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.
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.