US military reviews hairstyle rules for females
Publish Date: May 01, 2014
US military reviews hairstyle rules for females
Sixteen female lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus had raised objections over hairstyle regulations. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img

WASHINGTON - Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel is ordering a review of rules on hairstyles for female troops after a wave of complaints charged the US military's policies discriminated against black women.

In a letter obtained by AFP Wednesday, Hagel wrote to lawmakers promising that each of the armed services would look at hairstyle regulations that apply to African-American women "to ensure standards are fair and respectful of our diverse force."

Sixteen female lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus had raised objections over hairstyle regulations saying the rules unfairly singled out black women in uniform.

And a former member of the Georgia National Guard, Jasmine Jacobs, launched a White House petition against the rules that attracted more than 17,500 signatures along with a huge volume of online comments.

The complaints came after the US Army announced updated appearance and grooming rules in March that cited prohibited hairstyles.

The rules banned dreadlocks and some other styles that are worn predominantly by African-American women, deeming them "unkempt."

"The use of words like 'unkempt' and 'matted' when referring to traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are offensive and biased," the female lawmakers said in a letter to Hagel.

Black female troops said the rules were patently unfair because they discouraged styles using their natural hair while permitting some wigs or hair weaves.

One of the lawmakers who had raised the issue, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, welcomed Hagel's letter as a "thoughtful response."


The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Officer, 37, becomes third woman to pass US Ranger school
A 37-year-old mother of two is this week set to become the third woman to graduate from the US Army's elite Ranger School, which previously was open only to men....
India''s poorest state, Bihar, began voting Monday in a high-stakes election....
British troops killed in Kabul chopper crash
Two Britons were among five NATO troops killed in a helicopter crash in Kabul, a second blow for British forces....
Stunned Turkey mourns 95 killed in worst ever attack
Turkey on Sunday mourned the killing of at least 95 people in twin suspected suicide bombings on a peace rally in Ankara....
Iran tests new long-range missile
Iran announced Sunday it had successfully tested a new domestically produced long-range missile....
Rebels battled Saturday to reverse an Islamic State group advance on Syria's Aleppo, as Washington said it would resume talks with Moscow....
Should Makerere University fees policy be reviewed?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter