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Military Haircuts Every Civilian Should Try at Least Once

Neil Valentine D'Silva
One of the most remarkable features of military men and women is their haircuts, which are so trendy that even civilians try and emulate them. There are numerous options for people who wish to sport military haircuts.
Have you seen the military guys and gals in Hollywood movies and felt like you wanted to look like them? Well, you can go someway in that direction if you try duplicating their haircuts, but make sure you stick to the rules put down by the army as much as possible. Though, while replicating a military haircut in civilian society, a few tweaks and liberties are allowed.

General Rules

Firstly, let us check out some rules that the US Army follows as far as haircuts and hair styling is concerned. According to the official website of the United States Army:

~ Hair grooming is required to maintain uniformity within the military population.
~ The hair on top must be neatly groomed and shouldn't exceed the length of 3 inches.
~ The length and bulk of the hair may not be excessive or present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance.
~ When the hair is combed, it will not fall over the ears or eyebrows, or touch the collar, except for the closely cut hair at the back of the neck.
~ Extreme, eccentric, or trendy haircuts or hairstyles are not authorized.
Not too much attention is paid to the overall look of the soldier or the keep of the scalp. Regulation haircuts are just quick fix solutions - hair that is cut very close to the scalp, but uniformly on all sides. Regulation cuts are classified into: Short Regulation (hair length is around half an inch or so) and Medium Regulation
Regulation cuts where the sides and back are cut very short, and the top is left about ¼ or half an inch longer, is very stylish.
Once inducted, young soldiers are put into a boot camp. Here, they supposed to sport an induction cut or as it is known to a layman - the buzz cut. The induction cut can pretty much be done by anyone in the army ranks. It is short and consistent from all sides, and very quick and non-fussy to do.
The end objective is to have a haircut that is in sync with military parlance, but something that does not require spending too much time, money or energy.
The Buzz cut is always is done by a professional stylist, and razors and other tools are used. Hence, anybody sporting this haircut in nonmilitary society will resemble a pruned porcupine. The style is a good choice otherwise, if your hair is quickly saying adieu to your scalp. People wouldn't know that your hair is deserting you!
Popularly called the Butch Cut in America, the crew cut comes very close to the induction cut, with the only exception that a professional stylist does it in the army. Instead of clipping, the look is achieved through trimming.
The hair is trimmed all around with an electric razor, very close to the scalp to get a very fine layer all around. The scalp can be seen clearly through the cover of hair (or whatever is remaining of it).
If you talk about juvenile popularity, the Butch cut is the most popular haircut around. You will see most schoolchildren sporting this one, especially in the summer months. Everyone from your neighborhood, the newspaper boy to David Beckham has tried it once in his life.
Typically known as the Marine Corps haircut, the high and tight has many variations, but the end result is, technically the same - the hair should look like it has been pulled above the head, so much so that the scalp is visible.
The sides are trimmed using an electric razor. Variations may include the hair being allowed to remain tapering on the top or it could be made into a traditional flattop.
Technically, not a military haircut, but comes very close. And guess what? It is extremely popular with young men in the age range of 18 - 24.
The Ivy League cut: Hair on top is left long enough to just about combine with either of the side parts. Since it is not a classically conventional military haircut, the ivy league can be worn in many variations in terms of colors and lengths.
The hair at the back is usually tapered and left short or semi-short. The ivy league haircut is also called the Harvard or the Princeton, since it is widely believed to have originated in either of these two prestigious universities.
While tapering is used in most of the military haircuts, tapering as a hairstyle itself too is sported by some, if not widely. In this style, the back of the head has hair that gets shorter as it moves towards the nape. Similarly, the hair on the sides also gets shorter as it moves from the top towards the ears.
In Taper cuts, the top of the head has hair that is cut very short (probably ¼ of an inch shorter than the sides or back), which gives it the tapering look.
The top of the head is cut uniformly (length can vary) to resemble a flat deck. The sides and back are cut in such a manner that it matches the flow of the hair on the upper part of the head, so that the end result looks like a table - one-piece and flat from all sides.
A very popular variation of this is the Horseshoe Flattop - achieved by making the frontal portion of the hair into a U-shape.
The flat top is a lovely military haircut if you want to look real masculine and sporty. It goes as well with a football jersey as it goes with a tuxedo. A real universal military haircut if there was one! However, it must be done only through a licensed stylist. (Do not try this at home!)
There are so many other ingenious styles that different domains in the military have come up with. The above mentioned are the most generic ones, though, and they are the ones mostly used by civilians when they want to recreate the military style as a personal fashion statement. Get yourself one!