Men's Military Haircut Regulations

Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Haircut Standards

While most people tend to group military haircuts into just one category—short—each branch of the American military has distinct standards that men in uniform are required to meet. The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps each has its own regulations that must be followed, no exceptions.

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Air Force Haircut Regulations

Air Force Regulation Haircut
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All members of the U.S. Air Force must have hair that is neat, clean, and well-groomed. The hair above the ears and at the nape of the neck must be tapered. A block at the neckline is permitted with a tapered appearance. Hair is not allowed to touch the ears, eyebrows, or collar (except that the closely tapered hair at the neck may touch the collar). The length and bulk of the hair may not interfere with properly worn headgear. Any hair coloring must look natural and complement the person's complexion.

Navy Regulation Haircut
Photo © Saltov | iStockphoto.com

The U.S. Navy, like the Air Force, requires that the hair be neat, clean, and well-groomed. The hair above the ears and at the nape of the neck must be tapered from the hairline upward at least 3/4 inches. In some cases, the taper may be combined with a line at the neck if the texture of the hair makes a taper difficult to attain. Hair cannot be longer than four inches and cannot touch the ears, collar, or eyebrows. The length and bulk of the hair cannot interfere with properly worn headgear and may not be styled in a manner that allows the hair to extend more than two inches from the scalp.  Hair color must look natural and be complementary. More »

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Army Haircut Regulations

Army Regulation Haircut
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In the U.S. Army, men's haircuts must conform to Army standards. The hair on the top of the head must be neatly groomed and may not be trendy, spiky, or disheveled in appearance. The hair must be tapered and conform to the shape of the head, and the neckline must be tapered. Hair must not be allowed to fall over the ears or touch the collar (except that the taper at the neckline may extend past the collar).  A classic taper or Ivy League haircut is normally the style of choice for most soldiers in the Army.  Men are not allowed to wear wigs or hairpieces except to cover natural baldness or hair loss caused by accidents or medical procedures.  Any wig or hairpiece must conform to the standard haircut regulation.  If hair is colored, it must be a natural shade.

Marine Regulation Haircut
Photo © MTMCOINS | iStockphoto.com

The U.S. Marine Corps standards of grooming require that hair be evenly graduated from zero length at the hairline with no outline or edging. Hair cannot be more than three inches long or be styled in a manner that any hair protrudes from the scalp more than two inches. Hair must be styled so it does not protrude beneath properly worn headgear in an unsightly manner. Any hair coloring must look natural and complement the person's complexion. Marines are not required to have hair clipped to the scalp except during recruit training or unless ordered by a medical officer, but a Marine may have his hair clipped to the scalp if that's his preference. More »