Air Force releases new grooming standards for women

This change has some Ellsworth Air Force Base service members “freeing the bun”.
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 8:27 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The United States Air Force announced a new regulation allowing female airmen to lose the tight hair bun.

As of Wednesday, female airmen have new grooming standards.

Previously, long hair had to be kept in a tight, slicked-back bun or tucked braid.

Thousands of women across the Air Force provided feedback to the service’s Women’s Initiative Team about the previous hair grooming standards which caused damage to hair, migraines and in some cases, hair loss. The concerns were shared with the Air Force Uniform Board, which took the feedback and created rules allowing women to “wear their hair in up to two braids or a single ponytail” and “women’s bangs may now touch their eyebrows, but not cover their eyes”.

This change has some Ellsworth Air Force Base service members “freeing the bun”.

”I’m really excited about it and I can tell a lot of my sisters in arms are also really excited about it. It’s a great change for us. Having to deal with the tension on your scalp, on your hair, it causes pain throughout the day and it can cause hair breakage,” said Second Lieutenant Matihson Madison, Ellsworth’s budget officer. “So being able to free the bun is really really great.”

Madison mentioned scalp issues and another female airman brought up the same, saying these regulations will allow women to reduce struggles like migraines and hair loss.

”For people to be able to show their originality and uniqueness, for me, isn’t the objective of this change,” said Tech Sergeant Tiffany Cook, Ellsworth’s Command Chief’s executive assistant. “I think the biggest part is they are able to go through without having to deal with the constant migraines, the constant hair loss, and the scalp and skin conditions with their hair.”

According to the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs office, “Another idea considered by the board related to beard wear for men. Unlike with women’s hair standards, there are no known health or hair loss issues associated with current male grooming standard compliance.”

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