Thinking of Getting a Tapered Cut? READ THIS FIRST!

Maybe it’s a craze or a phase, but the fact is tapered cuts on natural hair are IN right now and people are chopping off their hair left and right!  I often get the question on how to cut a tapered TWA and some tips on what one should do if she wants to get a tapered haircut.  My tips are drawn from personal experience and hopefully are very helpful – check ’em out:

Tip #1: Draw Inspiration
At this point in the journey, Google, Instagram, Tumbler and Pinterest will be your best friends.  Browse these sites.  Gather inspiration.  There are tons of women out there with different styles of tapered cuts – some are really long on the top, some of very short on the sides, some have a fade… I mean: POSSIBILITIES!  Don’t be afraid to follow some of your inspirations on their social media and see how they are switching it up (if at all), growing it out, or even just maintaining the style.  Ijeoma of Klassy Kinks wrote an amazing article on Black Girl Long Hair entitled “25 Tapered Fro Inspirations“.  Check it out for some REAL DEAL inspiration and be ready to gasp at every picture.

Tip #2: Ask Yourself “IS THIS WHAT I REALLY WANT?”
Everything is a “Go” until you realize … “wait, I didn’t wanna cut my hair.  What the heck am I going to do now?”  Think about it.  Don’t overthink it, but definitely think about what you’re doing.  Your hair will be shorter. Your hair will have to travel through the awkward growing stage.  You will have to maintain shorter hair slightly more than longer hair (cut mainly, everything else is easy) but listen: you have to make sure this is for you.  The tapered life ain’t for everyone…

So test it out BEFORE you take scissors to those tresses!  Try a puff that has some spillage in the front (mimics a tapered cut).  Check out this cascading curls tutorial for some inspiration.

I also have a faux tapered fro tutorial you can follow to get a feeling on whether or not you’d be a great candidate for a tapered ‘fro style:

Tip #3: How Low Do You Go?
There are tapered cuts with length and there are tapered cuts with little to no grip.  Which one would you want?  I have a longer tapered cut as my middle is LONGGGGG and my sides and back have now grown to be a little longer.  Here is a side by side comparison of my hair when I got it cut in October to where it is as of beginning of March:
before-and-after-of-new-color-askpRoyThe length on the left side is clearly shorter than the right side.  The sides and back have grown and I have taken some off the top so that the cut could better blend.  In the video on this topic you can see how long my sides actually are and I must say… I even surprised myself!  On the left I could still grip my hair to two strand twist the sides and back in chunky twists.  That’s why I say know the cut you are going after.  Check out some of my videos where I’m wearing my short tapered cut.  See how long my hair is there?  Now, how short do you want to go?  Only you can decide.

Tip #4: Who Will Cut Your Hair?
Will you cut your own hair or will you go to a stylist or a barber?  I’ve always been a DIY girl when it came to cutting my hair after a bad experience at a salon (left me paralyzed in the chair… literally).  I’m not afraid of scissors and figure if I eff things up on my end I can just call on a trained professional to fix it later, right?  It’s just hair!  Luckily for me, I have been able to cut my hair into a tapered cut myself (check out my experience here).  I didn’t record it, but there are plenty of “do this” and “please Dear Lord, don’t do that” videos floating around the interwebs.

When I wore my shaved sides, I cut and maintained my hair myself.  I never had a barber.  On the contrary, my last few cuts and trims have been performed by a stylist.  It all boils down to your preference.  Choose wisely.

Tip #5: So You’ve Committed now ADD SOME FUNK!
Yep, you’ve got the cut now take it up a notch – add some color!! I know, this is completely optional but I really feel like to take your hair to the next level when you’re rocking a tapered cut you should add a splash of color to set it OFF!  I am not one to shy away from color so maybe you’re consulting the wrong one, but I can honestly say my cuts have been that much more spectacular because of the color – CURLS ON POPPINGTON!

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All in all, my biggest advice is to not be boxed in.  Try something new.  Give yourself a chance to explore.  Enjoy your life and enjoy your hair!

What are some tips you have for those seeking a tapered fro?
Questions?  Leave them below!

  • Valerie Jones

    Fabulous article! I think this is an awesome trend. I am so happy I found you when I had recently braved my cut in September. I went through several emotions – feeling freed to feeling like this was the biggest mistake! But now I fully embrace this look 100% so much so that I’m getting it cut again this weekend. I decided that I needed a year to live out my short-haired fancies (Sept. 2014 – Sept. 2015) then I will resume the growth to long hair and big fro. I am so grateful for everything you do via your blog and your beautifully creative IG page!

  • Voice of Reason

    My hair has been short a long time, with no end in sight! Lol. I may try a color! Do you recommend a good brand?

  • tallsweettea

    Love your hair tips and advice. Is one side of your hair longer than the bother or is both sides tapered low