How to style the high and tight haircut (Men’s Guide to High and Tight Cuts)

Men’s hairstyles have been varying with changing times and evolving trends. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what’s new and what’s not. This is even more so, if you’re a fan of fashion and try to keep track of what’s hot right now. The good news is that some hairdos never go out of style, and the high and tight haircut is one of them. 

The high and tight haircut is an old barbershop classic that has retained its popularity across changing trends. We call it a classic because stylists and barbers have been doing it for years and the men continue to love it. Also, it’s a good look for different facial shapes and structures. This means it’s usually a safe bet when you don’t know what else to go for. It gives you a clean fade but retains enough on top to frame your head. As the fresh fade regrows, you get the time to mull over what kind of new hairdo to go for. So it’s a win-win in any scenario. 

Although the high and tight haircut is a classic look, you still need to frame and style it the right way. At first glance, it may look like nothing much is going on, but you need the right balance of cut and trim to achieve the look. To help you get the right cut, we’ll take you through every step of the process below.

Barber or DIY?

high and tight cut barber

To get a high and tight haircut, you have two choices to start with. You can let a barber do it for you, or you can do it yourself. The advantage of letting a barber do it is that he (or she) will probably have done it a hundred times already. So, he should already be pretty adept at getting a good cut for you. Also, you don’t have to worry about symmetric trims and balanced shaves if you go to a barber. He gets a good view of your entire head and is at a good vantage for a clean cut. The downside is that he may not get exactly what you have in mind

If you decide to do it yourself, there are a few things you’ll need. Aside from the trimming tools, you’ll need a good sense of the shape of your face. It’s tougher if you do it on your own, but you save some money, and you become a better self-stylist. 

Getting the High and Tight Haircut 

Assuming that you’re getting the haircut yourself, you’ll need a decent quality clipper or cutter. The high and tight haircut doesn’t need a lot of tools, but it’s good if you have three or four different blade sizes. The zero blade is usually where you start so better get it if you don’t already have one. 

First thing you have to do is figure out how wide you want your crop to be. You should be able to have a rough mental picture before you start trimming off your hair. Get a mental picture of where you’d want the ‘boundaries’ of the crop to be. This will make sure you don’t accidentally trim or shave off the wrong section of hair. The crop should be at the top of your head, and boundaries should be clear cut. The ‘high’ look comes from the neat crop, and the ‘tight’ look comes from the edge and the fades. 

Once you’ve made a mental note of how you want it to look, you can start clipping. Start by trimming the back and the sides of your head. The clipping should follow a bottom-up approach. You can use the zero blade at the very bottom to give it a smooth fade. Then’ as you move higher up, you can switch to the number two or three blades. 

high and tight man mirror

Have a Good Razor Blade

Once, you’ve covered the base, the choice of blades in the middle depends on you. You can go for a #1 blade if you want a harder fade, or you can use a higher number if you want more hair remaining. More importantly, you have to make sure that you’re clipping equal portions from both the back and sides

Finally, choose a razor blade that is bigger than the ones you used for the back and sides. Anything from a number 2 to number 5 should do depending on your preference. Use the clipper to trim the top in an even manner. Trimming on top should be relatively easy since you don’t have to bother too much with the length. 

The final look should be a trimmed buzz below (back and sides) and a crop on top that evens out on the sides. The well-trimmed boundaries on the crop should be clean and neat. This will give it the ‘tight’ look that separates it from the rest of the back and the sides. 

Styling the High and Tight Haircut

high and tight haircut hair supplies

Once you have the cut ready, you should also know how to style it properly. The good thing about the high and tight haircut is that it looks pretty good on its own. But if you’re stepping out for an event or occasion, you can always add a bit of panache to your hairdo. 

Step 1: Take a small squeeze of your preferred hair product and rub it thoroughly along your palms. Water-based pomades are great for light shine, and pastes are better for a dry and matte look.

Step 2: Push your hair forward from the back. Work your palms along with the hair so that the pomade/paste gets spread evenly. You can focus on the roots of the hair for better retention.

Step 3: Work the top part any way you wish, once the product is evenly worked through your hair. Some people leave it unkempt while others like a combed look. You can work it up or down based on what you prefer. 

Congratulations! You’re all set with the high and tight hairdo! 

Pair your fresh haircut with some charm, and you’re all set to woo the ladies wherever you go.  Also, self-care is self-love. Be sure to read on grooming tips for men.

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