The High and Tight is a curly hairstyle that favours men with curly hair. Known to be the insignia hairstyle of the Marines, the High and Tight hairstyle is simple in that the sides and back are shaved or closely cropped, leaving the top to be cut/styled with scissors or hair clipper to a length of 2 inches or less. What separates this hairstyle from other clipped hairstyles is that there is no fading or tapering of the areas to be shaved/cropped, rather, everything except the top of the scalp is left shaved or clipped near-shaved. Thus, the High and Tight is a hairstyle for men with curly hair which has the individual sporting short length curls.
To get your High and Tight haircut first, you should visualize an imaginary line going around the head in a straight pattern from one temple to the other, with all the hair below this imaginary line to be shaved or clipped very short (#0-#2 guard length) and the hair above the line to be clipped with a different guard length or trimmed with scissors (see the picture above for an idea of the level at which the line is visualized).
The High and Tight hairstyle is favored by fighters and sportsmen
I have found that setting the aforementioned imaginary line anywhere lower than temple height defeats the aesthetics of the hairstyle and can end up making one look like a human mushroom. The High and Tight hairstyle is especially useful for men with curly hair because it gives a clean look yet allows for the expression of one’s curly hair and retains a masculine look. It very much suits any type of face, although those with square type faces will find that this hairstyle might instill a too masculine-looking appearance.
The High and Tight hairstyle looks diesel on pretty much all men with curly hair
One must be careful digging into this hairstyle because the contrast between the hair at the top and the shaved sides and back is very noticeable, especially in men of fainter skin and dark hair. Understand that your scalp cannot tan under normal circumstances as the hair in the scalp act as a barrier to stop the everyday ultraviolet rays from the sun, so the skin covering your scalp will be untanned, unless your hair is already clipped very short. This means that if you decide to jump into the High and Tight hairstyle straight away without building up some tanning on the scalp skin, the contrast of white scalp skin with your facial complexion and your hair color will be too strong. The only exception would be for our fellow black readers as their scalp skin will already be of the same complexion as their facial skin; the High and Tight hairstyle is also a great hairstyle for black men as it suits the tight Type IV-V curls that black folks tend to have for their natural curly hair.
To give you an example, I once decided to jump on the bandwagon and did a high and tight from a medium length hairstyle, only to find people could spot me from three miles away as my scalp skin was way lighter in tone than my facial skin. My recommendation is to prepare for such a haircut by first having the barber cropping your sides and back with the clippers (say a #1 or #2), and allowing the newly clipped areas of the scalp to tan a bit with natural sun exposure. After a week or two of allowing the scalp to tan naturally, you can then shave it all and get your diesel High and Tight hairstyle!
The High and Tight hairstyle toughens the face of those men who get this haircut
Overall, the High and Tight hairstyle is a great curly hairstyle for those looking for low maintenance and still being able to have some curls to add to their image. Be aware that this hairstyle will automatically masculinize your face, that is, children will be running away from you and you will be called “Sir” quite a few times. Make sure to smile plenty and use your gentleman’s skills to offset any preconceived notions. From personal experience too, you will get random people asking if you are in the military, which can make for some fun conversations!
All the best,