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Why cant pilots have long hair?

Beards in Blue? Air Force Uniform Board Will Consider New Facial Hair Rules in November

Then-Airman 1st Class Braxton Comer, a student services technician with the Community College of the Air Force and practicing Norse Pagan, poses for a photo in the CCAF building on Gunter Annex, Alabama, July 27, 2021. Comer wore a beard with a religious accommodation waiver, but beards in the Air Force may become far more common after a uniform board considers facial hair in November. US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske.

Beards could be two months away in the Air Force.

An Air Force official confirmed to Coffee or Die Magazine that «an updated male facial hair grooming standard will be considered» at a late November meeting of the Air Force Uniform Board.

The board recommends changes to the Air Force’s uniform and appearance rules, which are published in a document known as DAFI 36-2903, «Dress and Appearance of United States Air Force and United States Space Force Personnel.»

Air Force spokesperson Tech. Sgt. Deana M. Heitzman said any recommendations would then go through the service’s senior leadership before the adoption of any new policies.

US Air Force Staff Sgt. Abdul Rahman Gaitan, 821st Contingency Response Squadron aerial porter, was among the first to be granted a religious accommodation for a shaving waiver based on his Muslim faith in 2016. US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno.

Currently, beards are allowed in the Air Force only with religious exemptions or with medical shaving waivers.

Heitzman did not provide details of what specific facial hair might be allowed or not allowed in a bearded Air Force, but a screenshot shared on a well-known Air Force Facebook group, amn/nco/snco, purportedly of an internal memo on the upcoming meeting said the board would consider beards 1/4-inch in length.

That would be significantly shorter than beards allowed under religious exemptions, which can be 2 inches long. Mustaches are already authorized in the service.

Though morale and religious beliefs have long been cited among beard fans as reasons beards should be allowed, recent research has indicated that the issue might be unfairly affecting the promotions of those with waivers.

A screenshot shared on social media supposedly shows topics for discussion in the Air Force’s November uniform board. An Air Force spokesperson confirmed to Coffee or Die Magazine that the board would consider facial hair in November but would not confirm details of that discussion or the authenticity of this screenshot. Screenshot via Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook.

A July 2021 study found that «shaving waivers were associated with a longer time to promotion,» with those on long-term shaving waivers often taking up to twice as long to reach the ranks of staff sergeant and tech sergeant as those without. About three-quarters of those surveyed in the study believed a medical shaving waiver had affected their career.

The results also found that about 65% of those with shaving waivers are Black. Many Black men seek medical waivers for a skin condition known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, or PFB, that causes painful, acnelike bumps that often scar. The condition, which affects Black men more often than men of other races, makes shaving both painful and difficult to keep in regulation.

The November board will make recommendations to the chief of staff of the Air Force. Heitzman said timelines for uniform changes vary depending on the scope of the change, pilot programs, and other factors.

Beard and haircut laws by country

Secular [ citation needed ] laws regulating hairstyles exist in various countries and institutions.

Present laws [ edit ]

India [ edit ]

Out of respect to their religion, Sikhs are allowed to grow beards in the Indian army.

Admiral D.K. Joshi of the Indian Navy with a designer five o’clock shadow.

In the Armed, Paramilitary and Law enforcement forces of India, male Sikh servicemen are allowed to wear full beards as their religion expressly requires followers to do so. However, they are specifically required to «dress up their hair and beard properly». [1] In December 2003, the Supreme Court of India ruled that Muslims in uniform can grow beards. [2] [3]

Non-Muslims and non-Sikhs serving in the Indian Army or the Indian Air Force are not permitted to wear beards. However, Army personnel on active duty are sometimes exempt from facial hair regulations for the duration of their tour of duty if their deployment makes it difficult to shave. Indian Navy personnel are allowed to grow beards subject to the permission of their commanding officer. [4] Exceptions for other religions are made in the case of special forces operatives like the Indian Air Force Pilots, Indian army’s Para (Special Forces) soldiers and the navy’s MARCOS commandos who are allowed to grow beards. [5] Non-Sikh personnel are allowed to grow whiskers and moustaches, with the only regulation being that «will be of moderate length». [1]

Iran [ edit ]

In a stated attempt to preserve the culture of the country and combat cultural imperialism, the government of Iran has banned «Western hair styles» for men, including ponytails, mullets and spikes. [6]

North Korea [ edit ]

Further information: Let’s trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle

Radio Free Asia reported in 2014 that the North Korean government had a recommended list of 18 hair styles for women and 10 hair styles for men, and that some colleges had recommended male students model their hair after Kim Jong-un. [7] However, Dr. Katharine H.S. Moon, Wasserman Chair of Asian Studies at Wellesley College, refutes these claims, stating that, «There’s no evidence that their hairstyles must follow totalitarian regulation,» and that she had personally witnessed a wide variety of hair styles, including hair dye, while visiting Pyongyang in 2013. [8]

Tajikistan [ edit ]

Beards are discouraged by the government for most men in Tajikistan in a stated effort to battle radicalism. Only clean-shaven men can apply for a passport. Beards are often forcibly shaved off by police officers. [9] [10] [11]

Thailand [ edit ]

Male Thai police and military personnel, as of 2017 [update] , are required to wear a hairstyle known as the «904 cut». The style means shaving the sides and back of the head, leaving just a suggestion of hair on top. The corresponding hairstyle for female police officers and female soldiers, in case of long hair (shoulders level), must keep their hair in bun with properly color of ribbon and net (black, dark brown or navy blue). [12]

School dress codes in Thailand have long mandated earlobe-length bobs for girls and army-style crew cuts for boys. It is not uncommon for teachers to cut the hair of students deemed to be in violation of the frequently arbitrary code. [13]

Past laws [ edit ]

Albania [ edit ]

During his regime, Enver Hoxha banned all hair longer than 4 cm (1.6 in) for men, as well as all beards. No man could enter the country whilst wearing one of the banned hair styles. [14]

British North America [ edit ]

Long hair for men was illegal in the Massachusetts Bay Colony starting in 1634. [15]

China [ edit ]

The Han Chinese first Ming dynasty emperor Zhu Yuanzhang passed a law on mandatory hairstyle on 24 September 1392, mandating that all males grow their hair long and making it illegal for them to shave part of their foreheads while leaving strands of hair which was the Mongol hairstyle. The penalty for both the barber and the person who was shaved and his sons was castration if they cut their hair and their families were to be sent to the borders for exile. This helped eradicate the partially shaved Mongol hairstyles and enforced long Han hairstyle. [16]

In Qing dynasty China, all male subjects of all ethnicities were required to wear their hair in a long braid and to shave the front of their scalp. Those who resisted were subject to execution for treason. All Chinese men stopped sporting the Queue braid tonsure hairstyle, in favor of short western hairstyles, following the collapse the Qing Dynasty in the 1910s which was succeeded by the Republic of Mainland China.

Czechoslovakia [ edit ]

Main article: Mánička

Following the Prague Spring of 1968, Western 1960s counterculture inspired the Mánička subculture amongst Czechoslovak youth. The long hairstyles associated with this was discouraged and suppressed by the authorities, who saw it as a subversive Western cultural influence.

Japan [ edit ]

Main article: Chonmage

A 19th-century samurai with a chonmage

A Japanese barbershop in the 19th century

In the Edo period (1603–1867) of Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate passed orders for Japanese men to shave the pate on the front of their head (the chonmage hairstyle) and shave their beards, facial hair and side whiskers. [17] This was similar to the Qing dynasty queue order imposed by Dorgon making men shave the pates on the front of their heads. [18] During the fourth year of the Meiji period in 1871, Emperor Meiji issued the Dampatsurei Edict which abolished the chonmage hairstyle. As a result of the decree which was issued as part of the Meiji Restoration, all Japanese men were forced to chop off their topknots and switch to short Western hairstyles in addition to switching to Western clothing. The chonmage was abandoned along with the samurai class in the 1870s, as a result of the Meiji Restoration and modernization of Japan. However, this decree/edict abolishing the chonmage hairstyle did not apply to sumo wrestlers as they are permitted to continue sporting chonmage into the modern era. [19] [20]

Russia [ edit ]

Main article: Beard tax § Russia

As part of his drive to modernise and Westernise Tsarist Russia, Peter the Great imposed a beard tax in 1698 to encourage Russian men to shave off their beards. Men who kept their beards but refused to pay the tax were forcibly shaven.

Singapore [ edit ]

Main article: Long hair in Singapore

There was a national ban of long hair for men in Singapore; the reason was the growth of hippie subculture worldwide. The law has since changed and nowadays, men can display any kind of hairstyle.

South Korea [ edit ]

In 1973, South Korea under Park Chung-hee introduced the Minor Offenses Act which limited the length of hair for males and mandated a minimum length of skirts for females. There are no specific definitions of acceptable hair length, and violators were often taken to police stations and had their hair cut against their will. [21]

Vietnam [ edit ]

Main article: Ohaguro § Elsewhere

The Han Chinese referred to the various non-Han «barbarian» peoples of north Vietnam and southern China as «Yue» (Viet) or Baiyue, saying they possessed common habits like adapting to water, having their hair cropped short and tattooed. The Han also said their language was «animal shrieking» and that they lacked morals, modesty, civilization and culture. [22] [23] When Han Chinese ruled the Vietnamese in the Fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam due to the Ming dynasty’s conquest during the Ming–Hồ War they imposed the Han Chinese style of men wearing long hair on short-haired Vietnamese men. Vietnamese were ordered to stop cutting and instead grow their hair long and switch to Han Chinese clothing in only a month by a Ming official. Ming administrators said their mission was to civilize the unorthodox Vietnamese barbarians. [24] A royal edict was issued by Vietnam in 1474 forbidding Vietnamese from adopting foreign languages, hairstyles and clothes like that of the Lao, Champa or the Ming «Northerners». The edict was recorded in the 1479 Complete Chronicle of Dai Viet of Ngô Sĩ Liên in the Later Lê dynasty. [25]

See also [ edit ]

Hair related [ edit ]

  • Beard oil
  • Discrimination based on hair texture
  • Facial hair in the military
  • List of facial hairstyles
  • List of hairstyles
  • Moustache styles
  • Pigtail Ordinance

General [ edit ]

  • Dress code
  • Clothing laws by country
    • Hijab by country

    References [ edit ]

    1. ^ ab«272». Archived from the original on 25 September 2014 . Retrieved 22 November 2014 .
    2. ^
    3. «Muslims in uniform can keep beard». Times of India.
    4. ^
    5. «Muslims in Indian Army Can Wear Beards, Court Rules». 14 December 2003.
    6. ^
    7. «Indian Navy — Beards & Moustaches». Archived from the original on 8 June 2010 . Retrieved 1 October 2010 .
    8. ^
    9. «Archived copy». Archived from the original on 15 April 2008 . Retrieved 28 November 2008 . > : CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
    10. ^
    11. Singh, Anita (5 July 2010). «Iran government issues style guide for men’s hair» – via
    12. ^
    13. «North Korean College Students Ordered to Adopt Leader Kim’s Haircut». Radio Free Asia. 26 March 2014 – via
    14. ^
    15. Uffalussy, Jennifer (20 April 2017). «Does North Korea Really Have State-Approved Hairstyles?». Yahoo Life – via
    16. ^
    17. «Tajikistan shaves 13,000 beards in ‘radicalism’ battle».
    18. ^
    19. «No Country For Bearded Young Men: Only ‘Well-Groomed’ Tajiks Getting Passports». RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
    20. ^
    21. network, Global Voices Online, part of the New East (September 7, 2015). «The men evading Tajikistan’s de-facto beard ban». The Guardian.
    22. ^
    23. Charuvastra, Teeranai (20 November 2017). «NEW BUZZ CUTS IMPOSED ON ALL THAI POLICE, SOLDIERS». Khaosod English . Retrieved 3 February 2021 .
    24. ^
    25. Sasipornkarn, Emmy (23 July 2020). «Thailand’s school haircut controversy reflects authoritarian attitudes». Deutsche Welle . Retrieved 3 February 2021 .
    26. ^
    27. «Beard and haircut restriction during the Enver Hoxha regime in Albania (1945-1990)». 3 November 2016.
    28. ^
    29. Melissa Berry (June 24, 2020). «Our Puritan Ancestors’ Fashion War against Long Hair».
    30. ^
    31. CHAN, HOK-LAM (2009). «Ming Taizu’s ‘Placards’ on Harsh Regulations and Punishments Revealed in Gu Qiyuan’s ‘Kezuo Zhuiyu.’ «. Asia Major. 22 (1): 28. JSTOR41649963 . Retrieved 16 April 2021 .
    32. ^
    33. Toby, Ron P. (2019). Engaging the Other: ‘Japan’ and Its Alter-Egos, 1550-1850. Brill’s Japanese Studies Library. BRILL. p. 217. ISBN978-9004393516 .
    34. ^
    35. Toby, Ron P. (2019). Engaging the Other: ‘Japan’ and Its Alter-Egos, 1550-1850. Brill’s Japanese Studies Library. BRILL. p. 214. ISBN978-9004393516 .
    36. ^
    37. «Chonmage, Samurai Topknot Hair Style».
    38. ^
    39. «Why did samurai warriors adopt such a unique hairstyle?».
    40. ^‘Ridiculous’ 1970s Kang Hyun-kyung, The Korea Times
    41. ^
    42. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Issue 15. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association. 1996. p. 94.
    43. ^
    44. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association. Congress (1996). Indo-Pacific Prehistory: The Chiang Mai Papers, Volume 2. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association. Vol. 2 of Indo-Pacific Prehistory: Proceedings of the 15th Congress of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 5–12 January 1994. The Chiang Mai Papers. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Australian National University. p. 94.
    45. ^
    46. The Vietnam Review: VR., Volume 3. Vietnam Review. 1997. p. 35.
    47. ^
    48. Dutton, George; Werner, Jayne; Whitmore, John K., eds. (2012). Sources of Vietnamese Tradition. Introduction to Asian Civilizations (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 87. ISBN978-0231511100 .
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