The taper comb over haircut: The trending style that real guys will actually be able to wear

Beth | 28 March 2018

Spring clean your style with a fresh new ‘do.


Let’s be honest guys, how often have you walked into your local barbers and uttered the words “same as usual, please mate”, too afraid to deviate from your go-to style? No judgement, we know habits are tough to break. But finding a new hairstyle – without overhauling your look – just got a whole lot easier. How? With the taper comb over haircut.

From workwear-worthy styles to more free-flowing hipster looks, here’s a rundown of the different ways to rock a taper comb over for 2018.


The taper comb over haircut is 2018’s most wearable men’s hair trend


tanned guy sitting in the barbers chair with a curly taper comb over haircut
Curly cuts are a massive trend for men right now. Credit:

1. Curly comb over

Have a naturally curly mop? Luckily for you, curly hair for men has never been as coveted as it is right now and it just so happens that the taper comb over haircut caters to wavy and curled textures really well.

One of the major pros of the tapered fade is that it takes away some of the weight from the sides, so it’s particularly worth bearing in mind if you’ve got thick, curly hair. Credit: @hector_the_barber90

back side profile of a brunette guy with a taper comb over fade haircut with a wavy shaved pattern design
Make your hair the focal point with quirky pattern detailing. Credit:

2. Patterned design

The comb over is a classic men’s look but if conventional isn’t really your thing and you’re after something with more of an edge, why not combine old and new by adding in a shaved detail?

You can keep it minimal but impactful with a single, disconnected wavy line like this guy, or go all out with a design of your choice. Zigzags, anyone? Credit: @hector_the_barber90

photo from above of a brunette man in the barbers chair with a quiffed up taper comb over hair cut styled with wet look gel
The modern day Elvis quiff reinvented. Credit:

3. Modern quiff

Like to look dapper at all times? In that case, turn to the hair icons of days gone by and try styling your comb over into a peaked quiff or pompadour. Are we fans? Uh-huh-huh! Credit: @anthony_huerta88

VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel
VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel

Editor’s tip: Want to take on the quiff? Starting on damp hair, squeeze some of the VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel into your fingertips and work it through your hair, making sure it’s well distributed throughout.

Next, use a fine-toothed comb to define your parting and create your comb over, then finish up by using your hairdryer to dry the hair and style it into your desired shape.

photo from above of a guy with light brown/dark blonde hair with a shadow taper faded haircut with a comb over
Create a smooth transition from long to short with a soft shadow fade. Credit:

4. Shadow fade

The shadow fade effect is a really popular option for guys, but to make the most of it you’ll need to keep on top of your trims.

To make the shadow effect last as long as possible, ask your barber to take it a little shorter than you usually would. This way you’ll be able to leave it longer before having to get it cut again and as it grows out it’ll look even better. Credit: @worldstarofbarbers

side close up photo of a brown haired guy with a comb over hair cut with a skin fade on the sides and a short beard
Show some skin with a close shave. Credit:

5. Skin fade

A more extreme version of a taper fade, the skin fade (AKA a bald fade) is exactly what it sounds like; it’s a cut that fades from your longest length to a super short or, sometimes, an entirely bald skin look.

Have naturally thin hair or suffering with hair loss? Asking your barber to add in a fade like this is a great hair hack to make the most of your remaining hair and give the illusion fuller-looking locks. Credit: @hubbard_14

side profile of a brunette guy wearing a smart shirt with a neat taper comb over haircut
Sharpen up for work or school with a smart, formal variation. Credit:

6. Neat comb over

A sleek, slick take on the taper comb over haircut, this smart look is ideal for when you want to look profesh in a business setting or for more formal events. This style is the hair equivalent of putting on your best suit and tie, so you’re sure to look like a total boss.

Keep your fade short on the sides for a precise look and you’ll never have a hair out of place. Credit: @hairstylistmarialeal

VO5 Styling Wax
VO5 Styling Wax

Editor’s tip: The VO5 Styling Wax will help to neaten up any style, so if you’re worried about flyaways or uncooperative strands, it’s your best bet.

You only need a small amount to shape and mould your hair into position, and once it’s in place, it won’t budge an inch.

brunette man standing outside in front of a tree wearing a leather jacket and sungalsses with a grown out taper comb over hair cut
Growing out your hair doesn’t have to be a painful process. Credit:

7. Grown out taper fade

Considering keeping the length a little bit longer than usual? Or going through the process of growing out a shorter cut? A grown out taper fade is just as impactful and gives the look a whole new, more hipster vibe.

Stars like Adam Levine and David Gandy have both rocked looks like this, so there’s plenty of inspo out there and, honestly, if those guys say it’s cool, what more convincing do you need really? Credit: @kochifaraj

VO5 Mega Hold Hairspray
VO5 Mega Hold Hairspray

Editor’s tip: Never used a hairspray before? Well, turns out they’re not just for girls.

Hairsprays like the VO5 Mega Hold Hairspray are better for guys with mid-long length hair as while it still provides a firm hold, the fine mist won’t weigh your hair down like a thicker, waxy product might do.

side close up shot of a brown haired man with a long comb over cut with a taper fade and groomed facial hair
Fade your beard into your hair with a gradual taper, getting longer towards the top layers of your hair. Credit:

8. Taper beard combo

In the progress of growing out a beard but not sure how you’re going to pair the hair on your face with the hair on your head?

As the taper fade already graduates to a shorter length around ear level, why not just keep the fade going right through your sideburns into your beard? This will make it all flow together as one cohesive look, for a well-groomed and maintained effect. Credit: @los_coker


Read more


Unilever uses cookies to give you the best experience online and to provide anonymised, aggregated site usage data. You can find out what cookies we use, what they do and how you can disable them in our Cookie Policy. By browsing our sites, you consent to use cookies. By closing this message, you consent to our use of cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.