The United States Military has a well-known certain set of guidelines that surround grooming of their male soldiers. These regulations help to maintain a uniform look among the soldiers. The conservative hairstyles of the Military aid soldiers in exercising self-discipline, and they help to give the men and women of the Military a sense of pride via their shared, uniform look.
Military Men’s Hair Regulations
It’s true that soldiers fresh to Basic Training get their heads shaved almost right away. But as their military careers progress, they do not have to shave their heads constantly as many television shows portray soldiers doing, hairstyles must be conservative. Several different hairstyles are allowed as long as they follow the rules implemented by the Military. For instance, tinting, dying, highlighting and altering one’s hair color in any anyway is permitted as long as the color results in a natural hair color. In other words, shades like blonde are acceptable, but blue, pink, purple and orange hues are restricted. Male soldiers’ hair must not be too long. It must have a tapered look, and it may never exceed the length of the ears, collar or eyebrows. Hairstyles like dreadlocks are prohibited, but cornrows are allowed on females only.
You may have heard of the common military haircut called the “high and tight.” It’s a military variation of the standard buzz cut, a very short hairstyle that crops the hair on the sides and back of the head very close, but leaving the hair on top of the head very slightly longer to accommodate combat helmets. The “high and tight” haircut begat the nickname “jarheads” for Marines because the style vaguely resembles the appearance of a mason jar. Other common military haircuts are the “Ivy League,” the “Crew Cut,” the Medium- and High-Regulation cuts, the “Butch,” and the “Short Caesar.”
Becoming a Military Barber
Since the regulations surrounding military grooming are so strict, this requires well-trained barbers to keep up with the appearance of the soldiers. Despite the popular belief of barbers working for the Military and being trained through the Military, barbers are actually civilians who are employed to do a service for the Military. They are not required to undergo boot camp; however, they must complete certain steps prior to becoming a military barber.
The first step a potential military barber must do is to complete an accredited barber school program or cosmetology school program. Since the hairstyles that are allowed vary greatly, this step is vital. Learning how to style both female and male hair also must be part of the training. Once the program is completed, a prospective military barber must earn their license prior to applying for a position as a military barber. When a person is looking for a job as a military barber, he or she should look in the newspaper and local job listings, because the positions are civilian jobs that will be advertised locally. Even though a person will not be a member of the Military, he or she will be an employee of the federal government; therefore, he or she has to submit to a background check. Unlike the extensive check that soldiers must go through, this particular background screening is the same as any other background check for employment.
There are also barbers who make the smart business move of setting up shop near a military post. These barbers are not employees of the federal government, but can take advantage of the close proximity of the base to serve military soldiers and their families. This is a great way to build a loyal customer base without much advertising necessary. Military guys need to cut their hair as often as every two weeks in some cases!