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High and Tight Vs. Crew Cut: What Are The Differences?

For your next haircut, do you want a ‘high and tight‘ hairstyle or would you prefer a ‘crew cut‘? It is better to understand the terms before you head to the barbershop so that you will know what you are talking about when you get there. Our guide will help you to understand the differences between a Crew Cut and a High and Tight hairstyle for men.


Difference Between High & Tight Vs Crew Cut

So how you will be able to differentiate between these two very similar, but not the same haircuts? Below are the 6 distinctive points between high and tight vs crew cuts so that you can identify it instantly.

#1: Length

High and Tight

men High and Tight hairstyle

A high and tight style is one that has been clipped short all of the way around the back and the sides of the head. However, the hair on the top of the head is normally left longer. The length of the hair on the top of the head is normally one of two guards longer than the length that the hair is cut along the sides and around the back.


Crew Cut

Men's trendy Crew Cut

With a Crew Cut hairstyle, the length of the hair is tapered at the sides and the back of the head. The hair on the top of the head is neatly clipped or trimmed so that the hair at the front is slightly longer than the hair which is closest to the crown.


#2: Origin

High and Tight

Origin High and Tight cut for men

The High and Tight cut is a classic style which has been used by the US military for a long time. This look was chosen by the military to help to ensure that all men looked the same and felt part of a unit. Short style like this help men to keep cool when they are in hot environments and prevent the hairstyle from becoming a distraction when they are in dangerous combat scenarios.


Crew Cut

Men favorite origin Crew Cut

Crew cut hairstyles for men are similar to High and Tight hairstyles in that they were created as a uniform style for men. These cuts are easy to create and help to give men a neat, clean appearance. Rather than being a purely military style, Crew Cuts have often been worn by sportsmen, including rowing crews and soccer players.


#3: Face Shape

High & Tight Vs Crew Cut - suitable face shape

Both haircuts suit different face shapes.

High and Tight Cut

A high and tight cut is great for those with thinner faces with sharp features, but since it is longer on the top and adds volume, those with wider foreheads could pull it off. 

People with thinner, angular, or square face should get a high and tight cut. Those with more round faces should opt out of the high and tight style because it can accentuate the roundness. 


Crew Cut

The crew cut suits those with a similar face shape as the high and tight cut. However, any face shape with a larger forehead should steer clear of a crew cut. Those with larger or wider foreheads do not want to draw attention to the width of the forehead. 


#4: Fade

One of the biggest differences between the high and tight and crew cuts is the fade.

High and Tight Cut

difference between high and tight and crew cut - high and tight fade

The high and tight cut requires a fade to create that signature bold contrast between the back and sides of the head and the top. The fade is usually shaved completely and is not gradual. 


Crew Cut

difference between high and tight and crew cut - crew cut fade

Crew cuts can have a slight fade or tapering, but it is important to note that the high and tight is essentially the faded version of a crew cut.


#5: Variations

High and Tight Cuts

men Variations hairstyle

The major variations that can be seen with High and Tight cuts are the variations in the thickness of the long hair on top of the head. Some men with high and tight haircuts will style their hair so that the short sections at the sides of the hair go up and over onto the top of the head. This can help to create a Mohawk-like hairstyle.

Exquisite Hipster Hairstyles for Men

Crew Cuts

favorite Crew Cuts for men

US Crew Cuts and European Crew Cuts are slightly different from one another. In European Crew Cuts, all of the hair is left the same length. However, in American Crew Cuts, the hairstyle tends to be tapered in certain sections. In some variations of the style, the hair is left much longer at the front so that it can be pulled up into a peak or rolled over to create a quiff. Shorter Crew Cuts may be referred to as Buzz Cuts.


#6: Maintenance 

These two hair cuts are on the shorter side, but require different levels of maintenance.

High and Tight Cut

high and tight haircut maintenance

High and tight cuts are more difficult to maintain because of the short sides and length on the top. If it gets too long on the top, it will fall in your eyes, so you must consistently get it cut to keep it at its proper length. 


Crew Cut

Crew cuts are easier to maintain than tight cuts because once it grows out, you have more time in between haircuts where you can manipulate the style.