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Army Shaving Profile | AR 670-1 2023

The Army Shaving Profile is a temporary medical waiver granted to soldiers with conditions aggravated by shaving, such as Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB), which is an inflammation of the hair follicles caused by ingrown hairs.

This shaving profile allows soldiers to maintain facial hair to a certain length, often about 1/4 inch.

Soldiers with a shaving profile are exempt from the Army Beard Regulations requiring a clean-shaven face. However, there are still guidelines to follow. 

Who Can Apply for a Shaving Profile?

I get many questions about who can apply for the army shaving profile.

You can apply for a shaving profile if you have skin conditions exacerbated by regular shavings, such as pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB).

The Army requires you to get a diagnosis from a medical professional to apply for the profile. They are either civilian or military medical professionals. 

Applying for a Shaving Profile

If you believe you have a medical condition,

  • Start by consulting a medical professional, who can be a military physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, for evaluation.
  • After evaluating your skin condition and determining that shaving causes medical issues, your medic will issue you a shaving waiver. 

Regulations and Conditions for Soldiers With a Shaving Profile

  • The Army shaving profile does give you unlimited freedom with your facial hair.
  • You cannot style your facial hair into goatees or other shapes.
  • Your facial hair must not exceed a certain length, often about 1/4 inch.
  • The shaving profile is temporary, and it’s periodically reassessed and renewed by your medical professional.
ConditionsRegulations
Shaving ConditionPseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) or any skin condition exacerbated by shaving
Length of Facial HairNot to exceed 1/4 inch
StylesNo goatees or styled beards
Profile ValidityTemporary and needs to be reassessed periodically

Shaving Profile and Army Uniform Code

  • The shaving profile balances a soldier’s health and the Army’s interests in uniformity, discipline, and operational safety.
  • The Army shaving profile is not a blanket exemption from the Army’s grooming standards; soldiers must maintain their facial hair in a manner that projects a professional military image.
  • You should keep your beards neatly trimmed and clean at all times.

Limitations of a Shaving Profile

  • The profile doesn’t apply if your duties demand a clean shave for safety or hygiene reasons, such as using specific respiratory protective gear.

Misconceptions About Shaving Profiles

  • Some soldiers think having a shaving profile is an easy way to avoid shaving, but this is a misconception.
  • The Army only grants a shaving profile for valid medical reasons and not for personal preference.
  • Soldiers have misused their shaving profiles in certain instances to avoid complying with standard grooming regulations.
  • The Army has clarified that the misuse of shaving profiles will be treated as a serious disciplinary issue.

My Experience Getting The Army Shaving Profile

I will give you my experience of getting my no-shave profile and growing fantastic facial hair so that you don’t have to shave every day.

I joined the Army in 2013 and got my no-shave profile in 2017. It took me roughly four years to get it. It was a long process, but here is what I did, and hopefully, it works for you.

When I joined in 2013, I went to basic training in Fort Sill. During my basic training at Fort Sill, I suffered daily from facial bleeding due to constant shaving. I did not know that I had folliculitis at that time. 

Folliculitis is a common skin condition that happens when hair follicles become inflamed.

I just shaved every day, and my face bled every day, and you just suck it up in basic training.

I continued to experience the painful effects of daily shaving even during my Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Joint Base Fort Sam Houston (I’m a Combat Medic Specialist).

Upon joining the National Guard, I asked about the possibility of a no-shave profile. However, my chain of command told me I wouldn’t get one, no matter what happened.

I got tired of the persistent discomfort and the small white bumps on my face and decided to seek a civilian doctor’s opinion for a professional diagnosis.

She diagnosed me with folliculitis, and I took it to my chain of command. After scrutinizing the diagnosis, they referred me to an Army doctor who approved me for a shaving profile; I was relieved. 

Conclusion

  • Army shaving profile is a necessary tool that allows soldiers with certain medical conditions to maintain their health without compromising the Army’s standards of discipline and professionalism.
  • The shaving profile is not an escape from the Army’s appearance standards but an accommodation for those who medically need it.
George N.