It’s hard to avoid reading, seeing or hearing about “the fade.” This popular hairstyle for men, with all of its many variations, is everywhere.  According to GQ Style, it’s become a universal cut, worn by investment bankers and lawyers as well as by the young and cool set.

Believe it or not, it started in the U.S. military when GIs returned from World War II and Korea with close-cropped hair that was grown out on top. Out of favor for decades, the masculine clean-cut look has come back as a trendy hairstyle that gives lots of individual options.

What exactly is a taper fade?

For the uninitiated, with a taper fade haircut, the hair gradually shortens in length from the top of the head to the nape of the neck. The fade lets you combine a short clean cut look with a trendy pompadour. For individual styling, the hair on top can be as long as you want with a choice of combover, mohawk, hightop, pompadour, or loosely curly.

High or low taper fade styles?

Fades come in variations, but the two most popular are a high fade or a low fade. High fades usually fade away completely within at least 2-inches from the top of the head. Low fades feature a taper cut that gradually extends down the sides and back of the head, and fade completely at nape and right above the ears.

Undercut or taper fade?

A frequent question from customers: What’s the difference between an undercut and a taper fade? While both styles feature longer hair on the top, with a fade, the hair on the side and back of your head is tapered or cut so that it gradually gets longer as you move toward the top. An undercut just means the hair on top of the head is much longer than the hair on the sides and back.

Whatever variation you choose, the taper fade haircut – clean cut and cool – can be a hot and sexy hairstyle for all men. Check it out with your stylist at your next appointment.

Enjoy your hair!


Michael Anthony Salon DC  is considered by many to be the best hair salon in the entire DC metro region. We are passionate about doing hair and work with each and every client to create the look that is right for them. Led by Mickey – aka Michael Anthony – each of our stylists is a highly trained professional. Schedule an appointment and find out for yourself!