Home » Temple Fade vs. Taper Fade: The Differences & Similarities [Photos]

Temple Fade vs. Taper Fade: The Differences & Similarities [Photos]

When it comes to getting the perfect haircut, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration. However, one of the main points of contention usually centers around choosing the right fade style.

In this article, we are going to talk about two very popular fade haircuts temple fade vs. taper fade. Both styles offer their own unique looks that make them attractive choices; however, they are often confused due to the many commonalities they share.

Keep reading because, in the next sections, we’ll explain these two classic haircuts so you can better understand the differences and decide which one is right for you!

What is a Temple Fade?

temple fade
Source: @deblendz via Instagram

A fade is a type of haircut where the hair is very short at the back and sides of the head and gradually gets longer as you go up the head.  

There are various types of fades. They usually differ in accordance with where the hair on the back and sides of the head start to get longer (fade transition). As its name implies, a temple fade is a fade where the fade effect only happens around the temple.

For those that don’t know, the temple is the side of the head behind the eye between the forehead and the ear. With that in mind, the fade will start to get longer, relatively high up on the head. Therefore, much of the head will have very short hair producing a sharp contrast to the hair on the top, and the overall effect will be sleek, crisp, and almost military.  

Related Article: Drop Fade vs. Low Fade: The Differences & Similarities [Photos]

What is a Taper Fade?

taper fade
Source: @barberos_del_mundo_pe via Instagram

A taper fade is so-called because the hair in the fade starts getting longer low down on the head. The transition usually starts at the sideburns. This results in a very gradual effect hence the name ‘taper’. 

A taper fade is likely the ‘hairiest’ of all the fade haircuts. Because the transition starts low, you don’t see much, very short or shaved hair. This is why it is a little sloppier and messier than other types of fades. 

The overall effect is somewhat of a layered look. The short-to-long transition starts gradually, producing a softer, more circular shape as it is not as severe as some fades you may see. 

Related Article: Drop Fade vs. Low Fade: The Differences & Similarities [Photos]

What are the Differences and Similarities Between a Temple Fade and a Taper Fade?

temple fade vs taper fade

As mentioned in the intro section, while these fade styles share some commonalities, there are some key differences that set them apart. In this section, we will talk about both the similarities and differences so you know exactly which one you should choose.


  • Overall Style: Both are fade styles. They are short on the sides and get longer going up the head. The hair on top is longer than the hair on the sides and back of the head. 
  • Versatility in Terms of Style: Both cuts allow for versatility in styling the hair on top of the head. The hair on top can be worn curly or spiked, or you can part it in the middle, on the sides, etc. 


  • Point Where the Transition Starts: The biggest difference between the temple fade and the taper fade is where the fade transition starts. With a temple fade, the transition occurs at the temples. With a taper fade, it occurs much lower down, near the sideburns. 
  • Shape: A taper has a soft, oval shape. A temple fade is more severe, producing a square shape. 

Related Article: Mid Fade Vs. High Fade: All The Differences [Photos]

Should You Go for a Temple Fade or a Taper Fade?

temple fade 2
Source: @kyle_semaj via Instagram

If you are still not sure if you should go for a temple or a taper fade, below are some things to consider that will help you make up your mind:

Hair Texture

If your hair is very thick and/or curly, the taper will be best. The tapered look will bring the hair in so it doesn’t look big and poofy. If you get a temple fade, the hair will grow out before it grows down, giving you lots of poofs. 

Face Shape

A taper fade has a rounded look, so it will soften square faces. However, it will also elongate long faces. Generally, if you have a round or long face, the temple fade will be a good option, while the taper is more suited to a square or oval face. 

Personal Style

The taper fade produces more of a messy look, making it better suited to alternative styles. The temple cut has a sharp, almost military style that makes it a better option for people that like to maintain a professional appearance.  


The temple cut is a higher maintenance option because you will have to go for haircuts frequently to keep the sides very short. However, the taper cut may require more day-to-day styling. You will also have to be careful not to let the top of your hair grow too long. 

taper fade 2
Source: @sarahat2ndstreet via Instagram


Now that you know the differences and similarities between the temple fade vs. taper fade, you can move forward with complete confidence. You can choose the cut that’s right for you and look awesome every day. So, which do you feel is best suited to your style? Let us know in the comments section! 

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