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U.S. Navy Responds to Hair Controversy with New Guidelines

by: Sara Bliss Jessica Sims served in the U.S. Navy with an unblemished record for 12 years. For over 10 of those years, Sims wore tightly woven dreadlocks pulled back in a bun without comment from her superiors. Then Sims was asked to change her hair to fit in with the Navy’s longstanding regulations requiring…

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Jessica Sims served in the U.S. Navy with an unblemished record for 12 years. For over 10 of those years, Sims wore tightly woven dreadlocks pulled back in a bun without comment from her superiors. Then Sims was asked to change her hair to fit in with the Navy’s longstanding regulations requiring a smaller bun size and banning dreadlocks. She was also given the option to wear a wig. When she refused she was given the boot with an honorable discharge this August. Sims felt that the problem wasn’t her refusal, but the Navy’s rigid hairstyle options for African American women.  Sims told the Navy Times, “I do think that it’s a race issue. The majority of the hairstyles that have the strictest regulations are hairstyles that black women would wear.”

This diagram aims to clarify the Navy’s controversial hair guidelines

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What do you think?