20 High and Tight Haircuts: A Classic Military Cut for Men
Find your unique, easy-to-maintain style to look fresh and neat every day
Every gentleman is different in his hairstyle preferences. Some guys want the latest trending style (right now it’s the man braid), while others simply want a low-maintenance haircut that still looks good. For those who want simplicity, we’ve got you covered with a high and tight haircut.
The high and tight is a classic barbershop cut that’s a variant of the buzz cut. For decades, it’s been widely seen on the heads of men in the military, and it’s also found its way into civilian life. It’s one of the shortest men’s hairstyles available that still retains a distinct characteristic and isn’t a flat-out buzz cut.
One of the biggest benefits of the high and tight is its ease. If you have a good set of hair clippers, you can easily give yourself this haircut. On the other hand, if you prefer to leave all your haircuts up to your trusty barber, you’ll be happy to know that most barbers around the world are familiar with the high and tight. It’s a style that’s remained in barbershops for decades, and it’s not going to be leaving anytime soon.
Sneaked Fade with Undercut
This stylish take on the high and tight uses an undercut and a skin fade to provide a contemporary twist on a classic cut.
Broken Texture & High Fade
The high fade creates a lot of space on the sides of the head, allowing for some really contrasting looks on bearded fellas. Here, the beard contrasts with the fringe and top of the head as the messy, layered texture gives off both a clean and edgy feel. A sharp break between the top texture and the sides that are left straight brings more attention to the cut.
Sharp Faded Sides and Silent Top
High and Tight with Klingon Beard
If you’re unsure if a high and tight haircut is for you because you think it would lack an edge or you will become a product of a factory look, think again. Pair your high and tight haircut with a Klingon beard or a pronounced chin curtain, plus wear accessories that draw attention to your brow ridges – such as square-shaped sunglasses, then the haircut becomes a natural part of you. Nobody will even notice that it’s high and tight.
Layered Top with Line Up
Crisp and clean, like a newly pressed suit, this line up hairstyle places emphasis on your head’s natural contour. But if it’s a bit too clean for you and you want to play it up, a layered top will do the trick. It creates shape and volume, which is a far cry from your typical line up and can also be styled in different ways. Adding a subtle anchor beard completes the look – you keep your whole face free of hair as the beard’s only grown on your mouth area.
High and Tight with Quiff
This high and tight haircut incorporates a tight fade on the sides which seamlessly blends into the top of the hair which is much longer. The top of the hair is styled into a less dramatic textured quiff.
Brushed Up Hight and Tight
If you’re not a fan of short hair and still want something to grasp and style every now and then, then ask your barber or stylist to leave the top area of the buzz cut at least an inch long. This brushed-up high and tight also creates the illusion of height, if this is what you’re looking for.
Hight and Tight with Drop Fade
The good thing about drop fades is that they can go with almost all kinds of haircuts. But if you are trying to emphasize a part of your cervical and cephalic area, such as an awesome tattoo, then keep your haircut as high and tight as you can.
High and Tight Knot
This one is strictly for those who are already out of the military because that top knot probably goes against the rules.
Dry Textured Thin Hair
High and tights aren’t always super short. This longer version gives you more hair to style and allows the texture of the hair to shine through.
High and Tight High Skin Fade
It’s easy to personalize a high and tight to your liking. Here, a lineup and shaved design take the basic high and tight style to a whole new level.
Afro Curly Hippie High and Tight
Buzzed High and Tight with Fade
This is a very modern high and tight which is a blend of many things. Let’s start with the texture on top with a short length and a thin texture. Moreover, it is straight laid with sharp yet faded line ups, it surely adds that panache. Lastly, the undercut is both subtle yet obvious, cannot beat that!
Wavy High and Tight
With the focus that the high fade brings to the hair on top, adding an eye-catching design or texture can really stand out. This fella uses that focus to show off his wavy ripples while keeping the hair short. The high fade offers a sleek look that is echoed throughout as the temple and beard are lined up neatly. The diamond stud and simple black hoodie enhance the style.
Hight and Tight with Textured Top and Hair Design
Just like decades ago, this haircut is still trendy today. The textured top brings the desired change to your looks, and the hair design finishes the assignment, leaving you with an extra cool appearance.
Low High and Tight
This hair island on top is the classic example of high and tight. Sides are not faded but size 1 clippers do the job of almost shaving the sides. The top is trimmed with size 3/4 clippers, the best part it requires less time every morning.
High and Tight Recon
One of the toughest cuts in the market with a very tough look. This is simple to achieve because shaving sides and keeping the top volume.
High Fade Crew Cut + Line up
This is a more generic hairstyle with brush up on the forehead but the clear line-up spices it up. The twin slit shave on the back head makes it hipster.
That Faded Line Up with Sleek Fade
This faded line up with semi wavy texture on the top makes it very fancy. Trimmed forehead hair while maintaining the volume is the key to ace this look. A slight drop fade comes in handy too.
High and Tight Afro
High and tights work with afros too! As seen here, a high and tight can help to give an afro shape and definition.
Swinged Texture with Undercut Fade
Texture is the name of the game with this hairstyle. This is another long high and tight, and it’s very versatile.
Long Slick Back
If you’re not keen on going too short all at once, this variation of the High and Tight haircut will allow you to keep a good amount of length and yet give you a clearer picture of what you’d look like if you decide to trim it shorter. This slick back is a simple way to keep the mane put together, just grab some gel and neatly comb it back.
High and Tight with Flat Top
This bold look takes the classic military high and tight to new extremes. The extreme bald fade and the sloping patch of hair are sure to make you stand out wherever you go.
Hard Parted Skin Fade
If you love slicked back retro haircuts, then this dapper style is perfect for you. The hard part accentuates the swooping hair, and the bald fade adds a fashionable flair.
Mark Salling's High and Tight Raccoon
This neat, symmetrical high and tight features a large strip in the middle of the head, giving this style its animal-inspired name.
High and Tight with a Quiff
When you think of quiffs, you think of volume and flow. Hence, when you put together a high and tight with a quiff – it might seem impossible. Think again. A quiff paired with this comes up sharper and cleaner because of the sides. It also defines the quiff more, as the focus is only on the top part of the hair. If you feel naked because of the almost clear sides, sport a full beard, which could also add definition to your facial features.
Rough and Tough French Crop
Some guys want a simpler, low maintenance style that still looks great, and the French crop is perhaps the epitome of stylish low maintenance haircuts.
What do I need for the high and tight?
Since the high and tight is such a simple hairstyle, you don’t need anything in the way of products. So if you’re often busy and can’t spend enough time styling your hair as you’d like, the high and tight could be a great option for you. If you have enough hair left on top or opt for a longer length, you can style the hair, but most men who wear the high and tight choose to not style it. If you do choose to style it, a light hold gel or wax will be more than enough to keep it in place.
If you’re cutting the high and tight yourself at home, you’ll need a high-quality hair clipper and an assortment of blade guards. Having #0 through #5 is a good start for the high and tight and will enable you to choose from a nice range of lengths.
The high and tight works well with most hair types, with the possible exception of extremely kinky or coiled hair.
The high and tight will work better with certain face shapes. It leaves only a small area of hair on top of the head, so your face shape will be emphasized since it’s the focal point of your head. For that reason, the high and tight works nicely with square, oval, triangular, or diamond face shapes. However, this style doesn’t work as well with oblong, diamond, and round face shapes.
How to Cut the High and Tight
Before you begin cutting, make sure you know how wide you want your top strip of hair to be. Make mental markers at its boundaries so you don’t accidentally clip the top part too short. The strip should go to the vertex of your head. This will create the “high” appearance.
Start by clipping the back and sides, which will have the shortest hair. This is generally no longer than a #2, and you can even use #0. Make sure that the back and sides are clipped evenly. This will create the “tight” appearance.
The top strip is also clipped with one clipper length, but this length is longer than what you used for the back and sides. Generally, you want to use a length that’s 1 to 2 numbers higher. So if you used a #1 for the back and sides, use a #2 or #3 for the top strip of hair. Make sure the top is also clipped evenly.
The result should be a short buzz on the back and sides and a definitive strip of hair on top. This strip should have hard edge lines; in other words, don’t fade it gradually into the shorter back and sides. If you do that, you’ll have a high fade haircut and not a high and tight one. The strip should look like an island with a defined outline.
How do you ask for a high and tight haircut?
A High & Tight haircut is a good old classic style that most barbers are familiar with. So if you’re looking to get a high and tight hairstyle just mention to your barber that you’re looking to get something in between the buzz cut and a french crop cut. Depending on your hair length and structure the barber will find the best way to adjust this type of cut to your particular style.
What number is a high and tight haircut?
Whether you go to a barbershop or refresh your high and tight cut on your own, you should keep in mind that in order to get this particular style it’s better to use clippers of size 1 that would almost shave off your sides. This will let you get something in-between the skin fade and a #1 short sides. Don’t forget to leave some length on top while getting shorter towards the crown.
Where did the phrase high and tight come from?
To begin with, the high and tight cut looks very similar to some other popular cuts because it has almost no hair on the sides and a longer top part. But this cut originally appeared in black communities in the 1980s when it was highly in demand for young black males. Only after that, it was spread to other civilians.