How to Ask for a Taper Fade in a Barber Shop – A Stepwise Approach

Tapper Fade Haircut
Reviewed by Justin Lim
Reviewed by Justin Lim

Probably reviewed every hair styling products, thankful that his hair is still intact. Loves travelling and trying to be healthy and pump some muscles at the same time!

Table of Contents

Tapers, Fades, Undercuts, and Taper Fades are all the craze now (and they have been so for eons). However, these are not haircuts on their own. They are upgrades that you can request to a Pompadour, Mohawk, Afro, Comb Over, Slick Back, and other haircuts. The main purpose of these upgrades is to achieve modern looks and other effects with any haircut of your choice. However, because these three haircut upgrades are similar (they are basically about shortening the lower sides and back hair of the head), most men end up getting an Undercut when they request a Lower Taper Fade. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, I have created this easy step-by-step guide on how to ask your barber for a Taper Fade.

STEP 1: Knowing What a Taper Fade Really is

Taper Fade Haircut

As the name implies, a Taper Fade is a combination of a Taper and a Fade. Let me break it down for you. A Taper is a classic modern look. The hair on the two sides and the back of the head are trimmed mildly shorter in length than the hair at the top of the head. It is the ideal upgrade you can add to a haircut without creating too much contrast between your forehead and face length. On the flip side, a Fade has a 100% modern look such that the hair on the lower sides and back of the head is significantly shorter than the one at the top of the head. This haircut upgrade adds a significant slimness to the face and has the potential to elongate the face, especially when combined with a Flat Top Afro. 

Finally, a Taper Fade is a Taper that transitions into or connects with a Fade. Here’s what I mean. The haircut starts with a longer top (this may be a Slick Back, Faux Hawk, or anything) connected to or disconnected from a Taper that ends at the top of the sideburns. Then from there, the hair is trimmed to fade gradually into the skin.

STEP 2: Asking for The Taper Fade of Your Choice

You probably don’t know this, but there are three types of Taper Fades: high, low, and mid Taper Fades. So, when placing a booking with a barber or visiting on a walk-in, you need to be precise with your description. If you choose a High Taper Fade, this means the side Taper that connects with the longer hair at the top of the head will start just below the temple. A High Taper Fade is more modern and there’s a slightly sharp contrast between the longer top and the shorter sides.

Now, when you opt for a Low Taper Fade, you want your Taper to start just below the top of your ears and transition into a Fader below them. This Taper Fade variation is best combined with a Quiff to create an official haircut. Lastly, when asking your barber for a Mid Taper Fade, tell him you want your Taper to start just above your ears and transition into a Fader below them. A Mid Taper Fade is a great choice for men with triangular faces to make the wide cheekbones appear slimmed down a bit.

In Conclusion

Most barber-client conflicts could have been avoided, had it been that many of us men understood the haircuts we wanted and knew how to describe them to our barbers. Imagine requesting a Faux Hawk Taper Fade when you have an Edgar Undercut in mind. The best way to make sure you’ll get the haircut you have in mind is to not only name it but also describe it with clarity. To that end, I have created this 2-step guide to show you how to ask your barber for a Taper Fade. You can also read this review of the FADIFY 2.0 trimmer.



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