I have been in JCC (Junior Cadet Corps) in middle school and JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) in high school. So for six years, I was in a uniform once a week. Through those six years, I never mastered the bun. I never had a problem with my hair being messy but my bun just never looked good enough.
Before I went off to basic training I got really nervous because I knew that Drill Sergeants would be harder on me than my former instructors. So I got the idea that I would cut all my hair off so that I wouldn’t have to deal with making sure it was in regulation, and to save time getting ready.
Something that I didn’t take into account when I cut my hair is that they had us taking prenatal vitamins for an increase of iron. Since taking those, my hair grew even faster. During basic training, you won’t have the opportunity to cut your hair. That’s where I ran into the problem. My hair was growing, making it look messy and out of regulations. Which made it harder to maintain, since I couldn’t put it in a bun. I got lucky and went home for Christmas so I was able to get it cut, but for those who are going during the spring and summer, you won’t have that opportunity.
When you are sharing barracks with 60-80 females you will find someone who can help you with your hair. You will learn all types of ways to put it up and keep it together. Don’t cut your hair if all you’re worried about is not being able to do the perfect bun. Yes, your Drill Sergeants will yell at you about it being messy one or two times but your battle buddies will help you with it. You are not alone.
Tips To Tame Your Short Hair
If you do decide to take the plunge and cut your hair, I have a few tips and tricks to help you handle your hair during your training.
Make sure to have plenty of bobby pins.
While women are allowed to have short hair in the Army, you are not allowed to have bangs while in uniform. So you want to make sure you bobby pin your bangs. Now if you’re like me and can’t keep up with bobby pins to save your life, I recommend you take packages with you to basic. Having your parents send you some in a care package is also an option. You get a chance to go to the store to buy stuff but you only go a few times so having extra is always better. You will need them and your battle buddy will probably borrow at some point, so it’s better safe than sorry.
Hairspray is your best friend
Hairspray will quickly become one of your best friends. You don’t want to use it lightly. When you are at basic training you are taking your PC on and off all day long. The more product in your hair the longer it’s going to stay in place.
Use your battle buddies
Once your hair has grown out some, ask one of your battle buddies to braid it. You will be sharing barracks with roughly 70 females, one of them will know how to braid. You will want to have it braided the night before and then wrap your hair in a t-shirt or pillowcase that way it won’t get messy while you sleep.
Plan for your day
You are always going to know what you are doing that day. So if you know you are going to be outside all day and won’t be removing your PC then use fewer bobby pins and product. If you know you are going to be in and out of buildings all day not only do you want to make sure you use plenty of bobby pins, you will also want to put a few extra in your pocket.
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that your hair is in regulations based off of 670-1.
Army Regulation 670-1 governs hair and grooming practices or accommodations based on religious practices. Exceptions based on religious practices that were given to soldiers in accordance with AR 600-20 on or prior to 1 January 1986 remain in effect as long as the soldier remains otherwise qualified for retention.
Short length. Short hair is defined as hair length that extends no more than 1 inch from the scalp (excluding bangs). Hair may be no shorter than 1/4 inch from the scalp (unless due to medical condition or injury), but may be evenly tapered to the scalp within 2 inches of the hair line edges. Bangs, if worn, may not fall below the eyebrows, may not interfere with the wear of all headgear, must lie neatly against the head, and not be visible underneath the front of the headgear. The width of the bangs may extend to the hairline at the temple.
Medium length. Medium hair is defined as hair length that does not extend beyond the lower edge of the collar (in all uniforms), and extends more than 1 inch from the scalp. Medium hair may fall naturally in uniform, and is not required to be secured. When worn loose, graduated hair styles are acceptable, but the length, as measured from the end of the total hair length to the base of the collar, may not exceed 1 inch difference in length, from the front to the back. Layered hairstyles are also authorized, so long as each hair’s length, as measured from the scalp to the hair’s end, is generally the same length giving a tapered appearance. The regulations for the wear of bangs detailed in paragraph (a), above, apply. No portion of the bulk of the hair, as measured from the scalp, will exceed 2 inches.
Long length. Long hair is defined as hair length that extends beyond the lower edge of the collar. Long hair will be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned, except that bangs may be worn. The regulations for the wear of bangs detailed in paragraph (a), apply. No portion of the bulk of the hair, as measured from the scalp, will exceed 2 inches (except a bun, which may extend a maximum of 3 inches from the scalp) and be no wider than the width of the head.