Marine Corps partially relaxes its strict hair rules for women

Gerard Ortiz

New guidance authorized by the commandant of the Marine Corps fairly loosens the force’s demanding procedures governing feminine Marines’ hair, but — not like every single other branch — ponytails are nonetheless verboten.

A MARADMIN message produced Wednesday offers woman Marines leeway to have on their hair unfastened at a somewhat higher size than ahead of, makes it possible for some fifty percent-up hairstyles, lets ladies don short twists and authorizes a broader range of types for gals with prolonged hair. It also explicitly eliminates the expectation that ladies put on their hair slicked again.

The Maritime Corps divides women’s hair into three categories: shorter (considerably less than a single inch from the scalp), medium and long. Women with short or medium hair are authorized to wear their hair loose alternatively than securing it up.

The new advice, helpful immediately, defines medium hair as shorter than two inches beneath the base edge of a uniform collar in the back and extended hair as anything at all for a longer period than that. Earlier, medium hair couldn’t lengthen down below the collar’s reduced edge.

In apply, the new rule indicates that woman Marines can get away with putting on their hair unfastened at a little bit more time than shoulder size, fairly than just bob length, as lengthy as the hair does not obscure the rank insignia on the collar.

For each the new rule, gals with medium-size hair can put on their hair half unfastened and 50 % in ponytails or in just one or two braids while in the overcome utility uniform, flight go well with or actual physical coaching uniform.

Females with quick hair can now don their hair in twists, a hairstyle that is widespread amongst Black girls but formerly was offered only to women with medium or extended hair.

And the MARADMIN’s steering allows women of all ages model very long hair in a broader wide variety of ways than just before.

Prior steering dictated that extended hair be secured so that it didn’t increase down below the base of the collar’s decreased edge, other than in the physical coaching uniform. That intended most feminine Marines with extensive hair wore it in a tight bun.

Now, very long hair should even now be tucked up, but it can prolong to two inches under the foundation of the collar’s decrease edge. Female Marines hence have much more latitude in how they style long hair.

They are nevertheless not authorized to dress in ponytails, apart from when they are in their bodily teaching uniforms, in accordance to the uniform board web site. That helps make the Maritime Corps an anomaly: The Navy started letting ponytails in 2018, and the other branches followed fit in 2021.

Another, basically looser, plan in the MARADMIN helps make very clear that feminine Marines with extended hair should not be envisioned to slick again their hair.

“In purchase to lessen likely injury from day-to-day hairstyling, Marines are encouraged to avoid alcoholic beverages-based styling products, styling wet hair, and hairstyles that induce undue stress on hair follicles,” the MARADMIN reads. “There is no prerequisite to have tightly pulled back again or slicked back hair at any length.”

Female Marines with prolonged hair usually pull it back again tightly and use merchandise to retain it in area — a exercise that can direct to traction alopecia, hair reduction brought on by pulling on the roots. And protecting a slicked-again bun can be specially tricky for some Black women of all ages with pure hair.

With only 9% of its troops remaining woman, the Marine Corps is the services with the most affordable ratio of ladies to males. Rising the quantity of girls in the ranks of the Marine Corps has been a person of commandant Gen. David Berger’s stated priorities.

Sergeant Main of the Marine Corps Troy Black, the best enlisted Marine, mentioned in November 2021 explained that the Corps experienced been talking about improvements to the hair plan, including maybe permitting ponytails.

“As section of that diversity, equity, inclusion discussion, those discussions are remaining experienced,” Black reported at the time.

Irene Loewenson is a employees reporter for Maritime Corps Periods. She joined Military Instances as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams University, in which she was the editor-in-chief of the college student newspaper.

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