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The difference between a taper and a fade haircut

The difference between a taper and fade haircut.

With barbering enjoying a massive revival, men are going to traditional barber shops, looking for a great haircut.

Two of the popular styles right now are the taper and the fade haircuts. You will see these haircuts being done in just about every barbershop you visit.

The popularity of these hairstyles is because they are easy to maintain, as well as the different combinations. The two cuts can have a cropped top, sides and backs, and are similar to the military cut – providing a short, clean, sharp style that is not out of place in an office or out on the town.

While they may look the same in some ways, there are a few noticeable differences between the two styles.

The Taper Haircut

Like a pair of tapered jeans – they get skinnier towards the calves and ankles, but are a little looser at the top.

A traditional taper cut sees the length of the hair graduate from the top of the head, down to the sides and nape in a symmetrical fashion that leaves your natural hairline visible.

The top of the head usually features hair that is between two and four inches long, while the sides and back feature clipper grades that gradually get shorter. For example, you may ask to start with a grade three and finish on a grade one at the bottom.

The taper is among the most popular styles in men’s fashion right now because it allows the wearer to style their hair with product, while still enjoying the comfort and ease that comes with short hair on the sides and back.

The Fade Haircut

The fade is a classic cut and has actually been around for a long time. It was popular in the military and was also known as a ‘high and tight’. These days, it’s a favourite style that is low maintenance and looks great.

Like a taper cut, a fade has hair getting shorter from top to bottom. However, there are noticeable differences in how early the fade effect begins and where on the head it finishes.

Unlike a taper, the fade effect happens much more quickly and finishes above the natural hairline; giving the appearance that your hair has blended into your skin. The hair on top of the head is often shorter than a taper too, usually less than two inches.

There are many variations of the fade cut and all have a slightly different appearance; skin fade, low fade, hi-top fade, half fade, etc. To achieve the best results, it’s better to take a photo of a fade you like into the barbershop, so your barber knows the type of fade you are after.

Ultimately, no matter what style you are looking to achieve, the entire cut should have a smooth, streamline finish to it.

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Fade or Taper?

If you’re looking for a low maintenance style that requires little-to-no effort in the mornings, then a fade cut is more suitable for you.

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