bald man in a locker room using a bald shaver to maintain military grooming standards

History of Military Grooming Regulations

Posted by Joshua Esnard on

The military is one of the most highly regarded institutions in the world. It’s known for its discipline, order, and uniformity, which is evident in the regulation of military haircuts and grooming. These regulations can vary depending on the branch of service and the individual's role within it, and they’ve changed notably throughout the past decade. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the history behind military grooming regulations, as well as discussing the different military profiles assigned to service members and how they relate to grooming standards.

History of Military Grooming Regulations

The history of grooming regulations in the military can be traced back to ancient times. For example, the Greeks required their soldiers to maintain short hair and beards, as well as clean and well-maintained uniforms. The Romans also had strict grooming standards for their soldiers.
In the United States, the military has had grooming regulations since its inception. In the early days of the American military, soldiers were required to have short hair and clean-shaven faces. These regulations were enforced for practical reasons, as long hair and facial hair could interfere with the proper fitting of helmets and gas masks. During World War II, the military expanded its regulations to include a wide range of personal appearance standards. This included everything from hairstyles and facial hair to clothing and accessories. These regulations were designed to promote a sense of uniformity and discipline among service members and to ensure that they presented a professional image to the public.
Today, military grooming regulations are still in place, and they are just as important as ever. They cover a wide range of personal appearance standards, including hairstyles, facial hair, tattoos, piercings, and clothing. These regulations vary depending on the branch of service, the individual's role within it, and the military profile that the service member has been assigned to.

Military Profiles

One of the most common military grooming profiles assigned is the "clean-shaven" profile. This profile requires service members to maintain a clean-shaven face at all times, meaning they must shave daily and are not allowed to have any facial hair, including mustaches or beards. Another common military profile is the "standard" profile, which allows for a limited amount of facial hair (such as a mustache) but requires it to be neatly trimmed and well-groomed. Service members who are assigned to this profile are also required to maintain a neat and professional appearance in other areas, such as their hair and clothing.
There are military profiles that allow for more lenient grooming standards. For example, those who are assigned to combat roles may be allowed to have longer hair and beards, as long as they are well-groomed and don’t interfere with the proper fitting of helmets and other protective gear.

Changes in Modern Military Grooming Regulations

Many of these grooming regulations are still in place today. However, in recent years, the military has become more accepting of different haircare needs for service members. They’ve recognized that not all hair types are the same, and that haircare needs can vary depending on a person's ethnicity, hair texture, and personal preferences. As a result, the military has made changes to its grooming regulations to accommodate a wider range of hair types and styles.
One of the key changes made by the military was to allow more flexibility in the length and style of hair for women. In 2018, the U.S. Army revised its grooming standards to allow female soldiers to wear their hair in braids, twists, and locks. The new guidelines also allowed female soldiers to wear their hair in a ponytail while in physical training or combat. The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have made similar changes to their regulations, allowing more flexibility in the hairstyles that female service members can wear.
They have also made changes to their grooming policies to accommodate the haircare needs of service members from different ethnic backgrounds. In 2017, the U.S. Army revised its grooming regulations to allow for more flexibility in the use of head coverings, such as hijabs, turbans, and religious headscarves. The updated regulations also allowed for more flexibility in the use of hair extensions and wigs for service members with short or thinning hair.
These changes to the military's grooming protocols demonstrate a growing recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the military. By accommodating a wider range of hair types and styles, the military is working to ensure that all service members feel valued and respected, regardless of their background or haircare needs.

Save On Your Shave with Cut Buddy

Here at The Cut Buddy, we’re avid supporters of those who have or are currently serving our country. We understand how important it is to uphold proper grooming standards, so we proudly offer our Military and Veterans Discount as a thank-you for everything you do. Check out our top-selling products today, such as the Cut Buddy Beginners Clipper and the Trim Buddy for all your military grooming needs!
For more information on military haircuts and grooming regulations, feel free to check out our blog. We have a few other posts on this topic, such as Why Military Service Members Cut Hair Short and Importance Of Proper Grooming When Serving Our Country.

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