Air Force to expand women’s hair style options

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Women in the U.S. Air Force will soon have more options when it comes to how they wear their hair.

Thursday, the Air Force announced that women will soon be allowed to wear their hair in up to two braids or in a single ponytail, though with length and width limitations.

Women will also be allowed to have bangs while serving in the USAF though they will not be permitted to be long enough that they cover the eyes.

“This decision is a commitment to supporting the Airmen We Need and sustaining the culture and environment of excellence that will continue to make the Air Force an attractive career choice for Airmen and families,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.

The changes follow a November meeting of the Air Force’s uniform board, which met virtually to discuss ideas from Airmen who who participated in a dress and appearance crowdsourcing campaign.

The Air Force said thousands of women across gave feedback to the Women’s Initiative Team, who indicated the constraints to hair grooming standards resulted in “damage to hair, migraines and in some cases, hair loss.”

“In addition to the health concerns we have for our Airmen, not all women have the same hair type, and our hair standards should reflect our diverse force,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass.

The changes go into effect in February when the USAF publishes its newest standards.

The USAF did consider beards for men, which are allowed with a waiver for medical or religious accommodations, but there are no plan to adjust the male grooming standards currently in place.

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