These are the top ten ways the Army should change up its grooming regulations, though mostly spoken from a dreamer's state of mind. The regulations are tough to fight, and will often never be altered, but a solider can dream, can't he?
From growing a beautiful beard, to extending the length of women's fingernails, a bit of expression never hurt anybody. As a way to feel unique, these dream regulations would allow soldiers to feel a bit more like themselves, instead of part of the crowd.
What are the grooming regulations?
The Army's grooming regulations are a bit extensive and can be frustrating to many. So before we supply you with the ways the Army should change up its grooming standards, let's go over some of the main current regulations.
Those serving in the Army must maintain a well-groomed and conservative appearance at all times. This includes sporting a hairstyle that does not interfere with headgear's fit and comfortability as well as gaps or distortion.
Hair must also be clean and appropriately worn as well as styled with natural coloring, if dyed. For women, they may wear braids or cornrows that lie on the head comfortably. Long hair must be fastened or pinned with subtle bobby pins or similar accessories.
Hair must also not fall over the eyebrows or below the edge of the collar. It must appear neat and presentable at all times. Men must be clean-shaven. Women must wear natural and subtle makeup, if desired.
And nail color should be the same. Soldiers are not allowed to cut designs into their hair or scalp. And males' fingernails must remain trimmed.
First on our list of the best ways the Army should change up its grooming regulations is to incorporate buzzcut art. Typically men in the army who sport a buzzcut do so because it is the easiest way to follow each of the grooming regulations for hair.
But they should be able to also express themselves a bit. Though headgear is not always worn, the buzzcut is used to compensate with the fit of the gear. So while worn, the hairstyle will not be seen. So why not allow a few fun designs?
And to take it one step further, allow soldiers to shave their own portraits of their favorite NCOs. The creativity is brewing.
Though you're allowed to enlist in the army with colored hair, it must only be a natural color. And though this is due to the fact that it must remain to be a uniformed look, hair coloring, maybe just a little, can't hurt.
What about allowing women to color the hair that is hidden, underneath the top layer of hair? This can be done easily, and will allow for some creativity, fun, and uniqueness.
Mustaches are tricky to maintain according to the regulations of the Army, so many opt out altogether. As one of the ways the Army should change up its grooming regulations, allowing for mustache growth, while still maintaining a clean appearance, should be allowed.
Today, mustaches are not allowed to extend downward beyond the lip line or sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corner of the lips. Though we agree that no one looks put together with a mustache that creeps over the lip, why not allow for a clean handlebar every once in a while? With a buzzcut, this is compromise.
This mostly goes for women, but could also relate to men, hair styling should be a bit more lenient, because there are many ways to look put together, while still expressing a bit of creativity.
Still following the guidelines that are incorporated for headgear regulations, some hair styling can be presentable enough to bush the boundaries a bit. This goes for accessories, hair texture, styles, and just uniqueness.
Going along the same path, another one of the best ways the Army should change up its grooming regulations is offering better hair accessories for women. Though used to keep hair in place, headbands, pins, and combs can be used that are conservative, but we believe that providing a bit more variety of options couldn't hurt.
As long as they are being used proactively, and still appear smooth and not bulky for headgear, this could be pushed a bit more, this way women could use these to show a bit more of their personality, in a subtle way.
Though we agree that over the top makeup is not something that will be beneficial for army life, allowing for a bit more leniency for creativity can benefit everyone involved.
Now that permanent makeup such as eyeliner and eyebrows is authorized, being able to be a bit more creative with makeup should also be an option. Though exaggerated looks would be pushing the boundaries, a bit of a darker lip would not stand out as much as many might think it would.
This same concept also goes for nail polish, and as one of the ways the Army should change up its grooming regulations, nail polish that is a bit contrasting to skin tone does not stand out all too much.
"Extreme" colors are now known to be purple, gold, blue, black, white, bright red, and camouflage colors. This limits colors to next to nothing. This also goes for not allowing nail designs or two-tone colors. Allowing a bit of expression as little as the nails on women's fingers is not something that is noticeable, and should be allowed.
We don't think that claws for nails should be allowed, but a bit of length never hurt anyone. Though this would have to be done so while still being neatly trimmed and clean, fingernails are now not allowed to exceed 1/4 inches, measured from the tip of the finger.
This is due to a safety concern, but a tiny bit more length allows women to feel feminine, especially if they enjoy painting their nails. This would have to be a length that would not interfere with the performance of duties, but maybe 1/2 an inch would be a bit more promising for women.
And last, but certainly not least, of the ways the Army should change up its grooming regulations is beard growth. Though today, handlebar mustaches, goatees, and beards are not permitted, remaining clean-shaven is something that hurts many men's skin, if their beard grows in every day.
This can result in razor burn, cuts, and uncomfortableness. A clean face may look less put together than a well-kempt beard might be, in this case. Plus, who wouldn't want to see a facial hair-growing contest in the Army?