Earlier this, week we received an email via Clutch’s Facebook page in reference to new grooming regulations the United States Army recently approved. According to Army Times, the updated Army Regulation 670-1 was approved March 6 by Army Secretary John McHugh. The new regulations have several stipulations when it comes to the acceptable ways a woman can wear their hair, but there’s a few rules that seem to pertain more to those who choose to rock natural hair.
Exhibit A, from the leaked PowerPoint presentation clearly states that twists are not allowed. But cornrows and individual braids are permitted, only if they follow size and styling regulations. And I’m assuming, only thin banded headbands are allowed, nothing fancy is acceptable.
Exhibit B: Once again, twists are a no-go if you’re in the Army. Also, add dreadlocks to the list.
Forget about wearing your natural hair in “bulk”, as the Army described it. No hairclips, or loose hair is allowed either.
But if you want to wear weaves, wigs or extensions that resemble your own hair, feel free.
It seems as though the Army doesn’t think certain styles, ironically ones that are typically worn by black women, are not deemed “professional” or “uniform”. In addition to the hair regulations, the Army also instituted new rules in regards to facial hair on men, as well as tattoos:
■ Sideburns on male soldiers will not extend below the bottom of the ear opening.
■ Female soldiers can wear their hair in a ponytail during physical training.
■ Tattoos are not authorized on the face, head, neck or hands.
■ Soldiers may have no more than four visible tattoos below the elbow or the knee; tattoos must be smaller than the size of the wearer’s hand.
■ Sleeve tattoos on the arms or legs are not authorized.
■ Enlisted soldiers who exceed the tattoo limit cannot request commissioning; they are not grandfathered.
■ Commanders must validate all tattoos above the neckline, below the elbows and below the knees with a description of the color and shape on an official memo.
■ Commanders will conduct an annual check for new tattoos or brands in prohibited locations.
■ Soldiers may carry a plain black umbrella during inclement weather while wearing the service, dress and mess uniforms. Umbrellas are not authorized in formations or when wearing field or utility uniforms.
Of course the Army will punish anyone who chooses not to follow the new set of regulations:
Let’s see how these new regulations will change their enrollment numbers.