The Navy says it would now enable servicewomen to sport ponytails and different hairstyles, reversing a coverage that lengthy forbade females from letting their hair down.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson mentioned it makes the Navy extra inclusive.
Many black girls had requested for adjustments to the feminine grooming requirements. A feminine sailor, Yeoman First Class LaToya Jones, introduced the brand new coverage throughout a Fb Reside occasion Tuesday with Richardson. The brand new requirements went into impact Wednesday.
Lock hairstyles, or ropelike strands, are additionally now allowed. Wider hair buns, too. And ladies can put on ponytails whereas in uniform.
Capt. Thurraya Kent is the senior member of the working group that beneficial the adjustments. The group informed the Navy that including grooming choices would get rid of a distraction, be extra inclusive of various hair textures and allow folks to maintain their hair pure as a substitute of processing it chemically.
Kent, who has been within the Navy for practically 26 years, mentioned her hair has been a difficulty all through her profession, whether or not it’s determining what to do with it whereas she’s deployed or attempting to rapidly be certain it conforms to rules after exercising.
She recalled being informed to take out her braids early in her profession though her coiffure was allowed.
“Due to the feel of my hair, it stood straight up,” Kent mentioned. “It was a really embarrassing second that stays with you.”
She mentioned she’s very inspired that Navy leaders each listened and understood.
Higher match for a helmet
On the U.S. Naval Warfare Faculty in Newport, Rhode Island, on Wednesday, girls mentioned they’re excited to modify from buns, which don’t match nicely below helmets.
Legalman First Class Tamatha Schulmerich mentioned she has to twist and wrap her hair right into a bun as a result of it goes right down to her decrease again. She mentioned it was uncomfortable to put on that manner when she needed to put on a flight deck helmet in a earlier project.
Lt. Cmdr. Jess Cameron mentioned whereas permitting new hairdos could appear to be a small factor, it sends a bigger message.
“I feel it’s a step ahead,” she mentioned. “They’re getting extra feminine suggestions within the service, and updating what I feel are considerably antiquated tips that perhaps not serve their objective in at present’s society, at present’s navy.”
The Navy mentioned it had the requirements in place due to security issues and to make sure everybody maintained a uniform, skilled look. Although the brand new guidelines allow ponytails, there can be some exceptions when working round heavy equipment.