Tapering the bottom neck hair (also called a “faded” neckline) can be done a number of ways. Some of those ways can produce a nice result (or not), but they usually take too much time to do. My recommendation gives an excellent result in the shortest time. We start with some general rules followed by specifics.
A. Tapering the bottom one or two inches of neck hair should be done after the longer hair on the upper back has been cut.
B. Neck tapering begins with a coarse blade, then a finer blade is used on the lower neck hair followed by an even finer blade on the very bottom.
C. As usual, each time the clipper moves up into the hair, you finish that clipping path with a taper-out movement.
D. Longer back hair has the lowest, most abrupt taper. A short cutting on the back hair gets a longer, higher tapering.
LONGER HAIR. A longer upper back cutting can be done with scissors and comb, an attachment on a clipper, or by using the clipper over comb cutting method. A low abrupt taper (about an inch or less) is used on the bottom hair. Here are a couple of typical blade sequences to use after the upper back has been cut:
1. Use a #3 1/2 blade to taper up an inch or so, followed by a #2 or a #1 1/2 blade tapering the bottom half to three-quarter inch. Next, an adjustable blade clipper in the open #1 position tapers the bottom quarter inch or so. The adjustable clipper in the closed position position clips off any stray neck hair below the hairline.
2. Use a #2 blade followed by a #1 blade and then the adjustable clipper for “clean-up” cutting on the bottom.
(Both of these options may need a little clipper over the barber comb blending.)
SHORT HAIR. You’ll find it’s easier and faster to taper the neck hair when the upper back has been cut on the short side. You are less likely to need the barber comb for over the comb blending.
1. If the upper back has a #3 1/2 blade cutting, the bottom 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches can get a #2 blade cutting followed by a # 1 1/2 blade on the bottom 1/2 to 1 inch. Then use the adjustable clipper in the open position to taper the bottom, and the closed position for any stray hairs below the hairline.
2. If the upper back had a #2 blade cutting, taper with a #1 1/2 or a #1A blade followed by an adjustable clipper in the open position for the bottom half inch or so, and closed position for the strays.
3. Cut the back with a #1 1/2 blade and you can use the adjustable clipper in the open position to taper. The closed position takes care of the bottom half inch and any stray hairs.
Compared to the “blocked” neckline, tapering takes a little more time and skill. However, with practice you pick up speed and when done right, this tapered approach looks great and keeps a neat appearance for a longer time than the “lined” way of doing it. You’ll find many prefer this kind of cutting.
Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law of the prophets.
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary.
Talmud, Shabbat, 31a
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hirtful.
Udana Varga, 5, 18