Hair may be braided in symmetrical fore and aft rows, cornrows, which must be close to the head, leaving no hair unbraided.

They must be no larger than one quarter inch in width and show no more than one eighth of an inch of scalp between the rows to minimize scalp exposure.

Cornrow ends shall not protrude from the head, and must end at the nape of the neck. Ends shall be secured only with rubber bands, which match the color of the hair, or end in a bun.

When worn in a bun, the bulk of the bun shall not exceed three inches when measured from the scalp. The diameter of the bun will not exceed four inches, and all loose ends must be tucked in and secured.

Sailors may use an accessory to form the bun if the accessory is completely concealed.

A maximum of two small barrettes may be used to secure the hair to the head. Additional hairpins, bobby pins, small rubber bands, or small thin fabric elastic bands may be used to hold hair in place, if necessary.

When hair accessories are worn, they must be consistent with the hair color.

Examples of accessories that are not authorized include headbands, scrunchies, combs, claws and butterfly clips. This list is not to be considered all inclusive. Hair nets shall not be worn unless authorized for a specific type of duty.

Hair coloring, wigs, or hair pieces must be of a natural hair color, such as blond, brunette, brown, red, gray, or black, not be distracting from a professional appearance in uniform and complement the individual. Hair extensions must match the current color of the hair. Tints and highlights shall result in natural hair colors and be similar to the base color of the hair.

Hairstyles must not interfere with the proper wear of any uniform headgear. Hair is not to protrude from the opening in the back of the ball cap, to include buns.

Hairstyle standards apply to Sailors while in uniform and in the performance of duty while wearing civilian clothes.

It is impossible to address every situation and every hairstyle thus unit and commanding officers and Navy leaders are empowered to use their judgment in applying grooming standards.

More information on hairstyle standards and other uniform regulations can be found on the Navy Uniform Matters Website.

  • detail photo of corn rows
  • detail photo of corn rows with ruler showing proper spacing of rows