The army is changing a few of its grooming standards and guidelines for women in uniform in effort to be more inclusive, and changes will take affect at the end of February.
The changes are to include long ponytails, buzz cuts, earrings, lipstick and nail polish for women.
The decision follows a recommendation from back in December by a diverse panel made up of Army leaders across the service, majority of whom were women.
Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, deputy chief of staff for Army Personnel said in a statement, “This is one way we are working to improve the lives of our soldiers, our force, by putting people first, understanding their concerns, taking action when necessary and maintaining their razor sharp edge of readiness. Equity, inclusion and diversity are all very important to Army readiness because we have soldiers from all walks of life … and we have to represent them so our Army policies must therefore promote equity and inclusion.”
The new rules for allowing buzz cuts also provides ease for women in combat arms training courses and helps them identify with cultural preferences and gender identity.
The Army uniform policy branch Seg. Maj. Brian Sanders said many of the ponytail hairstyle alterations are meant to prevent hair loss or other medical conditions to the scalp.
He also said, “We decided in the panel, do we want to make this only for school or do we want to give our women in the Army the opportunity to have their hair at any length? We went with let’s not tell a woman the length of hair she can have. So now, we will specify no minimum hair length for women in the Army.”
Now if women with long hair choose to wear a ponytail it must be during physical fitness training, tactical training and situations in which they are required to wear a helmet or can tuck it into the back of their Army uniforms.
Although changes have been made women are still not allowed to wear jewelry while in combat gear and on combat grounds but are allowed to wear earrings with their service and dress uniforms.