US Air Force changes hair requirements for women

GMA TEAM
·1 min read

The U.S. Air Force is changing its rules on how women in the service are allowed to wear their hair.

Starting next month, women will be allowed to wear their hair in longer braids, ponytails and bangs, Air Force officials announced Thursday.

The new rules, based on feedback from thousands of women in the Air Force, are intended to reflect the diversity among enlisted Airmen and officers.

"In addition to the health concerns we have for our Airmen, not all women have the same hair type, and our hair standards should reflect our diverse force," Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass said in a statement. "I am pleased we could make this important change for our women service members."

PHOTO: This U.S. Air Force graphic shows the allowed length for ponytails and braids. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Corey Parrish)
PHOTO: This U.S. Air Force graphic shows the allowed length for ponytails and braids. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Corey Parrish)

Among the complaints from women in the Air Force were that the previous rules on hair standards, "resulted in damage to hair, migraines and in some cases, hair loss," according to the Air Force.

MORE: UPS ends ban on beards, natural hairstyles and gender-specific guidelines

Women currently make up around 21% of the Air Force.

PHOTO: In this April 18, 2020, file photo, Air Force Academy cadets take an oath during their graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: In this April 18, 2020, file photo, Air Force Academy cadets take an oath during their graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images, FILE)

The military service's changes to its hair standards come as more private companies and local and state officials are also taking action to prevent discrimination.

In November, the United Parcel Service eliminated its rules against facial hair and natural hairstyles for its male employees.

MORE: How Black women are embracing their natural hair during quarantine

Last year, Montgomery County, Maryland, became the first county in the U.S. to ban discrimination based on hairstyles on a local level.

When the California legislature passed the CROWN Act in 2019, it made California the first state in the nation to ban natural hair discrimination.

US Air Force changes hair requirements for women originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com