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The Air pressure has loosened the rule on locs and other hairstyles favored by black color women. (GettyImages)
The Air force on Friday released brand-new dress regulations the for the very first time permit female airmen to wear their hair in the loc hairstyle well-known with black women.

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The revised regs also will permit male airmen come wear earrings if in civilian attire and also off-duty on military installations.


Locs, a form of hairstyle commonly worn by black women, were included to a perform of other authorized woman hairstyles such as braids, twists, micro-braids, and also cornrows in the update to Air force Instruction AFI-36-2903, dress and personal Appearance of Air force Personnel.

The AFI defines locs as “portions the hair that have been intentionally or unintentionally fused with each other to form a loc or locs.” when worn as multiple locs, the AFI stated they must be the “uniform dimension,” tightly-fused or interwoven to current a neat, expert appearance, and also be about a quarter-inch in diameter. These space the same rules that already applied to braids and twists.

The military in January 2017 likewise authorized the loc hairstyle, return only enabling 1/8 inch-wide strands, less than what the Air force now permits.


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Soldiers cheer Army's decision to authorize dreadlocks in uniformThe army on Jan. 5 released a brand-new grooming and also appearance directive that authorized spiritual exemptions for turbans and beards because that Sikh men and also hijabs for Muslim women, but hidden down in the document was a supplication that adjusted everything for numerous black women in the service.

The brand-new regulations likewise remove the minimum hair size requirement because that female airmen, meaning they have the right to shave your heads, whereby they previously were forced to stay at least 1/4 customs of hair. And the regs to be revised to permit female airmen come wear your hair in a bun that extends approximately 3 1/2 inches indigenous the scalp, and allows proper wear that headgear. They formerly were enabled to wear a bun of at many three inches.

Black hair equipment such as scrunchies, hairpins, combs, clips and headbands room now allowed to it is in worn, regardless of hair color. The previous regulation compelled those equipment to match the airmen’s hair color.

The amendment earring regulations also say that as well as being off-duty, masculine airmen also must it is in in civilian clothes to undertake earrings on-base. This way they can not wear earrings when carrying out official duties while in civilian attire.


And the earring regulations were tweaked come also permit female airmen come wear square earrings as well as round, i beg your pardon were previously the only shape allowed.

The amendment AFI likewise spells out the details of exactly how the new OCP, or work Camouflage Pattern, uniform will be worn.

Part the those new uniform regs also say the airmen will certainly be enabled to undertake a long- or short-sleeve breastfeeding t-shirt — which will be fancy sand as soon as worn v the airman fight uniform, and tan when worn through the OCP — v their utility uniform. It will be tucked in, unless worn with the maternity uniform, the AFI said. And airmen put on the breastfeeding t-shirt space not an alleged to take it off your ABU or OCP coat, uneven in a designated lactation room.


Stephen Losey is the air war reporter in ~ Defense News. He formerly reported because that Military.com, covering the Pentagon, distinct operations and air warfare. Prior to that, he spanned U.S. Air force leadership, personnel and also operations for Air pressure Times.


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