From unruly long locks to a medium slick-back taper haircut
If there’s one single thing that I love as an old-school barber, then that’d be cutting long hair and turning an unruly mane of locks into a dapper head of tresses. It doesn’t matter how you slice it (or cut it, pun intended): long hair doesn’t belong on the head of a male who wants to be a stylish gentleman.
Right, I understand that we’re in the 2010s and that men have lots of hair products and hairstyles to pick from, but, if you’re after a timeless hairstyle, then a medium length haircut with a classic tape haircut is your ticket to awesome-ness.
Cutting long hair into an awesome slicked back mane with a taper cut
So, as said earlier, long hair is “out” if you want to be a dapper dude while slicked back hair with a taper cut is definitively “in” for a gentleman look. Of course, I do understand that not every male on this planet wants to slick his hair as a classic slicked back style since a flat hairstyle doesn’t suit all face shapes.
That’s why I’ve covered (on this site) the use of the modern slicked back style, which is essentially a voluminous slick back without the flatness of its classier hair-styling cousin. In effect, a modern slicked back style does in fact resemble a pompadour hairstyle, hence its interesting blend of modern with classic.
Interestingly, as a barber, I’ve noticed that most long-haired guys want to keep some of the rebellious look achieved with long hair, even if striving to achieve a classic look. For that reason, I always recommend a modern slicked back hairstyle with a taper haircut; with the modern slicked back you still have enough volume to turn heads while, with the taper haircut, you polish the sides and back of the head which immediately places all the visual emphasis on the top (of the head).
The result of all of the above is a balance between a modern rebellious look and a classic timeless image as show below in this barbershop picture:
The gentleman above had thin wavy hair and was looking for a wavy to get rid of his long wavy hair which had grown into a bizarre mullet. Wavy hair has plenty of natural volume which is great for hairstyles that require length on the top of the head, as is the case of the modern slick back.
Despite the gentleman’s thin hair, the same wavy nature of his hair held up very well with only a small amount of hair-dryer use and pomade.
Styling a modern slicked back look with a taper haircut
Since a modern slick back requires volume, a hair dryer is by far the best tool that one can use to achieve the modern component of this type of slicked back style. To get a modern slick back, you simply blow air to your hair from the front with a hair dryer as you use your fingers (coated in pomade) to comb your hair back. Once you’ve set the hair back, you can continue using your fingers or a comb to detail and shape your slicked back hair.
Due to its nature, straight hair will require a bit more time of blow-drying (about 2 minutes) while wavy hair and curly hair will barely need any blow-drying (about half a minute will suffice). Likewise, the only hair product needed for the modern slicked-back style is a water-based pomade, which any decent brand like Suavecito or Layrite will do just fine.
The hair on the sides and back of the head in the taper haircut is scissor-trimmed down to 3/4 of an inch, which allows for all the hair on both the sides and back of the head to be slicked back too along with the hair on the top. A couple of pomade dabs will work to hold the hair back on the sides and back, so do not overdo the pomade here.
If you’d like to ask any questions about the slicked back taper haircut, then you’re free to post your questions below.