28 Best High and Tight Haircuts for Men Wanting a Clean Cut

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Best high and tight haircuts for men
Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

If you’re a man looking for a clean-cut hairstyle, the high and tight cut might be perfect for you.

It’s versatile, low-maintenance, and easy to style.

But with so many variations, how do you know which one is right for you? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In this article, you’ll find 23 of the best high and tight haircuts for men with pictures, benefits, and drawbacks of each style to help you choose the perfect one. Our expert tips will guide you through the process of choosing and maintaining your high and tight cut.

What is a High and Tight Haircut?

High and tight haircuts are a military-inspired men’s haircut that features skin-shaved sides and hair on top that is slightly longer. What used to be a haircut you’d only find inside the barracks, this military look took a leap in popularity as modern men start preferring neat and polished hairstyles.

Meet The Expert

Siobhan Collins
Siobhan Collins
Siobhan is a barber currently working in San Diego, CA

#1 Tip for a Great High & Tight Cut

Pick a cut that compliments your face. Collins emphasizes the importance of choosing a haircut that enhances your features and makes you feel confident.

It’s Benefits

Classic tight cut for everyone. Collins notes that the high and tight is a short style, allowing for more time between cuts. It’s perfect for working professionals or anyone wanting a classic look.

Drawbacks to Consider

Beware of hair bumps. The main drawback of high and tight cuts is the increased risk of hair bumps, particularly for those with certain hair textures.

Common Misconceptions

The style is not for everyone. Collins explains that many people think high and tight cuts won’t suit them, or their barber may avoid the style. It’s important to choose a cut that boosts your confidence and enhances your features.

Ask Your Barber the Right Questions

Clear communication is key. Collins suggests asking your barber if the style is right for you. Trust your barber’s opinion, as they are trained professionals who know you and have your best interest at heart.

Photos of The Best Hight and Tight Haircuts

Before your next trip to the barbershop, check out these photos of military high and tight haircuts!

Photos
High and Tight for Curly Hairstyle
Instagram @vbodnarr

#1: High and Tight for Curly Hair

Forward-swept high and tight fits curly men best because it highlights the coils while enhancing masculine features.

Tight and High with a Beard for Men
Instagram @vbodnarr

#2: Tight and High with a Beard

If you’re looking to achieve a stylish and modern look, consider going for a tight and high haircut paired with a beard. This hairstyle looks sharp. The hair is cut short and tight on the sides and back. It fades into a longer length on top. The tight and high style offers a bold contrast. It gives a sleek and defined look. This style is great for men who prefer a polished look. To maintain this style, visit the barber shop twice a month. This will keep the sides and back neat and well-groomed.

#3: High and Tight with a Beard Fade

A modern and stylish haircut option for men is the high and tight with a beard fade. The high and tight haircut has a short length on the back and sides. The short hair then gradually gets longer towards the top. This creates a bold, eye-catching look. The high and tight with beard fade is a great choice for men who want a sharp, clean look. It helps enhance facial features. It’s flattering for men with square or oval face shapes. Regular visits to the barber are needed to maintain the style. They keep the fade looking fresh.

Simple and Striking High and Tight Cut for Men
Instagram @ali_bar.ber

#4: Simple and Striking

This simple and striking men’s haircut is perfect for any gentleman wanting a low-maintenance, edgy hairstyle. To get the look, you should consult with your barber. They can provide a hair fade that matches your face length and a suitable top hair length for your hair texture. Using matte clay every day is a great way to maintain this hairstyle.

High and Tight Clean Cut for Guys
Instagram @vbodnarr

#5: High and Tight Clean Cut

The high and tight clean cut is a popular and timeless hairstyle for men. It features short sides and a slightly longer length on top. The high fade or undercut adds a stylish contrast and makes the hair appear thicker. The high and tight clean cut is versatile and suits various face shapes and hair types. Remember that this style requires regular trims to keep the sides short and the top neatly groomed.

#6: High and Tight Edgar Cut with a Beard

Try something new and short for the summer! You could try this Edgar cut with a beard. It’s a modern and stylish haircut that combines a high and tight fade with an Edgar-style haircut. It features a sharp and defined hairline. The addition of a well-groomed beard complements the clean lines of the haircut. The beard adds a touch of rugged masculinity.

#7: Tight Fade Men’s Haircut

This classic high and tight fade offers a neat and wholesome hairstyle that gents will love! The contrast of the tapered sides matches the parted top to create a sophisticated fade. The top hair was cut short in layers to make a dense patch.

#8: High and Tight Fade Haircut

High and tight curls with a taper fade create that thick forest of hair that can be styled to your heart’s content. A sharp slice 2-3 inches above the ear will allow you to mimic a neat tapered haircut like this.

#9: High and Tight Haircut for Balding Men

A high and tight haircut for balding men maintains some length through the front but blends neatly in the areas where hair thinning is apparent. Be sure to take the tight fade high up, allowing for a seamless transition to a hairstyle that’s ideal for an older man.

#10: High and Tight with Long Hair on Top

The high and tight haircut with long on top and a skin fade like this is golden! Shave your sides but still retain longer hair on top.

Long and Tight
Instagram @barberobengie

#11: Long and Tight

A long high and tight haircut like this is a style that works best on men with thick hair. Shaved sides remind me of cream being poured into coffee. Fluffed pompadour balances out this sharp high cut hair.

Short and Tight for a Gentleman
Instagram @cal_newsome

#12: Short and Tight Haircut for a Gentleman

Famous athletes swear by short high and tight haircuts. It’s neat, manageable, but most of all it gives room for various styling. A skin tight fade haircut like this would also look great on dudes when paired with a beard for a more balanced style.

Spiky High and Tight Hair
Instagram @virgiltb

#13: Spiky High and Tight Hair

This spiky version of a high and tight cut looks and feels like a fuzzy rug. Style comfortably without letting go of that manly aura.

High and Tight Flattop
Instagram @rhoan_afroarts

#14: High and Tight Flattop

Nothing screams the 90’s like a high and tight flattop hairstyle like this! The dense, short hair gives form to the cut. Keep in mind that this is an ideal high and tight men’s haircut for straight hair only.

high and tight Caesar Cut
Instagram @rpb_nq

#15: High and Tight Caesar Cut

This high and tight Caesar cut is sure an avant-garde! Males can try out this kind of slick and matted cut if they have straight hair.

#16: High and Tight + Drop Fade

High and tight with a drop fade is for men who are on the go and prefer a professional hairstyle that’s quick and easy.

Kristi Benigno, a hairstylist from North Carolina, created this cut using metal blades. “I get a tighter fade when using metal blades,” Benigno says. “I use a foil razor and a straight blade on the tapered bold fade.”

High and tight men’s haircuts need maintenance every 2-3 weeks. For styling, Benigno uses Suavecito’s Matte Pomade.

#17: High and Tight Faux Hawk

The high and tight faux hawk is great for its versatility in the definition of the cut, lightness, and practicality of the very short sides. Cuts like this are what barber Cris Aita of Brazil usually creates.

One great thing about it is its guaranteed success in attracting looks at the evening parties. It also helps a lot to lengthen more rounded faces.

“When styling for definition, I like very dry pastes or water-based ointments, with a medium or strong setting,” Aita suggests.

Bald Fade for High and Tight Haircut
Instagram @finelinesbyart

#18: Bald Fade for High and Tight Haircut

There are lots of names for this look, ranging from bald fade to high and tight. Anyone can appreciate this look because it suits the club and professional environments. While it’s a fresh and crisp look, it’s also high maintenance. Men with more sensitive scalps or those who suffer from eczema and other skin conditions might stay from this high and tight bald fade cut because of the potential for flare-ups due to both the aggressive nature of the cut and the sheer amount of exposed skin.

High and Tight for Thin Hair
Instagram @_mac_barber

#19: High and Tight for Thin Hair

This high and tight for thinner hair is a clean, fresh, and easy to manage cut. “I like it because it’s a timeless haircut for all ages,” says Noel McEneany, a barber from the UK.

High and tight haircuts pretty much suit any face shapes. “This cut suits the busy guy who doesn’t want the hassle of styling their hair for 20 minutes before they go to work. Just minimum matte paste or clay run through the hair for a messy look, or a spray of salt spray onto freshly out-of-the-shower hair left to dry naturally to rework during the day,” McEneany explains.

#20: High and Tight Buzz Cut

This is a high and tight buzz cut! It’s down to the skin most of the way up, fading into a very close cut on top. Barber Kate Merola of New Jersey says that the best thing about it is that it’s such a clean and easy look.

“Anybody can rock it – from young kids to government officials! I have many guys who just like the low-maintenance and longevity of it. It’s a long-time favorite look that is making a strong comeback,” Merola explains.

Anybody who likes an easy hairstyle that allows you to get up and go in the morning should consider the high and tight look! No hair brushing or products necessary!

High and Tight Pompadour
Instagram @miguel.ace_

#21: High and Tight Pompadour

Masculine and dapper – this high and tight pompadour is a marine style that meets rockabilly! The stylist created this look is Miguel Acevedo from Toronto, ON.

“I love mixing classics up to create something new. It’s got the low-maintenance and clean look of a high and tight hairstyle, with enough up top to keep it elegant,” Acevedo states.

Acevedo recommends a high and tight with a quiff style to any man who’s creative and cares about their look but doesn’t want to fuss too much styling it.

“This look will suit any face type except oblong rectangular or diamond as the height of the top lengthens the face. To style, just a quick blow or towel dry, brush back and finish with a bit of pomade or paste – matte or glossy to preference,” Acevedo suggests.

#22: High and Tight with Side Part

This high and tight hard part was made for the modern man challenging the stereotypical business look. I love how clean the cut is, all while bringing attention to his facial hair. They complement one another. Be aware, though. This isn’t a cut for guys who go weeks before the next appointment.

When wanting to try this high and tight cut, these are the questions that your barber must ask you first: Have you ever had a bald fade? How often are you willing to have your cut done?  Having a hard part line is a commitment. The grow-out could be uncomfortable if you aren’t a regular in the chair.

Messy High and Tight with Beard
Instagram @iisakkinummi

#23: Messy High and Tight with Beard

This high and tight with a beard is a short and messy undercut hairstyle, designed by hair artist Iisakki Nummi of Finland. “For me, the best thing is that it’s a very salon-friendly cut. It fits most of the cool guys with ripped jeans but also there’s something punk-rock in it,” says Nummi.

High and tight haircuts are a good alternative to just a short messy haircut if you want to add there a bit more character. Nummi personally used a lot of razor doing this, to make the shattered texture to the hair.

“Use the salt spray before blow-drying it with your fingers, and put some texturizing (spray) wax and mess it up,” Nummi states, describing how to style this messy high and tight cut.

Prohibition High and Tight Haircut
Instagram @petelenational

#24: Prohibition High and Tight Haircut

High and tight haircuts are all about adding softness with boardroom masculinity to traditional fades with hard-edged definitions.

“All the shadow lines and carved side partitions are purposely slightly curved to add a richer dimension with a fluid finish.” This is how barber Peter Sykes of Montreal, QC describes this creation.

Sykes continues, “It’s for dudes who want to show they’ve graduated to the big leagues of work and play!”

#25: High and Tight with Comb Over Fade for Bearded Guys

This high and tight with a comb-over is more of a classic but new-age style. Created by barber Earl Harris of Florida, it’s more of a combination of a pompadour and an uptown fade.

“The beard brings the haircut together. When you go for a classic haircut, a beard can really enhance the cut,” Harris notes.

Some of the products that Harris used to style it are Elegance Pomade Hair Wax and Bigen Color Enhancement for the beard.

High and Tight Afro for Black Men
Instagram @barbershmelev

#26: High and Tight Afro for Black Men

The idea of this high and tight afro hair was to cut an asymmetric flattop while adding some softness and to round solid angles. As per look creator Anton Shmelev of Russia, the result was a great afro look for black men or African-American guys and it sucсessfully combines futuristic and tribal motives.

This high and tight flattop haircut is perfect for creative and eccentric personalities. It will be great for athletes, dancers, and even singers. Shmelev suggests, “The best styling product for this haircut is strong-hold hairspray.”

High and Tight Mohawk
Instagram @studio.z.6ix

#27: High and Tight Mohawk

This modern high and tight mohawk for gentlemen is a medium-length with razor cut textured ends. Barber Zee Ali of Canada created it with straight shear cutting, leaving 3-4 inches of hair in the crown and temple of the head, extended in a V shape all the way to the nape area. It has razor sliced ends (1 inch) adding texture and bulk weight removal.

Ali emphasizes, “The contrasting textures of this haircut have a very bold and fortified modern feel, with a full-bearded (ice-pick shaved outline) zero skin mid-blend on both sides with a freehand styled hawk.”

Great high and tight haircuts are always tailored to your face shape, and the key is to create balance and synergy. “Considering a new look like this, consult with your stylist. The oval, round, triangle and square profiles can be best suited for this haircut making it versatile. Oblong or elongated face shapes may require less length in the crown (1- 2.5 inches hair length) to create balance in shape and feel. 5-clock shadows, goatees, clean-shaven are all fungible,” Ali explains.

#28: High and Tight Undercut

There are so many variations of an undercut and this one is cut high and tight with no fade.

Australia-based style creator Simone Joseph says, “It’s about finding what suits your head and face shape. The texture of your hair determines how it will fall naturally and how it’s best to style.”

The best thing about high and tight haircuts is the number of variations in the cut. There are options for everyone. You can vary the fade and experiment with the beard.

According to Joseph, the products that never fail with these styles are texture dust for grit, matte pastes for an undone, piece-y look, or hair mousses and gels for volume and definition. “Then, finish the look with a shine spray or hairspray,” he continues.