Army Asks Black Women to Treat or Braid Hair

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Photo: US Army

New Army grooming regulations targeting black women’s hairstyles have drawn the ire of servicewomen and are the subject of a White House petition with 6,000 signatures. The updated regulations ban cornrows larger than a quarter of an inch in diameter and all forms of dreadlocks and twists. Petition author Sergeant Jasmine Jacobs says that leaves women with natural, curly, or kinky hair at a loss. “I talked to my first sergeant, and he said we would [face non-judicial punishment] if we’re out of reg,” she told the Army Times. “So I either get a wig or be NJPed, all because of the way my hair grows naturally.” They wouldn’t be the first institution to cluelessly regulate black women’s hair.