Pentagon To Review Controversial Military Hairstyle Policies For Black Women

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that the Pentagon would be reviewing each service’s policies on women’s hairstyles, after African-American female soldiers criticized new Army regulations as racially biased.

The Army recently released Regulation 670-1, which contained rules on tattoos, hairstyles, grooming and uniforms for soldiers.

One of the new rules, which applies only to women’s hair, is a ban on twists, dreadlocks and multiple braids or cornrows that are bigger than a quarter of an inch. Army spokesman Paul Prince told the Army Times that twists and dreadlocks have been barred since 2005, but these regulations go into more detail about specific hairstyles.

The Army quickly received criticism from African-American service members. Earlier this month, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote Hagel a letter and urged him to reconsider the policy.

On Tuesday, Hagel responded that he has asked the Pentagon to look into the matter. From his letter to the members:

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Source: Black Voices | Amanda Terkel  aterkel@huffingtonpost.com

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