Having busied itself of late with warfighting and such, the Marine Corps finally managed to pencil in some hygiene time this week, codifying a ban on "faddish" and "exaggerated" hairstyles among the troops. Meaning... what, exactly?
It's all very clearly stated in Marine Administrative Order No. 658/13, approved by the Corps' top general on Monday:
EXAMPLES OF HAIRSTYLES CONSIDERED TO BE FADDISH OR EXAGGERATED AND THUS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR WEAR IN UNIFORM ARE (THIS LIST IS NOT ALL-INCLUSIVE); LOCKS AND TWISTS (NOT INCLUDING FRENCH ROLLS/TWISTS), HAIR SCULPTING (ECCENTRIC DIRECTIONAL FLOW, TWISTS, TEXTURE OR SPIKING), BUNS OR BRAIDS WITH LOOSE HAIR EXTENDING AT THE END (EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BELOW)...
I think we can all agree that "eccentric directional flow" sounds vaguely Satanic, so fair enough. But how about the braids exception? We can have braids, right?
WHEN WORN, MULTIPLE BRAIDS SHALL BE OF UNIFORM DIMENSION, SMALL IN DIAMETER (APPROX. 1/8 TO 1/4 INCH), SHOW NO MORE THAN 1/8 OF AN INCH OF SCALP BETWEEN THE BRAIDS AND MUST BE TIGHTLY INTERWOVEN TO PRESENT A NEAT, PROFESSIONAL, WELL GROOMED APPEARANCE.
Okay, seems like a lot to keep track of, bu—
FOREIGN MATERIAL (I.E., BEADS, DECORATIVE ITEMS) SHALL NOT BE BRAIDED INTO THE HAIR.
Well, wait, does that mean no hair extensions? And is other human hair "foreign ma—
BRAIDS MUST CONTINUE TO THE END OF THE NATURAL HAIR AND CAN BE WORN LOOSE FROM THAT POINT.
What can be worn loose? If your natural hair ends and you can't put foreign materials in your braids, I don't ge—
WHEN WORN LOOSE, BRAIDS WILL COMPLY WITH MEDIUM OR LONG HAIR LENGTH GUIDELINES, OR BE SECURED TO THE HEAD IN ONE DIRECTION, IN STRAIGHT LINES (FORE AND AFT WHEN WEARING A BUN).
So do you have to wear a bu—
THE HAIR FORMING THE BUN MAY BE UNBRAIDED.
Yes? That's a yes on bu—
BUNS AND ENDS SHALL BE NEATLY AND INCONSPICUOUSLY FASTENED OR PINNED.
Oh fuck it, just give me a high-and-tight. Easy on the eccentric directional flow, though, fella.
[Photo credit: U.S. Marine Corps]