Taper vs fade: Know the difference and which one is fit for you

Taper vs fade: Know the difference and which one is fit for you

Tapers and fades are popular men's haircuts. Many individuals, including barbers, tend to use these terms interchangeably. These haircuts, which include cutting the hair short down the back and sides of the head, may appear the same at first glance. However, there are subtle details which make them distinct. So, while comparing taper vs fade haircuts, what should you look out for?

Taper vs fade
A man in a taper haircut (L) and (R) a black man in a fade haircut. Photo: @rom_barber, @castros_mancave on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Fades and tapers are classic and trendy haircuts. Both hairstyles offer a clean, sharp look that works well in casual and formal settings. However, understanding the differences between a taper and a fade is essential in determining the best fit for you.

Taper vs fade: Know the difference

What is the difference between a fade and a taper fade? Although a taper and fade haircut might appear identical at first glance, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Here are the key features to look out for in a taper vs fade comparison.

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What is a taper?

A taper is a cleaner, more conservative version of a fade. It's classic, versatile, and accentuates a hair length that is progressively reducing. That is the primary distinction between a taper and a fade-it taper.

Tapers typically shorten hair for a more subtle and progressive alteration. This often begins with the longest portions on top and gradually becomes shorter as the cut follows the natural hairline down the neck, sides of the head, and toward the ears.

Taper vs fade
A man getting a taper cut in a barbershop. Photo: @cutzbyshane
Source: Instagram

There are different taper variations, categorised according to where the tapering begins on the sides and back. The following are the primary taper styles:

  • Low taper: A low taper, which begins lower on the sides and provides a gentle transition, looks classic and conservative by leaving somewhat longer hair around the neck and ears.
  • High taper: A high taper begins nearer the rear and top of the sides, making the distinction between the top and sides more noticeable and giving you a more refined, youthful appearance.
  • Mid taper: The mid taper begins slightly higher on the sides, resulting in a moderate contrast between the top and sides. It strikes a balance between a low and a high taper.

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What is a fade?

The goal of a fade, like a taper, is to transition hair from long to short in a stylish manner. However, a fade can be extremely short, sharp, and dramatic, unlike a taper. Tapering involves a natural decrease in length for a more conservative style, while a fade can end before it reaches the natural hairline.

In other words, there are no rules when it comes to fades; they can be as formal or as casual as you desire. Here are the different types of fades:

  • Skin fade: Which fade lasts the longest? The skin fade takes the concept of the fade to the extreme. Typically, hair is cut excessively short to the point where the scalp can be seen. This bold and trendy look is preferred by people seeking a high-impact aesthetic.
  • High fade: The high fade creates a bold and edgy effect by beginning extremely near the top of the sides and back. This look is ideal for people who like a sharp, striking contrast.
  • Low fade: A low fade begins lower down the sides, allowing for a more gradual transition. It's a versatile option that offers a cleaner appearance without the stark contrast of a high fade.

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Which fade should I get?

Your personal style, maintenance preferences, and desired look mainly determine the fade to get. A high or skin fade may be the way to go if you love a sharp and edgy look with a striking contrast between the sides and the top.

A low fade, on the other hand, is an excellent choice if you want a cleaner, more subtle style with less care.

Which is better, a fade or a taper?

That depends on various factors, including your personal tastes and preferences. Here's a guide to help you decide:

  • Face shape: Consider the contour of your face. Tapers are more forgiving and can complement various face shapes, whereas fades can draw attention to specific facial features with their sharp contrast.
  • Personal style: Your sense of fashion and personal style are vital. Tapers are classic and modest, whereas fades are bold and edgy. Choose a style that fits your personality.
  • Maintenance: Consider your commitment to upkeep. Fades often necessitate more frequent care to achieve a clean transition, whereas tapers are a lower-maintenance choice.
  • Hair texture: Hair texture is also important. Fades are typically more suited for straight or tightly coiled hair, but tapers are more versatile and can work with various hair textures.
  • Profession: Consider your workplace's dress code. Some conservative workplaces may favour the understated appearance of taper haircuts, whereas others may embrace the boldness of a fade.

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Taper vs fade, what's the difference? Knowing the difference between these two haircuts is crucial in choosing the style that suits you best. Both designs can look stunning, but they offer different aesthetics and levels of maintenance.

Yen.com.gh recently published an article on 25 incredible box braids hairstyles for men. Box braid hairstyle consists of three-strand plaits in which a specific section of hair is braided and divided into three portions.

Some of the trendiest box braid hairstyles include curved box braids, high-top box braids, and ponytail box braids. These designs are unique and easy to maintain.

Source: YEN.com.gh

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