World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

High and tight

Article Id: WHEBN0000684448
Reproduction Date:

Title: High and tight  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of hairstyles, Buzz cut, Crew cut, Crop (hairstyle), Hair removal
Collection: 1990S Fashion, 2000S Fashion, 2010S Fashion, Hairstyles, Military Life
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

High and tight

A Marine sporting a high and tight haircut.

The high and tight is a military variant of the crew cut. It is a very short hairstyle most commonly worn by men in the armed forces of the U.S. It is also popular with law enforcement officers and other public safety personnel.

Although "high and tight" is a term commonly used within the military and law enforcement communities, the same haircut is sometimes referred to by civilians as a "skin fade", meaning that the back and sides are shaved to the skin and the top is blended or faded into slightly longer hair.


  • Styling 1
  • Usage 2
  • Variations 3
  • See also 4


While many variations of the style exist, the one common feature is that all of the hair on the sides and back of the head is clipped very close, usually 116 inch (1.5 mm) or shorter, up to a point above the temples, referring to the "high" part of its name. A sharp line delineates the boundary between the close-cut sides and back and the longer top portion, referring to the "tight" part of its name. The crown of the head is spared the closest shaving to safely accommodate the weight of a combat helmet. The length of the top portion may vary, usually being 5–10 mm (14 to 38 inch), but sometimes left long enough to comb. Sometimes the back and sides of the head are shaved completely with a razor.

U.S. military haircuts must have a "tapered appearance on both sides and the back of the head, both with and without headgear. A tapered appearance is one that when viewed from any angle outlines the member's hair so that it conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to the natural termination point without eccentric directional flow, twists or spiking" (Air Force Instruction 36-2903, 2014).


Beginning in the late 1980s, it crossed over into civilian life, being embraced first by mostly young black males (see hi-top fade), then spread to like-aged men in other groups. From the 1990s and to date, the hairstyle has also been popular among Middle Eastern youth, namely those of Lebanese and Assyrian descent.


An airman with a "recon" style haircut
Horseshoe flattop
In this version of the high and tight, the top of the head is clipped in a flattop style, with the hair short enough that the scalp is plainly visible along the centerline of the anteroposterior axis of the head. This creates the distinctive appearance of seemingly having a horseshoe-shaped hairstyle. The exposed scalp is sometimes referred to as a "landing strip".
This version has higher boundaries, with the only hair present starting well above the crown of the head. The name is a reference to the haircut's association with reconnaissance units of the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Navy. The "recon" can also be cut short on the top to incorporate the look of the horseshoe flattop.

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.