USAF Asks Airmen for Input on Women’s Hair Regulations

The Air Force Women’s Initiative Team has launched a survey to get female Airmen’s feedback on whether and how USAF should change its rules for how women can wear their hair while in uniform.

“The Women’s Initiative Team (WIT), in coordination with the Warrior Braids volunteer group, is proposing changes to the current United States Air Force hair policy for female Airmen,” the survey page states. “Please help this team gain a deeper understanding into what members of the Air Force would prefer to see through this informal survey.”

The survey asks Airmen if they think any change to the policy is necessary, whether the service’s current hair-related rules have ever been an obstacle for them (or made them have second thoughts about reenlisting), and if they ever felt like their hair length might hinder their career trajectory. 

It also asks if they’d like to see more style options than buns or short hair cuts, whether they’d think ponytails and/or certain types of braids might be professional-looking options, and whether either of those potential options might create a safety hazard within their Air Force Specialty Code.

Further, it queries Airmen about the climate surrounding “hair standard corrections”—namely, about whether they feel that female Airmen get corrected for such infractions more often than their male colleagues, and whether they feel comfortable approaching women Airmen (of both higher and lower ranks) when they spot something that breaks USAF’s rules.

The Women’s Initiative Team will use the data “to educate Air Force General Officers on what female Airmen desire for hair standards” during the service’s next uniform board, which is slated for Nov. 2-5, the page states.

Only female Active duty, Guard, and Reserve Airmen serving within the Air Force may take part, and the team will use respondents’ USAF email addresses to check their statuses, the page noted, adding that responses will be kept anonymous.

The page instructed Airmen to email team lead Maj. Alea Nadeem, Capt. Sarah Berheide, 1st Lt. Montana Pellegrini, or Master Sgt, Johnathon Lind with any questions or concerns.