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 personal style. It’s one of those styles for men that simply can’t go wrong.

Classic taper high volume brushed up quiff by Kathy Hutchins
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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

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 completely up to you. Take a look at some styles you like and use them as a reference guide.

Classic taper gentlemen high volume sleek back %40adamjosephchase
@adamjosephchase/ Instagram

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.

Classic Tapered Comb Over

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 more near the bottom of the ears, ask your stylist to end the taper there. It’s possible they will 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.

classic taper andrewdoeshair e1538986192302
@andrewdoeshair / Instagram

How to Style the Classic Taper Haircut

The classic taper haircut can be styled in tons of 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.

jeremywexlerhair CROP classic taper
@jeremywexlerhair / Instagram

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 are ideal if you want your hair to have a glossy shine.

See the gallery below:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Related
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.

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.

Confident Combed Back
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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.

classic tapper
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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.

Layered Taper Fade
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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.

Classic Short Haircut with Faded Neckline
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Classic Brushed Back Scissor Cut
Classic Scissor Cut with Beard
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Classic Scissor Cut with Beard
Crowded Taper with Temple Clipped
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Crowded Taper with Temple Clipped
Confident Taper with Side Brush
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Confident Taper with Side Brush
Classic Taper
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Perfectly Side Combed
Blow Out Taper Fade
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Undercut Taper
Classic Taper Haircut
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Classic Taper with Fade
Keep it up Taper Classic
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Keep it up Taper
Brushed Classic Taper Hair
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Brushed Taper
Taper Fade Classic School Haircut
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Elegant Taper Fade
Loose Styled Pompadour
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Loose Styled Pompadour
French Cropped Emo Cut
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French Cropped Emo Cut
Slicked Back Undercut
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Slicked Back Undercut
Classic Taper and Pompadour
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Classic Taper and Pompadour
Simplest Low Key Scissor Cut
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Simplest Low Key Scissor Cut
Regulation Cut
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The Regulation Cut
Alones / Shutterstock.com
Classic Taper Medium Crop
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Classic Taper Medium Crop
Extravagant Pompadour
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Extravagant Pompadour
Medium Classic Crop
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Medium Classic Crop
Ivy League
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The Ivy League
Front Brush Up on Medium Crop
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Front Brush Up on Medium Crop
Allkindofpeople/ Shutterstock.com
Classic Taper and Brush-Back
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Classic Taper and Brush-Back
Lightly Texture French and Classic Taper
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Lightly Texture French and Classic Taper
Classic Side Swept and Beard
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Classic Side Swept and Beard