UPDATED 9:40 AM PT — Thurs. July 12, 2018
Women in the U.S. Navy are celebrating new regulations, which give them more hairstyle options.
In a Facebook Live video on Tuesday, Chief of Naval Operations — Admiral John Richardson — stood alongside black service women, who pushed for the change as part of a working group who made the recommendations.
“It’s my honor to announce that CNO and CNP have announced the following recommendations: lock hairstyles will be authorized, hair bun width will be authorized to be equal to the width of the back of the head, ponytails will be authorized in all service, working and PT uniforms,” announced Yeoman First Class Latoya Jones.
Some black women complained they had to wear wigs in uniforms, but the new rules give them more ways to style their natural hair and still meet the strict code.
Richardson said the changes will make the Navy more inclusive, which is a sentiment others have echoed.
“I think they’ve been, the Navy as a whole, has been really striving to incorporate all different kinds of hair types and all different types of sailors, and I think this is just one strong signal that they’re overall trying to listen to it’s people in the Navy and include everyone in its workforce,” said LT. Cmdr. Jess Cameron, U.S. Navy.
Other women have also praised the move, because it was impossible for proscribed buns to fit under flight helmets.
Though service women can now wear braids and ponytails, their hair cannot be longer than three-inches below the collar to ensure the women can still look professional and perform their jobs easily.
While the move is a small change, many service members say it signals the bright direction the Navy is heading towards.
The Army and Marines have already made similar changes to allow locs.