Taper Fade Haircuts are among the few haircut varieties that have remained almost exclusively 'male' with many men (and hardly any woman) spotting them over the years.
Taper fade haircuts are not hard to point out, as they are characterized by 'layering' of the hair, so that the hair is shortest (actually almost absent) at the back end of the head, but then picks up height in progressive and quite beautiful layers as one moves forward towards the front part of the head, so that the layers on the front part are made up of quite long hair. The same pattern repeats on the sides of the head, where we have the layers surrounding the ears with very short (actually almost no) hair, but with the hair then growing progressively, as one moves towards the centre of the head; to meet the progressively longer layers of year that 'have been growing' from the back of the head forwards.
Taxonomically, the taper fade haircuts can be seen as belonging to what are referred to as formal hairstyles, as they are commonly worn and loved by people involved in formal business and professional undertakings. This is partly because of their elegant look (as the progressively taller neat layers of hair that characterize taper fade haircuts ooze elegance through and through), making them a good accessory for the businessman or professional who wants to communicate elegance through their choice of hairstyle.
Cost-wise, taper fade haircuts are not very expensive to maintain; but they don't come very cheap either, as the careful layering of the hair that makes up this hairstyle is not something many people can do for themselves: meaning that to maintain the tapered look, they do have to visit the barber shop regularly. Notably though, is the fact that there are people who attempt, with some degrees of success, to make the very basic taper fade haircuts by themselves at home, with many CDs and DVDs having been made to help people towards this end. Nonetheless, if you want a truly great looking layered look that a properly done taper fade hair cut can provide, you really do need to visit an experienced hairstylist for the same. It is also worth noting that letting the hair that makes up the layers grow too long could mess up with the look (since different parts of the head tend to register different rates of hair growth), so that a part of the head that was supposed to host 'lower' layers could end up hosting 'higher' layers if the hair is let to grow too long, thus messing up with the look. This translates to the need for at least a fortnightly visit to the barber shop, to maintain the tapered look that taper fade hairstyles produce.