The men’s high and tight haircut is practical, stylish and easy to get. Inspired by military haircut styles dating back centuries, the high and tight fade is classic in its ‘short back and sides’ approach to cutting hair. While it’s not the most versatile haircut in terms of styling, the military high and tight makes up for its minimalism by providing a low-maintenance, functional haircut for guys. From business professionals to athletes to the marines, high and tight haircuts are best for those who want cropped hair but not a full buzz-cut or shaved head.

High and Tight Haircut

Read on to learn how to cut a high and tight and the different types of fades and long top styles that can accompany this short men’s haircut.

What Is The High and Tight Haircut?

The high and tight is a classic, military hairstyle focused on keeping the hair short without seeming Spartan or bland. Essentially, the sides are cropped and faded to a very short length while a longer patch of hair is left at the top of the head. Similar to the modern “short sides, long top” hairstyles, the high and tight fade offers many variations.

High and Tight Fade

The cut looks great with most face shapes, and has been worn by celebrities including David Beckham and Brad Pitt. Squarer faces can sometimes look too wide with the cut, so make sure that you have considered how it will suit your face before deciding upon the cut.

What Do I Need For The High and Tight?

Not much is required to get the high and tight hairstyle for men. However, you’ll need at least an inch of hair length on top of your head to avoid getting a simple buzz cut. Otherwise, no special hair styling products are necessary.

If you plan to cut a high and tight yourself at home, ensure that you have a functional pair of hair clippers with guards ranging from #0 to #5, although you’ll mostly need the #0, #1, and #2 sizes. This will help you properly fade or get the length of cut you want.

Although product is not necessary for the hairstyle, having some pomade, putty or wax around certainly won’t hurt. Applying hair product to the style, even though it is short, can offer some shine and hold for a sleeker, more stylish look appropriate for work or your social life.

High and Tight - High Skin Fade with Crew Cut and Beard

How To Cut A High and Tight Haircut

The high and tight haircut consists of trimmed hair around the sides of the head with longer hair at the top. Generally, the contrast of the high and tight cut looks best with a high skin fade.

To get a high and tight haircut, your barber will start by using hair clippers to fade the sides. Your side hair needs to be cut at a length of #0 to #3, while the hair on top will use guard sizes #3 to #5. The only tricky part of the haircut is pulling off a clean, tight fade; otherwise, using clippers to buzz the hair is all that you need to do in order to get the cut.

High and Tight Cut - High Skin Fade with French Crop

Best High and Tight Hairstyles

Men’s high and tight hairstyles can be both simple and stylish. Because the cut can be difficult to envision without seeing pictures, we’ve compiled a gallery of the best high and tight variations online. Whether you pick a military style or a more modern high and tight fade, consider all your options before getting this very short men’s haircut.

Buzz Cut with High Skin Fade

Buzz Cut with High Skin Fade

High Skin Fade with Short Side Part

High and Tight - High Skin Fade with Short Side Part

High Fade with Short Crew Cut

High and Tight - High Fade with Short Crew Cut

Mid Fade with Hard Part and Brush Up

High and Tight Haircut - Mid Fade with Hard Part and Brush Up

High and Tight Fade with Crew Cut

High and Tight Fade with Crew Cut

Skin Fade with Short Texturd Top

Skin Fade with Short Texturd Top

Bald Fade with Slicked Back Hair

High and Tight Haircut - Bald Fade with Slicked Back Hair

Butch Cut with Beard

Butch Cut with Beard

Hard Part Fade with French Crop

High and Tight - Hard Part Fade with French Crop

High and Tight Skin Fade

High and Tight Skin Fade

Burr Cut with Bald Fade

Burr Cut with Bald Fade

Low Skin Fade with Short Tight Top

Low Skin Fade with Short Tight Top

High Fade with Buzz Cut

Military High and Tight - High Fade with Buzz Cut

High Fade with Wavy Brushed Back Hair

High Fade with Wavy Brushed Back Hair

Shaved Sides with Buzz Cut Top and Hair Design

Shaved Sides with Buzz Cut Top and Hair Design

Skin Fade with Hard Side Part

High and Tight Hairstyle - Skin Fade with Hard Side Part

Mid Bald Fade with Very Short Top

Men's High and Tight - Mid Bald Fade with Very Short Top