11 Men’s Tapered Haircuts to Try Now

Looking for a new style? Try your hand at these classic hairstyles for men.

Guys, if you feel that your haircut doesn’t give you any options, if you you’re bored with your look or if you want to try a new cut for a new season, check out a tapered haircut. A tapered haircut is a cut where the hair is longer at the top, and then the hair around the perimeter is shorter. The difference between the long hair on the top of your head and the hair on the sides and back is done gradually. Think of it as long hair that slowly becomes shorter on your head, without resulting in a full, shaven fade. The result is a clean-looking haircut that gives you lots of options.

The tapered haircut is sometimes known as a tapered fade haircut. Like the classic tapered haircut, the tapered fade haircut works with all hair types and face shapes. This cut is a bit longer on top, and the sides are left a bit longer too. Another iteration of the tapered haircut is the quiff. That’s when the hair on top is left long, so it can be styled high and back.

Tapered haircuts can be worn by any face shape and hair type. Best of all, they’re low-maintenance and are a classic look that works on a myriad of hair types. Here are some tapered haircuts for you to try if you want to get the look:

11 Tapered Haircut Looks for Men

modern tapered haircut
The classic tapered haircut can go from work to play.

1. Classic Tapered Haircut

The classic tapered haircut is a clean looking cut. Have your barber cut the hair on your head about one to two inches long, and the sides and back shorter. The sides and back should be tapered (or layered) short and clean. Having the length on top allows you to style it in different ways. To keep hair neat and streamlined-looking, style it with AXE Messy Look: Matte Gel. It gives you 24 hours of smooth hold.

tapered haircut quiff
Classic tapered haircut turned into a quiff is a stylish look

2. The Quiff

If you’re dealing with thinning hair, say hello to the quiff. It’s a cut that’s rockabilly and a bit retro cool, but can also be worn to work. The secret is the height of the hair in front: Tell your barber that you want a tapered haircut where the top is two to three inches long on top. That way you can play with the front, making it high as you want, or slicking it back for a different look altogether. To style, blow-dry hair until damp. Then take a small amount of Dove Men+Care Defining Pomade and rub it between your fingertips and the palms of your hands, and then gently finger-comb the product on your hair, styling it as you go.

amped up quiff with curls tapered haircut
Amp up the quiff tapered haircut with volume up front. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

3. Amped-Up Quiff

This tapered haircut is a Hollywood and runway favorite. You can style the front high, you can style it messy or you can slick it back. If you have your barber make the top four to five inches long, you can even create a man bun and keep your tapered haircut neat on the sides and back. To create a messy-looking amped quiff that stays in place, use AXE Urban Messy Look: Flexible Paste. Finger-comb the paste into your hair and style it with your fingers.

Tapered haircut with messy fringe.
Tapered haircut with messy fringe. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Tapered Haircut with Fringe

For guys who want to minimize a wide forehead or prefer an edgier look, try getting a tapered haircut with a fringe. The fringe, or bangs, should not go straight across the forehead, as it turns a tapered haircut into a bowl cut. Naturally wavy hair would look great with fringe that shows off their waves. Try AXE Natural Look: Understated Cream on damp hair to create a natural-looking style.

curly tapered haircut
Tapered haircuts are fun when you show off your curls.

5. Curly Haircut

Release the curls! Guys with curly hair opt for a classic taper that’s a bit long on top, so curls can be easily styled. Think neat on back and sides, and sexy bedhead on top. Spritz on some Suave Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Texturizing Sea Salt Spray on damp hair, style by scrunching curls and go.

wet look tapered haircut
Give the tapered haircut the wet look for a night out. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

6. Wet-Look Tapered Haircut

Match a classic cut with classic products. The wet-look tapered haircut, sometimes called the slicked-back hairstyle, is a combination of the ’90s and what’s hot now. It’s a look that says you’re in command of everything (yes, even your cowlicks). Using TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Firm Control Gel gives you a controlled hairstyle that shines.

side swoop tapered haircut
See how easy it is to style a tapered haircut.

7. Side Swoop Tapered Haircut

The side swoop haircut adds volume and height to hair. If you have a narrow face, it makes it seem a bit wider; if your hair is thinning on top, the swoop makes it look like it’s not. The basis of this style is the classic taper, where the top is left a bit long. To style the swoop, simply brush your hair in the opposite direction from how it’s normally styled. Parting your hair in a different direction helps infuse hair with some natural body.

sidecomb tapered haircut
Change it up! A classic tapered haircut with a side-combed part.

8. Side-Combed Tapered Haircut

Not into a swoop, but like a good ol’ side part? Try the classic tapered haircut and wear the front combed to one side. Simply brush hair like you would in a comb-over (but not straight across, maybe more at a softer angle), and voilà: You’re done.

tapered haircut with dreadlocks.
Short dreadlocks keep things fresh. Photo credit: Dvora

9. Short Dreads

The classic tapered haircut meets edgy hipster in this combo look. The sides and back follow the lines of the classic tapered haircut, and the top is done in small dreadlocks.

long in front tapered haircut
Go edgy with a long in front tapered haircut. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

10. Long in Front Tapered Haircut

It’s sporty, it’s edgy and it’s fun. Guys who have pin straight hair, this look is for you. Tell your barber that you want the classic taper on the sides and back. For the top (front), you want five to six inches in length. Part hair slightly off-center for a modern look.

tapered haircut with spikes
Add a spiky front to your haircut.

11. Tapered and Spiked

Feeling dangerous? Simply style the top of your hair into spikes. You can go mild, or wild and create a fauxhawk. How much you spike it is up to you! Our weapon of choice is Bed Head for Men by TIGI Matte Separation Workable Wax. With this hair wax, you can create spikes and get hair to stay in place all day and night.