New Army hair style rules ‘racist,’ petition says

You can't wear a Mohawk either. (U.S. Army image)

The U.S. Army: Fighting for the freedom since presidents wore wigs. (U.S. Army image)

In North Korea, women are legally restricted to choose from 28 government-approved hairstyles.

Black women in the U.S. Army may have less flexibility according to those who allege new “grooming regulations” are “racially biased.”

Army Regulation 670-1, released Monday, specifies what haircuts, tattoos and clothing are acceptable for the 570,000 soldiers currently enlisted.

Men probably consider changes in tattoo policy the most drastic, but it is changes to female fashion that have women’s hair in an unapproved twist.

Dreadlocks and twists have been prohibited since 2005, The Army Times reports, but the new regulation specifically bans styles popular with black women.

A soldier from Atlanta, Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, who wears her hair in two twists, has started a White House petition to get the changes thrown out.

“I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” she said in The Army Times. “[I am] kind of at a loss now with what to do with my hair.”

Almost 10,000 people have signed the petition. A total of 100,000 must sign for a White House response.

A male who has probably has had the same haircut since his mom quit cutting it said the new rules are “necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population.”

“Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative,” said regulation-spouting Army spokesman Paul Prince.

I’m hoping this gets sorted out quickly. This sort of confusion could give America’s enemies a decided advantage on the battlefield or at least the beauty parlor.

More news you can’t hairdo without:

90 comments Add your comment


April 3rd, 2014
9:27 am

Big surprise, another black crying racism; and they want to know why no one takes them seriously.


April 3rd, 2014
9:38 am

Why even play the sexist game in the first place….enforce both sexes in the military to the “high and tight”. Argument over.


April 3rd, 2014
9:39 am

An even bigger surprise, a racist pretending racism doesn’t exist!!!

Texas Pete

April 3rd, 2014
9:43 am

Probably the same reason no one takes the Tea Party seriously. When a group of people have dismissed cries of corruption, prejudice, and discrimination for generations strictly based on who the “victim” is, it’s no wonder when that group becomes the victim no one respects their cries either.

“An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere…”

No truer words have ever been spoken.

At some point people need to start addressing principles for what they are not and for who they are more likely to affect.

ut96 dismisses this petition strictly based on the race of those raising the issue. That alone means you’re in the wrong. You’re opinion would be respected if you address the issue of uniformity in the military and how plans to achieve that goal are being implemented. Do these rule changes including tattoo policy accomplish the goal or is it BS?

Logical Dude

April 3rd, 2014
9:50 am

Easy solution: Everybody in the military needs to shave their head.
Each General, Admiral, and everyone on down to the last private or midshipman.

Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard
National Guard

With as little thought as went into these regulations, they can save a lot more brain cells by not thinking at all. Just shave their heads!

Texas Pete

April 3rd, 2014
9:53 am

Sorry, “your opinion”…


April 3rd, 2014
9:59 am

Don’t like the rules and regulations…GET OUT! It’s not your life…you belong to Uncle Sam. You gave up any freedom of choice when you singed your name on the line. Get over it!


April 3rd, 2014
10:03 am

When you join the military, you are agreeing to abide by all their rules and regulations. Quit your BS whining and baseless paranoid allegations and deal with it. Another example of the excessive entitlement that exists today.


April 3rd, 2014
10:04 am

If it doesn’t affect their job performance, safety, ability to wear the gear, and is kept neat, I see no problem with these hair styles. The styles in question were created for simplicity and low maintenance, which would seem to be a good thing in the military. Unless they plan to enforce “high and tight” across the board, this will continue to be an issue. These people sacrifice so much for us, the least we can do is allow for some mild flexibility.


April 3rd, 2014
10:05 am

Being in the Army should be like working at the AJC: If you’re not willing to be politically correct in hair style or ideology … then there are other jobs out there!


April 3rd, 2014
10:05 am

For those who are unsympathetic or saying she is racist… Rule and regulations have to be for a purpose and not arbitrary. The command structure has to accomplish the mission and take care of the troops (according to Army doctrine at least). If these hairstyles do not affect the ability to carry out the mission (wear a protective mask, etc.) then all the restrictions do is cause the troops to lose confidence in the willingness of their commanders to take care of them. I am a retired Army Major and company commander and I know leaders have a responsibility to take care of the troops, e.g. in the field, officers only eat after the troops have.

Jed Clampett

April 3rd, 2014
10:08 am

Why is this making the news. When you enlist you are told in basic training how to wear the uniform including hairstyles. Corporations also have this policy I remember my manager when he worked for a large IT firm could not have a mustache. It was a policy written and you signed when you started working there. Some people always want an exception for the racial bigotry of the pass. How about a young white male greasing his hair like Elvis, or cutting patterns in his hair. Wait, when I was in the military he received a reprimand and threats of Article 15 punishnments to the wallet.

Furious Styles

April 3rd, 2014
10:17 am

Did everyone else see the word conservative in the new regulation speak. Haha

Don't Tread

April 3rd, 2014
10:19 am

When a standard applies to everyone, it is hardly “racist” (unless it is focused on an attribute that cannot be changed). Requiring military members to have naturally blonde hair would be racist. Requiring them to cut it a certain way is not.

Liberals frequently cry “racism” when a standard applies to everyone and they can’t meet it or don’t feel like they should have to meet it.


April 3rd, 2014
10:20 am

Yeah, that’s real hilarious. Could you be more juvenile?


April 3rd, 2014
10:24 am

Yeah, i’m sure every General and high up officer got together and said, “let’s show these blacks how much we hate them. let’s make them all change hairstyles. that’ll show ‘em!”…geez. get a life.

jacky jack

April 3rd, 2014
10:24 am

I proudly served with the last of the draftees. They were some of the best soldiers that I served with. Rules and regulations are all part of the discipline. Without discipline there is no military. I’m sure some of those draftees would have preferred not to: (1)force march for 20 miles with 75 pound pack (2) learn the code of the bayonet (3) learn the code of the rifle (4) wear boots for 3 mile run (5) dress in uniform of the day (6) wear class A’s for payday formation (7) eat mess hall food (8) shower in open stalls (9) dump in open stalls (10) shine boots each night (11) wear rank and insignia the same way (12) shave each day (13) keep wall locker and foot locker according to specifications
And the list goes on and on. The only choice they had was to go and serve or burn their draft card and run. In the new army she has a plain and simple choice. If she doesn’t wish to comply with the rules and regulations then get her disruptive, whining ass out!

New Army hair style rules

April 3rd, 2014
10:28 am


April 3rd, 2014
10:29 am

If we completely outlawed all rules and regulations and only allowe 1 law that said there are no laws, would it stop people from whining and playing the race card?


April 3rd, 2014
10:30 am

So let me ask, is it “racist” when the Cincinnati Reds prohibit their players from having facial hair? Is it racist that certain companies ban visible piercings and/or tattoos. I agree with one of the posters who said “you signed up for the military.. you have to abide by their standards” See there is where I get mad.. its a STANDARD for a reason. Uniformity, doesn’t matter your race, sex or creed. Its the standard set by the military and you have the duty to abide from it. No one gives a “poo” about your individuality in the military. You want to “stand out” go be an artist..
This message was not approved by the Tea Party or any other Party.. It is simply a my point of view (Libertarian)

Texas Pete

April 3rd, 2014
10:34 am

The thing people are missing is that when you sign up for something you’re agreeing to the terms at the moment. When the terms change, people effected will naturally take issue with it.

So sure, we can say “love it or leave it” all day long but that doesn’t change the fact that an individual can be upset at a change in terms they agreed to in the first place.

Since our politicians understand how simple minded the average American is, they’ve figured out how to make changes whenever they want to push forth their agendas because the American majority has the “love it or leave it mentality” such that nothing will be significantly challenged even when disliked.

Take Obamacare for instance. All people do is whine and complain about it but do people really do anything about it? No, even GOP politicians buckle and put forth a smokescreen of discontent for the ACA yet this administration continues to do whatever it wants.

Why? Because politicians know they can stay in power as long as they put forth the image that they are fighting for the interest of their voters yet they don’t have to accomplish anything.

So whenever you see someone post “Welcome to the new America” remember that we built this new America on selective defense of our Constitution for generations. We are now reaping what we sowed. Our politicians are selectively defending the Constitution while purposely trashing what they can of it…

Keep on sheeping people.

Miss Daisy

April 3rd, 2014
10:38 am

Hey, the military is not a democracy. You don’t get to vote on anything, just do what you are told. If you don’t like the rules don’t join up; we don’t need nor want you.

Sam the Sham

April 3rd, 2014
10:44 am

“said regulation-spouting Army spokesman Paul Prince.” Nice journalism. After all, if not for rules and regulations, it would just be a bunch of slackers in camo.


April 3rd, 2014
10:50 am

Absurd. Not the regulations, the whining of racism. You joined the military and the military gets to tell you what to do. Period. Just because a hairstyle is popular with black women and it happens to be part of the change does NOT make it racist.

The Carnivore

April 3rd, 2014
10:53 am

These complainers can always get out of the military if they don’t like it.


April 3rd, 2014
11:07 am

Give them all butt-cuts and be done with it.


April 3rd, 2014
11:14 am

It beats having hat hair.

jacky jack

April 3rd, 2014
11:15 am

Furthermore George. I believe you and Jasmine are cut from the same piece of cloth. She spouts racism and you begin the crusade. Shame on both of you. You should be better than that!

Army JAG

April 3rd, 2014
11:17 am

All the newly published requirements are, for the most part, not new….they are clarified with pictures and echo existing standards that have been relaxed over the last ten years while trying to increase recruitment in order to fight a war. Traditionally, rules get lax when armies require men and women and when requirements decrease, rules tend to be scrutinized/enforced more….whether that is fair or not is another discussion. Soldiers don’t create or debate policy, they enforce it. The bottom line is that we are VOLUNTEER Army, you are deemed to know the requirements before you enlist or commission. The Military is also simply trying to clarify and better define the requirements to PREVENT inconsistent enforcement.


April 3rd, 2014
11:30 am

NOWHERE in the petition is any form of the term “racist” used.


April 3rd, 2014
11:44 am

Was in the military for 16 years, MARINES never saw a problem with those hairstyles as long as they are nearly kept and DO NOT interfere with a cover. Now having had the issue raised before YES I understand that white women can style their hair and when removing a cover can quickly neaten their hair where as an African American woman cannot quickly tame the hair, and will look disorderly I a white male heard the argument saw the example and agree I rather braids than hair sticking straight up, also many black women do not use perms which is not required so there is a difference when the cover is removed. Braids are kept by black women in the field a lot which the command thought was a good idea, it looks neat and doesn’t require maintenance. Although I doubt this is racist it is probably not considering the differences in hair types and how neatly they can be kept uncovered.


April 3rd, 2014
11:49 am

I agree that the the word “racist” can be over used at times (*I am a minority). I think that most people commenting are not understanding what this article is saying nor understanding the point of view of the people signing the petition. This hairstyle changed while people were complying with the hairstyle previous rule. Most of the woman that are now out of compliance have to cut their hair. Why can it be seen as “racist”, well because the rule changes are based around a standard for white woman. I too have had this experience while in the military. I was told that I need to keep my hair very low because black men don’t look professional with longer hair (bald heads were also not in regs). The regulations say that men could have hair 2″ long, except black men under my command. I am speaking from facts. So to sum it up, maybe some things just are racist when you set the standard to one race over another. Why can’t a neat and professional predominantly black hairstyle be a standard in an Army with a very large number of black females?

In the 21st century...

April 3rd, 2014
11:59 am

Black female here. If anyone doesn’t like the dress code rules of *any* establishment, they don’t have to work there. Period.

I am sick and tired of every faction wanting special consideration: (ex: homosexuals, etc. wanting societal rules changed because it doesn’t fit their social preferences, and if you don’t agree, you’re “phobic,” etc.) Same with this hair issue. Now, these ladies are crying racists. (I understand the hair issue, but, too bad. We have to take it up with God at a later time…and I WILL, trust me!)

If you work for me, there’s a dress code. Take it or leave it. That also applies in our great military. God bless America…and our troops.

George Mathis

April 3rd, 2014
12:00 pm

NYTN – for headline purposes, i think racist is the equivalent of “racially biased,” which the petition does use

Jamal Jenkums

April 3rd, 2014
12:02 pm

The Army is about uniformity. Make them all shave their heads then. If they let black women wear their hair any old way they would have blond weaves, pink, purple and green to match the uniform. They knew the rules when they joined so shut up.


April 3rd, 2014
12:13 pm

So yall cant understand why these soldiers have a problem with the new regs. Your calling people racists and everything else under the sun. You don’t seem to speakout unless race is involved. Where were you people when a lot of women in the military were getting raped. And that has been going on for years and getting worse each year. You black female soldiers can’t wear your hair natural but we really don’t if you get raped.

The Geezer

April 3rd, 2014
12:16 pm

Give them all a short buzz cut whether they are black, white, male, female. End of problem.

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

April 3rd, 2014
12:24 pm

I’ve spent over 20 years in the US military and anyone who has ever spent time in the military knows there are a ton of rules and regulations.

But – get this – our military is an all voluntary force. So that means – you don’t have to join it if you don’t want to follow the rules that have in place.

That’s it – bottom line.

There were many sailors who joined the military for college benefits but did not want to go to war. If you don’t want to go to war – then don’t join the military. If you don’t like the new rules concerning hairstyles – then don’t join or get out – it’s that simple.

Why does everything have to be about race – what about looking professional in uniform – that’s it.

Get over it – or get out of it.



April 3rd, 2014
12:25 pm

I don’t think they gave up their rights to complain about the regulation when they joined and a petition is a reasonable way to make a point. If you’ve got a problem with that, then maybe America isn’t the right country for you.


April 3rd, 2014
12:25 pm

I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that all the chumps in here talking trash have not served in the armed forces, nor wouldn’t.

These women have more stones than you. All you can do is sit behind your computer and bad mouth them….

Waiting for Hedley

April 3rd, 2014
12:27 pm

Where is Bernie? I thought he would be on this thread like white on rice.

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

April 3rd, 2014
12:31 pm

Do white guys as a whole, have more tattoos than black males.

Well is anyone saying that the new restrictions on tattoos is racist – because this will affect mainly white males how want to join the Army.


The military has rules on how the uniform is to be worn. So not allowing the uniform pants to sag to the ground (showing your underwear) is racist.

Folks it’s all about looking professional – that’s it.



April 3rd, 2014
12:34 pm

She only washes her hair once a week/ man, that is gross.

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

April 3rd, 2014
12:44 pm


Would you wear pajamas into work (especially in a corporate environment)? – even if you own your own business – would you meet potential customers looking and smelling like you just completed a workout at the gym?

How would most folks view our military if we allowed men and women to wear “pants on the ground” in uniform?

That would be down right dumb and besides a safety issue.

You ever see the thugs out on the street holding up their pants?

Imgaine if they had to “run” somewhere….I believe a few got caught that way trying to run from the police.. LOL :)


April 3rd, 2014
12:51 pm

The military has to adapt to changing trends in society to a certain extent, whether it’s tats or hairdos or sexual orientation, whatever. But at the end of the day all that matters is whether they’re able to defend the nation.

If the experienced hands that run the military determine that your braids and twists impede your ability to perform effectively then them’s the rules, either shape up or ship out.

Hidden Agenda

April 3rd, 2014
12:55 pm

If you wish to be treated as an individual with rights, stay away from the military and the government school system. Both are about reducing a free-thinking individual to a subservient conformist who does not think for themselves. How both of these institutions remain so popular in a country that was once founded on the need for free-thinking individuals says so much about why our country is in the shape it is than anything else.

Clint Likker

April 3rd, 2014
1:00 pm

If you don’t want someone telling you what to wear, what to do, how to fix your hair, etc, etc, etc., then don’t join the military. Quit yer b!tchin…

George Mathis

April 3rd, 2014
1:35 pm

I am getting worried about Bernie31 too. Should we send out scouts?


April 3rd, 2014
1:38 pm

However since this is a minority issue and the person has yelled racist, the commanders will succumb to protect their careers.


April 3rd, 2014
1:38 pm