The Army is a uniformed service where discipline is judged, in part, by the manner in which a soldier wears a prescribed uniform, as well as by the individuals personal appearance. Therefore, a neat and well-groomed appearance by all soldiers is fundamental to the Army and contributes to building the pride and esprit essential to an effective military force. A vital ingredient of the Armys strength and military effectiveness is the pride and selfdiscipline that American soldiers bring to their Service through a conservative military image. It is the responsibility of commanders to ensure that military personnel under their command present a neat and soldierly appearance. Therefore, in the absence of specific procedures or guidelines, commanders must determine a soldiers compliance with standards in this regulation. Soldiers must take pride in their appearance at all times, in or out of uniform, on and off duty.
The requirement for hair grooming standards is necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population. Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative. It is not possible to address every acceptable hairstyle, or what constitutes eccentric or conservative grooming. Therefore, it is the responsibility of leaders at all levels to exercise good judgment in the enforcement of Army policy. All soldiers will comply with the hair, fingernail, and grooming policies while in any military uniform or while in civilian clothes on duty.
Leaders will judge the appropriateness of a particular hairstyle by the appearance of headgear when worn. Soldiers will wear headgear as described in the applicable chapters of this regulation. Headgear will fit snugly and comfortably, without distortion or excessive gaps. Hairstyles that do not allow soldiers to wear the headgear properly, or that interfere with the proper wear of the protective mask or other protective equipment, are prohibited.
Extreme, eccentric, or trendy haircuts or hairstyles are not authorized. If soldiers use dyes, tints, or bleaches, they must choose those that result in natural hair colors. Colors that detract from a professional military appearance are prohibited. Therefore, soldiers should avoid using colors that result in an extreme appearance. Applied hair colors that are prohibited include, but are not limited to, purple, blue, pink, green, orange, bright (fire-engine) red, and fluorescent or neon colors. It is the responsibility of leaders to use good judgment in determining if applied colors are acceptable, based upon the overall effect on soldiers appearance.
Soldiers who have a texture of hair that does not part naturally may cut a part into the hair. The part will be one straight line, not slanted or curved, and will fall in the area where the soldier would normally part the hair. Soldiers will not cut designs into their hair or scalp.
Soldiers may not wear hairnets unless they are required for health or safety reasons, or in the performance of duties (such as those of a cook). No other type of hair covering is authorized in lieu of the hairnet. The commander will provide the hairnet to the soldier at no cost.