Taper vs Fade Haircuts – What’s The Difference?

When it comes to getting a stylish haircut, you’re probably familiar with term ‘taper fade haircut’.

But did you know there’s actually a difference between a taper and a fade?!

We wanted to distinguish exactly what sets these styles apart, so we asked the experts at Latest Locks to help define them, so you can decide which style suits you best.

Taper vs Fade Haircuts

What Is A Taper Cut?

A taper cut is a style of haircut that features shorter sides and back, leading up to longer hair on top.

This type of cut typically starts around the ears, tapering down the sides and back until it reaches your neckline.

Depending on your preference, a taper cut can include short layers that are slightly longer than the sides and back for added texture and volume.

The result is a clean-cut look that’s still modern but not too drastic. It also requires minimal maintenance since all you need is regular trims every few weeks to keep your hair looking neat.

What Is A Fade Cut?

On the other hand, a fade cut involves gradually blending your hair from short at the bottom to longer towards the crown of your head. As opposed to tapers which start around the ears, fades usually begin higher up near the temples or nape of your neck.

Fades come in different variations such as low-fade (starts lower), mid-fade (starts in middle) or high-fade (starts higher).

Depending on how high or low you want your fade cut to go will depend on what kind of statement you want to make with your look. If you’re after something more daring than a taper cut then opt for a fade for maximum impact!

Tips to Help You Decide Whether To Get a Taper or Fade Haircut

Now that you know the difference between taper and fade cuts, here are some tips to help you decide which one is right for you.

• Consider your lifestyle – if you’re someone who likes low-maintenance haircuts then a taper cut would be more suitable as it requires less upkeep. On the other hand, if you’re someone who likes to experiment with a style then a fade cut might be more up your alley.

• Think about the shape of your face – different haircuts suit different face shapes, so take this into account when deciding which one to get. For square and diamond-shaped faces, tapers work best as they soften the angles of the face. Fades, on the other hand, suit round and oval faces better as they create a sharper look that helps to add structure and definition.

• Budget – Finally, if you’re working with a smaller budget then taper cuts are usually cheaper than fade cuts since they require less work from your barber or stylist.

These are just a few tips to help you decide between a taper or fade haircut. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and which look you feel most comfortable with.


At the end of the day, both fades and tapers are great choices if you’re looking for something modern but not too extreme.

However, if you want something bolder then consider going for a fade instead of an ordinary taper cut – as fading gradually blends your hair from short at the bottom to long at the top for maximum impact!

Whichever one you decide ultimately comes down to personal preference – but now that we’ve gone through both styles in detail hopefully this article has helped narrow down your options so that decision can get made just a little bit easier!

Jessica is our resident hairstyle expert. As a hairstylist with 15 years of experience based in Texas, she is the ultimate go-to person for picking the right hair color, choosing a trending hairstyle and any advice on hair makeover.