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Air Force Grooming Standards

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Each of the military services impose grooming standards on their military personnel, as part of their Dress & Appearance or Uniform regulations. For the United States Air Force, grooming standards are contained in Air Force Instruction 36-2903 - DRESS AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF AIR FORCE PERSONNEL and are shown below:

Gemeral

Hair will be clean, well-groomed, and neat. If dyed will look natural. Hair will not contain excessive amount of grooming aids, touch eyebrows when groomed or protrude below the front band of properly worn headgear. EXCEPTION: Hair may be visible in front of women's flight cap.

Hairnets may be worn as required for safety Made of cotton or a synthetic material; be of a conservative, solid color similar to the individual’s hair color, be strong enough to support and control hair; and contain no metal fasteners.

Wigs and Hairpieces must be of good quality and fit properly. For males, Members must have their medical records documented to wear a wig or hairpiece to cover baldness or disfiguration. Other male personnel will not wear wigs or hairpieces. When worn, wigs and hairpieces must comply with the same grooming standards for natural hair. Wigs and hairpieces will not be worn by personnel engaged in flightline activities.

Males

Hair style will have a tapered appearance on both sides and back, both with and without headgear. A tapered appearance is one that when viewed from any angle outlines the individual’s hair so that it conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to the natural termination point. Block cut permitted with tapered appearance.

Hair will not be worn in an extreme or fad style or in such a way that exceeds length or bulk standards or violates safety requirements. Will not touch the ears and only closely cut or shaved hair on the back of the neck may touch the collar. Will not exceed 1 1/4 inches in bulk, regardless of length and not exceed 1/4 inch at the natural termination point. Will not contain or have any visible foreign items attached to it.

Sideburns will be neatly trimmed and tapered in the same manner as the haircut. Will be straight and of even width (not flared) and end in a clean-shaven horizontal line. They will not extend below the lowest part of the exterior ear opening. (This does not apply to individuals with shaving waivers.)

Mustaches will not extend downward beyond the lipline of the upper lip or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corner of the mouth. (This does not apply to individuals with shaving waivers.)

Females

Hair will be styled to present a professional appearance. Plain and conservative pins, combs, headbands, elastic bands, and barrettes similar to the individual’s hair color permitted to keep hair in place.

Hair will not be worn in an extreme or fad style or violate safety requirements. Will not extend in length on all sides below an invisible line drawn parallel to the ground at the bottom edge of the shirt collar at the back of the neck. Will not exceed 3 inches in bulk or prevent proper wear of headgear. Will not include hair ornaments such as ribbons or jeweled pins.

Nail polish may be worn if it is conservative, single color, and in good taste. Nail polish will not contain any ornamentation.

Cosmetics must be conservative and in good taste.

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