Military to review hair rules after complaints that new regulations are racially biased

WASHINGTON - The military is reviewing its new regulations involving soldiers' appearance following criticism that the hair requirement is racially biased.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will make whatever adjustments to the policy are appropriate after the review.

The Army earlier this month issued new appearance standards that ban most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows. Those are all styles used predominantly by African-American women with natural hairstyles. Sixteen female members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to Hagel calling the changes "discriminatory rules targeting soldiers who are women of color."

Kirby says Hagel will have the deputy secretary of defense "work with the service secretaries and military chiefs to review their respective policies" over the next three months.

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