A Guy’s Guide to the Shadow Taper: 10 Ways to Rock 2017’s Hottest Trend

The secret to hair that's instantly on trend. 

One thing most people can agree on is that when it comes to fashion and style, men have the easier end of the deal. A little bit of effort goes a long way, and minimal energy yields highly impressive results. The same principle can be applied to both men’s fashion and hairstyles: Just a touch of conscious effort relays the impression that your style matters to you, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! When it comes to hairstyles, there’s one style in particular that has this ‘trend conscious’ effect: the shadow taper. Chances are you’ve been seeing the shadow taper everywhere lately, as this classic style has been making a huge comeback and is easily spotted as an on-trend look, even to the untrained eye.

10 Ways to Wear the Shadow Taper

classic shadow taper with beard
This is definitely a case of “two is better than one” when it comes to trends.

1. Shadow Taper with Beard

Two trends are better than one, right? Working off of this principle we have to get on board with pairing a shadow taper with a full beard. The two meet in the middle at the lightest part of the fade for an on-trend look we can’t get enough of.

shadow taper almost bald facial hair
Consider how your facial hair plays into this equation.

2. Cohesive

The key to nailing a shadow taper is making sure to take the overall impression of the look into account. Pair a closely shaven taper fade with light facial hair to create a balanced and cohesive look.

shadow taper black closely shaven
A slow gradient still counts as a shadow taper.

3. Closely Shaven

Keep your look clean and fresh by opting for a closely shaven shadow taper. This keeps the look professional while still maintaining a subtle nod to the trend.

shadow taper classic fade
This look is clean, fresh and trendy.

4. Classic Taper

The classic taper is almost universally flattering for a reason: It doesn’t get any simpler than this. The classic taper is the best way to rock this trend while still maintaining a sharp, day-to-night neatness.

shadow taper gelled longer top
Slick the top of your hair back with the right products.

5. Juggling Trends

Slick back your longer strands up on top with the hair gel of your choice. We love Bed Head for Men TIGI Plower Play Gel for all-day hold and strands that smell incredible.

shadow taper wild overgrown fade
Proof that a shadow style still works when overgrown.

6. Wild and Overgrown

If you’re not into the idea of investing too much time and money into a haircut, then you may want to opt for an overgrown look. Your shadow taper will grow out into a slightly bushier and more overgrown fade. With the right upkeep at the barber’s every six to eight weeks, it can make for the perfect seamless transition from one trend to another.

shadow taper shaved part brunette close shaven beard
Add an unexpected edge to your look.

7. Shaved Part

Consider adding a shaved part to add some unexpected edge to your classic shadow taper.

shadow taper heavier top black fade
Pair a classic shadow taper with a heavier top.

8. High Contrast

Grow out the top of your style to nail a high-contrast look. Make sure to ask your barber to keep the sides short while letting the top grow out to achieve this style.

shadow taper grown out style
Embrace the mess with a grown-out version of this classic style.

9. All Grown Out

Sometimes messy is a good thing! Consider a grown-out version of this style if you’re not quite ready to commit to regular upkeep.

shadow taper gelled spiked top
Not ready to let go of your gelled up front? That’s okay.

10. Defying Gravity

If you’re not interested in letting go of your gelled-up hair in favor of the taper, have no fear. You can rock both trends at the same time and this look proves it.

Looking for more trendy men’s styles to try?  Check out 40 of the best haircuts for men to try this season.

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