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U.S. Army is facing criticism for new regulations that unfairly target black women’s hair



Army Regulation 670-1 was released Monday, with rules on tattoos, hairstyles, grooming and uniforms for soldiers.
One of the new regulations, which applies only to women, is a ban on twists, dreadlocks and multiple braids/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.
Women with these banned hairstyles will need to get rid of them or cover them with wigs or extensions, which can damage hair.
A Power Point presentation from mid-March, before the regulations officially came out, shows
A Whitehouse.gov petition has been posted calling for the Obama administration to reconsider the guidelines:
More than 30% of females serving in the military are of a race other than white. As of 2011, 36% of females in the U.S. stated that they are natural, or refrain from chemically processing their hair. Females with natural hair take strides to style their natural hair in a professional manner when necessary; however, changes to AR 670-1 offer little to no options for females with natural hair. In the proposed changes, unauthorized hairstyles include twists, both flat twists as well as two strand twists; as well as dreadlocks, which are defined as “any matted or locked coils or ropes of hair.” These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent. This policy needs to be reviewed prior to publishing to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles.
The petition has already amassed nearly 12,000 signatures

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