Drop Fade vs Taper

Drop Fade vs Taper: Assessing the Differences

Drop fade and taper are two of the trendiest hairstyles providing some unique designs for stylish men to wear. There are a lot of similarities between these two that make many people identify them as the same hairdo.

Even though both of them are low-maintenance and versatile hairstyles that provide the flexibility to customize the design based on face shape, hair type and personality, there are some core differences that make them distinct.

Understanding these dissimilarities will help you distinguish them and determine the suitable option that goes with your fashion palate.

If you are having difficulty differentiating between a drop fade and a taper, you have come to the right place.

I will provide an overall discussion of these two styles, focusing on the unique features that distinguish them from one another. Stop dillydallying and hop on!

What is Drop Fade

What is Drop Fade

The Drop fade is a fading technique used to style men’s hair in fabulous designs. The hair gradually fades from a longer top to a shorter length toward the bottom side, creating the dropping effect from which it got its name.

The fade starts at the temple area and curves down behind the ear toward the nape, creating a seamless transition between the long top hair and the short side and back hair. The finished style looks like a U or V shape fade from the back.

The drop fades are low maintenance and versatile. They can be styled and customized in various designs that easily suit any face shape, hair type and personality.

Advantages of Drop Fade

  • Provides a stylish and modern look
  • One of the versatile styles
  • Low maintenance
  • Camaflouges receding hairline
  • Good at enhancing facial features

What is Taper

What is Taper Fade

The taper is a men’s haircut technique that involves gradually decreasing the size of hair near the sideburns and neckline. The hair on the sides and the back are tapered down to a shorter length, while the hair on the top is kept longer.

There are three types of tapers: high, mid and low taper; each one provides a different look, mostly chosen based on the hairline. Like fade, tapers are often blended seamlessly with top hair, creating fabulous designs.

Tapers are also low maintenance and versatile similar to drop fades. They can be easily customized to suit different face shapes, hair types and personalities as well.

Advantages of Taper

  • Provides a tidy appearance
  • Low maintenance
  • Suitable with facial hair
  • Versatile hairstyle
  • Works with different hair lengths

Differences Between Drop Fade and Taper

There are a lot of similarities between drop fade and taper, but there are enough dissimilarities between them that make them two different entities that people try out regularly. In this section, I will provide you with the characteristics and features that make drop fade and taper different from one another.

Styling process

The first difference I am going to talk about is the styling process. For a drop fade, the fading effect starts from the temples and curves behind the ears, dropping down to create a V or U-shaped transition. The transition is smooth, but the drop near the back is quite apparent.

On the other hand, classic taper means only shortening the hair near the sideburns and the nape area. In modern times, the position of starting the tapering is dependent on the hairline, and the transition between the top and tapered hair is smooth.


The visual difference between a drop fade and a taper is massive. For a drop fade, the fading starts from the temple area, and the sudden drop behind the ear creates a V or U-shaped look. That shape is present in any drop fade hairstyle, easily distinguishing it from other fade styles and tapers.

Taper, on the other hand, does not have a distinguished effect like the drop fade. The hair is tapered on a similar length all around, creating a smooth transition.


Both drop fade and taper are versatile styles, but you might find drop fade way limited compared to taper. For every drop fade hair design, the side and back hair are cut in the same technique, following the exact guard sizes and transitions similarly.

But that is not the case for tapers. As I have discussed, three types of tapers are used for different hairlines that can easily create distinct hairdos.

Drop fades look good with short and medium-length hair, but it does not provide the same alluring presence when worn with long hair going past the shoulder.

Taper looks phenomenal with every hair length and can easily be customized to suit the need of the hair design.

Suitability with Facial Hair

Amongst these two, the taper is more suitable for facial hair than drop fade. Let me explain before you start complaining. Your beard will need to be cut in a faded technique as well if you want to wear a full beard with a drop fade. There is no other option.

That is not the case for taper. You can wear your beard any way you want, and it will look fabulous if your hair is cut in a tapered style.

Drop Fade Example

High And Tight

High And Tight

Mid Drop with Wave on the Top

Mid Drop with Wave on the Top

Low Drop Fade

Low Drop Fade

Bowl Drop Skin Fade

Bowl Drop Skin Fade

Burst Drop Fade with Mullet

Burst Drop Fade with Mullet

Taper Example

Classic Taper

Classic Taper

Low Taper with Curls

Low Taper with Curls

Mid Skin Taper

Mid Skin Taper

High Taper Afro Blowout

High Taper Afro Blowout

Bleached Undercut with Taper

Bleached Undercut with Taper

Which One is for You?

Now that you know the differences between drop fade and taper, we have arrived at the most crucial part of the article. It is time to decide which one you need to choose for yourself.

Do not worry! I will help you identify which one is more suitable for you by finding the answers to some easy questions, like your preferred hair length, whether you have facial hair or not and the type of work you do for a living.

If you like longer hair designs, then tapers are a better choice than drop fades. Taper looks way better on longer hair than drop fade, so it is a no-brainer.

That goes for facial hair as well. You will limit your facial hair choices by getting drop fade on your hair. You will have a lot more options with taper.

For people with corporate jobs, a taper cut is better as it abides by the dress code and can be easily customized to meet the standard. That is not the case for drop fade. It will give you an edgy look which might break the dress code of your workspace.

Both of these styles are fabulous; it just depends on your needs and choices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many of you must have gathered information to decide which one you want for yourself, between drop fade and taper. Those still undecided might find this section beneficial, where I will be answering frequently asked questions about these styles.

Question: Is drop fade a professional haircut?

Answer: Drop fade provides a modern, edgy appearance that does not abide by the dress code that corporate workspaces maintain. Therefore, the answer to this question is no; drop fade is not a professional haircut.

Question: Which is more costly, a drop fade or a taper?

Answer: The cost of a haircut depends on many factors, including the difficulty of a hairstyle. Usually, drop fade and taper have similar difficulty levels, so no matter which technique you use from your stylist, It will cost you an equal amount of cash.

Question: Which one is better between drop fade and taper for curly hair?

Answer: Both drop fade and taper look fabulous on curly hair; people use different techniques because of their preferences. But many fashion gurus believe a drop fade is better suited for curly hair and gives more styling choices than a taper.

Final Word

Drop fade and taper are two of the trendiest hairstyles out there that can give a fabulous look to the wearer with ease. Both of them are versatile, but a taper will provide you with more options to style yourself with than a drop fade.

They are low-maintenance styles that can last for a decent period with little care. I will recommend you not jump to a conclusion and contemplate for some time about which one you want for yourself.

Getting a hairstyle is an important decision as it is the easiest way to revamp yourself. You can not change your hairstyle on a whim if you do not like the hairstyle you got without going for a really short style like a buzz cut. So take a deep breath and decide with a cool head on the design you will not regret.

Similar Post:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DMCA.com Protection Status
Scroll to Top