Military hairstyles have been around for a long time, and many of them have become classics. Read on to learn about this classic cut, see 30 unique takes on the style, and learn a few things to consider before rocking one.
What Is a Military Haircut?
Most military branches have haircut regulations in place for several practical reasons. Usually, those regulations mean that the hair has to be short and neat, so the term “military haircut” actually refers to a wide range of haircuts.
Military haircuts include styles such as buzz cuts, crew cuts, high and tights, regulation cuts, and bald fades. Generally speaking, true military haircuts are rarely longer than an inch. Usually, they’re much shorter.
That said, these military cuts have also inspired more casual styles that share some of the same features but also have noticeable differences.
30 Military Haircut Ideas You’ll Love
In this article, we’ll be looking at both true regulation military haircuts and styles that are simply inspired by the military. Here are 30 of the best military haircuts out there.
1. Faded Buzz Cut
The buzz cut is arguably the quintessential military haircut. Whether you go for the same length all over or opt for a mid to high fade, you’ll get that classic military look. It’s also one of the easiest hairstyles to maintain since you don’t need to style it in any way.
2. High and Tight
Another classic military haircut, the high and tight is so named because the sides are shaved so that there’s only a small and narrow portion of hair on top. The sides are typically faded all the way to the skin, but this style also looks good with extremely short fades.
3. Military Mid Fade
This low-key hairstyle takes inspiration from military haircuts like the regulation cut. It features gradually tapering sides and a short top, almost resembling a Caesar cut. This still meets most military requirements even though it’s not a standard military cut.
4. Military Crop
Inspired by cuts such as the French crop and Caesar, this military-style crop offers something a little different while keeping everything neat. The sides are cleanly and evenly faded while the top is expertly trimmed. Finally, a straight fringe rounds out the cut.
5. Brushed Back
If you want a military hairstyle that’s a little longer and can be styled, this might be the one for you. The top is a little longer so that the hair can be brushed back, and the sides have a slightly longer fade. It’s clear that this style takes inspiration from the armed forces, but it’s a little more casual.
6. Tight & Even
Here’s a short and extremely tidy style that’s simple yet stylish. This haircut relies on an excellent drop fade that follows the contours of the ears and the nape of the neck. That neatly blended look is what makes this cut.
7. Low Bald Fade
Many military haircuts feature a bald fade (another term for skin fade), so here’s a style that makes full use of one. The hair is extremely short all over, fading all the way down to the skin. The top is barely longer, creating a military-ready look that’s great for almost all hair types.
8. Faded Crew
The crew cut is another military staple. Here’s a more relaxed take on it that combines the crew cut with the undercut for a style that’s a bit edgier and more contemporary. This has the general formula of an undercut (short on sides, long on top) with the crispness and neatness of a crew cut.
9. Textured High Fade
The high fade is another common element of military hairstyles that can be used in more casual ways. This high fade hairstyle features longer, textured hair on top to contrast with the short and sharp sides. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to go for a skin fade.
10. Kinky Fade
Yes, high fades work if you have kinky or coiled hair! Since the sides are so short, this style can work with just about any type of hair. You just have to make sure the hair on top is how you want it. If your hair is a little harder to deal with, then having a shorter top will help by tidying it up a bit.
11. Hard Part
A hard part, which is a shaved line that parts the hair, can add an edgy touch to a military hairstyle. The base cut here is a short regulation cut with a high fade. Even though the hard part is an objectively small feature, it makes a noticeable difference, helping this military haircut to look a bit more casual.
12. Textured Crop
If you want a military-inspired hairstyle that has a little more going on, consider this textured crop. Short cropped styles have the length and evenness of a military cut, but they’re much more relaxed and usually have more styling options. For instance, the hair can be layered as shown here to create tons of texture.
13. Long Buzz Cut With Beard
Another way to change up a military haircut is with a beard. This long buzz cut is paired with a hefty yet neatly trimmed beard that provides a nice balance to the short cut. Different sizes and types of beards will yield different results, so there’s plenty of room for experimentation.
14. Cropped Fade
Simple and straightforward, this cropped fade features a straight fringe and a high skin fade. It takes elements of the crew cut, the fade, and the bowl cut to create a fusion of spick-and-span military cuts and laid-back everyday styles.
15. High Skin Fade
This high and tight–inspired hairstyle is built around a high skin fade. This creates the classic high and tight look but also gives it a fresh update that’s less utilitarian and more stylish. The hair on top is kept long enough to be styled (in this case, brushed to the side).
16. Casual Crop
Another more relaxed style, this casual cut is all about the crop. The front features a laid-back fringe that sweeps forward, and the sides have a mid drop fade for a thick, full look. Still, the cut is quite short, so it’s a good low-maintenance option.
17. Rounded Crop
For a smoother and more polished look, try a crop that doesn’t texturize the hair as much. You do still get a little bit of texture, but the hair is kept much tidier overall. The top is extremely neat, and the sides have a crisp high fade that almost goes all the way down to the skin (but not quite).
18. Faded Caesar
The Caesar haircut is a close relative of many of the military hairstyles we’ve looked at so far, but it’s usually a bit longer. This style takes the base Caesar cut and adds a mid fade for contrast. It’s on the more casual side, but it will also suit more formal situations.
19. Sharp Bowl
This is a clean version of the bowl cut that’s less edgy and more retro. It has the straight sawtooth fringe of the bowl cut, but the bulk of the hair is neatly brushed forward almost like a crew cut. A high fade rounds out this unique hairstyle.
20. Small Quiff
Quiffs aren’t found on any actual military haircut, but they can be found on civilian haircuts with military inspiration. That’s exactly the case for this style that features a neatly combed quiff and longer hair that’s closer to a regulation cut. It channels the look of the military while adding a generous dose of contemporary clean-cut style.
21. Sharp Fade With Hard Part
Here we have another dapper style that uses a military-style high skin fade in tandem with longer, styled hair. It’s sort of a cross between a military fade and an undercut. The top is long enough to have a little bit of volume, and the hard part helps to visually separate the top and sides.
22. Low Maintenance Fade
If you really like the shortness of military haircuts, you might like this super short fade that is about as low maintenance as it gets. The hair is faded almost down to the skin on the back and sides, and the top is only about an inch or two long. Despite how short this cut is, it still has a fair amount of texture.
23. Crew Cut
Here’s a fairly standard crew cut that keeps everything neat and clean. The hair tapers from front to back as in a typical crew cut, but it has a more dramatic high fade. It’s a classic style with modern touches, so you really get the best of both worlds here.
24. Short Crew
Crew cuts can also get even shorter—this one is basically a long buzz cut that’s shaped like a crew. The sharp mid fade and line up on the sides complement the short, textured top. This is one of those styles that’s great anytime, anywhere.
25. Shaggy Crew
Yet another variation on the basic crew cut, this hairstyle takes a more shag-like approach for a much more relaxed result. While the standard crew is quite polished, this shaggy crew is noticeably more tousled. And while this isn’t recognizable as a military haircut, it goes to show what kinds of styles you can create using military cuts as the foundation.
26. High Texture
Texture is one of the biggest elements missing in most military hairstyles. If you prefer to have a high amount of texture, you could go for something like this, which is based on a long crew cut look. The hair is much more textured (and much longer) than any military style, but it still retains that cleanness.
27. Grown Out Buzz
Here’s yet another way to subvert typical military hairstyles. To get this look, take a buzz cut that’s grown out for a while and trim it into shape with a graceful drop fade that follows the contour of the ear. This gives you the overall vibe of a buzz cut without the extremeness of it.
28. Cropped Crew
This combines elements of the crew cut and French crop, two similar styles that focus on keeping the top short, even, and neat. The hair is a little more unkempt, which makes the cut more casual and modern.
29. Shaped Fade
This cut takes a typical military-style regulation cut and completely flips it on its head with a shaped fade that extends from the side. You won’t see any soldier with a cut like this! It’s an edgy way of reappropriating a military cut for a more punk-inspired look.
30. Lower and Looser
This variation on the high and tight takes it, well, lower and looser. The top of the hair extends further down, but the sides still have a high fade. This is less dramatic than a classic high and tight, but it still shares many of the same elements.
Things to Consider
Military cuts are as straightforward as it gets, but here are a few quick things to keep in mind:
- Consider the length. Military haircuts are naturally extremely short, so if you want more than an inch or two on top, a military haircut might not be right for you.
- Think old vs. new. Many of these cuts have been updated, so there are classic and modern versions. Make sure you know which one you prefer.
- If you’re actually going into the military, check the guidelines. A lot of these styles are military-inspired but won’t actually meet military regulations, so make sure you check the rules if you’ll actually be entering the military.
Is the Military Haircut Right for You?
Versatile, classy, and simple, these military haircuts offer some great options for guys who want timeless low-maintenance cuts. They prove that you don’t have to spend time and effort to get a handsome haircut.