Air India has ordered its cabin crew to dye their gray hair, report says

Air India
Air IndiaVytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock
  • Air India has implemented a new set of regulations regarding the appearance of its cabin crew.

  • One rule states that "crew with deep receding hairline must keep a clean shaved head/bald look."

  • The airline has also ordered body mass index and weight checks for staff, reports said.

The Indian conglomerate Tata Group took over Air India in January. The new owners are turning to the appearance of their cabin crew as part of a bid to improve the airline's service and reputation, per The Hindustan Times.

A new 40-page booklet was disseminated to staff after a grooming policy meeting in October. The booklet outlines a host of new grooming regulations staff must adhere to both on and off shift, according to The Hindustan Times.

Some rules focus on cabin crew hair, especially if it indicates aging. Guidelines state: "Grey hair is not permitted. Grey hair must be regularly colored in [a] natural shade. Fashion colors and henna are not permitted," the report said.

According to The Times, male members of Air India's cabin crew with receding hairlines have been told to go for a "cleaner look" and shave their heads.

"Crew with deep receding hairline and male balding patches must keep a clean shaved head/bald look. Head must be shaved daily. Crew cut is not permitted," the new rules say.

The staff has been told beards or five-o'clock shadows are not permitted, according to The Hindustan Times, with one rule stating: "Male crew must carry a shaving kit on every flight."

Female staff should avoid blonde hair, high top knots, and low buns, The Times also reports.

Male cabin crew members are allowed to wear wedding bands. Men can only wear bracelets can a symbol of the Sikh faith. The bracelets must have a maximum width of 0.5 cm and cannot boast any logos, stones, or designs. No other male jewelry is permitted, The Hindustan Times reported.

Earlier this year, Tata Group circulated a new policy that required Air India cabin crew to undergo body mass index and weight checks before flights.

Air India argued that overweight crew could be a hazard in an emergency, but the Air India cabin crew union objected citing concerns about crew members' mental health and the lack of a medical professional present at the checks, India Today previously reported.

Aside from appearance, the new guidelines state that staff shouldn't post about any company issues, politics, or religion online, The Hindustan Times added.

An Air India employee told The Hindustan Times that some staff are finding the rules overly strict: "Some think it is required for building the image of the airline, but others see it to be a little too much."

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