Fade or Taper: Understanding the Differences and Choosing the Right Style

When it comes to men's hairstyles, the options are seemingly endless. Two popular choices that often confuse people are the fade and the taper. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they actually refer to distinct styles that can significantly alter your overall look. In this blog, we'll delve into the nuances of fade and taper haircuts, helping you understand the differences and choose the right style to suit your personality and preferences.

Understanding the Fade

The fade is a haircut characterised by a gradual transition from shorter to longer hair, typically on the sides and back of the head. This transition creates a seamless blend, giving the appearance of hair "fading" away. Fades can be categorised into different types, including high fade, mid fade, and low fade, depending on where the blending starts.

High Fade: The high fade starts at the temples or even higher, providing a dramatic contrast between the longer hair on top and the shorter sides and back.

Mid Fade: Falling between the high and low fades, the mid fade creates a balanced look with the transition occurring around the middle of the head.

Low Fade: The low fade keeps more hair on the sides, with the blending starting lower on the head. This style is often more subtle and conservative.

Understanding the Taper

On the other hand, the taper is a haircut where the hair gradually decreases in length, but it doesn't necessarily disappear like in a fade. Tapers maintain some length around the sides and back, offering a cleaner and more polished appearance. Like fades, tapers can also have variations such as the low taper, mid taper, and high taper, depending on the starting point of the taper.

Low Taper: The low taper keeps more length on the sides, providing a subtle and classic look.

Mid Taper: Falling between the low and high taper, the mid taper offers a balanced and versatile style.

High Taper: The high taper starts higher on the head, offering a more noticeable contrast between the longer top and shorter sides.

Choosing the Right Style for You

Now that you understand the distinctions between fades and tapers, the next step is to choose the style that complements your features and personal preferences.

Consider your face shape: Fades and tapers can both be tailored to suit different face shapes. For example, a high fade can elongate a round face, while a mid taper can add balance to a long face.

Think about maintenance: Fades often require more frequent maintenance due to the sharp contrast, while tapers can offer a more gradual grow-out phase. Consider your willingness to visit the barber regularly when choosing a style.

Reflect your style: Your hairstyle is a reflection of your personality and style. If you prefer a bold and modern look, a high fade might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you appreciate a timeless and polished appearance, a mid taper could be your best bet.


Whether you opt for a fade or a taper, understanding the differences between these hairstyles is crucial for achieving the desired look. Take into account your face shape, maintenance preferences, and personal style when making your decision. With the right choice, you can confidently sport a haircut that enhances your overall appearance and boosts your self-confidence.


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