Navy allows women to wear ponytails

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Navy says it now will allow servicewomen to sport ponytails and other hairstyles, reversing a policy that long forbade females from letting their hair down.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said it makes the Navy more inclusive.

Many black women had asked for changes to the female grooming standards. A female sailor announced the new policy during a Facebook Live event Tuesday with Richardson. The new standards went into effect Wednesday.

Lock hairstyles, or ropelike strands, also are allowed. Wider hair buns too. And women can wear ponytails while in uniform.

Capt. Thurraya Kent is the senior member of the working group that recommended the changes. The group reported that adding grooming options would eliminate a distraction, be more inclusive of different hair textures and enable people to keep their hair natural instead of processing it chemically.

She recalled being told to take out her braids early in her career even though her hairstyle was allowed.