At the barber shop, you’ll be asked if you want a fade or tapered cut at the back and around the sides. Fade hair is the seamless transition from longer hair higher up on the head to shorter hair, gradually “fading” into the skin.
The length and degree of the fade are up to you. The popular 90’s fades started high on the head, leaving a lot of skin exposed for the “white wall” look (like white wall tires). For a look more suited to everyday, a shorter fade is an easy to maintain and clean cut look.
With a crew cut, buzz cut, or any mens short hairstyle, go with the tapered neck. It follows the natural hair line and looks neat and groomed looking longer than the blocked or rounded neck.
Most men’s haircuts have an element of the taper, whether it’s at the nape of the neck or around the ears (the arches). Be sure to let your barber know what you want, or better show some pictures, to get the fade you want.