Tapered Hairlines: Benefits, Styles, and Tips

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People with natural hair always have plenty of options when it trickles down to styling. One of them is the tapered hairlines that’s pretty classic and revolutionary at sight. 

Tapered hairlines epitomize a magical transformation that profoundly impacts outward appearance. 

You see your favorite celebrities looking ever sleek. The likes of Christiano Ronaldo, Drake, David Beckham, Miley Cyrus; the list is endless. 

And if you’re here, of course, you’d like to level up your hair game. This article elaborates on tapered hairlines, including cool examples to try and how to achieve the tapered hairline. 

What is a Tapered Hairline?

Straight forward, a tapered hairline is a crisp, beautifully-defined cut edge of the hair. It could be at the front, back, around the neckline, or the entire hairline. It’s a gorgeous artwork that has continuously dominated hair trends over the years. 

Most times, the tapered hairline goes together with tapered fade cuts. Tapered fades involve a gradual transition from bald edges or short hair close to the hairline to long hair. Usually, tapered fades complete the beauty of tapered hairlines. 

Surprisingly, the tapered style’s history is embedded in the US military. Despite the US military’s strict fashion code, they pioneered the style in the 40s-50s during World War I and II. Few years later, blacks adopted and explored the style, which later became notable in the 80s and 90s hip-hop culture. 

The Benefits of Tapered Hairlines

There are many compelling reasons why people adore tapered hairlines. A day can never go by before coming across this popular hairstyle in public, especially in men. 

Versatility and Adaptability

Tapered haircuts easily melt into the adjacent skin regardless of complexion and hair color. It captures your heart with how effortlessly it shapes the hairline, forming a line of edge at the front, back, sides, and neckline. A gaze in a clean mirror would leave you astounded. 

The style also adapts to any hairstyle. You could add a sophisticated touch of tapered hairlines to dreadlocks, cornrows, ponytails, and buns. It also goes well with various hair types and textures, whether coily, curly, or naturally straight.

Neat Appearance

You ought to know clean cuts are best achieved using tapered hairlines. The style has mastered its skill in bringing out a show of neatness, even if the hair is beautifully messy and rugged. Even if your tresses are free-form starter locs, the tapered edges make it hard to recognize the shagginess.

It makes bushy short, or medium hair aesthetically pleasing even though it initially appeared unruly. That’s where afro low fades may come in if you wouldn’t love eliminating the personality the bushy hair gives you. 

Enhanced Facial Features

It’s also a brilliant face-framing idea whereby you create illusions of your face to look more attractive. The style will emphasize certain features such as cheekbones, beards, eyes, or the jawline.

By tapering, you either exaggerate the beautiful facial features or suppress the features that show too much. That will often depend on your choice of tapered hairline and fade style. 

For instance, the high taper fade makes long slim faces slimmer. And looks sexier when the taper fades into a thick beard. That balances out the shape of the face to bring out a youthful, more handsome you. 

So, choose wisely the taper style with your face shape in mind. 

Low Maintenance

With tapered hairlines shortening the hair, the hair becomes more manageable. If the hair gets short, you’ve reduced maintenance on your side. The shorter the hair, the less reason there is to care for it. 

It takes little time and effort to clarify, oil, or comb short hair. Also, you will not have to worry about detangling and breakage if the hair is loosely free. And that means smooth hair days that you’d look forward to, unlike when you had long hair. 

Top 11 Tapered Hairline Styles to Try

We are now in the moment of transformation. Elevate your hairstyling with one of the tapered hairline styles below. 

Classic Taper 


Stay timeless with the classic taper if you want a little flair of pompadour. In this style, the pompadour is not too high and massive. It’s minimal to appear normal and unexaggerated yet classic at the same time. 

The cut is sharp at the edges with a light fade that reaches the back around the neckline. This one fits any event or place, be it a wedding, birthday, or just your workplace. 

Low Taper


Taper fades can be as low as possible, ending close to the hairline. Sometimes, it may be slightly unnoticeable unless you move your mirror closer to view the magnificence. It’s an awesome mild taper if you wouldn’t love the taper going deeper up your head.

Also, if you’re avoiding staying long at a barber’s appointment but want the taper, this is ideal. It would be the best idea for your impatient little son whom you desire to juice up their look. 

High Taper


Instead of low tapers, you could go for the opposite, the high taper. High tapers often reveal the scalp. The fade consists of long hair at the crown to the front that shifts slowly into shorter hair at the sides and the back. Then finally, the short hair fades into very short hair or the skin. 

This will do if you prefer a taper that takes out much of your hair. Or if you wouldn’t love to see your hair being hair bushy soon but you still will be handsome. 

Skin Taper


Skin tapers and the sharp angles of the hairline show you mean business. Skin tapers mostly reveal your scalp skin, and the fade looks flattering.

The taper has minimal long hair tapering into a small section of short hair. Then the visible skin takes the largest portion of the taper fade. This would suit a military guy to create a mature no-nonsense face. 

Curly Taper Fade


Ladies, this haircut style would make you equal to men. Curls, to some extent, bring out the femininity in a lady despite the fact that haircuts are more masculine. 

The curls are cuter when they are finer and intensely curled up. Also, the diminishing curl texture oozes beauty and glamour when they are most curled at the top compared to the sides and the back. Define them well with a good curling cream and touch them up with a shine-inducing spray. 

Bald Taper Fade


The bald taper is similar to the skin based on the skin-revealing aspect. But the bald taper ensures that where the skin shows, all the hair is shaven. No hair sticks behind beyond the receding short hair.

It’s very appropriate for mature men in their 30s and 40s. It also looks nice on beardless men as the baldness complements the hairless face. 

Mohawk Taper Fade


In the mohawk taper fade, the taper is on the sides with a chunk of long hair in the middle from the front to the back. The long hair shortens up on the sides smoothly up to the hairlines. You can style the mohawk into curls, waves, or dreadlocks. 

This fade focuses only on the sides, not the back and the front. The hairline may taper, too, to enrich the haircut style. It exposes your love for adventure and the fashion baddie you are on any special occasion. 

Afro Taper Fade


The long hair at the top and partially on the sides could be left kinky and afro-like. This is common in blacks because their 4C hair easily picks up the style. The afro hair can be rugged in the form of free-form dreads. 

The sides have a small section of taper so that the afro dominates. The afro taper fade is popular among US basketball players, actors, and rappers. It mostly expresses their heritage.

Comb Over Taper Fade


Comb-over tapers have a comb pattern in the hair. The stylish streaks of lines in the hair start, then soften into a skin fade. Sometimes, a mid or side part is at the front for a more fashionable demeanor.

The comb-over could be side-swept if long or made into a pompadour. Alternatively spiced up into side waves or sleekly combed back. It adorns round or long faces, and with sunglasses worn, the attractiveness is out of this world. 

Wavy Taper Fade


Instead of curls, the taper can be in waves, especially in men with wavy hair needing a cut. The fade is more glamorous and worthy of showing off your hair. It’s more manageable because the waves can be in any direction and look pretty.

The waves could be messy. It’s perfect for a busy man who wants the least hair styling in the morning. 

Textured Taper Fade

Tapered Hairlines: Textured-Taper-Fade

You may opt to texturize your taper fade. Rather than leaving the hair in its natural state, you made add some body to it. If the hair is fine, you may add volume by curling it or making waves. 

Or, if the hair color is too monotonous, you may go for a color change. This time, you may bleach it to a lighter or darker pigment that complements your skin tone. 

5 Tips to Maintenance Tapered Hairlines

While tapered hairlines are low maintenance, they still require adept care and maintenance. You need to exercise caution where necessary and incorporate a healthy routine for them. They deserve proper treatment to preserve their elegant look by evaluating the following:

Hair Products

The type of hair products you use matters a lot. From washing, oiling to bleaching, you should choose the right products for the process. If things go sideways, you’ll put your tapered hair in great jeopardy. 

Thoroughly scrutinize your pick. As you scrutinize, check for certain elements that match your hair. For example, for straight hair, choose products that add hold and volume to keep the taper sharp and fresh-looking. 

Regarding cleansing, look for clarifying residue-free shampoos and heavily moisturizing conditioners. These products are the foundation for having clean, healthy tapers.

Go for organic gels and wax for extra hold and taper definition. Then you can top up with good hair sprays for added volume, shine, and longevity. 

Tools and Equipment

Ensure you use a premium-grade hair clipper for trimming and shaping the hairline. This tool produces the best-tapered hairlines as long you involve an expert barber. Moving onto fades, you’ll need a pair of hair scissors for precise cutting and shaping of the hair. 

Lastly, combs and soft brushes should be nearby. Combs are useful for the comb-over taper fade and helps get rid of the cut hair lingering in the hair mass. To remove the cut hair residue effectively, you’d grab the soft brush and further use it to lay your short hair into a pattern.

Having these three major tools keeps you prepared for trimming maintenance. 

Regular Trimming

After your first shave to get a tapered hairline, don’t think you’ll no longer need another shave. Tapered hairlines require regular trimming appointments with your barber to keep them in shape. 

The timing is different among people, but basically every 4-6 weeks. It all depends on how fast your hair grows back until the tapered hairline or fade starts disappearing. You may find that you, as a person, may see your hairstylist in less than 4 weeks. 


Hair, whether short or long, is delicate when adversely dry. So, keep the tapered hairline together with your mane hydrated and healthy with a quality natural moisturizer of choice. 

Always go in with an ample amount but not in excess. That softens the hair to avert dryness and resulting breakage. We also recommend opting for moisturizers made purely from plant extracts for the healthiest input.

Sun Safety

You should protect your tapered hairlines and fades from the damaging UV rays and heat from the sun. Well, exposure to the UV rays and heat strip the hair of its natural moisture, weakening it. And when it weakens, it’s prone to breakage. 

Wear a hat to cover the hairlines or apply sunscreen specifically designed for hair when necessary. Protection is the most effective remedy to breakage.

How to Get a Tapered Hairline

Here is how to achieve a tapered hairline on your client’s head or your own hair. Before making the tapers, clarify your hair so that you work on clean hair. 

Step 1: If your hair is long, take your rat tail comb and section out the hair to be trimmed. Tie the remaining in a high pony or simple bun. 

Step 2: Brush down the sectioned-out hair and go in with the hair clipper to cut them very short. You use a number 2 or 3 clipper guard at this stage. Keep trimming until the hair cannot be lifted with a comb or brush.

Step 3: With very little hair left at the hairline, remove the clipper guard and hold the blade of the clipper along the hairline. And start cutting straight at the edges to shape the hairline.

Step 4: You may go in with a razor blade to further define the shape of the hairline. Once done, brush out loose hair.

FAQs about Tapered Hairlines

Can anyone get a tapered hairline?

Yes, anyone can get a taped hairline. The style is versatile and suitable for any hair type and face shape. It doesn’t matter if you have curly, kinky, or straight hair as long as the taper pattern suits your face. Whether Caucasian or black, a lady or a guy, you can look good in tapered hairlines.

Is a fade or taper better?

None looks better than the other, but a combination of both beats the individual appearance of each. A fade and a taper together give killer looks. You look younger, and sometimes, it showcases your love for rap, as the style is popular in the hip-hop world. 

Is a taper a bald fade?

Not wholistically, because a taper can be or not be a bald fade. A taper could be a normal fade, whereby long hair is at the top, gradually switching to short hair on the sides and back until it fades into the hairline. If the taper is a bald fade, top long hair smoothly transitions to short hair that fades into a bald scalp before reaching the hairline. 

Can a tapered hairline work well with dreads?

Why not? Tapered hairlines blend with any hairstyle, even dreadlocks. In fact, the tapered hairline accentuates the neatness of your dreadlocks. Plus, it protects your natural hairline from tension due to pulling by the locs, which can lead to headaches or migraines. 

Time to Style, My Guy 

Now is the time to stop thinking and act once decided. You can surprise your barber by switching to the tapered hairlines and jazzing it up with a nice fade. Embrace modernity as it’s your era to shine. 

When you certainly feel good about your physique, leave your testimony through a comment below. 

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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