PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Navy says it will now allow servicewomen to sport ponytails and other hairstyles, reversing a policy that long forbade females from letting their hair down.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said it makes the Navy more inclusive.

Many black women had asked for changes to the female grooming standards. A female sailor, Yeoman First Class LaToya Jones, announced the new policy during a Facebook Live event Tuesday with Richardson. The new standards went into effect Wednesday.

Lock hairstyles, or ropelike strands, are also now allowed. Wider hair buns too. And women can wear ponytails while in uniform.

Capt. Thurraya Kent is the senior member of the working group that recommended the changes. The group told the Navy that adding grooming options would eliminate a distraction, be more inclusive of different hair textures and enable people to keep their hair natural instead of processing it chemically.

At the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, on Wednesday, women said they’re excited to switch from buns, which don’t fit well under helmets. “I think it’s a step forward,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jess Cameron.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.