A taper haircut is so cool and trendy, but do not confuse it with a fade haircut.
Oftentimes, people refer to a taper and a fade as the same haircut. However, this is far from being the truth. The two cuts, despite being similar, have distinct differences that set one apart from the other. There are variations of each cut and even blended versions of the two. For example, there are faint tapers with a long crown, both short tapers, as well as long tapers.
As for the fades, they are short hair styles with practically bald back and sides and the gradual transition to short and then longer length towards the top. Basically, a fade is a type of a taper cut, but here the length is drastically shorter. But, bald back and sides allow the longer top.
So, as you can see, the difference is mostly in length. And if you feel like going bold but not bald, a taper cut might work for you. Below, we have included some taper haircut pictures to give you a visual example of the differences. In this way, you can compare the taper haircut vs. fade haircut and decide which direction you choose to go in.
Taper Vs Fade
A taper fade haircut is what one used to think of men's haircuts. Nonetheless, they are becoming quite popular with women as they are a great style for the woman who wants a trendy short style.
A tapered cut is one in which the hair is longer on the top and then gradually shorter on the sides and back. A fade haircut basically has no hair on the back or sides. Fades can either be a high or short fade. A high fade usually “fades” away about 2 inches for the top which a low fade, or a taper fade, fades gradually down the back and sides and then completely fades at the nape and above the ears.
- long crown
- short tapers
- long tapers
- temp fade
- side part taper fade
- undercut fade
Faint Taper Haircuts
There are several versions of a taper fade haircut that have varying lengths. This photo is an example of a short taper haircut. It is classified as this due to the extremely short length in the rear and sides of the cut. A fade, while also short, isn’t cut as close to the scalp as a taper.
Long Crown + Taper Cut
Some people think that due to their curly hair they can’t obtain a taper haircut. In fact, this is simply not true. If you hire a stylist who has been properly trained they can guide you in the right direction to help you achieve a look that works for you and your hair type. This photo is a prime example of a taper hairstyle on a woman with curly hair.
Short Taper Haircuts
As before mentioned, there are short taper cuts such as this faded taper haircut. The hair around the sides and back of the head is cropped extremely close and fades slightly to the model’s length on top. This cut is also known as an undercut fade and has recently become increasingly popular among women.
Long Taper Cuts
This photo is a beautiful representation of a taper cut and falls into the long tapers category due to its slightly longer sides and back. The fade is not as dramatic as in the previous photo, and this look has been around for men and women for some time. This tapered fade has been popular among women since the late ’80s and early ’90s and has recently resurged with short hairstyles becoming increasingly popular.
The fade haircut: the hair decreases in length from top to bottom, and we are going to explain to you how to fade hair yourself. Typically, the hair is wet prior to cutting, and the proper guard is selected to obtain the desired length. Before cutting begins, the hair is parted as it would be when styled and the cut begins. Using the longest guard, start at the top of the cut and go all the way around. Next, attach the next guard to the clippers in descending order and stop this cut about an inch below your last pass. Finally, add the shortest guard and blend the passes and, voila, you have successfully completed your own haircut.
Faux Hawk Fade
This model is sporting a faux hawk fade. With this cut, the hair is cropped super close to the sides and back, and the length is styled upward in order to create a mohawk effect. By the way, there are varying styles of faux hawks you can achieve without making the leap into a full-blown mohawk.
High Top Fade
This high-top fade is becoming extremely popular among women. What was once considered strictly a man’s cut, this cut has crossed the gender lines. The fade is progressive but doesn’t go bald. The hair is blended well with the length on top allowing for styling, as well as providing easy maintenance.
Now we are crossing over to the love child of the taper and fade – a blended style taper fades. There are several versions of this cut as well, and each has its own specific style and benefit. The temp fade, or temple fade, is exactly what the title indicates. The fade begins at the temple area. There are additional versions of this cut such as the side part taper fade and the disconnected undercut fade. It is important that you know the distinction between what is a taper fade and what a simple fade or taper is. One of the most popular cuts in this category is the low taper fade haircut.
The photo above is an example of a popular taper haircut for curly hair black women prefer. It is sometimes referred to as a temple fade due to the hair length fading at the area of the temple. This style is both low-maintenance and easy to style, and that's why it's become so huge this year. No long hours in the styling chair or bathroom are necessary for obtaining this chic look!
Side Part Taper Fade
Next, we have the side part fade which has also leaned heavily toward the category of being a man’s cut. However, in today's modern era, lines that were once distinctly drawn to segregate genders have been blended. The end result is a cut such as the one in this photo that has a deep side part that is now even shaved into the cut.
Disconnected Undercut Fade
Our next example is this gorgeous pompadour look made possible by the disconnected undercut fade style. This look is as the title states, not connected or blended. Instead, the hair length changes dramatically and quickly from a short length to the long length at the top. This cut is styling the skin fade undercut that is further set off by the light blonde hair color. The look is also easy to maintain and style. Therefore, it is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to spend a tremendous amount of time styling their hair.
Buzz Taper Haircut
Even though some people still associate the buzz haircut with men's fashion, it's reaching new heights in women's haircuts, allowing bold and fashionable girls to show how different they are. Not only are those cuts low-maintenance and comfy to wear but they also give a striking appearance to everyone wearing them. On top of that, such a daring haircut allows for experiments, and now you're going to see how you can play around with it.
Tapered Buzz Cut With Surgical Hairline
This short buzz cut with a surgical hairline is the perfect disconnected cut for those who want a super short style that’s great for summer or even just a drastic change!
Platinum Blonde Taper With Faded Sides
This look is very striking and dramatic with the short cut that tapers neatly at the nape of the neck. The closely faded sides and pale blonde color give it an icy cool look, which is ideal when you want to show that blondes can totally rock a tapered haircut!
Curly Buzz Cut With Tapered Sides
If you have naturally curly hair, you can still rock a longer top! The super-short curls are very cool and chic and the shaved sides give this hip haircut even more of an edgy vibe!
Pixie Taper Haircut
Despite being short, a pixie is a great canvas for hair experiments. And a taper haircut is the paint to customize your pixie, add individuality, and, of course, make it look unique. Also, with a taper for your pixie, you can work on your stubborn thick hair and finally whip them into shape. At the same time, this cut works wonders for thin hair, balancing out the look and giving it a fuller finish. Now, let's see how you can take your pixie to the next level and amp up your look at once!
Thick, Straight & Tapered Haircut
Got tired trying to tame your unmanageable thick hair but still love this stubborn texture? A taper is your key to reaching the balance and harmony with your demanding hair type. Ask your hairstylist for slight layers running through your locks so that they stand out and behave at the same time. As for the sides, that’s the job for a taper: let scissors put a spell on your hair and give it a totally unique look.
Natural Gold Curls with Soft Taper Haircut
While some women with natural hair dedicate years of their lives for extensions, protective styles, and expensive braiding, wise ones go for a taper haircut. With this simple yet striking idea, you can not only put yourself in the spotlight but also embrace your natural texture. Besides, no words in the world can describe how comfortable you will feel with your hair.
Kinky Tapered Haircut
Kinks require a special approach in terms of the hair care routine. And there’s no need to tell you that the right haircut is the 90% of perfect care for your afro locks. As you might have guessed already, the capricious natural kinks are another challenge that a taper can handle! This cut will shape every single kink, making it well-groomed and defined at the same time. Of course, it will also protect your hair from breakage, thus giving it a healthy look.
Violet Taper Haircut With Hair Tattoo
Do you know how far you can go with your tapered curls, by the way? As far as your imagination lets you! Shaved tattoos embellishing the sides and vibrant hair colors stealing the show are actually only the beginning of what you can create with a taper. Having seen this idea, you have no choice but to call your stylist and ask for bright changes!
Side-Parted Taper Haircut
As for styling options, there’s an easy way to change the mood of your tapered curls from casual to refined formal. Whether you’re going to a date or some evening party is knocking at the door, all you need to make your hair fit the occasion is to create a side part. Finish the look with a shiny styling product, look in the mirror, and say hi to the sexy goddess with a sophisticated hairstyle.
Spiky Tapered Cut
This spiky tapered cut is very edgy and shows that you aren’t afraid to show you’re rougher side. Ask for more length in the front so you can tease it back to create spikes like the ones shown here.
Tousled Pixie + Taper Haircut
This light auburn shade is reminiscent of a summer sunset. The front is fuller so you can brush it over to one side for a messy bedhead look that says you have a fun and carefree side and aren’t afraid to show it.
Pumped Up Pompadour Into Tapered Pixie
When you really want to pump up the volume, you can try this pompadour style tapered cut: it's just chock-full of volume! Ask for longer layers up front and slick it up and back in order to resemble a pompadour for a look that’s totally far out!
Fiery Red and Orange Long Taper
This red and orange taped cup with choppy layers on top is on fire! The bright red sides are a bit longer than a traditional tapered cut and the added length on top is perfect for a bold burst of color!
Punky Pompadour Taper Fade
Want to combine both rock and roll with punk rock? This short and sassy punky pompadour is perfect with its shaved sides and volume front and top for a look that's totally retro chic!
Sassy Blonde Balayage Taper Fade
You can also combine your sassy taper fade with a pretty blonde balayage to give it a modern flair. Ask your stylist for choppy layers on top to give your hair added volume and texture.
Violet Short Taper Haircut
What women from all around the globe love about tapers the most is certainly that they can become an endless hair playground. Be it a dramatic color combination or a bold cutting technique, this short haircut allows women to let their creativity fly. Ask your hairstylist to graduate the taper gently to a more voluminous shape. As for the top, it’s your turn to take an artistic approach to it. You won’t go wrong with a touch of a violet vibe, by the way.
Black Tapered Pixie
On hair colors that look dark against the complexions, taper and fade haircuts show their best sides. Since both these techniques involve tight sights that graduate into a thicker top, you will clearly see the length transition. That’s why you can’t do without a taper if you rock a pixie! Just look at this pic: you will definitely love the way a perfectly-leveled taper graduates into your sassy pixie.
Chestnut Taper Pixie
A taper can be different, and all our ideas you’ve seen today are proofs. Well, this tapered pixie is no exception. This time, the taper is well-balanced and cleanly graduated, featuring a neat outlined finish at the bottom. Basically, such a little detail is enough to enhance the whole look and add some character to it. To make everything absolutely harmonic, we recommend you to color the top portion a shade lighter than the sides: you will create a dimensional look in this way.
Blonde Edgy Taper Haircut
What can be better than a combination of a head-turning shade and eye-catching texture? Not every girl can recreate this striking mix, and that’s the point! Once you really feel like making the spotlight your second home, this picture is the nicest plan to do it. Besides, this idea has no hair type restrictions. In other words, whether you have thin and flat or thick and dense hair, this idea will get the most of it anyway.
Layered Taper Haircut FadeCredit photo: instagram.com/renjtown
Layered taper fade haircuts are supposed to bring some dimension to your tresses and, consequently, make your 'do even more attractive. Do you believe that your tresses lack that dimension? Then you should totally go for it!
Choppy Taper Haircut FadeCredit photo: instagram.com/hellobenjamin
A choppy taper haircut fade is relatively longer, at least when you compare its length with other taper fade haircuts. While this cut will look awesome on everyone, those whose tresses are super thick will especially love it.
Flipped Taper Fade HaircutCredit photo: instagram.com/apostoldiana
When you want to give your haircut some major pizzazz, ask your barber for a flipped taper fade haircut. And these haircuts are done on shorter as well as on longer lengths – however you prefer.
Asymmetrical Taper Haircut FadeCredit photo: instagram.com/renjtown
A side parting makes this haircut appear even edgier than typical fade haircuts. Besides, hairstylists point out that asymmetry is an element that never fails at bringing something fresh to any look.
High Taper Fade HaircutCredit photo: instagram.com/jacquelynmarieh
With the sides and also back parts that are completely bald and a much longer top area, these haircuts are extremely contrasting and hence will work for the boldest babes.
Taper Haircut Fade With HairlineCredit photo: instagram.com/renjtown
Here you can observe haircuts that are often referred to as disconnected undercuts with a fade. Longer hair just gets disconnected at some point, hence the name. The sides are typically shorter, compared to the top.
Natural Taper Fade CutCredit photo: instagram.com/stepthebarber
What can we say, African American women, love sporting looks that are daring and attention-grabbing! You can go even wilder if you get your tresses dyed in a bright color.
Curly Taper FadeCredit photo: instagram.com/alan_beak
Have no idea how to emphasize the beauty of your curls? Here come the three curly fade ideas that you will fall in love with. Edgy temples, neatly tapered sides, and dramatic curly crown. Girls with straight hair can add some texture, creating soft, little curls with a flat iron. As for those who have puffy hair, you’ve got a lovely fade option, too!
Textured Taper Haircut Fade ComboCredit photo: instagram.com/thatrorbarber
A textured taper fade is something that even the most creative women can’t imagine. The distinctive contrast between the faded sides and hair on top is something unbelievable: though your hair is short, it still looks lively and voluminous as your crown has a visible lift. To spice it up, don’t be shy to sport this cut with eye-catching colors.
Taper Haircut Bob
Once you let the magic power of a taper work its wonders on your bob, you will reveal the modern facet of your haircut. Not only will a taper add a touch of modernity to your haircut but it will also infuse more character to your whole look. Of course, the ways to mix these two cuts are infinite. That's why we've selected the most creative and impressive picks for your inspiration. Whenever you feel that your bob needs an upgrade, these ideas will be your guide!
Platinum Blonde And Cotton Candy Taper Bob
This short sleek bob is so pretty with the pale blonde and soft pink steaks. The undercut gives it a nice lift and the colors add a ton of texture to this chic and spunky tapered cut!
Asymmetrical Sleek Tapered Bob
Asymmetrical bobs like the one pictured here are very much in demand right now. This cut, in particular, has a bit more sass with its shaved back and longer sides.
Icy Blonde Platinum Bob With Taper
This icy blonde color is so sleek and stylish and the tapered bob with longer side fringe adds a feminine flair to this trendy cut.
Now that you know how variously you can let your creativity fly with a taper, it's time for experiments. Apart from exceptionally daring and dramatic looks, you can create with a taper, you've also discovered ways to individualize your look with different shaved designs. A taper is a new way to express yourself with your hair, after all. Therefore, don't hesitate to give it a shot!
How do you ask for a taper haircut?
There are no various names for various taper haircuts, so, when asking for a taper cut, you should just tell to your hairdresser how short or long you prefer the sides to be left, or, your hairdresser will select the perfect taper cut length for you.
What does a number 1 haircut look like?
With a “Number 1” haircut, only 1/8 of an inch of hair stays on the top of your head. Basically, it is used for extremely short buzz cuts or faded sides. Note that your scalp will show if you use this clipper size all over your head.
What does a 2 haircut look like?
The ‘2 haircut’ is a little bit longer – 1/4 inch – cut. This haircut length results in a lovely short hairstyle that hides the scalp, that’s why it is so trendy. It looks well on both thin and thick hair.
What do I say to my hairdresser?
This is precisely what you ought to say when visiting your hairdresser:
- How long it’s been since you’ve had a haircut.
- Inform your hairdresser about your way of life.
- Make a detailed list of how you want your new hairstyle to look like, or even better, find a video of your desired haircut/style on the Internet and show it to your hairdresser.
- Bring a photo (of your actual hair + of your desired haircut/style) if you have online consultation before visiting your hairdresser.