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Black Female Soldiers Criticize Army’s New Hairstyle Rules

A Power Point presentation from mid-March, before the regulations officially came out, shows the unauthorized hairstyles.

The U.S. Army is facing criticism for its new appearance and grooming regulations, which some soldiers say unfairly target black women’s hair.

Army Regulation 670-1 was released 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.

Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard has started a petition on the White House website calling on the Army to reconsider its changes to “allow professional ethnic hairstyles.”

By early Tuesday afternoon, the petition had almost reached the 100,000 signatures required in order to trigger a response from the White House.

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