Skip to Content
Home » Common Questions

U.S. Air Force Basic Hair Regulations for Males and Females

Like any other branch of the U.S. Military, the U.S. Air Force haircut regulations should be respected by both men and women who are joining the force. These Air Force haircut rules are provided in the AFI36-2903, their official policy, and it dictates the dress and personal appearance of the Air Force personnel.

Keep in mind that even if men and women have the right to express their individuality, if you want to join them, there are a lot of rules you need to take into consideration.

U.S. Air force hair regulations

To make it simpler for you to understand, we gathered here all the information about the hair grooming that needs to be done. Here is the basic information you need to know about haircuts for the Air Force!


Basic Male Hair Regulations for U.S. Air Force

The appearance standards must be conservative for both men and women, but you can still show your personality throw your grooming routine. You always need to look formal, and your hairstyle should not get in your way when wearing a helmet.

Also, if you choose to dye your hair, the color must look natural, and remember that the shades allowed are brown, blonde, brunette, natural red, black, or gray.

Keep in mind that neon or electric colors such as orange or purple are totally prohibited.

When it comes to hair extensions, as a man,  you can forget about them if you are planning to join the U.S Air force. You can wear a wig only if it follows the standard for natural hair and it is of good quality.

Likewise, hair nets can be used only for health or safety reasons. Synthetic hair wigs are totally prohibited, and you should consider that if you will need to wear one.

Also, it’s unauthorized to wear a wig if you want to cover an unaccepted hair color from the list provided above or any of the prohibited hairstyles.

When it comes to haircuts, your hairstyle should not stop you from wearing the helmet. In this case, tapered sides and back haircuts are ideal because they allow you to style a block cut.

Hair must not be longer than 1¼ inch, and it’s accepted to shave your head. However, you can opt for a high-and-tight hairstyle or a flat top cut.

Another thing to mention is that the hair should never touch your ears and protrude under the front band of the helmet. Sideburns must also be short and must end in a horizontal line.

Mohawks, mullets dreadlocks, or cornrows are prohibited when we’re talking about men’s hairstyles for U.S. Air Force.

The U.S Air Force men’s hair regulations also have strict guidelines for the beard. Most of the time, you are not allowed to let your facial hair grow. However, there are some exceptions: you mush have the commander’s authorization to grow it, and it’s only for health or religious reasons. In these cases, the beard should not be longer than ¼ inch in length.

On the other hand, men joining the Air Force are allowed to grow a conservative mustache. They have to groom it, make it look professional, and it should not cover the upper lip. Also, it’s not allowed for the mustache to be longer than the corner of the mouth.


Basic Female Hair Regulations for U.S. Air Force

Fortunately, for women, there is no minimum length. The maximum bulk is 3 ½ inches from the scalp. This way you are sure that you can properly wear the headgear. The hair must end just above the collar because you never want it to get in the way.

You can wear bangs, but they can’t touch the eyebrows. The key to success is always to have a clean, professional image!

When getting your hair pinned, no other ends should extend upward on the hair. Style single buns and secure and tuck in all the loose strands if you want to make sure you don’t catch your commander’s attention. They want a perfect competent look!

Also, use only a single ponytail that does not exceed bulk and length standards. It should never be longer than the collar.

Anytime you think about styling the hair, remember that the headgear should adequately fit. You can use hair accessories such as bobby pins, hairclips, scrunchie, headbands, elastic bands, but they must match the hair color.

However, you are not allowed to use other decorations for your locks, such as beads, ribbons, or hair jewelry.

In the braiding chapter, women are lucky! Braids, twists, cornrows, locs, micro-braids are allowed while men are banned from using them as hairstyles.

You can use hair extensions to create the braids, but the color must be natural. All braids and twists must have a uniform dimension, must look neat and professional. They should be small in diameter (approximately ¼ inches), and you can’t show more than ¼ inch of scalp between them. No designs are allowed, and the knits, twists, or locs must follow the headline.

Mohawks, mullets, or hair designs are prohibited for both men and women.



Some might find the Air Force haircut regulations a little bit harsh, but you should understand that they are for your own protection. Some might even love them!

In the end, safety is more important than any good haircut, and the U.S. Air Force concentrates on that! Men and women who plan to join them should always be well-groomed and keep a clean, professional image every time they wear the uniform. We wish you good luck, follow the rules presented above, and you’ll never get in trouble with your commander!


Note: This isn’t an official article or document that can be relied upon only. Please make sure you verify from the United States Air Force officials before opting for any haircut/hairstyle.