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Navy Grooming Standards


Navy Grooming Standards
Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr
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 Navy, grooming standards are contained in The Navy Uniform Regulations - Chapter 2 - Grooming Standards and are shown below:


The primary consideration is to have a neatly groomed appearance while wearing naval uniforms. Grooming standards are based on several elements including neatness, cleanliness, safety, military image and appearance. The standards established here are not intended to be overly restrictive nor are they designed to isolate Navy personnel from society. The limits set forth are reasonable, enforceable, and insure that personal appearance contributes to a favorable military image. The difference between men's and women's grooming policies recognizes the difference between the sexes; sideburns for men, different hairstyles and cosmetics for women. Establishing identical grooming and personal appearance standards for men and women would not be in the Navy's best interest and is not a factor in the assurance of equal opportunity.

Navy personnel assigned to Marine Corps units who elect to wear and are issued Marine Corps service uniforms at no expense, will abide by grooming standards established for Marines. Navy personnel assigned to Marine Corps units who do not elect to wear Marine Corps service uniforms will be issued only utilities and shall abide by grooming standards for Navy personnel.

Because it is impossible to provide examples of every appropriate or unacceptable hairstyle of "conservative" or "eccentric" grooming, the good judgement of leaders at all levels is key to enforcement of Navy grooming policy. Therefore, hair/grooming standards while in uniform shall present a neat, professional appearance.


Keep hair neat, clean and well groomed. Hair above the ears and around the neck shall be tapered from the lower natural hairline upwards at least 3/4 inch and outward not greater than 3/4 inch to blend with hairstyle. Hair on the back of the neck must not touch the collar. Hair shall be no longer than four inches and may not touch the ears, collar, extend below eyebrows when headgear is removed, show under front edge of headgear, or interfere with properly wearing military headgear.

The bulk of the hair shall not exceed approximately two inches. Bulk is defined as the distance that the mass of hair protrudes from the scalp.

Hair coloring must look natural and complement the individual. Faddish styles and outrageous multicolored hair are not authorized. The unique quality and texture of curled, kinked, waved, and straight hair are recognized, and in some cases the 3/4 inch taper at the back of the neck may be difficult to attain. In those cases hair must present a graduated appearance and may combine the taper with a line at the back of the neck.

One (cut, clipped or shaved) natural, narrow, fore and aft part is authorized. Varying hairstyles, including afro, are permitted if these styles meet the criteria of maximum length and bulk, tapered neck and sides, and do not interfere with properly wearing military headgear. Plaited or braided hair shall not be worn while in uniform or in a duty status.

Keep sideburns neatly trimmed and tailored in the same manner as the haircut. Sideburns shall not extend below a point level with the middle of the ear, shall be of even width (not flared) and shall end with a clean shaven horizontal line. refers. "Muttonchops", "ship's captain", or similar grooming modes are not authorized.

The face shall be clean shaven unless a shaving waiver is authorized by the Commanding Officer for medical reasons. Mustaches are authorized but shall be kept neatly and closely trimmed. No portion of the mustache shall extend below the lip line of the upper lip. It shall not go beyond a horizontal line extending across the corners of the mouth and no more than 1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth.

The length of an individual mustache hair fully extended shall not exceed approximately ½ inch. refers. Handlebar mustaches, goatees, beards or eccentricities are not permitted. If a shaving waiver is authorized, no facial/neck hair shall be shaved, manicured, styled or outlined nor exceed 1/4 inch in length. Supervisors of individuals with shaving waivers shall actively monitor and ensure treatment regimen is followed.

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