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Uniform board seeks Marine feedback on female hairstyles

By Cpl. Samuel Ellis | | August 11, 2014

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The Marine Corps Uniform Board released a special uniform survey Aug. 11 to gather Marine opinions concerning two female hairstyles — locks (dreadlocks) and twists.

Earlier this year, the DoD mandated all services review their female hairstyle regulations.

The uniform board held a special working group to review female hairstyle regulations May 30, 2014. The working group determined the existing regulations to be non-discriminatory and allow for maximum individuality while maintaining a professional military appearance. The uniform board is seeking input from Marines along with the findings of the working group before submitting a formal recommendation to the final decision maker, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos.

The brief survey contains two recommendations with an option to “Concur” or “Nonconcur.”

The first recommendation is, “Continue to prohibit the wear of lock (dreadlock) hairstyles.”

Current regulations prohibit the wear of dreadlock hairstyles. A dreadlock is one tress of hair twisted at the root to the end of the hair. The working group considered this hairstyle and recommended it continue to be prohibited. 

The second recommendation is, “Authorize the wear of the twist hairstyles in uniform, as long as they conform with the regulations as detailed below.”

A twist is two portions or strands of hair wound or interwoven together. Current regulations prohibit twists, but the working group recommended twist hairstyles be authorized for medium and long hair length, so long as it follows the same basic regulations as detailed for multiple braids.

Although the questions pertain to female hairstyles, the survey is not gender restricted and both active duty and reserve Marines may participate.

The survey about the proposed changes will be live until Aug. 15 and can be taken at https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/application by selecting the Special Marine Corps Uniform Board: Female Hairstyle Regulations Survey.
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