Your choices for regulation cuts probably seem minimal, but you have more styles at your disposal than you think. While military haircuts have to adhere to some fairly strict standards, that doesn’t mean you can’t reveal a little personality.
It’s possible to be both uniform and unique, although it takes a special man to pull off such a feat. It mostly comes down to versatility.
You need to pick a style that falls within the guidelines you have to follow, but one that you can also style to your personal satisfaction when you’re off-duty and left to your own devices.
What is Regulation Haircut?
A regulation haircut features a side parting and short-medium hair on top of the head. The sides and back usually have a skin fade, which can be high or low.
However, having a small amount of hair on the back and sides is an option in variations of the look.
Some guys also opt to shave in a hard parting. This can be used for fashion purposes as well as making your haircut neater overall.
How to Get The Regulation Haircut?
Create your desired parting, then start on the top of your hair, cutting it down to your desired length. You can use scissors or a trimmer for this.
Now for the sides, you have a couple of options: go gradual or create contrast. To create contrast, choose a short guard size, such as 1/8″. Shave the sides and back of your head with this.
Then remove the guard entirely to create your skin fade. Choose where you want the fade to start, then shave this area of the head.
If you’d prefer a gradual fade, the premise is similar. You’ll need to start with your 1/8″ guard but then have a 1/16″ section before you remove the guard for the skin fade. Tidy up the skin with a razor if desired.
You can also change the guard sizes from what we recommend depending on your desired look. If you’d like a variation, such as a temple or taper fade, then it’s best to go to a barber.
Best Regulation Haircuts for Men
A regulation cut doesn’t have to look cookie cutter. Sure, you have rules to follow, but that doesn’t mean you have to eschew the entire idea of personal style. It just means that you have to get a bit clever when it comes to styling.
Frankly, there’s nothing sharper or more polished than a clean-cut ‘do. It’s all in how you wear your hair, anyway. Once your hair starts to wear you, then you’ve already lost! Here are 15 creative regulation haircut ideas for men to try.
1. Quiff and Taper Fade
Styling the front neatly is very important with regulation haircuts. A quiff keeps the hair slick and in a uniform curved shape across the head. It also helps show off your side parting.
A taper fade helps the cut stand out from fades that go all the way around the head.
2. Short Textured Cut
Getting some texture when you have your hair shorter on top will make it look more stylish. A very high fade makes the cut easy to maintain, and the hard parting gives it a respectful, fashionable twist.
3. Long with Gradual Fade
You can still keep the hair on top relatively long once it remains neat. Use styling cream and gently curve the hair back to one side with some volume.
On the sides get a low fade, making sure it’s gradual. There’s no need to fade it out to the skin if you don’t want to.
4. High Fade with Hard Part
High skin fades are among the easiest to maintain by yourself. A short hard parting that’s wider towards the front of the hairline can be done for fashion purposes.
On top, keep the hair short enough to require minimal styling while keeping a fluffy texture.
5. Sleek and Shiny
Do you like retro-looking styles? Slicking all your hair back with hard-hold gel will make you look like you stepped straight out of decades past.
A hard parting adds definition, and a high skin fade with plenty of contrast will make you appear dapper.
6. Regulation Cut with No Fade
Here we see a variation of common regulation haircuts. Most of them have a fade, but here the sides and back are all one short and even length.
Most of the length is on top, with textured hair that sweeps toward the forehead.
7. Fluffy Top with Gradual Fade
Nobody can deny the appeal of a fluffy texture on top of your head. The hard part creates a nice contrast with this look. On the sides, the fade is so streamlined that it looks more like a gradient.
8. Side Swept Blonde Locks
Blonde hair is so light that it’s very easy to create a cohesive look with a skin fade. The long top is swept to the side and held neatly with cream or gel.
The sides have a high fade with some contrast before it fades out to stubble. The light color makes the contrast appear subtle.
9. The Classic Regulation Cut
Not all regulation cuts look the same. Here’s a subtle undercut that’s neatly cropped on the sides and parted to perfection. Nothing wrong with that, men.
10. The Under-Buzz
Not quite a buzz cut and not quite an undercut, this style defies the norm. It’s short and neat, but there’s some edge in there—certainly enough to reveal a little something about your personality.
11. The Classic Cut
Oh, this spiked buzz is a popular choice. It’s severely short everywhere but the small, spiked thatch of hair on top. Styling is easy. Maintenance takes some dedication.
12. Regulation Buzz
Many regulation cuts feature some kind of buzz. The closely cropped sides and the longer buzz on top create a well-known combination seen in army movies and actual barracks.
Granted, these are not actually Caesar bangs—those haven’t yet made a comeback, fortunately. However, notice the way he combs his hair forward. That’s a subtle but noticeable way to soften a buzz cut.
14. The Officer and the Gentleman
Military men back in the day had it going on, you have to give it up for that. This is a regulation cut often seen in the 1940s and 1950s. To be honest, it’s due for a comeback.
15. The Subtle Fade
There’s no reason you can work in a faint fade. In fact, if you leave your top hair long enough, you can even form a pompadour. Talk about class.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that regulation haircuts are dull. You don’t have to look like everyone else, but neither do you have to break the rules. You just have to do you. What’s your go-to regulation style?