High And Tight Haircut

The high and tight haircut is a hairstyle favored by military and law enforcement personel. A variation on the buzz cut, the high and tight has the hair on the back and sides of the head buzzed away, or even sometimes shaved to the skin with a razor, but with a quarter to half an inch of hair left on the top of the head.

Referred to by civilians sometimes as a skin fade, the high and tight haircut has a purpose. It adheres to military grooming standards with its shortness while the hair on the top of the head supports the weight of a combat helmet, adding comfort in the field. The high and tight haircut is particularly popular in the US Marine Corps. Because of this, the derogatory term "jarhead," based on the appearance of the high and tight, has come to be associated with the Marines.

However, there are a couple of variations on the high and tight haircut. The "horseshoe flattop" has the head hair clipped in a flattop style, but so short that the hair on the top of the scalp is clearly visible, and the longer hair further around the scalp forms a horseshoe shape. This is particularly popular among older military officers.

The "recon flattop" is named for the U.S. Marine Corps "recon" forces that popularized it. This version of the high and tight haircut has the boundaries of the longer hair on the top of the head even higher up the scalp. This type of haircut is very close to a Mohawk. If you're still not sure what a high and tight haircut is, just ask your local barber. If they're worth their salt, they will know.

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