The Full Wiki

High and tight: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Marine sporting a high and tight haircut.

The high and tight is a military variant of the buzz cut. It is a very short hairstyle most commonly worn by men in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army. Due to the functionality and authoritative appearance of this hairstyle, it's also popular with law enforcement officers and other public safety personnel.

While many variations of the style exist, the one common denominator is that all of the hair on the sides and back of the head is clipped very close, usually 1/16 inch or shorter, up to a point above the temples. In some cases, a sharp line delineates the boundary between the close-cut sides and back and the longer top portion, but most often a gradual, tapering effect, or "fade", is achieved. 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 (1/4 to 3/8 inch), but sometimes left long enough to comb. Sometimes the back and sides of the head are shaved completely with a razor.

Beginning in the late 1980s, it crossed over into civilian life, being embraced first by mostly young African-American males (see hi-top fade), then spread to like-aged men in other groups. Although "high and tight" is a term commonly used within the military and law enforcement communities, the same haircut is often 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.


  • 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".

Other uses

"High and tight" is baseball slang for a pitch on the upper inside corner of the strike zone, i.e., a high brushback pitch.

"High and tight" is also used in the shipping industry to describe loading freight from the floor clear to the ceiling of a trailer with no spaces in between. This is used for large loads or when a driver must make multiple stops to pick up freight.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address