Army plans to unveil more inclusive hair and grooming regulations

The Army is planning to alter its hair and grooming regulations in an attempt to be more inclusive, Task & Purpose reported on Tuesday.

The changes, which are expected to be announced in January, include allowing some women to wear ponytails while in uniform and cutting words from the existing regulations that are viewed as offensive or racist to “reflect the Army values and the Army’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” according to recommendation slides obtained by the news outlet.

The alterations stem from recommendations made earlier this month to a panel made up of Army leaders across the service, the majority of whom were women, an Army official told Task & Purpose.

The panel voted on the recommendations, which are expected to be delivered to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville for final approval.

The recommendations come after then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in July ordered a review of whether current grooming standards are racially biased, part of a directive aimed at stamping out racial discrimination within the military.