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Hairstyles For Black Women in the Military: Wearing Natural Hair

Updated on June 4, 2013

Many women are making the transition and embracing their natural hair. I did the Big Chop (B.C.) in February 2011 and haven’t looked back since. I grew up perming my hair, but was stuck with thin hair that barely touched my shoulders. I was prone to breakage and did not feel confident about my hair, unless I added extensions to give it more fullness and length. I felt like I was pursuing a beauty that was unnatural to me. Like many black women, I thought that my natural hair was too hard to take care of and continued to get perms in the hopes of having beautiful straight hair. But now I know that natural hair is a better option for healthy hair, even in the military. Natural hair fits military standards, is easy to maintain, and most of all is beautiful.

Fits Standards

There is no rule that says you have to have straight hair in the military. Many of my shipmates, myself included wear natural hair. If your hair is short, it can be work in a TWA. Medium length hair can be braided or cornrowed. With long hair you can wear it in a bun, braid, or cornrow it. Long story short, there are a lot of options for styling and wearing your natural hair that fit the grooming and uniform regulations. Natural hair can be worn curly, or some people straighten it.

Easy to Maintain

Natural hair is not as hard to work with as you think! Just like straight or permed hair it needs to be washed, conditioned, and moisturized. The key to finding a good shampoo is finding one that cleans your hair without damaging it. Shampoos like these are sulfate free, and do not contain harmful substances. In order for natural hair to grow and stay healthy it also needs to be conditioned and moisturized. This prevents your hair from being dry and brittle. Keeping your scalp oiled is also a must as it prevents dry and itchy scalp. My product of choice is Dr. Miracles, I love the products and what they do for my hair. For a conditioner I also love

Wear It In Uniform

There are many different hairstyles that can be worn with natural hair. I love my natural hair and the beautiful things it can do. When I am out of uniform, I love to wear two strand twists, and braids. In uniform I wear it pulled back in a bun, or in cornrows. Natural hair can even be work with sew ins, extensions, and wigs. I know some people with dreads in the navy, who cover them up with a wig while at work, but when they are on liberty they are free to wear their hair however they want out of uniform.

Wear It Out of Uniform

Out of uniform you have an even more options. Natural hair can be braided, twisted, curled, straightened… etc. When I went natural, YouTube became my best friend. I was there on the daily, looking up hairstyles to experiment with. Just because it is natural, doesn’t mean that you have to wear it in an afro or puff all the time. Natural hair can also be work with extensions, wigs and weave. Embrace your natural hair and don’t be afraid to wear it. Experimenting with it can be fun!

Try It!

Women every where are experimenting with natural hair. Join us in embracing your natural beauty. Take the plunge with the B.C. or take your time transitioning by deciding to stop using perms. Just do it your way and go for wearing your natural hair both in and out of uniform.


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      DanielleCherise 4 years ago

      Ninabug thanks for reading! I'm glad I could help :)

      Campel, wearing natural hair in the military can be somewhat of a struggle. I'm glad you fond my post helpful. Natural hair is not for the faint of heart, especially not with the strict hair regulations.

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      campel 4 years ago

      I'm so glad you posted this information. Being natural in the Navy can be a little tricky at times. Good to know I'm not alone in this.

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      ninabug 4 years ago

      Ty for the info. It was much needed ^_^