Military Revises 'Racially Biased' Hairstyle Rules: WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that the military will allow female service members to have a wider range of hairstyles after the services came under fire for using derogatory language and banning many styles that are popular with African-American women.
The controversy started in March, when the Army released new rules regarding tattoos, hairstyles, grooming and uniforms for soldiers. One of the new regulations banned women from having twists, dreadlocks and multiple braids/cornrows that are bigger than a quarter of an inch.
Black service members quickly spoke out about the rules, arguing that they were racially insensitive and objected to language that called such styles "matted" and "unkempt." Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard started a petition about the matter on the White House website, writing, "These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent."