52 Taper Haircut Ideas Men Are Getting Right Now

Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

So, you’re considering a classic taper haircut? Read on to learn what it is, what it looks like, and which of these men’s hairstyles are most popular right now. The great thing about a taper haircut is that it works with all face shapes and hair types. All you need is a little length on top to make this work. Also, a classic tapered haircut grows back evenly, giving you more time in between cuts.

What is a Taper Haircut?

The men’s taper haircut features longer hair on top and the hair on the sides and nape gradually gets shorter. Your barber will typically use scissors for this haircut rather than clippers. This cut is a classic, but lately, it’s been cut shorter around the sides and back of the head.

You have several options on how you want to fade this cut down to your neckline. You can have a low, medium, or high taper.

You’ll also want to consider how you want the back of your neck-length cut. Rather than having a hard line where your hair stops, you can ask your barber to make it tapered. This blends more nicely into your skin for a clean, fashionable, and modern style.

Before your next men’s haircut, check out these pictures of some of the best taper haircut ideas this year for some inspiration.

Tapered Grown-Out Buzz Cut for Guys
Instagram @barber_scottie.g

#1: Grown-Out Buzz Cut

Sometimes guys change their minds and want to try another style, this grown-out buzz cut is a good example. Depending on the style you want to try next, it always takes time to get to the end goal. There is always a need to keep it tidy in the process. This guy has opted for tapered edges to keep the back and sides tight, while it grows out. You can have it cut higher if it’s only the top you want to grow. But, this client wants more length in the back.

#2: Salt and Pepper Tapered Cut

This salt and pepper taper cut might be for you if you’re looking for a sleek and tidy style. It has been kept short around the back and sides blending into more length on top for a complete look. To give your hair a natural-looking finish I would use Crazy Bull Space Dust styling powder.

Classic Taper Fade Haircut for Dudes with thick hair
Instagram @barbercar_

#3: Classic Taper Fade Haircut

This is a taper fade haircut, clean, classic, and simple. I suggest this to guys looking for something timeless. It looks good in the office but still has a fun flair for the weekend. If you need some styling advice, I first recommend consulting with your barber. However, matte clays work best for fine hair, whereas pomades add weight and shine to dry, coarse hair.

Short Tapered Hair with Brushed-Up Fringe for Men
Instagram @dem__barber__

#4: Short Tapered Hair with Brushed-Up Fringe

Taper fades create a crisp, clean look while allowing length in the rest of the hair. This type of technique usually starts out with no guard, meaning blade to skin. It gives the shortest cut possible and faded up from there. It can also be faded easily into a beard if you have one.

#5: Medium Crop with Layers and Faded Sides

If you’re looking for a tapered cut, try a medium crop with layers and faded sides. This timeless taper hair cut looks great on every man.

Textured Top on a Taper Faded Haircut
Instagram @sis.barbershop

#6: Textured Top on a Faded Haircut

A textured top on a faded haircut is the perfect way to change up a classic tapered look. Ask your barber for products to keep your hair looking sharp.

Short Messy Texture on Top with Taper Fade
Instagram @tmarie5555

#7: Short Messy Texture on Top with Taper Fade

The short messy texture on top looks great with a taper fade. This classy crop can be styled for any occasion, from the office to a night out.

Sleek Long Top and Tapered Short Sides for Men
Instagram @kk_gotmeright

#8: Sleek Long Top and Short Sides

If you want to keep your length, a sleek long top and shorts sides is a good option. This cut has been faded to the skin around the ears, curved down at the temple, and blended into the top at the mid point. This will give you the option to keep more length on top to create a variety of styles. This client has opted for a glossy finish. Pomade will be a good product to use to achieve this.

Slick Back Taper Haircut for Men
Instagram @barberuttley

#9: Slick Back

Classic styles stay in fashion always, this slick back is a good example of this. It has been faded close to the skin around the ears and transitioned heavily into the top. This technique of cutting is a good way of supporting a long and heavy top. The fringe has been disconnected to leave enough length to style the slick back. The classic product to use will be pomade. It will give you a glossy finish. The guy in the photo has opted for a matte look, so a strong styling paste will be a perfect product to use.

Mid Burst Taper Cut with Beard Shape-Up
Instagram @ragnarok.and.razors

#10: Mid Burst Taper Cut with Beard Shape-Up

Beards are more and more popular. This mid burst taper cut and a beard shape-up are a great combo. The back and sides have been kept short and transition into the top, leaving a clean finish. I use a lot of beard care products to style. I use a UK-based product called One Society. Oils are perfect for conditioning and the beard balm will give you an all-day hold.

Tapered Caesar Cut with Mid Bald Fade
Instagram @cal_bez

#11: Caesar Cut with Mid Bald Fade

Tight, straight edges are an option for guys with full hairlines. This Caesar cut with a mid-bald fade is a good style for that. The back and sides have been taken down to the skin and blended tightly at the mid point. This gives it a seamless transition onto the length on top. The front of the fringe has been taken short and lined into. This has kept the front uniformed. More length has been left on top to be able to sweep over, a good styling powder will be a great choice for a matte look.

Tapered Side Quiff for Straight Hair
Instagram @sasanfarsii

#12: Tapered Side Quiff for Straight Hair

A tapered side quiff for straight hair is a good choice for a tidy executive look. It has been faded tightly around the ears and nape of the neck, with enough length to transition into the long top. This style suits darker hair as the fade looks really clean. The front has been dried into position using volume spray. I recommend using a good paste to give you a strong hold and a light sheen.

Short Crop Taper Fade with Line-Up
Instagram @jay_barbersno1

#13: Short Crop Taper Fade with Line-Up

Short hair is a good option for dudes that want an easy-to-manage style. And this short crop taper fade with a line-up is a great choice. The back and sides have been faded low to give you the taper fade and transitioned tightly into the top.

Side-Parted Taper Haircut for Guys
Instagram @edu_soledade

#14: Side-Parted Taper

If you want to keep length on top and tight around the ears, a side parted taper haircut could be a good choice. With darker hair, a low fade is a good option as the fade is very clean and it supports the transition into the top. This client has opted for a matte and natural finish. I would recommend using sea salt spray for hold. Finish off with a good styling powder for the finished style.

#15: Unique Long Taper Comb Over Hairstyle

A long hairstyle features a long comb over that’s partnered with long-cut tapers. The unique long tapers keep your hair growth to a manageable level. Ask your barber to trim the top of your head if you wish to customize its length. Keep it sleek while having a neat cut!

Awesome Taper Hairstyle For Thick Hair
Instagram @cutncuts

#16: Awesome Taper For Thick Hair

A taper works for thick hair by texturizing it. It’s a great example of classic haircuts. It looks great on most face shapes and is a perfect fit for the business professional. Your barber can modify this cut if you have receding or thinning hair. Products, such as Living Proof Multi-tasking Styler, work well with most textures. Pomades by Ruezel give a great finish for thick, coarse textures.

Taper Pompadour Scissor Cut
Instagram @laraza.the.great

#17: Taper Pompadour Scissor Cut

A classic taper and pompadour are scissor cut and easy to style. This stand-out style has been around for a long time and its popularity always remains. It has a sleek finish and can be worn by any man wanting a taper haircut. A tapered pompadour scissor cut is clean-cut and will suit your face shape and can be modified easily. It’s a very clean-cut finish and can suit any personality. It will take you a bit of time to style this in the morning.

#18: Old School Taper For Thin Hair

A taper can work for dudes with thin hair. Fades and tapers are perfect for men who can’t make it to the salon or barbershop every three weeks. Tapers and fades, when done well, can last 4-6 weeks. This taper fade is customizable no matter your head or face shape and texture. When styling the top try out Evo Crop Strutters, which is a medium hold styling cream.

Classic & Simple Taper Haircut
Instagram @deivid.sullivan

#19: Classic & Simple Taper

Looking for a classic taper haircut? This is a pretty classic cut with a taper on the sides that can work for a lot of men. If you have naturally straight and dense hair, push it back with your fingers and let it air dry. A taper medium crop like this can be easy but also difficult to style depending on your hair texture and growth direction.

Dapper Taper Crew Cut
Instagram @vladesinjune

#20: Dapper Taper Crew Cut

This taper crew cut is simple, modern, and timeless. This cut was buzzed short on the sides and left slightly longer on top. The taper crew cut is a classic men’s hairstyle. The best part about this hairstyle is that you’re able to roll out of bed, put a little product in your hair, and walk out the door. Because of the taper’s short length, I recommend getting your haircut every 2-3 weeks for maintenance.  You might want to consider using sunscreen to protect your scalp from the sun. The best face shapes for the crew cut are oval, round, and square.

On-Point Long Taper Haircut
Instagram @msx_barber

#21: On-Point Long Taper

This is the best long taper haircut style for men. The clean-cut perimeter is on the hairline with tapered sides. This layered taper is best on men with an oblong or oval face structure and on hair that is thicker. Try out Bumble and Bumble texture creme. Then to get the best results, take a paddle brush and a blow dryer and brush it back and off to the side. This will give your layered taper the most volume and cleanest cut with shine. Some men let it air dry but the results will look different. So, I recommend you finish it with a tiny bit of Sumotech matte clay pomade. This seals your new style in place.

Popular Tapered Afro for Black Men
Instagram @kevyn_kluivert

#22: Popular Tapered Afro for Black Men

This tapered afro for black men is old school. It’s a popular short haircut for black men of all ages. The afro taper suits men in the business world as it has that professional, yet sharp feel. You can style it with a neat line up to add some edge.

Popular Tapered Afro for Black Men
Instagram @kevyn_kluivert

#23: Side-Swept Combover Scissor Cut and Tapered Hair

This side-swept combover scissor cut is a classic taper cut that’s disconnected. It’s a modern and on-trend hairstyle. The longer length on top gives you the bonus of more styling versatility in this side-swept taper.

Cool Short Tapered Hair with a Beard
Instagram @jp_freshcutz

#24: Cool Short Tapered Hair with a Beard

A short taper haircut with a beard is cool for everyday guys. Check out the smooth transition from that fresh cut to the beard. Short taper cuts like this are perfect if you have an active lifestyle.

Neat Undercut Taper
Instagram @cutncuts

#25: Neat Undercut Taper

An undercut taper that has short sides is perfect for men who want their hair on top a little longer but manageable. The medium taper gives you endless styling options while looking neat at all times. It can be styled with a sleek finish or a textured top.

Modern Taper Crop Hairstyle
Instagram @cal_newsome

#26: Modern Taper Crop Hairstyle

A modern taper haircut for men is super stylish and legendary. This very clean icy hair with tapered sides will look great on any textured haircut. This hairstyle has high upkeep. So if you’re dedicated, try this cool cut.

#27: Clean-Cut Tapered Ivy League with Side Part

Side part tapered hair has a professional appearance. This formal style is perfect for any business event. The striking side part will do all the work. Use your favorite pomade or gel for a lasting hold on this bold Ivy League hairstyle.

#28: Legendary High Taper Haircut

You’ll get no rough edges and messy sides with a sharp and clean high-taper haircut like this. The cut features a short but noticeable fringe for an extra edge. There’s also a ton of variation when it comes to styling your hair with this type of taper fade.

Impressive Wavy Brush Up Taper
Instagram @fadedwithkacey

#29: Impressive Wavy Brush Up Taper

Layered wavy tapered hair is a stylish haircut that works on all face shapes. The style is a brush-up with a taper side, which offers versatility and is great for wavy, or curly hair that has fine to medium density.

Clean-Cut Slicked Back Tapered Haircut
Instagram @mr_barber91

#30: Clean-Cut Slicked Back Taper

This slicked-back tapered haircut has tight, clean tapered sides and neckline. Slick your hair back and add a longer top for a sharp tapered cut. This haircut should be trimmed every month to keep it looking polished. For a more masculine style, grow out some facial hair like this guy in the photo.

Modern Wavy Top with Low Taper Haircut
Instagram @szucs_geza_

#31: Modern Wavy Top with Low Taper

This wavy crop with the classic taper is a must-try! These hairstyles are never out of style because they’re easy to do and easy to maintain with any hair type and hair length. With a low-taper haircut, you should leave the length on top so you have many options for styling.

Sharp & Fresh Mid Taper Haircut
Instagram @cosmin.pit

#32: Sharp & Fresh Mid-Taper Haircut

This fresh mid-taper haircut with short tapered sides is a low-maintenance haircut. It features a neat and clean look that compliments thick hair and a beard. Overall, a taper haircut can give you an outstanding sharp style.

Versatile Medium-Length Hair with Tapered Sides
Instagram @apebarbers

#33: Versatile Medium-Length Hair with Tapered Sides

This medium-length taper haircut men love, offers you so much versatility. With the contrast the taper fade gives you, you can style your hair any way you want. Choose from a simple pompadour to a faded man bun, and it will always be legendary.

Classic Quiff Taper Fade Haircut
Instagram @barber_wave

#34: Classic Quiff Taper Fade Haircut

A quiff taper fade haircut is for dapper men who enjoy styling their hair every day. A quiff classic taper with fade like this is perfect, as you’ll never run out of ideas to style it. Textured, messy, straight, or curly – just make sure you’ve got the best gel or pomade with you and you’ll be good to go.

#35: Stylish Tapered Faux Hawk

A tapered faux hawk is a great way to show off your personality, head shape, and barbering skills. By tapering the sides close to your head, the slow and meticulous blending of the fade creates a seamless transition in your hair’s density. While anyone can wear the close taper, it’s particularly suited for guys with smooth head shapes. The faux hawk gives you the funky aspects of the mohawk while being shorter. It is more suitable for work, including any sculpting you or your barber would like to add.

Taper Squared Neckline Haircut
Instagram @hairbywhelan

#36: Taper Squared Neckline Haircut

This taper squared neckline haircut is ideal for gentlemen. The faded sides can be achieved using a hair clipper, razor, or shears. Blocked or squared necklines make thin necks look thicker and wider. Visit your barber regularly for a trim, as your hair can grow out faster than the usual faded necklines.

Medium Spiky Hair with Low Taper Fade for Men
Instagram @samiyar.ebrahimii

#37: Medium Spiky Hair with Low Taper Fade

This medium spiky hair with a low fade suits men with really dark and thick hair. Mens taper haircuts work best for guys that want a sharp finish but don’t want their hair too short. You need to tell your barber that you want a low taper to achieve this look. One of the most popular ways to show them this will be with a photo. You will need to spend some time in the morning to achieve this taper cut hairstyle. A good way to style your hair will be to blow dry some volume spray in and use a paste or pomade to create the spikes.

Short Dreads with Taper Fade Haircut
Instagram @sky_barber1

#38: Short Dreads with Taper Fade Haircut

Short dreads with a taper fade haircut leave a really nice clean finish that is easy for you to maintain. The edges of the hairline have been shaved in to create a clean finish that will need attending at least every 2 weeks. If your hair is super curly, then dreads are a good way to create more length and the taper fade will keep the sides fresh. Style with some specialized afro hair products, and ask your barber to advise you.

Wavy Brush Back Hairstyle with a Taper Fade Cut
Instagram @faded_by_phil

#39: Wavy Brush Back Hairstyle with a Fade Cut

This wavy brush-back hairstyle has been done with a fade cut, and works really well if you want long hair on top and tight at the sides. It’s faded tightly around the ears and blended nicely into the top. Part of the top will be disconnected to keep the length. He has opted for a natural finish, and this can be achieved by blowing it back with a holding spray. I would use a sea salt spray and maybe some hairspray to hold it.

Tapered Layered Crop with Faded Sides
Instagram @irvine_92

#40: Layered Crop with Faded Sides

This is a great cut to opt for if you want it tight around your ears but don’t want something as severe as a skin fade. This layered crop with faded sides is a low-maintenance cut for guys that don’t want anything too complicated. This tapered mens haircut is perfect for a natural finish, and to best keep your hair in shape, is to dry some sea salt spray in and use some styling powder to hold it.

#41: Low Fade and Shaved Lines

This is a very popular look amongst youngsters, simple shaved lines have overtaken whole sides of patterns. The design works better with a low fade, leaving enough hair to make it stand out. For maximum effect, I would shave it out with a cut throat. The top has been blown and brushed up to create the finished look. You can use a variety of products to hold it, wax or pomade will give you a glossy look or a paste will keep it looking more matte.

Taper Fade Haircut with Tousled Curls
Instagram @cisco_bistro

#42: Fade Haircut with Tousled Curls

Curls are generally harder to style as they need more care and attention. If you have tousled curls, it’s best to work with them. This mens taper cut has been coupled with a taper on the ear and neck fading into the top. What we look for is how tight your curls are and we then advise on the best length for your fade. For an all-day hold, you will need some strong hold products like a sea salt spray and a matte paste. Although, pomade is good for curls.

Short Brushed Back Hair with Mid Taper Cut
Instagram @faded_by_phil

#43: Short Brushed Back Hair with Mid Taper Cut

This is a very popular cut as it’s easy to maintain, the top has been kept short, brushed back, and coupled up with a mid taper cut. Instead of taking the fade up to the temple, he has opted for a mid fade to keep a bit of length to be blended into the top.

Mid Taper Fade with Blonde Waves for Men
Instagram @mjeezzyxbarber

#44: Mid Fade with Blonde Waves

Go for a mid fade with blonde waves that have been faded tightly and disconnected from the top. This will allow the stylist to leave the length on top so you can wear it in many different ways. To cut this style, I would completely section off the top in what we call a ‘horseshoe’ section, leaving lots of space to perfect the fade. This is very popular as the guy can do a variety of styles with the top and it keeps the back and sides nice and short. It’s one of the most desirable men’s tapered haircuts.

Fine Hair Texture with a Temple Taper Fade
Instagram @blessedbymagic

#45: Fine Hair Texture with a Temple Fade

For a fine hair texture, you can always opt for a temple fade that drops around your ear accentuating the shape of your hairline. The cut has been tapered at the ear and into the beard. A men’s tapered haircut is very similar to a fade but it’s kept very low and taken down to the skin. The top has been cut short, similar to a crew cut, this style works perfectly if your hair grows forward and is very fine. A powder will work for a natural finish, you can also use a paste for a stronger hold.

Short Combed Back Taper Style with a Beard Fade
Instagram @that.lady.barber.rd

#46: Short Combed Back Style with a Beard Fade

This is a style that works well for an oval face, as the top isn’t too high and the beard isn’t too long. The short combed back style has been faded tightly behind the ear and into the beard fade. The top has been cut short leaving a slightly longer fringe to comb back. This is a low-maintenance style that doesn’t take long to style in the mornings. I would recommend 2-3 weeks between cuts to keep it fresh.

Very Short Pompadour Taper with a Hard Part
Instagram @haircutterjosh

#47: Very Short Pompadour with a Hard Part

This very short pompadour with a hard part is a classic, tidy style that can be adapted to most head shapes and hairlines. That’s probably why it’s the best tapered haircut men love. It has been taken down to the skin around the ears and faded tightly into the top. Tapers can make the cut last slightly longer and they grow out well. This trendy style is easy to maintain, you can use a slick pomade, as well as a matte paste to style, depending on your finished look required. I would say see your barber every 2 weeks to keep your style fresh and clean.

#48: Blonde Crew Cut with Burst Fade

A blonde cut with burst fade works well with a natural hairline, as it has been tapered at the front and lined to the temple. This is the way I would cut a crew cut as I find it grows out much nicer. The burst fade around the ears keeps it short, leaving a mohawk shape in the back and an edgy style that suits the wearer. I’m a big fan of this style as it’s easy to maintain and doesn’t need a lot of time to style in the morning.

Short Crop Cut with Tapered Texture
Instagram @hdbarbersblog

#49: Short Crop Cut with Texture

This classic short back and sides will always be a popular choice. The style incorporates a short crop cut with texture and a higher taper on the back and sides. If you have movement and curl in your hair, this style will work well with your locks on top. To keep a natural look, I would advise using a styling powder for a matte finish.

Brushed Up Taper Cut with a Beard
Instagram @faded_by_phil

#50: Brushed Up Taper Cut with a Beard

This is a great example of a classic taper cut. The finished look has been brushed up and paired with a beard for a rugged yet polished look. If your hair is thick or you have hairline growth patterns like cowlicks, this cut is amazing at disguising them. The cut has been faded to the skin around the ears. I would recommend this for guys with thicker hair as it leaves a good shape and grows out well. Blow dry with a volume spray and a small amount of paste will help to keep your hair in place all day.

Drop Taper Skin Fade with Short Slicked Top
Instagram @dyedhappy.byholly

#51: Drop Skin Fade with Short Slicked Top

The dropped skin fade with a short slicked top is a clean-looking cut that can be rocked by most guys. A good hairstyling product to use is pomade to keep it slicked or you can always change it up for a more edgy look by using a curling cream for a curly front. A low skin fade is always a good option for men that don’t want such a severe finish.

#52: Piece-y Texture on Top with Tapered Sides and Back

This is a very good example of how barbering has modernized over the years and how the use of hair patterns and color enhancements are being used in the industry. The hairlines of the beard and hair have been enhanced with colored sprays and then edged in with a cut-throat. But, you will have to ask if your barber does this. This is a haircut that will work with this look. The tapered back and sides have been taken down to the skin, and a piece-y texture on top is created with a wide-toothed comb.

Commonly Asked Questions:

  • A taper haircut gets its name from the finish created at the neck of the client. Generally, you’ll have a grade 4 right up into a scissor cut and the base of the neck will be tapered from skin to the grade 4 very tightly at the base of the neck. This gives a much tidier finish and will grow out better than a squared or rounded neckline.

  • A classic taper haircut would be a short back and sides, say a grade 2-4, with a smart finish such as executive contour or a college boy finish. The neck and sometimes the sideburns will be tapered from the skin very tightly.

  • Neither is better than the other, it just depends on what you require from your cut and style. A taper works better with the slightly longer styles and for customers that want a clean finish. Fades will suit those that prefer their back and sides really short and tight.

  • A classic taper will almost always start from the skin and work up into the desired finished length. You can start some tapers at 0.5-1 depending on the hair type and desired finish.

  • Most clients, on average, need 3-4 weeks between each haircut whether it’s a fade or a taper. Some like the short and tidy finish and will return in two weeks to get it freshened up. The more you get used to the short finish the quicker you will return.

  • Essentially a taper is a taper, the process of it is the same. There can be variations on the taper in accordance with the style and finish required. For example, you can have a really low and tight taper or you can stretch it out a bit more, it really depends on the style.

  • A taper will last longer than a squared neck as the edges are tidier and will grow out better. The average rate of growth is half an inch (1.25cm), so after 2-3 weeks it will need to be done again to keep the style nice and fresh.