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US army lifts ban on dreadlocks

FREE: Black women are now free to wear dreadlocks in the US army

BLACK WOMEN will now be free to have dreadlocks in the US army, after the ban was lifted which forced black women in the army to decide between their hair and serving the country.

The ban against locs, twists and braids were instated in April 2015, and faced instant backlash from black women who find these protective styles the most practical to wear when in service.

However, after numerous criticism, the change surfaced last month in an Army directive that focused largely on grooming policy changes related to religious accommodations. Buried in the directive was text allowing female soldiers to wear “dreadlocks/locks,” which were previously banned.

Sgt. Maj. Anthony J. Moore of the Army’s office of the deputy chief of staff for personnel said the new rules offered female soldiers another hairstyle option.

“We understood there was no need to differentiate between locks, cornrows or twists as long as they all met the same dimension,” he said, according to The Northwest Guardian, a publication of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State."

“Females have been asking for a while, especially females of African-American descent, to be able to wear dreadlocks and locks because it’s easier to maintain that hairstyle.”

The Army directive says that each lock, or dreadlock, “will be of uniform dimension; have a diameter no greater than a half-inch; and present a neat, professional and well-groomed appearance.”

The change was hailed as overdue by service members who said they had labored to stay in compliance under the old rules.

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