Hairstyles For Black Women in the Military: Wearing Natural Hair
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.
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.
- Army Grooming Standards
Each of the military services impose grooming standards on their military personnel, as part of their Dress & Appearance, or Uniform Regulations. Here are the grooming standards for the United States Army.
- Air Force Grooming Standards
Each of the military services impose grooming standards on their military personnel, as part of their Dress & Appearance, or Uniform Regulations. Here are the grooming standards for the United States Air Force.
- Navy Grooming Standards
Each of the military services impose grooming standards on their military personnel, as part of their Dress & Appearance, or Uniform Regulations. Here are the grooming standards for the United States Navy.
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.
- Wearing Individual Braids
Black women in the military have a little extra struggle, compared to their straight haired counterparts. That struggle is finding a hairstyle that fits within regulations, but that also is attractive and can look good in and out of uniform. One opti
- Wearing Cornrows
Sometimes as black women in the navy, we need a way to tame our natural curls or maybe just a no-nonsense approach to keeping out hair out of the way. Times like those call for a simple, easy to do hairstyle called Cornrows. In this article I will br
- Wearing a TWA
The military strives to have a professional appearance, and many people believe that in order to look professional you have to have straight hair. But this isn’t true at all! The world, as well as the military, accepts natural curly hair. And as long
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!
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.