It is no secret that you can choose between thousands of hairstyles during your styling sessions. Depending on where you live and the exposure you have with the rest of the world, you can find many options. And the marine haircut is one of the most common things out there. Of course, the haircut was popularized by those who have served as marines. As you can guess, popular culture has also played an important part here. Many films and TV series have used the marine haircut as the distinguishable feature of the protagonist.
However, these cinematic/dramatic scenes are not enough to choose the marine haircut as the next step. Instead, you have to ask a few questions. First of all, you have to understand whether the marine haircut is a suitable option for you. Second, you should also understand the pros and cons of the marine haircut. We have had similar doubts during the early stages of hairstyling. And we thought we could help you a bit.
It is why we prepared a brief yet comprehensive guide to the marine haircut and why you may want to get one. As the first step, we will have a quick introduction to the marine haircut.
An Introduction to the Marine Haircut
As the name says, the Marine haircut refers to the hair grooming style used by the US Marine Corps. As you may know, every section of the military wants its members to follow some grooming regulations, and the Marine Corps is no different. One of the areas where the Marine Corps expects you to be strict is how lengthy your hair becomes. For several reasons, the hair must be kept under control.
It is why the organization wants its members to follow what is now known as the Marine haircut. Unlike what you may think at first, the US Marine Corps does not define the Marine haircut as such. Instead, it recommends a set of rules that define what is appropriate for the uniformity of the force. These directions have given rise to what we now follow as the Marine haircut. Some of those directions are as follows.
- The hair of the Marine must be neat and well-groomed. It should not have any unique styles.
- Hair must not be lengthier than 3 inches, and it should be shorter than the eyebrow level.
- The hair must not cause any interference with the military protective gear.
- The bulk of the hair must be less than 2 inches. The bulk of the hair is the distance between the tip of the hairline and the scalp.
- While hair coloring is allowed, it must adhere to the standards. For instance, it does not make sense to add versatile colors. Instead, the colors must complement the natural style of the individual.
As you have seen, the directions are pretty detailed. In addition, you must keep in mind that the US Marine Corps has regulations regarding piercing, facial hair, accessories, etc. However, today, we will focus on the hair rules. Even though different types of Marine haircuts exist globally, all of them follow a few common factors. For instance, all these haircuts make sure that hair does not interfere with the job. It also provides a rather serious outlook for the individual, which might matter when part of a massive force like the Marine Corps.
Now that you understand the basics of the Marine haircut, shall we answer some important questions about the same?
What Is the Marine Haircut Called?
The Marine haircut is known by different names in different scenarios. However, probably the most popular name would be high and tight. Therefore, marine haircuts are known as high and tight haircuts in most cases. But we should keep in mind that the term refers to more than the haircut. Instead, it refers to the overall outlook of the individual. People usually think of a neat and well-organized person when they listen to the term ‘high and tight.’
So, the next time someone says that they want a ‘high and tight haircut,’ you can understand that they are talking about the Marine haircut. However, are you wondering why the Marines are using this haircut over others? We have answered that question as well.
Why Do Marines Cut Their Hair That Way?
You know the apparent reason: Marines are asked to cut their hair in this manner when they join the forces. It is one of the first things you do after being a part of the bigger family. Therefore, people who want to stay in the Marine Corps are ready to make this shift from an early period. There are many reasons why the US Marine Corps wants its members to cut their hair uniformly. The reasons are partly practical and partly psychological. In the end, both types of reasons matter.
The Practical Reasons and History
When we look at the practical reasons why the Marine Corps wanted the Marines to cut their hair in a pre-selected way, we have to consider the history of everything. As you know, the Marines are supposed to be global citizens in a way. They do not have the convenience of staying in one place, and the places they visit are often chaotic. Therefore, having little hair on their head could help the Marines remain away from various diseases, especially head lice. Problems like head lice can affect a person at a psychological level, leading to severe distractions. Therefore, the US Marine Corps decided to keep the hair at bay so that the Marines could focus on what was really at stake.
On the practical side of things, you can see other advantages as well. For instance, the Marines do not have to spend a lot of time looking after their hair with the Marine haircut. As you know, hair health can be an extremely confusing affair for some people. There is also an added advantage that enemies cannot use the hair of a Marine to trap him. In fierce battle scenarios, this advantage matters a lot more than you think it does. In short, the US Marine Corps had more than enough reasons to make the Marine haircut a norm that everyone had to follow.
Last but not least, the Marine haircut also makes sure that hair does not interfere with the military suites a Marine has to wear. Most importantly, hair would not mess with headgear, which can be crucial in some situations.
The Psychological Aspect
As you may have noticed, the Marine haircut is an effective way to tell a Marine from an ordinary man. So, it is not a surprise that the haircut becomes an integral part of the Marine identity. And Marines would like to stick to this identity even when they are out of the force. Therefore, as an early Marine is concerned, the haircut can be considered a way to become a part of the team. Research has also shown that the specific haircut can reduce the individuality of the Marine and promote the ‘team spirit,’ which is essential.
Of course, the methods for the ‘high and tight’ cut have changed over time. Now that the forces have access to better equipment, Marines can enjoy better versions of the Marine cut. For instance, attempts are made to ensure that the induction cut process does not cause other health issues. Earlier, the method to get a close-to-zero cut caused problems with the scalp, especially for those who already have a few bumps. Nowadays, however, the situation has changed.
Despite all these changes, you cannot ignore the Marine haircut when you want a unique look that does not consume a lot of time to get ready for. In the end, you can enjoy all the benefits we have mentioned above, even if you are not in the Marines. For instance, the fact that you do not have to spend a lot of time trying to take care of your hair is a good enough reason for most people to try the Marine haircut. However, you may have to take some steps to keep yourself in the desired look, such as frequent trimming or shaving.
How Often Should You Shave for the Marine Haircut to be Spot On?
Different people may have to follow different shaving patterns to stay with the Marine haircut. The reason is simple: everyone has a different level of hair growth. However, experts recommend that you stick to shaving your head once a few weeks to keep yourself in the Marine outlook. Of course, when you do not want to shave your head completely, you can trim the hair follicles. Making trimming a habit will help you to maintain your hair in the best way possible.
Also, the strictness of the grooming regime would depend on whether you are a Marine. If you are a Marine and have to keep the haircut at all times, you do not have much choice. On the other hand, if you want to explore the look like a simple thing, you should be okay with your hair growing a millimeter or two.