The High and Tight Haircut

By Rich Krafting

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| Fade Haircuts, Short Hair

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The high and tight is military haircut that is also popular with civilians. The defining characteristics of this short men’s haircut is very short sides and back, the “high”, and a line between longer hair on top, “the tight”.

In mainstream culture, high and tights are often high fade haircuts that quickly but smoothly transition from longer to shorter hair.

High and tights are sometimes mistakenly referred to as Ivy League haircuts. While they are similar, the Ivy League is long enough to style with a side part while the high and tight is shorter.

The high and tight is a flattering haircut for nearly everyone. It has more structure than a buzz cut but is easier to wear. It works for thick hair and thinning hair too because it minimizes the visual impact of thinner hair. This is also a popular cut for curly and black hair. It keeps texture on top while cutting the sides short.

Check out these 10 ways to wear the high and tight haircut.

1) High and Tight Haircut For Curly Hair

high and tight curly hair

Kevin Luchmun

This is also a great cut for curly hair, especially kinky curly hair types. The top is a little bit longer but stays tight at the sides.

2) Marine Haircut High And Tight

Marine high and tight haircut

Greg Zorian

The high and tight is traditionally a military haircut, especially for Marines. Here’s a really short version with the distinct high fade and tight top.

3) Modern Buzz Cut High And Tight Haircut

Short High and Tight Haircut

Mr. Fine Line

This version of the buzz fade haircut is a more a civilian high and tight. The fade drops down around the back of the neck.

4) High and Tight + Bald Fade

Curly hair high and tight with a bald fade

Tom Old

The military high and tight is a cool cut for curly hair, with a touch of texture on top and shaved sides. A fade transition from longer hair down to the skin.

5) High and Tight + Line Up

Nomad Barber LDN

This high and tight for black hair also features a tape up for additional shaping at the forehead and a drop skin fade.

6) Skin Fade Haircut

Boar & Blade

High fade haircuts can go short or all the way down to the skin. There is no easier or more comfortable haircut for the summer.

7) Very Short High And Tight Haircut With Disconnected Beard

Very short high and tight haircut with beard

Dynasty Barbers

Platinum hair color prevents this high and tight from conforming to military regulations.

8) High And Tight With A Drop Skin Fade

Drop fade high and tight

Dynasty Barbers

A drop fade changes the lines of the high and tight in a flattering and stylish way.

9) Short Spiky High And Tight Haircut

Al Uppercut

Another way to style this high fade haircut is into short spikes for some flattering volume.

10) High And Tight For Wavy Hair

Wavy hair high and tight

Dan ‘Hudson’ Frangiamore

This is a stylish and low maintenance cut for wavy hair with just enough length for some texture to show through.

11) Sponge Curls + Bald Fade

Tariq Nevar

Sponge curls add flattering texture while a small hair design breaks up the bald fade.

The Barber’s WifeGareth MoriartySergioUncle Rocco’sCal NewsomeTrevor Moots

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Our Top-Recommended Pomades

Most Versatile

Reuzel Fiber Pomade

Smooth, easy to work with, super hold, and yet has an ultra-light (not sticky or tacky) and natural feel in your hair.

Get This Pomade

Best Clay

Baxter of California Clay Pomade

Paraben-free (matte finish), medium pliable hold but feels super light in your hair. An excellent all-around texturizing pomade.

Get This Pomade

Medium Hold

Layrite Original Pomade

A long-time favorite, this pomade has a medium hold and a near-matte, low-shine look.

Get This Pomade

Firm Hold

Hanz de Fuko Claymation

Firm yet pliable hold, semi-matte finish. Keeps your hair in check with a natural look and feel.

Get This Pomade