Also known as a “military cut” or “flattop,” the high-and-tight hair style made its debut on male military members in the late 1980s. Though the style's specific origins are unknown, it's thought to be an evolved form of the mohawk. Needless to say, it's remains popular among both military members and civilians.
Variations of the High-and-Tight
The first popular high-and-tight haircuts were known as “flattop” cuts. For this, the hair is cut very close under the crown and then grown a few inches above the head. It is cut off very flat at the top, hence the name. From that basic style, there are three main variations: the fade, horseshoe, and the recon. The fade cut leaves a good amount of hair near the crown of the head, but is then cut very close to the scalp further down. The horseshoe is the most extreme high and tight cut, and leaves a small section of short buzzed hair about an inch or two above the crown resembling a mohawk. The recon is similar to the horseshoe, with the majority of hair being a small section cut a few inches above the crown. However, unlike the horseshoe, there is also an inch or two of hair under the small section buzzed very close to the head.
Should You Get the High-and-Tight?
Since the high-and-tight cut is a bit drastic, there are a few things you should consider before taking the plunge. First: your face shape. Short cuts accentuate many face shapes, but high-and-tight cuts look best on those with round and oval shaped faces. The style also works well for oblong face shapes because they create the illusion of a shorter face. (Learn how to determine your face shape here.) You should also consider your hairline and height. Wearing your hair forward with a receding hairline is obviously a bad idea, so if you're balding you might want to look elsewhere for inspiration. Finally, growing your hair above your head will give the illusion of more height, so this is definitely something to consider.
How to Style the High-and-Tight
This style is very easy to maintain. Beyond your daily shampoo and conditioner, all you need is a light, flexible cream to keep any strays in place.
—Victor Macias, Co-Founder of MaleStandard.com