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The High And Tight With A Receding Hairline [Guide]

August 2, 2023
The High And Tight With A Receding Hairline [Guide]

While a receding hairline shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when choosing a hairstyle, it’s important to not ignore it. It’s no secret that certain styles will look better than others. So, is the high and tight good for a receding hairline? 

The high and tight works very well for people with receding hairlines because the short and high sides make receding temples appear less noticeable. In addition, the contrast in length between the short sides and the longer hair on top makes thinning hair appear fuller as a result. 

Let’s dig a little deeper. 

What Exactly Is The “High And Tight” Haircut? 

The high and tight is a hairstyle where the sides and back are clipped very short or shaved up to a point above the temples. This is where it gets the “high” portion of its name from. 

example of a high and tight
Image From Shutterstock

The ultra-short sides sharply transition into the longer hair on top. This hair can vary in length, but will usually be at least a #2 (6mm). 

The sharp transition from the clipped/shaved sides and back to the longer hair on top leads to a strip-like appearance of the hair on top when viewed from above. This is where it gets the “tight” portion of its name from. 

High and tight haircuts are often considered a variation of the buzz cut. 

It differs from induction-style buzz cuts because the high and tight does not have all of the hair clipped down to the same exact length. There’s a contrast in length between the sides and the top. 

A high and tight


It also differs from crew cuts and Ivy Leagues because the sides do not gradually blend into the longer hair on top. It transitions sharply, leading to the borders of the hair on top being delineated by clear lines. 

In addition, with crew cuts, Ivy Leagues, and butch cuts, the sides are not brought up as high as they are with the high and tight. 

The style is very commonly worn in the military as the heavily tapered appearance of the high and tight conforms very well with regulations. 

5 Benefits Of The High And Tight For A Receding Hairline

Here are the main benefits the high and tight will have for receding hairlines explained in more detail. 

The High Sides Absorb The Receding Hairline

A receding hairline will start at the temples and gradually advance backward. 

For people with receding hairlines, a great way of making them less obvious is to simply shave or clip down the sides so high that the hairless temples simply look like they’re a part of the style. 

The high and tight is so high that the temples simply get absorbed by the shaved/clipped sides and the receding hairline looks less obvious as a result. 

The shorter you’ve got the sides, the more pronounced this effect will be. 

Shaved sides will make receding temples look the least noticeable because it really does just look like the receding temples are a part of the shaved sides. 

But overall, the high and tight works so well because the sides are brought up so high. In that respect, it’s even better than crew cuts for receding hairlines. 

Buzzed Hair Makes Thin Hair Look Fuller

The trouble with a receding hairline is that it’s often not the only thing balding men worry about.

They also often have thinning hair on top. 

When people first notice this, their first instinct is to grow their hair longer in order to try and hide it. The unfortunate comb over is usually the end result. 

This usually has the opposite of the intended and makes the thinning hair more noticeable. 

The best way of dealing with thinning hair is to actually trim it down short and even. 

This makes thinning hair appear fuller by reducing the contrast between the thin areas and the not-so-thin areas. 

When you’ve got hair that’s of different levels of thickness and different lengths sitting right next to each other, it makes the thin areas look even thinner in comparison. 

The solution is to trim everything down to the same short and even length.

That’s why buzz cut variations work so well for people with thinning hair. High and tights are no exception. 

While the hair on top is left longer than the short sides, it’s still very short and very evenly trimmed. 

As a result, thin hair on top appears less thin. 

The Short Sides Make The Top Hair Look Fuller

Another reason why the hair on top looks fuller and less thin is due to the contrast in length between the short sides and the longer hair on top. 

Having this contrast makes the hair on top look fuller in comparison. 

The greater the contrast in length between the short sides and the longer hair on top, the more pronounced and obvious this effect will be. 

Many buzz cut variations that have this contrast in length between the top and the sides will benefit from this effect. That includes crew cuts, butch cuts, and Ivy Leagues. 

The high and tight is no exception. 

It’s Extremely Low Maintenance

The high and tight is one of those styles where you can really “set it and forget it”. 

The fact that it’s so effortlessly sharp, neat, and tidy is one of the reasons why it’s been so common in the military. It just oozes simplicity. 

One of the downsides of having a receding hairline with longer hairstyles is that they’re often tough to manage. 

Constant styling often takes place to try to make the receding hairline appear less obvious. Twisting, tousling, quiffing, combing – it all takes time and effort. 

The beauty of trimming a high and tight when you’ve got a receding hairline is that you’re essentially embracing the hairline by trimming everything down so short. 

You’re accepting it and working with it instead of trying to hide it. 

Trimming a buzz cut or a buzz cut variation when you’ve got a receding hairline is quite a liberating experience for this very reason. 

You won’t have to spend 10 minutes trying to style every strand to perfection in the morning. 

The high and tight is one of those styles where there really isn’t much you can do with it in the first place. It’s just too short to style in any case and that’s the great thing about it. 

The hair on top may be just long enough to perhaps style a short quiff – but that’s about it. 

Most high and tights really don’t have this much length in any case. There’s nothing you can do with it. Just enjoy this simplicity. 

It Suits Most Face Shapes

The high and tight works well for most face shapes. It’s very versatile in this respect. 

You can split face shapes into rounder ones, shorter ones, and longer ones. 

Rounder face shapes benefit from the high and tight because so much length and fullness is removed from the sides. 

This can have a slimming effect on round faces. 

In addition, the hair on top is still short enough to not make longer face shapes (eg. oblong, rectangular, diamond) look too elongated despite the removal of the fullness at the sides. 

Overall, the style strikes a nice balance in this way. 


Overall, the high and tight is a great style to consider for anyone with a receding hairline. 

The benefits are pretty clear. If you aren’t sure, it’s worth trying out to see for yourself. 

Going this short can be nerve-wracking at first, so maybe don’t go for fully shaved sides on the first run. 

Take it slow and ease yourself into it. Try out a longer high and tight style first. If you love it, you can always go shorter to exaggerate the benefits further.