Though I have never been in the military, I have worked with the military for the past several years as a federal contractor. In this position, I often interacted with women in uniform.
Sometimes, I see natural soldiers walking around the building with very neat styles and are for the most part, well groomed. And then I see some whose hair looks like it’s seen better days…
I don’t past judgement however. Not everyone knows how to do kinky and curly hair. Heck, why do you believe almost all of the major natural hair v-bloggers have thousands on thousands of subscribers! Even naturals don’t know or understand their own hair!
Additionally, the military is simply a different culture than other traditional employers. It’s not uncommon for people to get picked on, bullied or even hazed for looking different. No one should have to deal with that, including girls whose hair may appear to be sloppy or messy when it’s just the natural pattern of her curl.
And dealing with natural hair, you have to be extra tender. Hair is hair and it can break very easily if you are negligent.
So I’ve come up with some styles for military naturals to take advantage of so they can stop stressing over their hair and worry about the mission at hand. Even better, they can do them themselves.
I’ve included easy, short YouTube videos for military naturals to watch to better understand how to do each style.
1. Sew-Ins. The sew in is a perfect style to take advantage of while in the military. It is great for extended deployments. The most a natural would have to do with a sew in is keep her scalp moisturized and add a few curls in it every other day or so. However, after wearing a sew in for several weeks, it may be time to take it out. So make sure you own how to redo a sew in if you have to remove it during a mission for whatever reason.
2. Twists on Natural Hair. Some naturals may believe that twists left in their hair will start to lock. While this is true, it can be avoided by simply by re-twisting the hair. And the beauty with twist is that if they are too short, just let them hang. They should not get in the way of your uniform or doing your job. Secondly, if they are long enough, you can pulled them into a ponytail and bun.
3. Crochet Braids. This simple style requires the hair, a crochet needle and cornrowed hair. That’s all! You can crochet any type of hair that you like, though synthetic hair requires less maintenance. And it can be worn for an extended period of time.
With all these styles considered, please remember to wash your hair when you can and keep a small container of oil if you are allowed within your personal items at all times. This way your hair can stay healthy without you breaking any federal grooming violations.