Two-Strand Twists And Thin Locs Now Approved In The Marine Corps
The Marine Corps has finally gotten around to revising those controversial hair regulations that banned women serving the country from wearing natural hairstyles like braids, locs, afros and “mated and unkempt” hair.
In a Marine Corps administrative message released Monday, two new hairstyles were approved for Black female marines: two-strand twists and thin locs. According to the memo, the decision was made by the Marine Corps Uniform Board in October, based on a request from staff sergeant Marine Staff Sgt. Cherie Wright of II Marine Expeditionary Force, who said in a statement: “For some, this change is culturally liberating, has financial benefits and is simply convenient.”
As pointed out by Military.com, the newly approved hairstyles “come with extensive restrictions to ensure they appear neat in uniform.”
Twists, or two sections of hair twisted together to form a rope or cord, may only be worn with medium-length and long hair. The appearance of the twists must be neat and professional and cannot interfere with wear of any military headgear or be excessively bulky.
Locks, or single sections of hair that twist from the root to the ends of the hair to form a ringlet or cord, can be worn with short, medium or long hair, must be separated with square or rectangular-shaped partings to keep a professional appearance. All locks and twists must be no wider than 3/8ths of an inch in diameter. Conspicuous hair accessories and “faddish” or “eccentric” hairstyles are still off-limits.
According to officials, the Marine Corps’ is the first branch of the military to permit locs in uniform, although they fall behind the Navy in approving two-stand twists and larger buns; the latter began to allow those styles last year.
In addition to a video released with this announcement, within the next 30 days the Marines is expected to publish a web page illustrating authorized and unauthorized male and female hairstyles.