Best Military Haircuts For Men in 2023

The sides and back of the head can be styled in any way you see fit. The most foolproof option is to leave the hair one length all the way around (but shorter than the hair on top), although it’s possible to add a fade, side a high fade, into the mix, for a more updated and low maintenance look.

45 Handsome Military Haircut Styles

Men's Hairstyles Today

The military haircut is a popular choice for men who want a ruggedly handsome and low-maintenance style. A military hairstyle can be defined by a short cut on the sides, back and top of the head, creating a functional look for a soldier or law enforcement officer.

Whether you want short and modern or timeless and simple, these stylish military haircut styles are cool, fresh and flattering options that will enhance your masculine features. Some men will want a buzz cut with a fade on the sides and back, while others may prefer a crew cut with an undercut for a versatile longer style.

To inspire you with ideas, here are some examples of the best military haircuts for men. From the high and tight to the short comb over fade, these popular military-inspired hairstyles are effortlessly manly and easy to wear.

Military Haircuts

  • 1 Military Haircuts
    • 1.1 Buzz Cut
    • 1.2 Modern Caesar Cut with High Taper
    • 1.3 Spiked Fringe with Skin Faded Sides
    • 1.4 Crew Cut
    • 1.5 French Crop
    • 1.6 Hard Side Part
    • 1.7 Military Fade
    • 1.8 Modern Textured Cut with Disconnected Fade
    • 1.9 Bowl Cut
    • 1.10 Ivy League
    • 1.11 Brushed Up Fringe with Mid Taper
    • 1.12 Slick Back Fade
    • 1.13 Induction Cut
    • 1.14 Textured Spiky Hair Fade
    • 1.15 Regulation Cut
    • 1.16 Short Side Swept Ivy with High Taper
    • 1.17 Flat Top
    • 1.18 Thick High and Tight with Shaved Sides
    • 1.19 Faux Hawk Fade
    • 1.20 High and Tight
    • 1.21 Butch Cut
    • 1.22 High and Tight Recon
    • 1.23 Short Crop with Spiked Fringe and Low Bald Fade
    • 1.24 Burr Cut
    • 1.25 Thick Buzz Cut with High Skin Fade
    • 1.26 Comb Over
    • 1.27 Tousled Up with High Undercut
    • 1.28 Police Haircut
    • 1.29 Skin Fade
    • 1.30 Hard Part
    • 1.31 Shaved Head

    Military Haircuts

    Buzz Cut

    The buzz cut is a short military haircut that offers a clean and bold look for men who want an easy style. The buzz cut fade offers a modern and high-contrast look that can take your style to the next level. Guys can choose between a low, mid or high fade haircut on the sides and back to create an edgy and stylish finish. To take it a step further, you can ask your barber to further tailor the cut with a skin fade that will taper the hair into the scalp. For a rugged handsome look, you can pair a full beard with your cut.

    Military Buzz Cut

    Military Buzz Cut Fade

    Modern Caesar Cut with High Taper

    The modern Caesar haircut style is a bold choice for fashionable men who want a masculine and clean look. You can get a straight fringe to frame your face and tie it all together with a high taper for an irresistible finish. When styling, use a matte clay product to create separation and texture.

    Modern Caesar Cut with High Taper

    Spiked Fringe with Skin Faded Sides

    A spiked fringe can be combined with bald faded sides to create a timeless look. Ask your barber to cut your hair down to finger length while adding texture for the iconic spiky look. Combined with a skin fade and beard, this masculine military-style haircut will look good on a guy with strong facial features.

    Spiked Fringe with Skin Faded Sides

    Crew Cut

    The crew cut is one of the most common short haircuts for men who want a business professional style that always looks great. A crew cut can be a great way for military men to get a masculine look while maintaining longer hair. The fade offers tapered short hair on the sides and back with a slightly longer length on top, adding definition and style for the perfect finish. When styling, guys can brush the hair forward, sweep it to the side for a comb over or leave it messy for a casual look. Whether you’re a cop or in the Army, the hairstyle is a universally-flattering and charming option.

    Military Crew Cut

    Military Crew Cut Fade

    French Crop

    The French crop is a trendy and charming hairstyle for guys who prioritize texture and dimension. This cropped style features a thick, layered fringe to complement the short faded sides. Use a low-shine pomade for definition and a textured finish.

    French Crop

    Hard Side Part

    The hard side part can be a stylish and simple way to make a bold statement. This side part features a shaved line where the hair naturally combs over to create a precise separation. A low or mid skin fade will add contrast while a strong matte pomade can lock in your look and provide texture and volume.

    Hard Side Part

    Military Fade

    The military fade is a popular haircut for men to get on the sides and back, offering a sharp and modern style that will elevate your look. The fade haircut involves gradually tapering the hair, going from long to short down the sides. There are many different types of fades to consider, including the low, mid and high fade. For an edgy vibe, guys can also feature a bald or skin fade.

    Some guys like to add a low fade to their military cut for a soft and versatile finish, while others choose a mid or high fade to create a very short and masculine look. For a bold touch, a skin fade haircut can blend your hair into the scalp and give you a sleek style. The fade can be combined with a buzz cut, crew cut, high and tight, flat top or hard part for the perfect hairstyle.

    Military Fade

    Military Fade Haircut

    Modern Textured Cut with Disconnected Fade

    A modern textured cut with a disconnected fade will take your style to the next level with a popular look. The brushed forward hair and spiked front complement the high skin fade and heavy stubble to achieve a masculine finish. Thinning shears and point cutting can be used to debulk the hair, giving it life. The disconnected fade will give the illusion that the hair on top is longer than it is.

    Modern Textured Cut with Disconnected Fade

    Bowl Cut

    The bowl cut is a classic military style that has transformed into a trendy choice in barbershops around the world. With military vibes, this modern variation keeps the back and sides extra short with slightly longer hair on top, creating bangs that hang over the forehead. To style, use a low-shine product to spike or brush forward.

    Military Bowl Cut

    Ivy League

    The Ivy League is a smart and classy men’s hairstyle that will allow you to create a side swept look, resulting in a cool and preppy style. The Ivy League haircut combines a taper on the sides and back with a longer crew cut on top. Guys can add a fade to get a military-inspired look. With extra length and volume, you’ll want to style the Ivy League by sweeping the hair in front to the side for a classic gentleman’s style. You can use a matte styling product for a textured finish or a high-shine pomade to get a retro wet look.

    Ivy League Haircut

    Ivy League Hairstyle

    Brushed Up Fringe with Mid Taper

    A modest cut for every man, the brushed up fringe exudes boyish charm. You’ll need to let the top get longer and ask for a mid taper to retain some length while creating contrast. To finish, use a styling gel to hold your locks in place all day.

    Brushed Up Fringe with Mid Taper

    Slick Back Fade

    The slick back fade is a trendy cut that flows naturally for easy styling and a sleek look. If you’re willing to forget the regulations, let the top grow a few inches so you can slick it back with gel or a strong pomade. Clean up the look by fading the sides nice and high.

    Military Slick Back Fade

    Induction Cut

    The induction cut is a very short military haircut for guys who want a masculine look that requires no styling. The induction hairstyle is given to recruits on the first day of boot camp and can be cut using hair clippers with no guard. To experiment with this very short cut, you’ll want to ask your barber for a high skin fade on the sides and back to create some contrast with the hair on top. Similar to a shaved head, this look is suited for men with a square head shape and sharp facial features like a chiseled jawline.

    Induction Cut

    Military Induction Cut

    Textured Spiky Hair Fade

    This trendy textured spiky hair fade features short layers for a messy and textured look. With a high skin fade and shaved line design, this haircut is a solid choice for men. Don’t think too hard about how to style it – all you need to do is run some matte product through and you’re set.

    Textured Spiky Hair Fade

    Regulation Cut

    The regulation cut is a longer Army haircut that has become a barbershop favorite for business professional men. A regulation haircut starts with a taper fade on the sides and back with a short crop on top that allows guys to style a side part. This military style is easy to maintain, looks good and works for most occasions. You’ll want to apply a medium to strong hair product for control and volume, resulting in an elegant and clean-cut style.

    Regulation Cut

    Regulation Haircut

    Short Side Swept Ivy with High Taper

    A side-swept Ivy League with a high taper is a modern and trendy play on the classic and conservative version. The hair is left long enough to style to the side while the tapered sides lend a subtle touch.

    Short Side Swept Ivy League with High Taper

    Flat Top

    The flat top is a short haircut characterized by the hair on the top being cut flat and styled upright. With a fade on the sides and back, the flat top haircut is an edgy military style that looks great with thick, straight hair. Similar to a high and tight, you’ll need a strong styling product to keep your hair spiked all day. For a softer and more natural finish, guys should use a matte pomade or gel.

    Flat Top

    Military Flat Top Haircut

    Thick High and Tight with Shaved Sides

    A high and tight with shaved sides can be a cool and really short haircut style that requires minimal styling. Much like the Peaky Blinders look, you’ll need to leave the top chunky and messy with texture and get the sides shaved high just before the round of your head. Scrunch your hair with a matte product to create separation.

    Thick High and Tight with Shaved Sides

    Faux Hawk Fade

    A faux hawk fade is an excellent choice for the guy who wants a mohawk but can’t commit. Ask for some texture on the top and style your hair towards the middle for the hawk façade. Fade the back and sides to really get to the point.

    Faux Hawk Fade

    High and Tight

    The high and tight is a very short hairstyle for guys who want a shorter variation of the crew cut. The high and tight haircut can be characterized by a high fade on the sides and back with short hair on top, creating a simple and youthful style. You can ask your barber for a high skin fade to focus all the attention above. Whether you style your hair messy or sweep it to the side, the high and tight military hairstyle is a functional cut that you can get at home with clippers.

    High and Tight

    High and Tight Fade

    Butch Cut

    The butch cut is a modern haircut that comes with short hair all-around for a masculine look. Butch haircuts are great styles for military men and athletes who need functional cuts that minimize styling and distractions. There are many different types of butch hairstyles, ranging from the shorter burr to the longer brush cut. For a stylish look, talk to your barber about getting a medium to high fade on the sides and back. When trimming the hair on top, you’ll need a number 1, 2 or 3 clipper guard depending on short you want to cut your hair.

    Butch Cut

    Butch Haircut

    High and Tight Recon

    A high and tight recon is ideal for rebellious guys who prefer shaved sides with a short flat top on top. This high and tight style requires thick hair and a strong facial structure to work. Use a strong styling product to spike or brush the top forward.

    High and Tight Recon

    Short Crop with Spiked Fringe and Low Bald Fade

    The short crop with a spiked fringe is a fresh take on the traditional crop haircut. With limited layers, the top is left heavier with enough at the front to push up with pomade. A low bald fade helps create rugged intrigue.

    Short Crop with Spiked Fringe and Low Bald Fade

    Burr Cut

    The burr cut has become a popular style for guys who need a very short and low-maintenance look. A burr is a type of butch haircut that is cut to less than 1/4 inch of hair on top. The burr cut hairstyle looks best with a skin fade or shaved undercut on the sides and back, giving you another dimension and some necessary contrast. Great for guys with thin or thinning hair, this military haircut offers an aggressive vibe that would be perfectly acceptable for a Marine or MMA fighter.

    Burr Cut

    Burr Haircut

    Thick Buzz Cut with High Skin Fade

    A thick buzz cut with a high skin fade is a cool style that will show off your fullness on top. Using longer guards, this cropped hairstyle can go as high up as a number six to leave more density. Pair it with a high skin fade for a ton of contrast and edginess.

    Thick Buzz Cut with High Skin Fade

    Comb Over

    The comb over is a classic men’s hairstyle that has become a fashionable look for modern gentleman. The comb over haircut is a style that starts with a fade or undercut on the sides and longer hair on top that is combed to one side for a parted finish. As a stylish business professional cut, the comb over fade offers a versatile look and can be a great look for military men. Whether you have straight, wavy or curly hair, you’ll want to experiment with this charming style.

    Comb Over

    Comb Over Fade Haircut

    Tousled Up with High Undercut

    A longer tousled-up style can be a chic look for younger men who want to venture away from a strict military style. Use hair mousse to give your locks body and ask for a high undercut to elongate your face and heighten natural volume.

    Tousled Up with High Undercut

    Police Haircut

    The police haircut is a short style that looks clean-cut and professional while being convenient and practical. Police officer hairstyles have utilitarian features and tend to include styles like the short crew cut with a high skin fade, comb over tape, high and tight, buzz cut, flat top and shaved head. Similar to military styles, your short hair can be tailored to create the perfect look to suit your needs. With a fade on the sides and back, your cop haircut will look stylish and flattering all around.

    Police Haircut

    Police Officer Hairstyle

    Skin Fade

    The skin fade is a military-style haircut that blends the hair on the sides and back into the scalp to create a fresh cut. The skin fade haircut can be added to any modern hairstyle, making the style low-maintenance and cool. Great for the Marines, Navy, Army and all branches of the military, there are several fade haircut styles to explore for a stylish look.

    Skin Fade

    Military Skin Fade Haircut

    Hard Part

    The hard part has been a classic haircut for gentlemen who like to comb their hair to the side. The hard part cut features a thick shaved line into your hair with a razor. The part can separate the sides and top of your head or where you style your parted hair. This military style can be a unique way to get a cool and classy look.

    Hard Part

    Hard Part Military Haircut

    Shaved Head

    A shaved head is a popular military-inspired style that provides the ultimate “no-maintenance” look. Shaving your hair can save you time, money and styling effort, but you’ll need to trim regularly to keep the clean, smooth look. Shop around for a good razor and shaving cream; your scalp will thank you.

    Best Military Haircuts For Men in 2023

    Best Military Haircuts For Men in 2023

    You may or may not be aware that the military (or army, whatever you want to call it) has been the source for many of the fashion and style choices we continue to make today. There’s the obvious one of khaki green and the variations in colour that come with it, through to specific items of clothing such as the trench coat, to pattern styles such as camouflage. The military can also be credited with several haircuts that continue to be popular, decades after they were first seen in the barracks and trenches.

    Traditionally incredibly short, these haircuts – such as the buzz cut, ‘Mighty Fine’, crew cut, high and tight or a ‘number zero’, could present a brand new look for you, and while many of them might be a little daring compared to what you’re used to, especially if you don’t tend to rock short hair, choosing one next time you visit the barber could be the best decision you ever made.

    In this story…

    • Why Are Military Haircuts Short?
    • 1. Buzz Cut / Induction Cut
    • 2. Crew Cut
    • 3. Ivy League
    • 4. Fade
    • 5. Regulation Cut
    • 6. Flat Top
    • 7. High And Tight
    • 8. Hard Undercut

    Why Are Military Haircuts Short?

    We’ve likely all seen images of army recruits shaving their hair down to the skin, but have you ever known why that is? The practice of shaving the hair down to the shortest possible length without using a razor is most commonly associated with the United States and is said to be for both physical and psychological reasons.

    It’s claimed shaving the head was to help prevent the chance of recruits catching diseases (such as head lice) and it also meant opposing soldiers couldn’t grab the hair and hold them back while they took their life.

    Making all recruits look the same was also said to help instil more of a team mentality, and to remove the individual personalities of the soldiers. Perhaps it’s ironic that today military haircuts are used to help promote a sense of individuality.

    So, what military haircuts for men are there and which ones are best suited to your personal style and face shape. Check out the following list of the best military hairstyles around, and if you’re in search of other hairstyle inspiration, check out our complete range of guides for various men’s hairstyles.

    1. Buzz Cut / Induction Cut

    military haircuts buzz cut

    The military haircut that started it all off. Also known as the induction cut, the buzz cut is, as we mentioned before, is the shortest possible haircut a man can get without using a razor to remove the last bit of stubble. Often given to new recruits within hours of them joining the army (quite literally upon induction), the buzz cut (which technically refers to hair that is cut to the same length all over using clippers) is the perfect choice for men who want a low maintenance style.

    Best suited to those who have square or more oval-shaped heads (and especially those with a killer set of cheekbones) the induction cut is a thoroughly masculine look.

    2. Crew Cut

    military haircuts crew cut

    The crew cut is most definitely inspired by the military, and was even seen atop the heads of soldiers during World War II – then referred to as a G.I. haircut. If you already sport short hair, the crew cut is a perfect option you need to try out. Coming under the term of buzz cut, by definition, a crew cut sees you sporting shot hair on top of the head, however it graduates in length from the front at the fringe to the crown at the back.

    The slightly longer hair at the front can then be styled into a quiff or short pompadour, for example. Best suited to men with thick hair, a crew cut is a failsafe option for men everywhere.

    The sides and back of the head can be styled in any way you see fit. The most foolproof option is to leave the hair one length all the way around (but shorter than the hair on top), although it’s possible to add a fade, side a high fade, into the mix, for a more updated and low maintenance look.

    3. Ivy League

    military haircuts ivy leage

    There is a great deal of crossover between the Ivy League and a crew cut – with some claiming the crew cut is actually called the Ivy League in the US – although there is less of precedence for short sides and back compared to that seen on the crew cut. A simple-to-achieve military haircut, the Ivy League name was coined due to it being popular with men who attended the Ivy League universities, such as Yale, Harvard and Columbia, making it an incredibly preppy hairstyle.

    Similar to the crew cut, the Ivy League does see a difference in length between the hair on top compared to the sides, with it then being possible for some extra styling. A great option for men with rectangle and square faces, the Ivy League is a clean, sharp and sophisticated haircut.

    4. Fade

    military haircuts ffade haircut

    One of the most popular men’s hairstyles ever is the fade. The fade haircut has in itself a multitude of variations relating to both the hair on the sides of the head and the point at which it begins fading, to the length of hair on top of the head – such as a high fade or even a high and tight.

    In order to get close to military specification, men should opt for a fade that goes incredibly short on the sides and back – a number 0/1 up to a number 2/3 – and keep the hair on top of the head as short as possible, while still allowing some length for styling. A fade can be combined with a crew cut, Ivy League or even a buzz cut – which would make it a skin fade – to create a head-turning look that screams individuality.

    5. Regulation Cut

    military haircuts regulation cut

    Ok, so we know we said military haircuts are traditionally cut short, but if you’re someone who enjoys a little bit of length atop their head, the regulation cut is the perfect option. Still with its roots in the army, the regulation cut is another that’s similar to the crew cut, but allows you to play around with the length of the hair on the sides.

    Traditionally tapered down to a shorter length as it approaches the ears, you’re welcome to show some skin, or leave it covered up with something like a number 3, graduating up to a 4 or 5.

    As for styling, because of the slightly extra length on top, you should be able to attempt a quiff, short pompadour or even something like a side-part or undercut, if you cut the hair on the sides and back to a much shorter length.

    6. Flat Top

    military haircuts flat top haircut

    Think flat top and you’ll likely think of Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV or Jamaican singer Grace Jones, but it is also very much a military hairstyle. To achieve a flat top, the hair needs to be cut relatively short, and to a uniform length, so that it stands upright on its own accord, so that the hairline is quite literally flat along the top. The sides and back of the head can be cut to varying lengths – such as one length all around, or they can be faded – which will cause different styles of look when viewed from the front.

    If you think the flat top is for you – it works particularly well for those with afro hair – and you want to rock it for some time, you will need to visit the barber on a regular basis to keep everything trimmed to exact proportions, and you can choose to use some styling product such as a high-shine wax to keep it under control.

    7. High And Tight

    military haircuts high and tight

    The high and tight haircut combines the best of the buzz cut, with elements of the fade, to create an incredibly modern hairstyle that can totally transform your look. In order for your hair to be classified as high and tight, it needs to be cut incredibly short on the back and sides, with no fading or tapering. Instead, it needs to be cut short up the entire side of the head to the point where it meets the hair on top of the head.

    From here, the hair on top should also be cut short, but left slightly longer than the hair on the sides. Because the high and tight will inevitably put more attention on your whole face, you need to consider your face shape before you visit your barber. The high and tight works best on men with square, triangular or oval-shaped faces, and if you’re able to pull it off, makes for an incredibly military haircut.

    8. Hard Undercut

    military haircuts hard undercut

    The best example of the hard undercut in the military can be seen in Fury, starring Brad Pitt. While this military hairstyle does, in some way, go against the ‘rules’ of an army haircut, exhibiting long hair on top, it’s still one that evokes images of the military and of masculinity.

    It offers up plenty of opportunity for styling, with the most obvious being the pompadour-style look that sees the hair styled up and then slicked back towards the back of the head. The sides, meanwhile, can be cut to a single short length, faded or tapered, depending on your personal preference.

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    About the author

    adam walmsley

    Adam Walmsley

    Adam has been cutting men’s hair for over 25 years in Australia and London. He and his wife Nat own the salon Friends & Family . Read more posts by Adam Walmsley

    20+ Best Army Haircuts For Men In 2023

    A military haircut is the ultimate minimalist option for men who prefer a straightforward style. What was once reserved for active combat personnel is now available as wardrobe inspiration for teens, business people, and older gentlemen. Although a military haircut looks simple to the naked eye, there is a wide range of alternatives to choose from.

    What Is A Military Haircut Called?

    Military Flat Top

    There is no one-and-done term for a military haircut. A common hairstyle for Marines is the high and tight, while the buzz cut remains popular in the U.S. Army. The long list of other types includes the induction cut, high and tight recon, the burr cut, regulation cut, recon, ivy league, flat top, brush cut, and crew cut.

    How Do You Ask For A Military Haircut?

    High and Tight Haircut

    Instagram / @barbergreg

    A military haircut is a conservative, straight, and clean style. Generally, the top part of your hair is left longer, about one or two inches, with the sides and back tapered to the skin. Barbers use clippers or scissors to shape the strands into a uniform shape.

    The high and tight cut is the most common request. A more specific description should be along the lines of one to two inches long on top with a high to medium fade. Discuss options about what clipper guards they will use and what you prefer. As a backup, take visual references with you to pin down your exact ideas.

    Need examples? Check the gallery below:

    Flat Top

    If you only have half an inch to work with, a flat top creates subtle spikes near the crown for a pristine appearance. A barber will shave the sides and back but leave a strip of hair on top using clippers to trim the hair parallel to the floor. You will need to apply a small dose of gel to brush the hair up every day. Additionally, a sleek mustache is a suitable option to pair with a Marine haircut as long as it extends along the upper lip and the rest of the face remains freshly shaven.

    Military Flat Top Haircut

    Credit: @ron_talley

    Regulation Cut

    Tap into a vintage military hairstyle with a trendy regulation haircut. Short to medium length hair works creates a comb over across the hairline at the temple. A brush up in the front provides an extra lift. The soft part cultivates a tidy distinction between the two sides before it tapers into a medium fade.

    Please enable JavaScript

    Regulation Cut

    CREDIT: @andrewdoeshair

    Military Crew Cut

    Younger college students and businessmen searching for a masculine yet sophisticated hairstyle should check out crew cuts. The hair on top ranges around four inches long, while everything else trims even shorter with a taper or medium fade. The small amount of hair on top could use a gel product to tousle upwards for tidy spikes.

    Military Crew Cut

    CREDIT: @hayden_cassidy

    Military High and Tight Haircut

    High and tight haircuts are the epitome of a standard uniformed look. The wide-framed stripe here only grows an inch long before it needs a new trimming. A matching high taper along the temple adds extra length to the shaved neck. Since your face is the focal point here, this high and tight Marine haircut works best for square, oval, and triangular face shapes.

    Military High and Tight Haircut

    CREDIT: @rascalsbarbershop

    Ivy League Haircut

    When your hair grows long enough to use additional products and requires more upkeep, you’re slowly straying away from military haircuts. An Ivy League cut offers the charismatic aesthetic of a crew cut but opens up more options for styling. Instead of parting your hair to the side, maintain a soldier’s enigmatic precision by spiking your hair. Make sure the hair stays an even length with a medium fade for a unified, cohesive appearance.

    Ivy League Haircut

    Credit: @tammyhairsalon

    High Top with Disconnected Sides

    Disconnected haircuts typically transition from shorter to longer hair without gradually blending the two. One way to achieve a high top with disconnected sides is to add a hard part. A razor-sharp edge near the temple defines the fringe along with the crown and the taper underneath. The hard part makes it look like the top is separate from the sides and back.

    High Top with Disconnected Sides

    CREDIT: @barbersandbrews

    Military Buzz Cut

    Buzz cuts are one step above an induction haircut or shaved head. They replicate a five o’clock shadow along your scalp as if you didn’t shave for a week or two. A buzz cut will accentuate the smallest details on your head, including large ears, uneven bumps, or scars. You must be confident if this is your first time attempting a buzz cut.

    Military Buzz Cut

    CREDIT: @hayden_cassidy

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