The best tapered haircuts for men

Meet the workhorse of men’s hairstyles. A foundation on which more flashy styles are built, tapered haircuts can be both classic and avant-garde. They are versatile. They last longer than most heavily cut styles. And if our word is not good enough (go now…), take it from MM. Beckham, Gosling or Timberlake. They all love a tapered haircut.

What is a tapered haircut?

A tapered haircut is usually characterized by longer hair on top, with the hair on the sides and back of the head gradually getting shorter the closer you get to the crown.

The great thing about cones is that they can be as safe – or as extreme – as you want. If you have thick or wavy hair, they are great for losing weight and making your mane easier to style. If you have a soccer ball face, they add length, giving you much needed definition. “Your barber will likely always end your haircut with a taper, unless he’s specifically instructed not to,” says Glass.

Tapered VS Fade Haircuts

If you’re scratching your head thinking that a taper pretty much sounds like a fade, here are some key distinctions that separate the two haircuts:


“It’s a hallmark of any good haircut,” agrees Dan Glass, senior barber at Murdock London. Don’t confuse it with a fade. “A fade is a haircut where the back and sides are faded from the temple down, to a length of less than grade two. A tapered haircut shortens the length of the hair to about an inch above the ear, down to the nape of the neck. If it’s shorter at the bottom than at the top, it’s a tapered haircut.

Fades are slightly different as they usually start without hair and work your way up to a short length. This is different from a taper, which can accommodate longer hair, as opposed to discolorations that typically start from baldness or extremely short hair length.

With a fade you will almost always see the scalp at some point, whereas the tapered ones have shorter hair, but nothing quite as drastic.

Is a tapered haircut suitable for all face shapes?

The only face shape where caution is advised is “triangular”. If your face is noticeably wider at the temples than at the chin, a tapered haircut will exaggerate this feature rather than soften it. For everyone else, this should be a default setting. “It helps make a haircut stand out.”

How to ask your hairdresser for a cone

If you want a more pronounced tapered haircut, but don’t fancy something as extreme as a fade, let your hairstylist know. “State during your consultation that you want clean, beautiful hair around the ears and the back of the neck,” says Glass. “Also tell them your favorite shorter body length – so not down to the skin – and if you want a natural or sculpted neckline. After that, he will take care of himself. “Because it’s short, cropped hair, it doesn’t need the extra styling. You just need to tidy it away every two weeks so that the strands don’t dull its edge.


You can also search for pictures of celebrity sparklers and take them to your hairdresser. That being said, be sure to work closely with your hairstylist to find a taper that will suit your face shape and style, rather than looking for a look that is impossible to achieve.

The best tapered haircuts

Since men’s ‘tapered haircut’ primarily refers to what goes on the back and sides, the term actually refers to a wide range of men’s haircuts. So skip the Bad Barnet Festival and instead look for inspiration in our roundup of the best tapered styles.

1. The back and sides n ° 2

It’s the tapered version of the buzz cut or the crew-neck cut – the haircut that won the war. “It’s a clean, sensible staple of men’s haircuts,” says Glass. Choose it if your morning grooming routine reads: shower. “Ask your hairdresser to finish by cleaning around the ears and the back of the neck. »Top off with a matte hair product, something a little bit shiny and not too strong, like clay, putty, or even a non-shiny pomade.

Short haircuts for men


Short and tapered haircuts for men

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2. The tapered Pompadour

If your tastes tend more towards the singer than the drummer, a tapered haircut is always the perfect fit for styles with a little more volume, like the pompadour. “It’s the archetypal 50s T-bird haircut,” says Glass. To update it, simply reduce your taper a degree or two. “Have your hairstylist give you tapered, blended skin at the longer length on the back and sides which helps give this haircut its rounded shape.” Finally, use ointment. And a lot. While it may be deviating from the Cuban collar shirt trend, the two together are probably overkill.

Tapered haircuts


The best styling products for a tapered pompadour

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3. Medium-length scissors cut with a cone

The tapered haircut for those who want a style that people will appreciate, but not comment on. “At around one to three inches, it can maintain an incredibly masculine shape when completed with a cone,” says Glass. “Without taper, a scissor cut will be soft and natural around the neckline and the hair hangs casually over the ears. There’s nothing wrong with that, but often times men will want a longer length on the back and sides without losing the sleek, clean finish of the trimmer job around the ears and nape of the neck. Thinning hair to grade three or four is the perfect compromise in this situation. “

Medium length tapered haircuts


The best mid-length tapered hairstyles for men

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4. High taper with a textured Quiff

Start your type higher on your head and it creates a smoother gradient that can make very heavy styles, like a carrot, less disconnected. Because there is a bit more length at the top, it’s also more versatile; you can rework as a parting if you are not in the mood to get high. When you are, the salt spray will give volume to your locks without stiffness, so you can re-zhuzh with your hands at will.

Quiff Tapered Haircuts for Men


The best styling products for Quiff tapered haircuts

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5. Discoloration of frayed skin

Where a cone ends and a fade begins is in the eye of the beholder. Blur the lines and you can get a cut that offers the best of both – the crossfade. “Have your barber use foils or a cut-throat razor to cut the length of the hair around the ears and neck to bring your cone down to the bone,” says Glass. “It will help your fade to look super crisp for a bit longer. A good option if the full fade seems a bit extreme.

Men's Tapered Haircuts


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6. Tapered hard part

The hardest part of this cut is, in fact, styling it everyday – the extreme imbalance of the styles of hard parts, with one side long and the other very short along a neat ruler line. , means it isn’t if you like them. extra minutes in bed.

“The best hard pieces are usually grade 0.5 or a fade, and look even more dapper when finished with a clean, tapered skin,” says Glass. “Have your hairdresser specifically taper the skin while keeping the hairline from ear to neck well defined.” Hold it in place with gel or ointment.

Partly hard tapered haircuts


The best products for tapered hard part hairstyles

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7. Tapered top knot

We are still undecided on the man bun; Unless you have the cheekbones to pull it off, more often than not it looks more like an amateur magician than a samurai warrior. But one way to make it easier to wear is to cut it down to your cleavage. Unlike a clean fade, the extra length at the sides balances your face, preventing it from looking too heavy. You can also get away with not going to your local hair salon as regularly.

Tapered haircuts


The best styling products for tapered hairstyles

8. Smooth undercut

For one of the most daring tapered haircuts around, try a slicked back undercut. This is categorized with longer hair on top and a uniform taper to the sides and back of the head. Use a high gloss product to hold the hair in place as you brush it backwards, or comb it with your fingers for added texture.

9. Wavy crop with classic taper

Tapered hair is striking with wavy hair, so bring out the best in your curls with a crisp crop and gradual taper to the side and back of your head. It’s a perfect way to showcase your natural texture on top, which can be amplified with a little salt spray or a quick swipe of matte pomade with your fingers.

10.braided conical fade

An ever popular haircut for black men, the braided tapered haircut will instantly enhance your look. Whether you have cornrows, long braids, dreads, or classic twists, adding a fuselage and fade will bring out your natural hairline and incorporate an unmistakable style that turns heads into your look.

How to style a tapered haircut

One of the biggest draws to getting a tapered haircut for a man is that it can be styled in a variety of ways.

But for the most part, when it comes to styling a classic taper, use a product to shape the hair on top into a style that suits you by running your fingers quickly and moving them to one side or the other. other. Tapered looks great with parted hair, but is easier to style by warming up a matte product between your fingers and brushing longer hair towards the back of your head with some texture.

If you prefer a glossy finish to your tapered haircut, try a glossy pomade.

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