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36 High Taper Fade Haircuts for a Polished Look

Would you like to wear a haircut that resonates with your personality and style? If yes, you’ll love the high taper fade. It gives you a mix of subtle bad-boyish vibe with a sophisticated persona. So if you love the fades but are put off by extreme, aggressive-looking bald fades, a high taper fade could be the ideal solution for you.

Full picture of a guy rocking the high taper

This haircut is popular for the clean and polished appearance it gives. What’s more? It’s also versatile enough to suit different face shapes, outfits, and occasions.
It is one stylish haircut that is attractive and not going anywhere any time soon. So if you’re looking for inspiration to show your stylist, you’re in the right place. Read this article to get style ideas for a new high-taper haircut look

What is the High Taper Fade?

Another picture of  guy rocking the unique hairstyle

Unlike the regular fade that produces a sharp contrast between your top and sides, a high taper fade is more thorough and complex. It lets you create sharp lines through a haircut before blending down and out. This is because it allows the space between the top, sides, and back of your head to sit with a little more length and weight.

Steven Chapman, founder of The Hoi Polloi barbershop, explained it better while speaking with Men’s Flair:

“This style is all about creating contrast from the front to the back. The back section of the fade should ideally still have a bit of weight to it before being tapered out or cut right down to the skin. This can influence the start of that mohawk-like shape. It needs to be cut really sharp. It should almost appear like a regular fade if you’re looking at someone square-on, but then when you look at them from the side, you should see a bulkier build-up of texture coming up through the back of their head.”

Steven Chapman

Key Features of a High Taper Fade

Side view of a guy wearing the haircut

Short Sides and Back

The sides and back are typically buzzed or clipped very short, giving the haircut its distinct high fade appearance.

Gradual Transition

The length of the hair gradually increases as you move from the sides and back to the top. This gradual taper is what sets the style apart.

Clean Lines

High taper fades are popular for their clean and sharp lines which creates a polished and sophisticated look.


This style can be customized to suit various preferences, including different lengths on top and varied tapering degrees.

What You Need to Know Before Getting a High Taper Fade

Full picture of a guy rocking the high taper look

Before committing to this look, you should know what you want to achieve. So, go for a high taper fade if you’re looking for a masculine, square-shaped profile with a possibly dramatic finish on top. This type of fade technique often creates more of a burst-out effect that is ideal for men with round or heart-shaped faces.

Stylish High Taper Haircut Ideas to Try

Full picture of a guy rocking the look

Here are some high taper haircut ideas worth considering during your next visit to the salon:

High Taper Straight Hair

Back view of the high taper

It can be challenging to maintain an appropriate haircut if your hair is straight. Therefore, getting your sides tapered is a fantastic idea.

Another back view of the haircut

Your straight hair will gain more definition and contrast well with a high taper fade. This makes it easier to get a sharp and catchy look with little styling.

High Taper Mullet

Full view of the high taper plus the mullet

One of the most popular resurfacing hair trends is the mullet. However, this does not imply that you must copy the old-fashioned version.

Another picture of a guy rocking the high taper mullet

Instead, add a contemporary twist to your mullet haircut, like a high taper. Otherwise, you’ll appear to be making a comeback from another century.

Side Taper Fade

Side view of a guy rocking the side taper hairdo

Even though a taper fade haircut calls for trimming the hair on the sides and back, you’re free to alter the cut however you deem fit to suit your preferences.

Another version of the side taper fade

For instance, you can trim the hair on the sides while leaving the back untouched.

High Taper Buzz Cut

Back view of the buzz cut

The good thing about the high taper is there are no restrictions.

Another picture of a guy rocking the buzz cut

So if you want a short haircut like the buzz cut, don’t hesitate to go for it.

Messy Pompadour with High Taper Fade

Full picture of a man rocking the pompadour with his hairdo

The high taper is the perfect base to work plenty of volume on your hair. With the top swept from the back, you can blend it easily into a fade. 

Another picture of the pompadour haircut

The pompadour style creates a messy but not-so-messy look.

Grey Curly High Taper

Full picture of a man rocking his full curly grey taper

The grey curly high taper is an easy-to-maintain and great style for older men.

Another picture of a man rocking the curly grey taper look

It is a low-maintenance haircut that you can achieve with just a fade and some styling cream for the curls.

Korean-Inspired  High Taper

Full picture of a man rocking the korean-inspired look

Just as African hair grows differently from that of Americans, it’s the same for Asian hair. 

Another view of the korean-inspired look

Their hair grows straight and out, so the approach to fading is slightly different. You can opt for this look if it suits your style.

High Top with a High Taper Fade

Guy shows off his dramatic high taper fade

Want a dramatic and statement look? Go for this hairstyle. 

Another picture of the  dramatic high taper

You’re sure to draw the attention of many admirers.

Taper With Design

Full view of a guy rocking the taper with designs

A high taper fade not only keeps your sides neat but also gives you lots of room for designs, which is a fantastic benefit.

Another picture of the taper with curly hair and designs

So, if you have any interesting ideas, feel free to implement them on your side. Just remember to do touchups so the lines remain sharp.

High Taper Waves

Full picture of a guy rocking his high taper waves

When you combine your high taper with waves, just know that your hair will be the center of attention.

Another picture of the curly look

To give your waves that extra emphasis, use a volumizing styling product and a blow dryer. The result is a neat and sophisticated look.

Man rocking accessories shows off his unique  hairstyle

The high taper fade is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after men’s haircuts of recent times. Its blend of modern style and clean lines makes it a fantastic choice if you’re looking to stay on-trend while maintaining a polished appearance. To get the perfect high taper fade, consult a skilled barber who can customize the style to match your preferences. And if you need more inspiration, check out the photos below:

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Blessing Otoro

Blessing Otoro is a writer passionate about crafting fashion, hair, and beauty content. With years of experience writing content across various niches, I weave together stories and articles that resonate with fashion enthusiasts looking to elevate their style.

Fashion writing is not just a profession for me; it's a way of life. I live and breathe style, and my personal choices reflect my approach to fashion expression. From curating chic, sophisticated ensembles to embracing edgy and statement looks, I strive to inspire readers to step out of their comfort zones and turn heads effortlessly.

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