Air Force Braids & Ponytail

Hello and welcome to today’s video on my channel, which is an extremely exciting one because it’s all about the recent changes to the Air Force dress and appearance AFI, which will now allow women to wear their hair in up to two braids or a ponytail in uniform. I’m just going to jump right into it using the information posted on the Air Force’s website, which I will link down below for you to get all of the details and facts from the article that I will be pulling from today. As of now, the changes to that regulation are scheduled to take place sometime in February of this year, which is great news for us because it means we don’t have long to wait before we are able to wear our hair in styles similarly to the ones shown on the screen. Now this change is not one that is out of the blue. This is something that women across the Air Force have been asking for for a while, and it looks like Chief Master Sergeant Bass has finally answered our prayers alongside with Chief of Staff General Brown.

According to the article posted on the Air Force’s website, and I quote, as an outcome of the 101st Air Force Uniform Board, Air Force women will be able to wear their hair in up to two braids or a single ponytail with bulk not exceeding the width of the head and length not extending below a horizontal line running between the top of each sleeve, inseam at the underarm through the shoulder blades. In addition, women’s bangs may now touch their eyebrows but not cover their eyes. That description may be a little bit difficult to visualize, so I will upload another image onto the screen that the Air Force used to go alongside this media release to make it a little bit easier for you to understand what the changes really mean. Prior to this change, women were expected to wear buns, updo’s or short ponytails of conservative fashion that did not extend below the bottom of their collar in uniform. I myself have been in the Air Force for four and a half years now, and what I can tell you is that slicked back, perfect donut bun is definitely a way of life for majority of women, but it’s not one that comes without its unpleasantries.

And what I mean by that, and what I’m sure you may be able to relate to, is that when you wear your hair and style it in such a way where it’s slicked back, gelled down into a strong elastic or hair tie secured with a lot of bobby pins, maybe you’ve got an elastic headband on. After a few hours wearing your hair in that manner, you can start to experience side effects to include tension headaches or migraines, hair damage, and even, in the long run, hair loss. So these are all things that the uniform board took into consideration when making their decision, and they also took into consideration the idea of inclusivity and diversity. Not every single person can fit their hair into a neat and tidy bun on the back of the head. Sometimes it’s a little bit easier to put it into a short ponytail or a short braid that still looks perfectly professional and appropriate in uniform, and I think it’s a huge win.

That’s something they addressed and acknowledged and accepted by releasing this new guidance to come in February. Now, this is not to say that the previous Air Force instruction regarding dress and appearance is demolished. It’s simply an addition or an extension, if you will, to the already written guidance. So if you are comfortable with wearing your hair in an updo or a conservative bun, the slicked donut bun, if those styles work for you, you can absolutely continue doing them and they will still be acceptable as they were before. This is simply just allowing people to have more options than they did before.

I wanted to include this quote from Chief Master sergeant of the Air Force Joanne Bath, who says, in addition to the health concerns we have for our airmen, not all women have the same hair type, and our hair standards should reflect a diverse force. Additionally, Lieutenant General Brian Kelly, who serves as the Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower personnel and services, says, we remain committed to removing barriers to service in an all volunteer force. We want to fully qualify volunteers who are representative of the nation to see us as a great opportunity to maximize their talent and serve. I think that’s a great point to make. When you are recruiting people and hoping for people to volunteer to serve in the military, you don’t want to turn them off by making them feel like they are not included or will not be accepted for who they are and how they look in uniform.

It is important to note, though, as always, it’s written here, members must adhere to current occupational safety, fire and health guidance, and mishap prevention procedures, emphasizing when and how to mitigate the potential for injury from hair of varying lengths around machinery, equipment, power transmission apparatus, or moving parts. Airmen are encouraged to reach out to their safety office for assistance in analyzing any potential hazards as applicable. On a personal level, I definitely do think that I will experiment once the new guidance is released and we are allowed to wear our hair in the new styles. I feel like it may seem od or out of ordinary to be wearing my hair in a braid or in a ponytail at first, but ultimately I think it will be really cool to see the women start to transition and be happier in uniform with their appearance. Lastly, I wanted to give an honorary mention to the men who are begging the Air Force to update its regulation regarding beards in uniform.

The board did consider this idea, but unlike women’s hair standards, there has been no evidence or reason to suggest that hair damage or hair loss is contributed to shaving. So unfortunately, at this time, men are not allowed to wear beards unless for medical or religious purposes. And that’s that. For the time being, we can just applaud the fact that women have earned this huge win and will be able to be more comfortable, healthier and more confident in uniform. For all information regarding the Air Force instruction 36 29 three on dress and appearance standards, you can use the link in the description below.

And I suggest to you all to keep an eye on the Air Force’s official social media pages and also the website for more updates to come regarding this change. That’s all I have for you today. I must admit I am extremely excited to see all of this come to fruition. When I saw the information first drop online, I definitely did a happy dance and probably squealed a little bit, but it’s just because I never saw this happening. I anticipated the rest of my Air Force career to be accompanied by updos and tight, slick, back haired and bobby pin pain.

So it’s a extraordinary historical change that I think is absolutely in the right direction when it comes to developing the force and ensuring our airmen are really taking care of in a way that makes them feel important. I know that sounds like a kind of a dramatic statement just for a ponytail of braid, but I feel like it’s a big deal. I hope you found this video helpful and informational. I appreciate you spending your time with me here today, and I do hope to see you in my next video. But if I don’t, it was really great meeting you and if I do, I will see you then.

Thanks so much. Bye.

Hey, y’all. So the air force just did some crazy stuff. So y’all know the new chief master sergeant of the Air Force, Chief Master sergeant Bass? Well, she just had a big hand in changing the dressing appearance regulations for females. Females no longer have to have their hair stop at their collar. They can now have it come down to their shoulder blades, and they can do this with a ponytail, or they can do this with a braid, or they can double up and have double braids if they choose to. And they can also have a bang that comes down to their eyes. It can’t come with their eyes, but it can come down to their eyes. And that’s crazy, because in November 2020, they just had a diverse council sit down, and they were talking about different ways to represent the air force in this diverse culture. And they were also talking about ways of changing regulations that caused problems for people. And one of the problems the females said they had with the bun is that it was causing brittle hair. Some were getting migraines, and some were even having hair loss. So the air force heard their cries, and within four months, they implemented this new change.
And that’s crazy because. Because I still want to grow a beard and I got to shave every day, and it hurts. It hurts every time I shave, so I’m just throwing that out there.

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