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Navy says goodbye to relaxed grooming standards

Hey shipmate, it’s time to get a haircut.

The Navy announced this week that “the authority granted to commanding officers to optionally relax hair grooming standards is rescinded,” according to a Naval administrative message. The policy change takes effect immediately.

Hyong Davis gives a new recruit his first haircut in the Golden 13 Recruit In-processing Center Navy Exchange barber shop at Recruit Training Command (RTC) during Night of Arrival.(Scott A. Thornbloom/Navy)
Navy is relaxing grooming standards to limit exposure to COVID-19

Commanding officers “may allow for additional hair length and bulk on the sides, top and back of the head. At no time will relaxed grooming interfere with the proper wearing of Navy head gear proper use of protective personal equipment (helmets, masks, hoods, etc.).”

In March 2020, the Navy issued guidance permitting commanders to relax grooming standards in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and adhere to proper social distancing guidelines.

“Good judgement of leaders at all levels of the chain of command is required to ensure all possible COVID-19 force health protection precautions are being taken,” the Navy said in the March 2020 NAVADMIN.

The relaxed grooming standards did not apply to facial hair or sideburns and could not interfere with protective personal equipment like helmets and masks, according to the service.

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