A couple minutes of research can save you 2 weeks of a bad haircut - we've all been there fellas.
So whether you're looking to try out a taper fade for the 1st time or looking for a different type of taper; follow these research steps.
- Start with Instagram and Tiktok - type in "Taper Fades" into your search. Tiktok generally gives better results for me.
- Go through Pinterest and search through the taper fades there
- Have a mate with a taper you want to rock too? Ain't no shame in asking.
A bad haircut or ending up with a high fade instead of low taper is never a good thing to go through - do the prep guys.
How to ask your barber for a taper fade
I like to do a 3 step process for my own haircuts.
- Describe what haircut I want (e.g. looking to get a low taper)
- Show where I want the taper to start or the areas of where the taper fade is (like physically point out the area on my head)
- Give a photo to make sure they see what you're seeing
We tell our barbers to always make sure and confirm every haircut before actually starting - so just make sure your barber understands what you're going for!
Know the difference between a low, mid and high taper
It's hard to give where exactly a low, mid or high taper sits - as everyone has different head shapes and hair growth patterns.
If we're speaking in genralities here - base it on the C-Cup.
It's what the name suggests, the C part of your sideburn.
A low taper would sit on the lower 1/3 of the C-cup, mid taper would sit... in the middle. And a high taper would hit on the upper 1/3 of the C-cup.
Know how short you want to go with your taper
Just like a fade, you can opt for fades of the lengths skin, zero, 1, 2... you get the point.
The most important thing you have to consider is how big of a contrast would you like the taper fade to have?
To put things into perspective - a skin mid-taper would have a very large contrast.
And this contrast is created from the lightest part (being skin) and darkest part being the hair.
The longer you go (so higher in number) the less of a contrast.
We'll talk about the general look and feel of each low, mid and high taper - but the subtleness, and freshness level also is dependent on how short or long you go with the fade.
Personally, I would always recommend a skin or zero taper - though a longer 1/2, 1 or 2 taper is also great for more corporate or proper looks.
How high you go changes your look
This is very based on personal opinion now - but me and our barbers say a low taper is a more subtle, low-key look.
It adds that small hint of freshness while also adding the clean look with the line up to the sides and back.
The only draw back? It does grow out faster than the others, so you'll need to maintain it more often than others.
Mid taper? You can't go wrong with it. It's a good all rounder. Mixture of subtleness while making a statement.
And as for high taper? It's bordering a fade, though the sides and back are still disconnected, so it's still classified as a taper.
If you're unsure of the difference between a taper fade and fade, check out our article here.