The U.S. Army has announced groundbreaking changes to grooming policies for its female soldiers. This move provides women in the military with more freedom to express themselves through their appearance. The revisions aim to enhance comfort, diversity, and inclusivity within the ranks.
- Hair Style Options: The updated grooming policies now offer a broader range of acceptable hairstyles for female soldiers. Long hair, once confined to buns, can now be worn in practical styles like ponytails or braids, especially during training and tactical operations. These changes cater to the needs of African American female soldiers, allowing for various braided styles, including combinations of braids and twists.
- Shaved Heads: In a significant departure from previous regulations, female soldiers are now permitted to shave their heads if they choose. The previous requirement of maintaining a minimum hair length has been eliminated, offering more flexibility in personal grooming choices.
- Nail Polish and Lipstick: Female soldiers can now add a touch of elegance with nail polish and lipstick while on duty. However, there are color restrictions in place to maintain a professional appearance. Extreme colors like blue, black, «fire-engine red,» violet, and fluorescent shades are not allowed.
- Nail Length and Style: The grooming policies also address nail length and style, with a focus on practicality. Extreme options, such as stiletto nails, are not permitted to ensure that soldiers can perform their duties effectively.
- Hair Color Guidelines: The U.S. Army encourages soldiers to opt for natural-looking hair colors. Vibrant shades like pink, green, and blue are considered extreme and are prohibited. Additionally, roots with different colors longer than 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) are not allowed.
- Earrings: Stud earrings are now allowed on military bases, offering female soldiers a subtle way to accessorize. However, during field training and combat operations, wearing earrings remains restricted.
These sweeping changes come as a result of a comprehensive review initiated under the leadership of former defense secretary Mark Esper. The review focused on addressing issues of racial discrimination and mistreatment of minorities within the military.
In embracing these new grooming policies, the U.S. Army is advancing inclusivity, diversity, and comfort for its female soldiers while upholding the standards of professionalism and readiness.