The U.S. Navy Has an Inclusive New Hair Policy for Women

Photo credit: U.S. Navy - Facebook
Photo credit: U.S. Navy - Facebook

From Cosmopolitan

Attention! The U.S. Navy updated its female grooming standards last week, allowing servicewomen to now wear dreadlocks, braided hairstyles, wider buns, and ponytails. The new rules, which were announced during a Facebook Live, mark a big change from the Navy's previous grooming rules, in which women's buns could only be three inches wide, and French braids were only allowed during training.

"I'm pleased to represent our working group and everyone in the fleet who provided feedback for the female grooming standards," said female sailor Yeoman First Class LaToya Jones during the video (minute mark 32).

In addition to allowing servicewomen to wear dreadlocks, other details include that their hair can be worn past the collar of their shirt or jacket when they're in "dinner dress" uniforms, and wider buns equal to the width of the back of the head are also now authorized.

Ponytails are allowed in all uniforms, but "subject to limitation where operational hazards present safety concerns." According to the Military Times, hair must be worn above the bottom of the collar when working in a hazardous safety environment, such as operating heavy machinery.

“I think it’s a step forward,” Capt. Thurraya Kent, senior member of the group that recommended the grooming change, said in an interview with the Associated Press. “They’re getting more female feedback in the service, and updating what I think are somewhat antiquated guidelines that maybe no longer serve their purpose in today’s society, today’s military.”

It's yet to be determined when these new rules will go into effect, but according to the Facebook Live video, the team is working on implementation guidelines and a timeline for the change to be carried out.

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