By GMA Team
(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Air Force is changing its rules on how women in the service are allowed to wear their hair.
Starting next month, women will be allowed to wear their hair in longer braids, ponytails and bangs, Air Force officials announced Thursday.
The new rules, based on feedback from thousands of women in the Air Force, are intended to reflect the diversity among enlisted Airmen and officers.
“In addition to the health concerns we have for our Airmen, not all women have the same hair type, and our hair standards should reflect our diverse force,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass said in a statement. “I am pleased we could make this important change for our women service members.”
Among the complaints from women in the Air Force were that the previous rules on hair standards, “resulted in damage to hair, migraines and in some cases, hair loss,” according to the Air Force.
Women currently make up around 21% of the Air Force.
The military service’s changes to its hair standards come as more private companies and local and state officials are also taking action to prevent discrimination.
In November, the United Parcel Service eliminated its rules against facial hair and natural hairstyles for its male employees.
Last year, Montgomery County, Maryland, became the first county in the U.S. to ban discrimination based on hairstyles on a local level.
When the California legislature passed the CROWN Act in 2019, it made California the first state in the nation to ban natural hair discrimination.
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