Top Fade
We’re going through a true 90s style revival, so a flat top cut just couldn’t miss from this list! Still, don’t hesitate to add a modern twist to yours by also asking for a clean taper fade and a surgical line to separate the two.
37. Line Up
While we have already pointed out several examples, a lineup is such a significant hairstyle detail that it deserves an entry of its own. It can make the whole difference, especially when paired with a taper haircut and when you have coarser hair.
38. Decal Back
If you like the idea of having a funky design hairstyle but don’t want to get too flashy with it, consider a subtle geometrical undercut design. As you can see in this photo, the shaved design focuses on the nape area and helps accentuate it thanks to the zig-zag shapes.
39. College Top & Very High Cut
This hairstyle combines a messy Ivy League haircut with a high taper fade for a look that just screams rebel intellectual. The classically polished look is modernized by both the messy top styling and the edgy skin fade sides.
40. Ginger Faded
Redheads can really bring out that unconventional color of theirs through this very cool messy top taper fade and facial hair look. The gradually shaved sides help accentuate and bring to attention the various shades of copper and blonde and red in this man’s hair.
41. High Man Bun with Low Taper
As opposed to the first man bun hairstyle on this list, the one below is made significantly higher on the head – all the better to showcase that low taper fade haircut. Like the majority of low approaches to this haircut, it’s a subtle alternative and perfect if you don’t want the undercut to stick out too much.
42. Sponge Twists
African American men can really bring out sponge twist hairstyles if they couple it with a taper fade. So you know, the style gets its name from the fact that the tight coils are achieved using a special sponge. Twist them accordingly and add some designs into those shaved sides and you’ll look classy and fly at the same time!
43. Cornrows and Precision Cut
Take those braids for men higher up the coolness scale by braiding the hair on the crown of the head into cornrows. Go for a high taper head for the rest of the hair and consider ending it in a line-up to subtly outline each of these hairstyle elements.
44. Creative Designs
We’re back to sparking those creative juices with this taper fade hairstyle. Even though it isn’t as complicated as some of the others we’ve presented so far, it’s still impressive – especially as it is on the subtler side too!
45. Literal “Side Part” Cut
What makes this taper fade haircut truly original is the punk approach of the whole look. Naturally, it can be worn by men with any personality, but this one definitely has an edge to it. Go for a high taper and a larger lineup.
46. Low Uniform Taper Fade with Faded Beard
Another great thing about taper fades is that they pair exceptionally well with beards of all kinds – as it’s been easy to see throughout this article. Aside from perfectly complementing any beard or mustache, the taper fade can actually blend them from one portion to the next.
47. Two Braids & Taper Fade Style
If you’re not up for a full head of braids or dreadlocks, then opt for a two-braid style such as this one. Not only will they be easier to take out if you get bored with them, but they also serve as an eye-catching top that you can style in more ways than you might expect.
48. 360 Degrees Waves
Deep waves – or 360 degrees waves – can be a smooth addition to any taper fade hairstyle. They work particularly well with high tapers as they can seamlessly connect the wavy part on top of the head to the shaved one.
49. Long Braids with Undercut
Regardless of how long your hair is, it will still look banging if combined with a taper fade. For instance, having long braids can actually be an advantage for highlighting the shaved part of the hairstyle. Make sure you keep your beard well-groomed if you have one, though, so the look won’t turn messy.
50. Scalp Tattoo
If you have a tattoo on your scalp, don’t hesitate to show it to the world with a taper fade. This way, you can rock long hair while also displaying your head tattoo.
51. Subtle Hairstyle
Some guys don’t want the taper fade part of their haircut to stand out that much. If this is the case for you, we encourage you to get a subtle taper fade haircut for smooth and discrete results.
52. Blonde Faux Hawk
We’ve talked about mohawks, but what about men who aren’t up for a traditional one? Well, this is where the faux hawk comes in – this hairstyle aims to reproduce the mohawk without all the heavy shaving. Style your hair towards the middle and upwards for the best outcome.
53. Short Messy Dreads
Finally, we want to wrap our selection up with a shorter version of the taper fade dreadlocks hairstyle. Even if you have shorter dreads, you can use a taper fade haircut to pleasantly shape the lower part. The hairstyle also looks great if you sport a beard.
To sum up, the taper fade haircut is one of the classiest yet boldest hairstyles for men you could sport. In addition to being extremely easy to maintain, the taper fade also comes with many styling options.
Whether you opt for a low or high taper fade, you can rest assured that the outcome will look like a million bucks. So, which will you pick?
Top Tip: To maintain a taper fade at home, we recommend using a quality hair clipper designed for home use – such as the Remmington Self-Haircut Kit or the Conair Man i-Stubble. Still, it would be best to leave it to the hands of a professional.
Lilith Wetherall is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger. She graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a minor in Journalism. She later found her passion for hairstyles and is now professing in a men’s salon. Some of her favorite things to do include reading, writing, watching movies, and being outdoors. When she’s not writing for our readers, she is either at the salon or at home trying out a new hair color.