Female Marines Get OK to Wear New Hairstyle and More Earring Choices

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Female Marines with medium-length hair are now allowed to wear a "half ponytail" hairstyle during physical training. (U.S. Marine Corps/Pamela Jackson)
Female Marines with medium-length hair are now allowed to wear a "half ponytail" hairstyle during physical training. (U.S. Marine Corps/Pamela Jackson)

Marines have been given the approval to let their hair down -- at least some of it -- while they work out.

Women with medium-length hair are now allowed to wear a "half ponytail" hairstyle during physical training. The style, which pulls the top portion of the hair away from the face and into a ponytail while the rest of the hair remains down -- is one of several new uniform-related changes the commandant signed off on this week.

"The section of hair pulled back into the half ponytail should be secured over the 'crest of the head,'" according to a graphic depicting the new authorized look. "The half ponytail must lay flat, and hair may not stick straight out or at extreme angles from the head."

Half ponytails are allowed only for female Marines with medium-length hair. The style is authorized during PT, including when the Marine Corps combat utility uniform is worn during physical training. Women with long hair will still need to put their hair up, in a regular ponytail or free-hanging braid.

Related: Should Marines Use Umbrellas? Corps Wants Input on Uniform Changes

Half ponytails won't be allowed with any Marine Corps headgear, the message states. And if the combat utility uniform isn't being worn for PT, it's back to the regular hair regs for all women, according to the message.

Women have also been given the OK to wear silver earrings with their service uniforms. Female Marines were previously allowed to wear only gold earrings with that uniform.

"Small, polished, yellow gold or silver colored, ball, or round stud earrings (post, screw-on, or clip), not to exceed 6 millimeters (about 1/4 inch) in diameter, may be worn with the service, blue dress, and blue-white dress [uniforms]," the message states.

The changes follow a survey the Marine Corps Uniform Board conducted earlier this year. Officials declined to provide the results of that survey, but it did ask Marines to weigh in on these two approved changes.

The commandant also this week granted men the approval to use black umbrellas when it's raining while they're in their service or dress uniforms.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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