The High and Tight haircut, Recon Hairstyle for Curly Men!

The High and Tight hairstyle is a very popular style for men with curly hair and since I have blogged about this curly hairstyle in the past, I would like to now bring you a variation of the same with a haircut twist to it: the High and Tight Recon hairstyle.


Mark Salling with a curly High and Tight Recon hairstyle

Curly haired Mark Salling of Glee is well known for sporting a High and Tight Recon hairstyle


Just like its predecessor, the High and Tight Recon hairstyle is a style for curly men that is very suitable among those with tighter curls (Type III to V) and is very popular among military men. It is a low maintenance hairstyle and requires a minimalist haircut to perform. Likewise, it is a masculinizing curly hairstyle hence its popularity among the aforementioned military crowd as well as fighters and those men that partake in activities requiring an intimidating look. In fact, the term recon is derived precisely from the popularity of this hairstyle among the special reconnaissance teams in the US Marines and US Navy.


A soldier sporting a curly High and Tight recon hairstyle

The High and Tight Recon hairstyle is very popular among men in the military


The premise of the High and Tight Recon hairstyle is to have a shaved head with a minimal patch of clipped curly hair on top of the head (known as a landing strip). That is it, as simple as it sounds, no fancy add-ons. The High and Tight Recon hairstyle differs from the conventional High and Tight in that the former has more areas of the scalp shaved allowing for a smaller landing strip. It is, thus, a more extreme hairstyle which is not as suitable as the conventional High and Tight for utilitarian purposes outside those confined to the military (i.e it is not a hairstyle for a conservative office setting).


A soldier with a High and Tight Recon haircut

The High and Tight Recon hairstyle delivers in terms of minimalism and low maintenance


The initial haircut for the High and Tight Recon hairstyle requires some special approach but its day to day requires low to medium maintenance. The High and Tight Recon haircut involves the use of a razor and a clipper. There are no scissors involved because the landing strip is kept to a maximum of a #4 hair clipper length, not more, which is a distinct quality of this curly hairstyle and which is not shared with the conventional High and Tight hairstyle.

Pretty much any men with curly hair can delve into the High and Tight Recon because the only requirement to have in terms of hair is a minimal 1/6 inch of hair length on the top of the head. Thus, this hairstyle is an option for those curly men with short, medium and long hair lengths who want to spice up their curls. In fact, I have personally used this hairstyle in the past and I went from sporting a manly mane of medium length curls to a tight High and Tight Recon in about 45 minutes. It was a drastic change in hairstyle in such a little amount of time and I could not recognize myself in the mirror for the following few days!


Curly Rogelio with a High and Tight Recon hairstyle

My High and Tight Recon. I have done some extreme stuff with my curly hair in the name of pioneering this community!


The haircut for the High and Tight Recon is performed as follows:

1) Clip the sides and back of head with the lowest guard number you can do (commonly a #0 or #1)

2) Clip the top of the head to a guard number that you would like the landing strip to be at (#1 up to #4)

3) Shave the newly clipped sides and back of the head. Use shaving cream and a mirror. Take your time.


The back of a high and tight recon curly hairstyle

Everything save the landing strip on the top must be shaved!


4) Now get shaving the top of the head too and carefully shape your own landing strip. The landing strip starts at the hairline on your forehead and goes back towards the vertex (top back of head). Since you will be playing around with the area of the landing strip, first start with a landing strip that is 7 inches in length (from hairline to back of the head) and 3 inches in width. Do not fade the dividing line between the shaved scalp and the landing strip.


Top view of the High and Tight Recon curly hairstyle

Once the sides and back of the head are shaved, shave the top of the head as you concomitantly shape your landing strip


5) Continue to play around with the length and width of the landing strip of your High and Tight Recon. Do not make the landing strip wider than its length! You will find that even the smallest landing strips still look cool although I recommend 4 inches in length and 1.5 inches in width for best results. If you got your High and Tight haircut reconned correctly, it should look something like this:


Mark Salling with a curly High and Tight recon

The High and Tight Recon will add an interesting look to your image


If, instead, it looks something like below… dude, you did it wrong!


Ronaldo shows how a High and Tight hairstyle has gone wrong

If you end up like this, then all I can say is to finish it off and shave all your head


Also, do the High and Tight Recon properly, grow a diesel beard, and you too will get to pity the fool:


Mr T with a curly high and tight recon hairstyle

In my years of watching The A-Team, B.A Baracus never made a wrong decision


The High and Tight Recon is an extreme curly hairstyle, albeit one that is worth the shot if you are tired of the same hairstyles and can pull off this unconventional style in your day to day scenarios. It requires a minimalist haircut for curly hair and will bring you back to the basics in terms of what a hairstyle is. I highly recommend this hairstyle for those brave men with curly hair who are not content with being like “the rest of the crowd”, which coincidentally, is the sort of stuff we like here at Manly Curls.

Get Recon-ing, curly fellows!

All the best.


Banner for the Barbershop Forums, a male grooming and men's hairstyles community.

Men's Hair Forum is a mens hairstyles, haircuts, shaving and male grooming community.


Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

More Posts

3 comments for “The High and Tight haircut, Recon Hairstyle for Curly Men!

  1. Colin Springett
    June 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    I found a old guy in North London who did a great flat-top, I went every two weeks for years. As it went on I didn’t notice that it became shorter and shorter. A landing strip gradually came into being…..then it went from a 4 to 3 to 2 then 1 grade..eventually I went the whole way and got white walls…..that summer was Great! Suddenly the shop closed, the guy closed..
    Went back to shaving the lot….

  2. Colin Springett
    June 4, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Keep up the good work

  3. andrew
    January 5, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Thank goodness being totally shaven bald has come back into fashion. Like Yul Brynner, i have to shave twice a day to keep the very manly look….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *