Now Under Review: Military Hairstyles
Twists, dreads were largely banned in rules some complain targeted black women
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 30, 2014 6:49 AM CDT
This undated image shows new Army grooming regulations for females. New Army regulations meant to help standardize and professionalize soldiers’ appearance is now coming under criticism.   (AP Photo/US Army)

(Newser) – The military increasingly has abandoned its one-size-fits-all haircut as the face of the American soldier has diversified, but new rules on hair sparked a furor amid concerns that they unfairly restricted black women. Now Chuck Hagel has ordered a review "to ensure standards are fair and respectful of our diverse force," the New York Times reports. The new rules largely barred women from wearing their hair in twists, large cornrows, and dreadlocks, the Military Times notes. But the review is more overarching than just the new Army regulations, the New York Times notes: It will look at existing rules across all military services after years of complaints of racial bias.

The review comes after a request by the women in the Congressional Black Caucus. "I want to assure you that, while none of the Army’s revised grooming and appearance policies were designed or intended to discriminate or disparage against any service members, I take your concerns very seriously," Hagel replied. Over the next 30 days, services will review hairstyle definitions and remove offensive language, the Military Times reports; the full review will last three months, with Hagel making "appropriate adjustments" based on the findings.

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Showing 3 of 39 comments
HANKHILL
May 1, 2014 2:43 PM CDT
everyone the same-buzzzzzzzz cut m or f!! be the best warfighter you can be and save all of the other pc crap till you get home for good!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chris Farley
Apr 30, 2014 12:25 PM CDT
So in todays military can men have twists, large cornrows, and dreadlocks as haircuts?
sugacan2
Apr 30, 2014 9:54 AM CDT
I am a black female veteran with very long and thick hair. Got it "buzzed" during boot camp because there was simply no time to fuss with it. Wore it in French braid or two side braids and bun while in uniform after boot camp. I understand the pain in the rump it can be to style hair in an "attractive" way while in uniform...but also understand why the regulations are there to begin with. I personally think the regulations are fair. The soldier should conform to regulations, not the regulations to the soldier. That would be chaos. If your hairstyle is more important to you than your job, don't volunteer for military duty.