How Do You Do a Taper Fade?

To cut a taper fade, use clippers with the blade alternating open and closed. Start with the longest guard attachment, and work down to the shortest. Finish by edging the hairline with trimmers.

  1. Prepare the hair

    Run a comb or a brush over all of the hair to ensure there are no knots, which makes using clippers difficult. Hair should be clean and dry.

  2. Cut the top

    Attach the longest guard to the clipper, and open the blade so that the length is 1/8-inch longer. Clipper cut all of the hair to this length, concentrating on the top.

  3. Start the sides

    Close the clipper blades so that the length is 1/8-inch shorter. Clipper cut the sides and back moving from the hairline up. Scoop the clippers out slightly as you reach the point that you want to be longer.

  4. Make the next blend

    Switch out the attachment to the next shorter guard, and open the blades again. Starting from the hairline, clipper cut up. Stop short of the previous cut, scooping out to blend.

  5. Fade the hair

    Close the clipper blade, and repeat buzzing up. Stop just short of the previous cut, and scoop out. Continue alternating open and closed blades with successively shorter attachments until all of the sides and back have been cut.

  6. Clean up the edges

    Use edge trimmers to create a line across the back, up the sides and around the ears. If desired, edge the front hairline as well.