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Stay Timeless with these 30 Classic Taper Haircuts

The happy medium of a men's haircut world: a tapered style that never gets old

If you’re looking for a haircut that’s not too boring, not too wild, and never goes out of style, consider the ever-popular classic taper haircut.

The classic taper haircut is a low-maintenance, high-performance style that’s classic and timeless. It’s easy to get, and you can modify it to your style. It’s one of those styles for men that simply can’t go wrong.

It works well with all face shapes and hair types, and it strikes a balance between casual and professional. If you need a tidy haircut for your job or simply want a polished style, the classic taper haircut is for you.

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Confident Combed Top
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Confident Combed Top

For those with a little more time in the morning, you can achieve some really cool effects with your top hair using the tiniest bit of product. This clean, floating sweep works perfectly with the short sides.

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Layered Quiff
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Layered Quiff

This slicked-back quiff uses a classic taper to finish off the sides. The high top and close sides provide a unique, contrasting look that plays on your face shape for a totally new appearance.

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Layered Push Back with Temple Fade
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Layered Push Back with Temple Fade

This short haircut feels nice and regimented. Although the hair is a little longer than you’d see in a military hairstyle, the tidiness gives that same high-value impression.

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Textured Classic
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Textured Classic

If you’re looking for a haircut with a little more texture, this might be the one for you. This simple cut follows the golden rule of “long on top, short on the sides”, but with added texture to contrast the tapered sides.

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Casual Brush Up with Taper Side
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Casual Brush Up with Taper Side

Call it a faux hawk or a brush-up, this masculine cut uses some light brushing to achieve a little ridge along the middle. Paired with a short taper on the sides, this is an easy look that’d be hard to complain about.

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Brush Up with Layered Taper
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Brush Up with Layered Taper

Here’s a somewhat messy pompadour with a youthful taper on the sides. This cut speaks volumes when paired with a strong jawline and light stubble.

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Classic Taper on Medium Scissor Crop
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Classic Taper on Medium Scissor Crop

Another pompadour for the books! Might help to style it if you use a blow dryer to add some of the volume you need to pull it off like this.

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Perfectly Side Combed
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Perfectly Side Combed

What a clean and precise cut! You can basically run this style down generations, timeless. As crisp as ever.

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Extravagant Pompadour
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Extravagant Pompadour

32. The King himself would be proud of this pompadour right here! Seamless transition with the sideburns.

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Classic Taper and Brush-Back
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Classic Taper and Brush-Back

Another scissor crop that’s just perfection and it’s got the beard to match. A long taper like this works great for when the weather gets a little chilly, extra warmth on your head while your style stays put together and manageable.

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Classic Taper and Beard
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Classic Taper and Beard

Keeping it simple sometimes is the best way to go. This haircut looks cohesive and exceptionally groomed.

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High Volume Hairstyle with Tapered Sides

High Volume Hairstyle with Tapered Sides

Something is captivating about hair that flows seamlessly from the top of your head down to your beard, creating a silhouette that perfectly captures your facial features. The hair on top needs to be longer than two inches, and high volume can be achieved by using a diffuser after applying hair products. For the full effect, go for tapered sides and not fades. Finish off the look with a full beard and subtle accessories like a ring tunnel and one or two tiny nose earrings. If this seems like something that you’d enjoy sporting, then you’ve found your next haircut.

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Medium Scissor Crop and Tapered Sides
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Medium Scissor Crop and Tapered Sides

This medium scissor crop does a superb job at framing good features. The top is left longer as it needs to be elegantly swept to the side and combed backward. 

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Medium Scissor Crop
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Medium Scissor Crop

A Scissor cut this length you should be able to get pretty much anywhere. As a standard cut, the taper on this style is pretty much basic skills for any barber.

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The Ivy League
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The Ivy League

The Ivy League is easily one of the most classic taper haircuts. A barbershop classic for decades, this timeless style is short, simple, and stylish.

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Textured Wavy Crop with Classic Taper
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Textured Wavy Crop with Classic Taper

Having wavy hair pretty much gives you a VIP class to texture and boy does this crop do an awesome job at taking advantage of it! As always consider what kind of hair pattern you have when choosing a haircut.

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Classic Taper and Blow Back
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Classic Taper and Blow Back

A timeless taper with medium hair brushed back can land you the job and the person of your dreams! Don’t overlook the classics, adding a modern twist like a fade or hardline design can make the style favor you even more.

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Classic Taper and Styled Brush Up
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Classic Taper and Styled Brush Up

A brush up this length definitely needs some product to hold up, so whilst you’re at it experiment with different textures. Here we can see they’ve gone with the finger comb but you could use a brush or a comb to achieve the volume all the same.

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Classic Taper with Fade

Classic Taper with Fade

After a more elegant hairstyle? This one’s sure to please any discerning gentleman who wants a dapper haircut.

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 Lightly Texture French and Classic Taper
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Lightly Texture French and Classic Taper

If you want a runway-ready style, consider going for a cut like this one. The angular texture created by this style is eye-catching and fashion-forward.

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Broken Quiff with Brush Back
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Broken Quiff with Brush Back

This light tapered haircut is everything a man’s haircut should be: young, bold, and masculine. It works perfectly with the facial hair, and the swirly part at the top is a much-welcomed addition.

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Side Pushed Quiff
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Side Pushed Quiff

Here’s a classic taper with surprisingly long sides. Sure, this cut is a little more high-maintenance than the others on the list, but it’s equally cool and gives you plenty of lengths to play with.

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Front Brush Up on Medium Crop
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Front Brush Up on Medium Crop

This fashionable look is surprisingly simple to achieve. It’s mostly created by a straightforward crop, and the hair in front is grown out just a bit so it can be brushed up.

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Classic Taper with Part
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Classic Taper with Part

As you can see, the classic taper works well with facial hair. Here, the hair wraps around the entire face, broken only with a narrow part at the top. Combine that with the slick quiff and it’s a very cool look.

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Combed Back with Confidence
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Combed Back with Confidence

Looking to stand out a little more? If you grow out your top hair quite a bit, you can slick it back for this 80s-revived look. With slightly shorter side hair than they’d have sported in the 80s, you can see the dichotomy of new vs old in this style.

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Crowded Taper with Temple Clipped
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Crowded Taper with Temple Clipped

If you like textured haircuts, this style is for you. The tousled nature of the cut makes the hair look longer than it really is, so this style will come to the rescue if you want a low maintenance look with a lot of depth.

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Confident Taper with Side Brush
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Confident Taper with Side Brush

This twist on the tapered cut is bold and stylish. It features a swooping fringe with a single lock of hair that hangs out of place, adding a unique flair.

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Loose Styled Pompadour
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Loose Styled Pompadour

This tall, voluminous pompadour is an attention-grabbing look that nicely suits a casual personal style. The bold line up adds definition and cleanliness.

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Side-Comb and Classic Taper
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Side-Comb and Classic Taper

Pretty standard to pair a good business scissor crop with the elegance of a tapered neckline and sideburns. 

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Classic Scissor Cut with Beard
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Classic Scissor Cut with Beard

Sometimes you want a casual, low maintenance style for school or work, and this scissor cut with a taper fits the bill nicely.

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Keep it up Taper

Keep it up Taper

Here’s a simple taper that gives off a fun, youthful style. The hair in front is gently spiked, creating a tuft of hair that’s somewhere in between a classic spiked look and a brush-up.

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Undercut Taper
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Undercut Taper

Tapers work very well with undercuts, and you can get imaginative with the kind of style you want. You might go for a textured top, as shown here, or something like a pompadour.

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Classic Brushed Back Scissor Cut
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Classic Brushed Back Scissor Cut

For a full, even head of hair, try out a scissor cut like this. The hair is tapered not only from top to bottom but also front to back, creating a super tidy appearance.

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Slicked Back Undercut
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Slicked Back Undercut

This high contrast look is trending right now, and it’s easy to see why. The even taper frames a high volume quiff that’s finger combed for maximum texture.

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Elegant Taper Fade

Elegant Taper Fade

The top looks like it’s got quite a fine texture with a pretty classy side-comb. This is why you can never go wrong with a taper, it all just comes together in a rich way.

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Brushed Taper
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Brushed Taper

This is such a clean taper job! The front is kept a little longer to achieve that perfect finger comb he’s got going on in the front.

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The Regulation Cut
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The Regulation Cut

What happens when you take a timeless staple and update it? In this case, you get a longer take on the regulation cut that allows the hair to flow while still having the definition.

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Coned Brush Up with Undercut Beard

Coned Brush Up with Undercut Beard

Thin hair does wonder if done right and this is a prime example of what drying hair after washing it can do. Styling becomes much more easier and natural, here the brush up looks bouncier while the back is all laid down. The sides are tapered for an even look while the beard has an undercut of its own.

FAQs

What Do I Need for the Classic Taper Haircut?

Since the classic taper haircut is a flexible style, you can tweak it to your liking. Because of that, there are no set requirements for hair length. Shorter hair will give a more professional, classic appearance, while longer hair will give a more contemporary appearance and will almost look like a quiff in some regards.

The length is entirely up to you. Take a look at some styles you like and use them as a reference guide.

How to Get the Classic Taper Haircut?

In many ways, the classic taper haircut is like the disconnected undercut. The hair on the sides and back is tapered quite short, while the hair on top is left long. However, the classic taper haircut is more old-school and formal.

You’ll first want to tell your stylist how long you want your hair to be. While it’s up to your liking, a good starting point is two inches on top.

To get the classic taper haircut, start by tapering the sides and the back. (Make sure you tell your stylist how gradual you want the taper to be.) Your stylist may use shears or a hair clipper to achieve the taper. The clipper setting can be as short as #2 or as long as #5, depending on your preference.

You can also specify where you want the taper to end. If you prefer a long taper that ends at the base of the neck, then the clippers should provide a good result. However, if you like a shorter taper that ends near the bottom of the ears, ask your stylist to end the taper there. They may use a straight razor to eliminate all the hair below the taper’s end. If you like this clean-cut look, make sure to ask for the razor trim as well.

Next, ask your stylist to trim the hair on top of your head to your desired length. This can be anywhere from half an inch to four inches. Your stylist will most likely use scissors for this.

How to Style the Classic Taper Haircut?

The classic taper haircut can be styled in many different ways, so choose a style that suits you. That said, there are a couple of elements that always work well with a classic taper haircut.

You can’t go wrong with a side part. A part used in conjunction with a classic taper haircut is a winning combination, especially if the part is dramatic.

You’ll also want to consider some good-quality hair products to keep your taper at its best. For shorter hair, any regular wax, paste, pomade, or similar product will work. For longer hair, consider a product with a higher hold. Pomade or paste is ideal if you want your hair to have a glossy shine.

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