Hair tied up in a bun on British soldiers is a thing of the past. The new rules on hairstyles will give them more freedom of choice, which is explained to reflect the “diversity” of the armed forces, the Daily Telegraph reported. Aviation Marshal Mike Wigston said the RAF’s new hair policy was designed to better reflect modern society.
Previous rules on hairstyles for women serving in the British Armed Forces stipulated that the hair was to be tied in a bun or – if it was short – to be above the neckline. The Navy was the first to introduce changes in May, announcing that it would no longer require women to wear a bun.
Now the land and air forces have decided to do the same. According to the new guidelines, female soldiers will be able to wear ponytails, various types of braids and pigtails, or simply have their hair tied up.
Hair policy change
Aviation Marshal Mike Wigston said the RAF’s new hair policy was designed to better reflect modern society. He stressed that the changes are intended to “modernize our appearance, giving people a choice while maintaining the high standards we expect from the Royal Air Force uniform.” He announced that other changes would also be introduced soon.
The ground forces also explained via their Twitter profile that they “have updated their hair policy to better reflect modern society.”
An army spokesman said the decision to change the rules was “taken to give people more choice to reflect the needs of our diverse workforce and the society we represent.” However, he made the reservation that this step “does not mean lowering the general standards of dress and appearance.”
Some armed forces still preferred the bun
A source in the armed forces, cited by the Daily Telegraph, explained that the previous approach to women’s haircuts was that the hair should not be “distracting” and that tied in a bun made it more difficult to distinguish male from female soldiers from the back.
– This is what the uniform means that we all look the same – said the interlocutor, but added that the military approach to appearance must reflect the modern world. – We will still wear uniforms, but society has moved on. There are many different hairstyles that still look elegant but don’t impact efficiency, he judged.
As the Daily Telegraph points out, the bun will continue to be preferred as the safest hairstyle for women in some roles in the armed forces.
Main photo source: Reuters Archive