5 Facts About Tapered Haircuts To Consider Before You Make The Chop

Celebrity hairstylists Yusef and Andrew Fitzsimons explain.

Tapered haircuts are a great transitioning hairstyle for Black women going from relaxed to natural.

Whoever said that short hair can’t be versatile was completely wrong. Shorter styles have been trending all year, leaving no shortage of inspiration for cropped looks like bobs and buzzcuts. Thinking about getting a chop at your next appointment? Here’s why you should consider a tapered haircut.

Yusef, Rihanna’s go-to pro and an ambassador for K18, explains to Bustle that tapered haircuts are short haircuts that “taper” at the nape of the neck and on the sides. Andrew Fitzsimons, hairstylist to celebs like Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Megan Fox, and founder of Andrew Fitzsimons Hair, adds that the strands gradually change in length from longer to shorter, starting long at the top of the head and getting shorter as you move towards the bottom.

Before you switch up your style, Yusef and Fitzsimons break down more info on tapered haircuts below.

Tapered Haircuts Work For All Textures

Thinking about transitioning from relaxed to natural? Or just tired of long locks? Both Fitzsimons and Yusef say that they can suit anyone and work for all hair textures and curl types. “This haircut is definitely suitable for all hair types and textures,” says Fitzsimons. “Just consult with your stylist to gauge how short you want to go based on your curl type and the best way to style for your face shape.”

Tapered Cuts Vs. A Fade

While a tapered cut and fade may look similar, there are a few key differences. Yusef says that fades are typically higher up on the head than a taper cut. Fitzsimons agrees and notes that a fade is a much shorter style. He explains that fades are not as gradual as a tapered cut; there’s a more dramatic and sudden fade (hence the name) as the hair goes from long at the top of the head to short at the nape of the neck than when it is tapered.

Consider Your Lifestyle & Hair Texture

As with any haircut, there are always a couple of things to consider. Yusef says to think about maintenance, the density of your hair, and your curl pattern when getting your hair cut and styled.

Fitzsimons adds that a tapered cut is generally very low maintenance, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time styling their hair each morning.

How To Style A Tapered Haircut

Fitzsimons says he loves a side part with tapered hair and recommends using a texture spray, like his Andrew Fitzsimons Apres Sexe Texture Spray or Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray, to give hair some grit.

Yusef adds that it’s important to remove product build-up and accentuate natural texture for those with curls and coils. He suggests a shampoo like the K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo to keep strands healthy and looking their best. Other standout, deep-cleansing options include the Curlsmith Wash & Scrub Clarifying Detox Shampoo or PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross’ Cleansing Shampoo.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Types of Tapered Cuts

Fitzsimons says some common cuts include a low taper (which is basically a cut that starts to get short above the ears), a high taper (where the hair shortens even higher than a low taper), and a tapered neckline (where the hair gets shorter around the nape of the neck).

The great thing is that tapered styles are so customizable that your go-to hairstylist will be able to help you decide what suits you best.

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