21 Ways To Wear A Tape Up Haircut

By Matt V


Let’s start by answering the question, “what is a tape up haircut?” Tape up is another name for a taper, also known as a taper fade. This type of fade stops behind the ear, with faded hair at the temples and neckline.

If you’re facing off the tape up vs fade, a fade continues behind the ear while a tape up leaves an arch of hair. There is no loser in this battle because they both look great.

There are regional differences in haircut names so always show your barber a picture to be sure you get what you want. There’s no need to know all the names and clipper numbers. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

A few popular types of tape up haircuts are 360 waves, the afro, the blowout, and a buzz but that’s not all. Like a fade, the taper fade work with any haircut. Other tape up haircut styles include curly hair, long hair, classic styles, and braids. Check them out.

1. Tape Up Haircut

Tape Up Haircut
SeeCut Hairstylizh

This high taper keeps hair short for about an inch above the hairline with a quick fade at the temples and back of the neck. The arch behind the ear echoes the curve of this short afro. It’s those details that separate great barbers from the rest.

Tape Up Haircut Black Man
SeeCut Hairstylizh

Here’s that cool cut from the front/side. This taper brings up the neckline so the afro can continue the line of the forehead all the way around.

2. Tape Up Haircut For Black Men

Nicole Renae

The tape up is the best way to keep all 360 degrees of waves with a crispy neckline. Keep it fresh with frequent barber visits. Some guys get trimmed every week but every other week works too.

3. Tape Up Fade

Christian Inductivo

Again, the tape up fade is the same as the taper fade. This type of neckline looks equally good with modern styles as this classic look. This cool textured pompadour disappears into the blur of a fade.

4. Tape Up + Long Hair

Visionz Barbershop

A taper and long hair, why not? This tape up goes way up and the man bun never looked better. This has a similar effect as the undercut but keeps slightly more hair.

5. High Tape Up + Curly Hair

Favela Cortes

The curly fade is popular but this high taper also brings up the hairline while keeping that arch behind the ear. This tape up would like great underneath a retro sweatband.

6. Low Tape Up Haircut

Low tape up haircut
Christian Inductivo

The tape up varies in height. This low version removes the minimum of hair at the sideburns and neckline for a clean finish for this medium length look.

7. Low Skin Tape Up

Low skin tape up
Eddie Rosado

There are two types of fades. The shadow fade cuts hair from short to shorter while a skin fade reveals the skin. There’s no right or wrong choice but this is great look. This beard shape continues the curve of the temple with an interruption at the sideburn that draws more attention to waves and a neat beard.

8. Skin Tape Up

Skin tape up haircut
Marquinhos Barbers

The skin taper can be low or higher, like this cool afro with a beard fade. A fade that goes lower into the beard works well for guys with patchy growth on the cheeks or want to concentrate hair on along the jawline.

9. Tape Up + Line Up Haircut

Tape Up + Line Up Haircut
Marquinhos Barbers

The line up is that defined line along the forehead. The straight line contrasts with the blurry edges of the taper. This line up looks great with medium length twists but also works with any hairstyle you like

10. Shape Up + Tape Up Haircut

Shape Up + Tape Up Haircut
TK the Barber

The shape up and tape up is the same as the line up and tape up but more fun to say. Here it is with short curls. This combination works with shorter and longer haircuts too.

11. High Tape Up + Box Braids

Braids with taper fade

Braids and fade is a winning combination. This tape up works well with these box braids to create a flattering shape for long hair and short. This is a cool look with small braids French braided into a pair of larger plaits.

12. Erickson Lubin

Popular haircuts for Black men Erickson Lubin hair
Pat Regan

Here’s boxer Erickson Lubin with a short sides, longer top haircut that looks great in and out of the ring. The look ends with a low skin taper that seamless blends into the beard.

13. More Tape Up Haircuts

The tape up is a popular addition to a number of popular haircuts for Black guys. First and second are two ways to wear the blowout, a medium length cut with lots of height.

Going a little longer, a low or taper fade keeps short sides below all lengths of dreadlocks.

Back to shorter cuts, the tape up keeps the most coverage for a buzz cut. An ultra low taper only removes the sideburns and a hint of hair along the neckline.

Tape up haircuts also help create that signature rounded shape for afros and other short haircuts.

There’s not just one way to wear a tape up. A low taper trades natural edges for a short fade at the temples and neckline plus a perfect arc behind the ear. This look keeps any width hair has at the sides.

14. Tape Up + Full Beard

Taper fade with Black beard
American Crew

Taper fades can also go up higher, similar to a mid shadow fade but keeping a line behind the ear. This look keeps the sides tight and is especially popular with longer hair, braids, and dreads.

One last difference between tape up haircuts how much skin is revealed. Some tapers are bald up high, with only that signature arch of hair. Or go for the shadow taper fade that goes from short to shorter.

And last, the taper fade works well as a beard fade to separate your hairstyle from facial hair. It works with anything from a stubble beard to full-on facial hair.

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