The US Army Finally Lifted Its Ridiculous Dreadlocks Ban
The US Army finally lifted its ban on dreadlocks after being ridiculed for it since establishing the ban in 2014. The organization, at no surprise, had the nerve to put limitations on how black women can wear their hair during service. Like it wouldn’t bring repercussions from society.
But for women only.
Reported by the New York Times, “The change surfaced last month in an Army directive that focused largely on grooming policy changes related to religious accommodations. Buried in the directive was text allowing female soldiers to wear “dreadlocks/locks,” which were previously banned.”
Why can’t both men and women wear dreadlocks if they choose? I would love to hear their reasoning behind it.
So yeah, it’s a step in the right direction (a direction that should’ve never been blocked), but there’s still some serious changes that need to be made as far as hair goes. I send the rule against extremely long hairs in the army, but as long as the hair is secured away from the person’s face, I don’t see why it matters what hairstyle a person has. Minorities go through enough with the world trying to limit how we live and go about our lives. Last thing we need is for someone to tell us we can’t do something with the hair growing out our scalp, especially for a black woman.
I can only imagine the pressure women are under within the army branches period. So having the convenience of dreadlocks, which is probably the easiest thing to maintain, besides chopping your hair completely off, is one less thing to trip over.
Dreadlocks are usually seen as messy and dirty, but when reality it’s a source of health for hair and convenience. Even though cornrows, braids, and twists have been allowed already. People who established this ban in the first place need to understand even though those styles are time saving, they eventually need to be redone every so often, which can be an inconvenience.
Not only has the corporation lifted the ban on dreadlocks, but turbans and beards as well. Sikh men are now allow to wear turbans and beards and Muslim women can wear hijabs.
According to Atlanta Black Star, “prior to its policy revision, the Army and the Navy were the only military branches that didn’t permit dreadlocks, as the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard had already authorized the style. The Air Force is still weighing the matter.
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I don’t know why the US Army had such a change of heart, but I’m willing to see how this act to further inclusiveness with their grooming standards plays out for the rest of the branches of military.
SIDE NOTE: Below (minus the headline), is the photo used by Marine Corps to represent this lift. Keep in mind that the hairstyle on the right are not dreadlocks. They are cornrows. Baby steps, I guess.