Air Force women have new standards when it comes to their hair

Air hair
Photo credit US Air Force

Women in the Air Force will have new options when it comes to how they can wear their hair while in uniform.

Air Force women will be able to wear their hair in “up to two braids or a single ponytail” with bulk “not exceeding the width of the head and length not extending below a horizontal line” running between the top of each sleeve inseam at the underarm through the shoulder blades, according to a release.

“In addition to the health concerns we have for our Airman, not all women have the same hair type and our hair standards should reflect our diverse force,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Joanne S. Bass.

Women’s bangs can now touch their eyebrows, but not cover their eyes, under the changes which are an outcome of the 101st Air Force uniform board.

“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 teammates,” said Air Force Cheif of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown.

The uniform board met virtually last November to discuss ideas that came from Airmen who took part in a  dress and appearance crowdsourcing campaign. Thousands of women provided feedback to the Women’s Initiative Team “stating constraints to hair grooming standards resulted in damage to hair, migraines and in some cases, hair loss,” the release added.

The Air Force will continue its current male grooming standards without any changes and the U.S. Space Force will develop its own grooming standards policy.

The new changes will take effect in February,

Reach Julia LeDoux at

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