Regulation Hairstyles for Black Women in the Military
During my time in Navy basic training, I constantly struggled with keeping my natural black hair in regulation. It’s a little harder to conform to the military’s grooming standards, when your hair isn’t straight and sleek! In this article, I would like to cover five black hair style options for females that will keep your hair within regulation, and keep you from struggling on your own like I had to!
5 Options to Keeping Your Hair in Regulation
- Natural Hair
Braids are a great choice for black women,they seemed to be the most popular choice while I was in Basic Training. Many females came in with their hair in cornrows and would either re-braid it themselves on Sundays, or get a shipmate to do it for them. This option can be done with either permed or natural hair. There are two varieties of braids that you can experiment with. Cornrows and Individual braids. Cornrows are braids made straight to your scalp, while individual braids hang from your head, and can be styled into many hair styles like pony tails and buns. The plus side of having your hair in braids is that they are easy to maintain and are a very hassle free option. With braids you spend little to no time on your hair every morning, and only have to invest time in putting them in and taking them out.
Benefits of Wearing Cornrows
- Black Women in the Navy: Wearing Cornrows
Sometimes as black women in the navy, we need a way to tame our natural curls or maybe just a no-nonsense approach to keeping out hair out of the way. Times like those call for a simple, easy to do hairstyle called Cornrows.
Wearing Individual Braids
- Black Women in the Navy: Wearing Individual Braids
Black women in the military have a little extra struggle, compared to their straight haired counterparts. That struggle is finding a hairstyle that fits within regulations, but that also is attractive and can look good in and out of uniform. One opti
Teeny Weeny Afros are another great no-nonsense choice. I rocked a TWA for a while, back in 2011, when I did the Big Chop (B.C.) after deciding to go natural. Many females wear a TWA, a black natural hairstyle, in the military simply because it is very easy to take care of, looks cute, and is easy to keep within regulation. This hairstyle looks great with any African American hair texture, and has the least amount of styling time as you can do a quick wash-and-go or just pick and shape it.
Wearing a TWA
- Black Women in the Navy: Wearing a TWA
The military strives to have a professional appearance, and many people believe that in order to look professional you have to have straight hair. But this isn’t true at all! The world, as well as the military, accepts natural curly hair.
Many African American females, in and out of the military choose to perm their hair for manageability. The plus side to having a perm in the military is that, with straight hair, your hair can easily be pulled back into a bun or work down in a haircut within standards. Perming is a good option because with straight hair, it is easier to work with and style into a hairstyle that is within regs.
I like this option because of its versatility. With weave, you can have whatever kind of hair you want, and can easily keep it in regulation. Whether by having weave long enough to go in a bun, or short enough to be worn down. This option allows you to keep your hairstyle of choice without having to change your own hair. Many girls with hair too long for regulation, would braid their hair braiding in cornrows and wear either a wig or a sew in. I would also see girls, with short hair who used weave/wigs to have long hair without having to wait for their hair to grow.
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5. Natural Hair
If you’re like me, and love your natural hair and the beautiful things it can do, then this may be the option for you. There are no rules keeping you from having natural hair in the military, though it may seem hard. There are many options for styling your hair naturally that fit within military regulations. You can also use natural hair with any of the other five options, except for the perming of course. Natural hair is a beautiful thing, and with patience and the right tools and products it can be a fun to experiment with.
Though military regulations can seem difficult to follow when you’re an African American woman in the military, there are actually many options to wear your hair. Any of these five options will give you beautiful hair that meets both your own and the military’s standards for uniform and grooming.