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Air Force Academy hair standards change (Read 2327 times)
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Air Force Academy hair standards change
May 13th, 2004 at 2:13pm
Academy hair standards change
by Tamara Wright
U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFPN)  — Female academy appointees no longer have to experience the most "hairifying" part of inprocessing. Rules regarding hair length have been changed allowing women to avoid the traditional extreme haircut, so long as they are able to remain within Air Force standards.

Starting July 1, the longstanding tradition of cutting women's hair in layers above the collar when they first arrive will be different.

Appointees arriving on inprocessing day with their hair already meeting Air Force standards will not need to get a haircut. If women arrive without their hair in Air Force standards, they will be taught how to wear their hair, just as they are taught how to wear a uniform.

The new policy states that academy officials will be present on inprocessing day to train basics on these standards. If a woman is unable to meet the standards, they will receive a single-length, chin-length cut to ensure they are within standards.

"We basically want to be more flexible, and match what the Air Force standards are," said Maj. Timothy Keeports, 34th Training Group executive officer. "It's the same policy used at (other military academies). It makes sense to teach them the standards of the operational Air Force which they will someday be a part of, rather than have an ‘academy-unique' hair standard when it is not necessary."

The decision to change the policy was made when some academy officials said that female cadets did not "look" professional. After research, academy officials found they were the only military academy with a different policy.

The tradition was to cut all 1,300 student appointees' hair in one day with the help of 20 licensed barbers and a cosmetologist, said Connie Graff, the cadet barber shop manager.

"It's very time consuming, and we don't have time to cut the women's hair into a style," Ms. Graff said. "Basically the thicker your hair is, the shorter we would have to cut it."

Women cadets get unlimited haircuts a month and have access to a full-service salon located in one of the cadet dormitories.

"I think this will be easier on them, and they will enjoy it a lot more," Ms. Graff said. "This will give them a more professional look."
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