The high and tight is a military variant of the buzz cut. It is a very short hairstyle most commonly worn by men in the armed forces of most countries. Due to the functionality of this hairstyle, it is also popular with law enforcement officers and other public safety personnel. Members of the United States Marine Corps have been called "jarheads" because the hairstyle resembles a mason jar.
While many variations of the style exist, the one common feature is that all of the hair on the sides and back of the head is clipped very close, usually 1/16 inch or shorter, up to a point above the temples, referring to the "high" part of its name. A sharp line delineates the boundary between the close-cut sides and back and the longer top portion, referring to the "tight" part of its name. The crown of the head is spared the closest shaving to safely accommodate the weight of a combat helmet. The length of the top portion may vary, usually being 5–10 mm (1/4 to 3/8 inch), but sometimes left long enough to comb. Sometimes the back and sides of the head are shaved completely with a razor.
Beginning in the late 1980s, it crossed over into civilian life, being embraced first by mostly young African-American males (see hi-top fade), then spread to like-aged men in other groups. Although "high and tight" is a term commonly used within the military and law enforcement communities, the same haircut is sometimes referred to by civilians as a "skin fade," meaning that the back and sides are shaved to the skin and the top is blended or faded into slightly longer hair.