New Navy guidelines allow men to be bald and wear earrings and women to have “very short” hair
The Navy has adopted new grooming and accessory policies for both male and female sailors, giving them more leniency to dress as they wish.
The new policies, many of which are effective immediately, were announced Tuesday by Mark D. Faram, chief public affairs officer for naval personnel.
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“The Navy Uniform Policy Updates are the result of Fleet feedback, Uniform Working Group discussions, Command sponsored requests and guidance from Navy leaders,” wrote Vice Admiral John B. Nowell Jr., Chief of Naval Personnel, in the announcement. “The Navy Uniform Policy Updates directly support Sailor 2025’s goals to attract and retain the best sailors by finding greater flexibility in our policies and practices, including uniforms.”
Men are now allowed to be bald, have a flat top or fade, or have a high, tight fit, although restrictions on sideburns remain strict. If a sailor has sideburns, that hair should not exceed the length of the hair “where it crosses the haircut”, while the sideburn length requirement “remains unchanged”.
Women sailors are now allowed to have “very short” hair. The new guidelines allow them to have their hair short as long as it does not “exceed two inches in volume and four inches in length anywhere on the head”, although bald hairstyles remain prohibited, except in the case of medical treatments.
“These changes are aligned with efforts to eliminate inconsistencies in the application of policy standards and to provide clearer guidance that will facilitate compliance and enforcement,” added Rob Carroll, Head of Uniform Affairs on Staff. the chief of naval personnel. “In addition, they will expand options for our sailors in grooming standards while eliminating policies that are seen by most as obsolete.”
“These changes recognize hairstyles that are now fairly standard in society and are also aligned with presenting a professional military appearance in uniform,” Carroll said.
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Another policy change concerns the wearing of earrings for men. The new guidelines allow them to wear earrings when on leave or at large, in civilian clothes and outside military institutions. Earrings remain prohibited while wearing civilian clothes if the sailor is performing his “official duties”.
Other policy updates include allowing sailors with accented names to include these accents on name tags and name patches and allowing the use of specifically colored headgear for sailors undergoing treatment. medical. Men who are exempt from the medical or religious shaving regimen will also have more leeway in tracing or shaping the outer edges of their beards.