Air Force’s New Grooming Standards

| January 22, 2021

Ahh, grooming standards. The term warms the hearts of NCOs everywhere regardless of Service Branch. Easily understood and enforced, although AWANEd thought MAA’s handing out speeding tickets for haircut violations at the barber shop entrance pretty chickenshit. And it was. Brave new world though, Delta Whiskies and Whiskettes, so leave it to the Air Force to initiate change. If you’re keeping score, its Guys 0, Gals 2.

Air Force to OK braids, ponytails for women — but no beards for men

Stephen Losey

Female airmen will soon be allowed to wear their hair in one or two braids, or a single ponytail, Air Force officials announced Thursday.

Women will also be allowed to wear longer bangs that touch their eyebrows, the Air Force said in a news release, but the bangs will not be able to cover their eyes.

The revised dress and appearance standards will take effect with the next update to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, which is slated to be published in February, the Air Force said.

“This decision is a commitment to supporting the airmen we need, and sustaining the culture and environment of excellence that will continue to make the Air Force an attractive career choice for airmen and families,” Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown said in the release. “I’m thankful for the feedback and research conducted from a number of women leaders, the Women’s Initiative Team, the Air Force uniform board and our joint teammates.”

The Air Force decided against further relaxing standards that bar most men from wearing beards.

At least the guys can console themselves with a new tat at the BX. Right, Mason?*grin*
This is a milblog, remember. Read the entire refreshingly non-political article here: Air Force Times

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Air Force, Military issues

Comments (16)

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  1. KoB says:

    Relax there Wing Wipers. They’ll be releasing the new guidelines for the man buns next month.

  2. Fyrfighter says:

    On a related note, a couple nights ago I saw an individual in uniform, I assume a Ft. Carson soldier due to proximity, who was low riding his pants enough that his drawers were visible below his jacket.. My first thought was WTF is wrong with his first shirt???

    Or am I just being racist?

  3. ChipNASA says:

    We’re talking pubes right? Because we’re being progressive, right??
    I’m just waiting for the new NCOs to have to enforce this new standard. “OK, DROP ‘EM!”

    I may just re-enlist.

    😀 😀 😀

    (Ex-PH2 comes running with her wooden spoon in 3…2….1… 🙂 “HANDS UP, DON’T POST!!” )

  4. Only Army Mom says:

    For once, I applaud a relaxing of grooming standards.

    The shortest my hair has ever been is well past my shoulders, so I know of what I speak when I say two braids are far superior to a bun. This holds particularly true of any type if headgear is to be worn. In addition, it is much more comfy/less strain on the neck when reclining, or for that matter, even driving a car. I’ve made the mistake of wearing a single ponytail or bun on the back of my head on a long car drive. Unless it is literally sticking straight up from the top of your head, or you are over 6′ tall, it is going to interfere with the headrest and therefore your sitting position, back/neck alignment, etc.

    As for the bangs…yeah, no. Not that I’m against bangs, but there is no operationally justified reason to allow bangs in uniform. Granted, they can be aesthetically pleasing and hide a billboard of a forehead, but what other justification for allowing bangs could exist? This is a real question.

    • Poetrooper says:

      “..and hide a billboard of a forehead.”

      Ol’ Poe has always found high foreheads in women to be both esthetically pleasing and indicative of increased intellectual heft.

      This young Hollywood lovely, Terry Moore, was one of my early teen crushes and not coincidentally bears a very strong resemblance to Miz Poe at that age:,0,214,317_AL_.jpg

    • Carlton G Long says:

      “…hide a billboard if a forehead…”

      You win the internet.

    • Haywire Angel says:

      You could have bangs as long as they didn’t touch your eyebrows, which meant they were usually a LOT shorter than you wanted them. But, with a curling iron longer bangs could be hidden or pulled to the side. Unlike other females, I didn’t want to subject anyone to my billboard, I mean forehead.

      I agree with relaxing of certain parts of the hair standard, such as dealing with hair bulk, but not letting it hang down past your shoulders. That just looks tacky and unprofessional. Thank goodness that is not my problem anymore.

  5. Sapper3307 says:

    At last world peace is closer.

  6. rgr769 says:

    Will pre-op trannie males get to wear their hair in braids or a ponytail? Asking for a friend’s son who plan’s to enlist in the Chair Force to get his trannie operations. Also what if one just identifies as a female or is two spirit, but without any transitioning, will that dude get to wear a ponytail. Maybe a man-bun would be a good compromise, just to be fair and equitable to biologic males in the USAF.

  7. Dennis - not chevy says:

    Throughout my enlistments, I kept my hair to the maximum length I could. It meant getting a hair cut every week or two, but a price had to be paid. As time passed, I noticed more and more high and tights amongst the Air Force. Where had I gone wrong, thought I. I was trying lead the way to more stylish hair. Also, from a joint butt chewing from the Chief Master Sergeant to every top-3 NCO on the base, high and tights actually violated (what was then 35-10) the rules because it didn’t present a tapered appearance.
    All in all, I think the ado about hair is funny.

  8. Hondo says:

    No “dog in this fight” here. The USAF can set whatever dress and grooming policy they want for their corporation.

    Yeah, I’m joking. Mostly. (smile)

  9. Keepin' It Real says:

    A Man Bun is SOOOoooo two years ago.

    If I went with a Monkey Tail… would I be wrong?