Being Natural in the military

MzKyeMzKye Posts: 58Registered Users
I have been considering going to the military one day .. Maybe after college... However I have been hearing rumors about them making you straighten your hair to make it part of uniform... I saw one article where they claimed you have to chemically straighten it :shock: (aaaaaahhhh!!!!!) and they referred to it as "dread hair" or something like that... Smh does anybody know if this is true or not? I have no problem serving my country but me having to change who I am or who I wanna be isn't right...
"You never find yourself until you face the truth."-- Pearl Bailey

:afro: :wav: :blob2:


  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users
    Each branch is different. I spent 22 years in the Navy, and my 3B texture was a problem. I would get marked down on my military bearing score for my hair.

    I then grew it out so I could pull it tight enough to make a bun so that the texture didn't show. I've never seen a regulation that stated that one had to chemically alter hair.

    Fair or not, women of color got more leeway with hair texture than white women did, so it may be less of an issue. But, I can say that I saw very few women wear natural hair in the military. Most relaxed or pressed. The few naturals I did see kept it short. Longer than shaved, but smaller than a TWA.

    It doesn't help that most protective styles aren't allowed, except for braids, and even braids are regulated as to how they are worn.

    Again, every service is different, so you'd have to check the regulations for each one.
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  • 5683tika!5683tika! Posts: 3Registered Users

    I just was lurking around on NC and saw this post. I am in the Air Force and have been for the last 17 1/2 years. For us there is no regulation that says you have to "chemically straighten" your hair. The regulation does say that your hair in uniform cannot be more than 3 inches in bulk.

    As of the last few year I have seen a shift to many ladies going natural. I have been natural for 1 year now.

    It is expected that you present "a professional military image" while in uniform. To many people, natural hair "isn't professional", but I find that to be subjective... but again there is no regulation against it.

    Where I am there are a lot of naturals of all textures :-). I love it!

    I think times are changing and what was once considered the "norm" relaxing and straightening our now changing and natural hair is becoming more accepted.

    Just sharing my experience.
  • MzKyeMzKye Posts: 58Registered Users
    I'm glad to hear that... By the time i wanted to go hopefully i can pull my hair back in a bun by then... The chemically treated rumor was in some article that I saw.. It was regarding making it a law to have your hair a certain way...I sure hope that is a rumor..
    "You never find yourself until you face the truth."-- Pearl Bailey

    :afro: :wav: :blob2:
  • danielle.chedanielle.che Posts: 2Registered Users
    Being natural in the military is widely accepted now! I'm natural in the Navy, which is one of the strictest branches when it comes to hair regulations. Check out my blog where I will be writing about being natural in the military :) Natural Hair In The Military