Let’s start with the soldier’s hair.
The Army Hair Regulation states: “The requirement for hair grooming standards is necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population. Many hairstyles are acceptable as long as they are neat and conservative.”
Leadership at all levels is responsible for enforcing the army hair policy. All soldiers will comply with hair, fingernail, and grooming policies in military uniform or civilian clothes on duty.
So now you might be wondering what hairstyles are acceptable and what are not.
- For the most part, a soldier’s hairstyle cannot interfere with wearing headgear such as the patrol cap, beret or protective gear like the gas mask or helmet.
- Soldiers can dye their hair, but it must be a natural color, and they should avoid colors that result in an extreme appearance.
- Both men and women have a set standard for how their hair should look. Many people think men must have a buzz cut or a high and tight style, but there is room for some style.
AR 670-1 Male Hair Regulation
- For male soldiers, hair must be neatly groomed and can also be bulky.
- It also must have a tapered appearance and, when combed, cannot fall over the ears, eyebrows, or touch the collar, except for the tiny hairs on the back of the neck.
- Soldiers are also not allowed to have Mohawks.
- When it comes to sideburns, they must not extend past the bottom of the opening of their ears, and they cannot be flared or come to a point.
AR 670-1 Female Hair Regulation
Women in the Army can have short, medium, or long hair.
- If a woman in the Army wants short hair, it cannot be shorter than a quarter of an inch.
- Medium hair length allows a female to wear her hair down as long as it doesn’t reach the bottom of her collar in the army uniform.
- If their hair is longer than that, they fall into that long hair category, and they’ll have to secure it in a way that will not interfere with their headgear.
|Cannot be shorter than a quarter of an inch.
|They can wear their hair down as long as it doesn’t reach the bottom of their collar.
|Must secure their hair in a way that will not interfere with their headgear.
There is more as far as prohibited hairstyles and authorized hair accessories go. If you want to know about those details, check out the AR 670-1 Regulation.
New Army Hair Regulations 2023
A wide-ranging set of changes to the uniform and grooming regulations is set to hit the Army, with many new details covering everything from ponytails to earring allowances.
Some of the new army hair regulations include the following:
Updated Rules on Women’s Hair in the Army
- Long Ponytails: Women can now wear long ponytails in certain situations. These include:
- Physical training.
- While wearing specific tactical gear, such as the advanced combat helmet or combat vehicle crewman helmet.
- Implementing the New Rule: The change allows women to adjust their hairstyle for comfort and efficiency during operations. They can:
- Take their bun down into a ponytail.
- Tuck the ponytail at the back of their neck down into their Army combat uniform coat.
- Put on their helmet so it sits without impairing vision or causing discomfort during training or combat operations.
Minimum Hair Length
Women soldiers can also now have short hair; shaved heads are now allowed for women, with minimum hair lengths erased in the latest update.
- For example, these changes will cover female soldiers who decide to go through specific training, such as ranger school, and decide to shave their heads to be more inclusive with the peers they are training with.
The Army wants to go further. It shouldn’t only be for school but for women’s identity overall. It’s a woman’s choice to have hair or not.
Highlights (uniformly blended colors)
Highlights in soldiers’ hair are also now in the mix for those who want to add a little color, but they can’t be too stark and have to blend naturally.
- Hair dyes are already authorized, but the Army wants to take this further. Female soldiers, even male soldiers, now have the opportunity to add a bit of color to their hair.
The Army looked at what a natural color is and defined it as a color that can be worn for your highlights as a uniform blended color.
Facial Hair in the Army
- Men are only allowed to have a mustache in the Army, which, however, cannot be bushily chopped off in appearance and cannot cover their upper lip line or extend past the corners of their mouth.
- No handlebar mustaches or goatees are allowed.
- You are not allowed to have a beard in the Army.
- Some exceptions allow soldiers to have a beard if they cannot shave for medical reasons; this is called having a shaving profile.
- Even soldiers with shaving profiles still have requirements for the length of the beard and cannot style it to have a goatee.
- Unless you have a shaving profile, you must shave every day.
AR 670-1 Army Haircut Regulations
The Army has strict regulations concerning haircuts and hairstyles. They expect all soldiers to always maintain a uniform and professional look.
The Army Haircut Regulations apply to both men and women, though there are specific rules for each gender.
Army Male Haircut Regulation
The following are the men’s AR 670-1 haircut regulation guidelines:
- Hair on top of the head must be neatly groomed.
- The length and bulk of the hair cannot be excessive or present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance.
- A soldier’s hair must present a tapered appearance where the outline of the soldier’s hair conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to the natural termination point at the base of the neck.
- The hair on top of the head must not be more than 2 inches in bulk, regardless of length.
- When combed, the hair should not fall over the ears or eyebrows or touch the collar, except for the closely cut hair at the back of the neck.
- Sideburns should not extend below the bottom of the ear opening and should be trimmed in a neat, clean line.
Army Female Haircut Regulation
The following are the women’s AR 670-1 haircut regulation guidelines:
- Short hair must present a professional appearance and cannot be more than 1 inch in bulk, regardless of the length.
- Medium hair (which falls from 1 inch to the length that it can be pulled back into a bun) must be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned.
- Long hair (which extends beyond the collar) must be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned.
- Hairstyles should not interfere with wearing military headgear or protective masks.
- Soldiers can have dreadlocks, twists, micro braids, and cornrows. Still, they must be uniform, small in diameter (approximately 1/4 inch), show the scalp between the rows, not be excessively bulky or protruding, and be tightly intertwined or braided.
Army Haircut Styles
Below is a list of Haircut styles in the Army
|Uniform cut, typically 1/4 inch or shorter.
|Longer hair on top, shorter on the sides and back.
|High and Tight
|Very short or shaved sides, slightly longer hair on top.
|Longer hair on top, gradually shortens to the sides and back.
|Long hair on top, very short or shaved sides and back.
|Short sides and back, hair on top stands up straight.
AR 670-1 Army Haircut Styles
Army Crew Cut
The military crew cut haircut involves a slightly longer length on top that gradually tapers down to a shorter length on the sides and back.
This cut allows for more style while still adhering to regulations.
Army Buzz Cut
This is one of the most common military haircuts that involves shaving all the hair to a short length, typically 1/4 inch or shorter, creating a uniform appearance across the head.
The undercut is a less common Army haircut; it adheres to regulations involving a longer top section of hair, with the sides and back cut very short or shaven.
The top hair must still conform to army regulations, i.e., it must not be excessively bulky or fall over the ears or eyes.
Army Flat Top
The flat-top military haircut is characterized by short sides and back, with the hair on top cut to stand up straight and form a flat-appearing deck.
This hairstyle must be maintained to ensure the hair does not exceed maximum length regulations.
Army High and Tight
- This army style involves very short sides and back (almost or completely shaved), with a slightly longer length on the top.
- The “high” refers to the high location on the head where the change in hair length occurs.
Army Fade Haircut
- Hair gradually transitions from a longer length on top to a very short or shaven look on the sides and back.
- The fade can start at different points on the head, creating different styles like a high fade, a mid fade, or a low fade.
Remember, these are general guidelines; other specific rules and exceptions may apply based on individual circumstances or operational requirements.
Refer to the official document, Army Regulation 670-1, for the most accurate information.
In addition to an update in hair regulations, The Army is introducing a wide range of changes to the uniform and grooming regulations.
- Earrings: Women are now permitted to wear earrings while in combat uniforms, provided they’re not in the field or on combat duty.
- Lipstick/Nail Polish: Solid colors for lipstick and nail polish are now approved, as long as the colors aren’t extreme, such as gold or hot pink.
- Nail Polish for Men: Men are now allowed to wear clear nail polish, a move aimed at helping protect their nails if working with chemicals or from other damage.
- Uniform Changes for Nursing Moms:
- Uniform regulations have been updated to accommodate nursing mothers.
- A new change permits women to wear specially designed breastfeeding t-shirts as part of their uniform.
- This enables them to open up their coats or uniform tops to breastfeed as needed.
- Effective Date: These new regulations are approved and set to take effect on February 25th.
- The Army goes much more in-depth with their hairstyles, jewelry, and tattoos that you can or cannot have in AR 670-1.
- If you want to know more, check out the link in the description.
- This was a general understanding of some of the appearance standards in the Army.
- Please comment below if you have questions about the Army’s appearance standards.