The U.S. Air Force on Friday officially updated its rules about how women in the service branch can wear their hair. As of June 25, women’s hair worn in a bun, braid, or ponytail may extend six inches to the right and left and also may protrude in back by six inches from the point where the hair is gathered, the Air Force said in a statement. The total width for the hair must still allow for the proper wear of headgear.
This means ponytails, braids, and buns and is an accommodation for minority women who have curly hair. The revision of Air Force Instruction 36-2903, grooming standards, addresses the differences in hair density and texture and a more diverse workforce.
Previously, hair worn in a bun, braid, ponytail or equivalent could not extend beyond the width of the head.
Members must still be mindful of occupational safety, fire and health guidance, and mishap prevention, and must reduce the chance of injury from having loose hair around machinery, equipment, or moving parts.
The U.S. Space Force Guardians will adhere to the grooming standards of the U.S. Air Force until the Space Force develops its own policy.
The development of the new hair standards has been underway for several months and some of the new rules took effect earlier this year.