• Post category:Men's Corner
A row of barbershop chairs, where many customers receive their low taper fade haircuts.

Confused by the jargon in men’s hairstyling? Rest assured, it’s a common dilemma. Allow us to demystify the difference between a mid taper fade and a low taper fade haircut, two widely embraced styles in the current trend. The term ‘taper fade’ is often misused, creating unnecessary confusion. To clarify, a ‘taper’ involves gradual hair length reduction, while a ‘fade’ indicates the hair decreasing to skin level. Understanding these distinctions will not only help you articulate your grooming preferences more accurately to your barber, but also broaden your knowledge of popular men’s haircuts.

Table of Contents

A Closer Look at Tapers

A gentleman displaying his classic taper cut, where the hair gradually shortens but does not fade to skin.

Let’s kick things off with tapers. In the realm of haircuts, a taper is a style where the hair at the back and sides of your head gradually shortens, but doesn’t vanish before reaching the hairline.

Essentially, picture a taper as an extremely short haircut — but not disappearing completely. Hence, while all fades might be tapers, remember that not all tapers are fades.

Now, let’s move on to fades. A fade haircut is a stylish variation of the taper, where your hair fades into your skin, hence the name “fade”.

This style gives your appearance a modern edge, thanks to its sharp lines and daring vibe.

Mid-action shot of a barber giving a mid fade haircut, a unique blend between the classic mid taper and modern fade styles.

Fades offer flexibility, allowing you to opt for a low taper fade haircut, mid taper, or a high fade.

A low taper fade haircut begins closer to your ear, whereas a mid taper fade initiates just above the ear. If you’re more daring, a high fade starts even higher up on your head.

The choice between these styles boils down to your personal taste and the look you’re aiming for.

Keep in mind that maintaining a fade requires regular haircuts to keep the faded-to-skin look fresh and sharp.

The Myth of the “Taper Fade”

It’s not uncommon to hear people refer to a “taper fade” when discussing their hairstyle preferences.

But, if we delve into the specifics of hairdressing terminology, you’ll realize that your request may lead to a question: Are you asking for a taper or a fade?

Let’s break it down – a taper, by definition, maintains a certain amount of hair length, while a fade, on the other hand, seamlessly transitions down to the bare skin.

Barber in action, giving a customer a high fade haircut, a more drastic version of the low taper fade.

The misunderstanding arises from the terms being incorrectly used interchangeably. Perhaps it’s time to set the record straight – a taper and a fade are different.

A taper, while it does gradually decrease the hair length, preserves more hair than a fade. A fade, as the name suggests, fades away to nothing, down to the skin.


To sum up, understanding these terms can help you have clearer communication with your barber.

Whether you’re a fan of the low taper fade haircut, the mid taper fade, or the traditional fade, knowing the difference puts you in control of your hairstyle.

Don’t forget – the choice of a haircut can transform your look and set the tone for your overall style.

Close-up of essential barber tools like combs and razors, often used in creating mid taper and low taper fade haircuts.
  1. Taper: A haircut where hair at the back and sides gradually shortens, but does not vanish completely.
  2. Fade: A stylish variation of the taper, where your hair gradually fades into the skin.
  3. Low Taper: A more subtle version of the taper haircut, where the hair shortens just slightly around the ear.
  4. Mid Taper: A version of the taper haircut where the shortening of hair begins at a point slightly above the ear.
  5. High Taper: An aggressive version of the taper haircut where the hair shortens significantly, starting from a higher point on the head.
  6. Low Fade (previously Low Taper Fade): A fade haircut where the fade begins closer to the ear, providing a subtle transition.
  7. Mid Fade (previously Mid Taper Fade): A fade haircut where the transition from hair to skin begins just above the ear, striking a balance between bold and conservative.
  8. High Fade (previously High Taper Fade): A daring fade haircut that starts even higher up on the head, often used to make a bold statement.

Remember, your hairstyle is an expression of your individuality. Choose wisely, and keep it neat.

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