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10 Professional Marine Haircut Styles [Full List & Guide]

aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

Key Takeaways

  • The marine haircut, or a crew cut, is characterized by a clean cut, blended sides or shaved completely, and a short crown.
  • Marines, military, and other soldiers use this hairstyle, mainly in uniform.
  • This low-maintenance marine style suits all hair types, lengths, and face shapes because this is a standardized style used as a grooming requisite.
  • It is easy to do: washing, drying, shaving the sides, trimming the top, and styling long hair for a clean cut.

The country’s armed forces maintain grooming standards, particularly haircuts, for a professional look that will also prevent health hazards rooted in hair strand contact since most individuals share bunk beds, tents, and bathrooms.

Marine Haircut Styles

Having standardized haircuts for men, like a marine haircut, provides uniformity among the armed forces, and uniformed marine haircuts can help with the comfort and accessibility of defensive headgear.

Marine Haircut Styles

Moreover, marine haircuts have gained popularity since it gives off a neat, low-maintenance, and well-groomed appearance for both men and women.

With this, we will introduce to you 10 different marine haircuts (with photos) and guide you to achieving them. Read on!

What is the marine haircut called?

The marine haircut is called the crew cut, detailed by short hair length, high and tight short sides through shaving, and closely trimmed top hair.

Overall, the variations of marine hairstyles consist of simple styles which are easy on the eyes and lighter for the head.

In the 60s, it became a norm that once a person joined the armed forces, he had to get his head completely shaved. [1]

As years passed and modernization gradually entered the daily conversation, the US government started to establish grooming regulations, including marine haircuts, to help in these aspects:

  • Maintenance
  • Health
  • Equipment
  • Safety purposes

10 Marine Haircut Styles

We don’t want to stall you any further, so here are the 10 marine haircuts you can surely sport whether you are an in-service or a veteran!

Marine Fade Haircut

Marine haircuts are known for their manly faded style, if not completely shaved.

It can be low, medium, or high and tight faded, which the image of a marine haircut above shows with a neat wave or locks.

This upper scalp-skin fade haircut is a perfect fit for the armed forces because it’s a low-maintenance haircut – easy to style and much easier to do yourself.

FUN FACT: This style is also called the military move haircut because of the quiff or waves (or front locks) at the center.

Low Fade Marine Haircut

Although a low fade works similarly to the high and tight ones, this low reg cut is more visually-pleasing because of these reasons:

  • Modern-looking skin fade is much more visible
  • More length at the top of the head
  • Gradual fade

TIP: You can add crown locks, but be wary of the regulations.

Marine Horseshoe Haircut

This marine haircut takes the shape of a horseshoe, U-shaped style with a whole in the middle. It also has high and tight shaved sides (not fade) and flat hair on top.

Marines have used this hairstyle even before the 80s as it doesn’t interfere with their headgear.

However, in 2007, a marine grooming regulation was established prohibiting the use of the horseshoe haircut, along with the teardrop marine cut. [2]

Marine Recon Haircut

This skin-head marine haircut joins the high and tight haircuts squad. Yet, it has a distinguishing factor – the middle strip.

Most importantly, this go-to haircut requires minimal maintenance. You can jump off your bed and start the day without combing, fitting for how the marines must be: always ready.

Marine Haircut With Fohawk

Marines can sport spiky hair on top for as long as it does not exceed a one-inch length. Also, it must include some skin-head complete fade or high fade.

Nonetheless, this cool marine haircut needs maintenance, particularly in keeping the crown spiky using a styling gel.

If you’re a marine, use a gel for the crown minimally and naturally, or else it may not be allowed by the regulations on grooming.

Marine Flat Top Haircut

Another marine cut on the list is the marine flat top haircut. This haircut is similar to a buzz cut, particularly with the complete fade.

Yet, what makes the flat top distinct, is that the crown or top hair is maintained in a square shape with a flat surface.

Moreover, it was trendy in the 50s and was a symbol of power in the 80s, especially for black people. [3]

Marine Corps Medium Reg Haircut

This cool marine hairstyle is styled similarly to other haircuts: fade sides, low hair on top, and shaved back hair.

Yet, this style has a slightly longer gradual fade for the head compared with the others.

Nonetheless, this blended look or style can also be called the brush cut because all of the angles of the head are close cut to the scalp.

Black Marine Haircut

Having curly hair is not a problem when sporting a marine cut or any soldier hairstyles, just like what is shown in the image above, because every marine haircut suits all hair types.

It’s important to remember that when you have waves or curls, make sure to do a clean cut with high fade and short hair on top for easier maintenance (or a brush cut!).

Marine Mohawk Haircut

Marines and military men can be styled in mohawk hairstyles with a beard, too! Yet, it’s short and accompanied by completely shaved sides.

To be more modern, you can add some spikes (remember the regulations!).

Yet, bear in mind that the marines only allow a medically-required beard, as the contrary may get in the way of their uniformity. [4]

Marine Female Haircut

The marine look is not limited to men, as women also have hairstyle regulations.

Yet, women are not required to cut their hair, as long as the long hair is styled in a hairstyle that doesn’t hinder their vision and day-to-day military activities.

Also, it’s equally important that the marine hairstyle for women is neat-looking, such as incorporating the braided marine hairstyle.

Who is suitable for the marine haircut?

The marine haircuts are suitable for all hair lengths, hair types, and face shapes.

This is because it’s a uniform cut designed to fit all who serve in the defense sector of the government.

These marine haircuts are perfect for both straight hair and Afro-textured hair. For as long as you will cut your hair in the hairstyle characteristics listed below, you are good to go:

  • Short hair
  • Skin fade, shaved sides
  • Cut close to the scalp

How to do the marine haircut?

We know you are excited to cop that marine corps haircut. So, we give you this step-by-step process to achieve your desired marine hairstyle efficiently:

  1. First, wash your hair with Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, and rinse.
  2. Second, towel dry or blow dry using Revlon Turbo Hair Dryer.
  3. Third, cut the hair using Philips Norelco Multigroomer All-in-One Trimmer and scissors to achieve short and shaved sides.
  4. Fourth, brush off the residuals using Anself Large Hair Cutting Neck Duster Brush.
  5. Lastly, style and seal the hairstyle with the L’Oreal PInvisi’Hold Extra Strength natural clear gel.

How to give myself a marine haircut?

If you will do your marine hairstyle in a DIY manner, here’s a comprehensive guide for you:

  1. Prepare the 360° Mirror – 3 Way Mirror for Self Hair Cutting with Height Adjustable Telescoping Hooks.
  2. Arrange your trimmer, scissors, and neck duster brush.
  3. Wash, rinse, and dry your hair.
  4. Cover your neckline and other body parts using the Magiczone Professional Hairdressing Salon Nylon Cape with Closure Snap.
  5. Start cutting your hair based on the desired length (including shaved sides).
  6. Brush off the remaining hair residue.
  7. Style with a wax or hair tie for female marines.

How to style a marine-style haircut?

In styling a marine haircut, here are the things that you must do:

  • Cut it to the appropriate length
  • Use a hair wax minimally
  • Use hair ties that have neutral colors (for females)
  • Braid the longer hair, except for males
  • Do a ponytail for females only during physical training

How much does a marine haircut cost at a hairdresser?

A marine haircut costs $20 to $70 depending on the:

  • Cut/Hairstyle from shorter or longer hair
  • Skills needed from the barber or stylist
  • Equipment required to carry out the military cut
  • Place of the barber


How long is the standard marine high and tight haircut?

The dimensions for a standard marine haircut for men include a length and width of at most two inches.

How often should a marine get a haircut?

Generally, a marine or military should get a haircut by the time the length of their hair does not go with the required grooming standards. It may be once a week, depending on the growth of your hair.

How to do the John Cena marine haircut?

You can get the John Cena buzz cut or crew cut by following the steps indicated in the previous section and remembering to start clipping from the forehead to the back.


Given all the facts and details on the different marine haircuts and how to recreate them, you can surely sport one even if you are not a part of the marines.

Just follow the step-by-step guide and remember the details from this article, and you’ll surely get the marine haircuts for men in no time!

aida turner


Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!