Why Does The Military Shave Your Head? – Guide 2022

The military is hard on soldiers. Life and death decisions have to be made and made quickly. With that being said, Soldiers need to be fit for combat. They have to be healthy and confident. Why Does The Military Shave Your Head

A few things play a part in ensuring that soldiers are ready for anything. One of those things is grooming. Soldiers have to be shaved, and haircuts are a must. Here are a few reasons why the military shaves your head.

This blog will speak about one of the traditions in the military, which is to shave or buzz your head. This is something that may seem a little odd to those who are not in the Army, but this is a tradition that runs throughout the different branches of the military.

Why Does The Military Shave Your Head?

But first things first. When male recruits arrive at military boot camp, they’re issued an “induction” or “buzz” haircut.

The haircut is done with clippers without a guard so that the head remains stubble. The hair at the top of the head is also shaved, thus giving a bald look.

There are several practical and traditional reasons why this haircut is given in the military. Many apply to potential male and female enlistees and cadets, particularly during their fundamental training.

Many more haircut options are approved for service members after basic training.

Males in the military are taken for a ride by cutting off everything, including their hair. Technically, it’s not allowed, but if you get inducted (i.e., recruited) into the U.S. Military, you will have to prepare to have your head shaved close on the sides and cleaned up on top!

Sporting short hair while in uniform was first made during the Civil War. Regulations relaxed over time, but until the end of WWII, men were required to have short hair that had been cleaned and trimmed.

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During the war, American soldiers were given buzz cuts to help keep them clean.

In addition to personal hygiene benefits, the military buzz cut has had the following effects:

  • Standardization of the military looks for troops
  • Adherence to regulations
  • Increased individual and unit discipline during military training
  • Professional and unified image for troops in uniform
  • Spirit of Tradition
  • Reduced risk of hair being caught by weapons, helmets, masks, and enemy troops

Today, military recruits are usually required to receive buzz cuts shortly after basic training.

During the beginning of boot camp, male recruits wear their hair closely cut to their head.

Also Read: 10 Best Electric Shaver For Military

What Kind Of Haircut Can You Have After Basic Training?

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After your basic training, you can choose the required cuts and styles.

When you first come into the military, they ensure you can handle basic training and give you multiple options for approved haircuts.

You don’t have to get your hair cut to play the game because boys can continue to wear buzzcuts while girls are free to add ponytails and braids:

  • Other approved options include:
  • Ivy League haircut
  • Flat top
  • High fade
  • Low fade

Essentially, male military service members should look presentable and follow uniform appearance regulations in public.

This means haircuts that are sharp, clean, and well-maintained.

Standards For Individual Branches:

Air Force:

Airmen must wear at least two inches of hair on top of their heads. They may not have crew cuts or flat tops. Their hair cannot touch their eyes, eyebrows, nose, or ears.

The hair length and bulk may not interfere with proper headgear, and hair coloring must look natural.


Sailors on duty or liberty must keep their hair tapered from one inch above the natural hairline to the lowest part of the uniform collar.

Hair must be clean, safe, and closely cropped or clipped. Long hair is not acceptable in most professional settings. You may be asked to cut your hair if it is unsatisfactory.

Hair cannot interfere with proper headgear and should not extend beyond two inches from the scalp at any point.

Hair color must look natural.


A soldier is in a service about dedication, commitment, and group cohesion. In the same way, they should never be seen as trendy with their hair aesthetically. Their hair must be kept short (no longer than the bottom of the collar), combed, and tapered regularly to present themselves in uniform: tidy and clean cut.

Hair cannot fall over the ears or touch the collar. Soldiers can wear hairpieces to cover hair loss, but the styles must conform to regulations, according to Army Regulation 670-1.

The hair color must be a natural shade.


Hair must be evenly graduated from the hairline – no outline or edging, combed with a brush to lie flat. No locks, rat tails, sprigs, beads, or designs are authorized. Hair will not extend below eyebrows and ears or touch the collar of the utility coveralls.

Hair should not exceed 3″ in length nor adhere outwards more than 2″ unless they wish to use it to simulate the feel of a mop on their students’ heads within the class.

Hair must be neat and well-groomed. Expensive coloring should not look artificial.


Some military officers choose to express themselves through their hair. While a strict code of conduct binds one during basic training, there are latitude and flexibility when interpreting how one wears their hair in the field as an ongoing practice.

Some military members, like Navy SEALs and Green Berets, can blend into non-military populations by wearing civilian attire.

Relaxed grooming standards are a lot like camouflage – they allow you to be your best, camouflaging any parts of yourself that you may not be comfortable with or happy about so you can look good in front of other people and hopefully feel better about yourself very soon. Relaxed grooming standards also have another name: social camouflage.

These defense groups have a standard operating procedure designed for toothpicks involved in close combat with the enemy (TCOs). They are usually allowed to do so by growing their beards and hair to minimize their chances of getting noticed.

Do Women Have To Shave Their Heads?

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In basic training, women recruit/cadets don’t have to shave their heads (or just the hair on their scalps). There are laws in some branches, such as the U.S. military, which state that women cannot shave their heads.

However, just like male enlistees and cadets, there are haircut requirements for female service members.

In the Army, female recruits looking to break into the military workforce must have clean, well-kept, and typically short hairstyles to appear disciplined and professional.

In the Air Force and Navy, however, the same *** enlistees don’t have to have their hair cut in any particular way.

When women arrive at boot camp, their hair is inspected daily, and they must meet the following requirements when in uniform:

  • Hair (bangs) cannot reach below the eyebrows.
  • Hair cannot protrude past the bottom of the collar.

Longer hair must be tied into a bun and kept above the collar.

For the training of recruits, whether or not you are joining the Navy any time soon, haircuts are mandatory to set uniform standards.

Recruits in the Navy can have a haircut after completing boot camp. The haircut must be traditional and conservative. Women wear their hair with bangs or just above the earlobes, while men can have sideburns or wear the standard buzz cut.

However, suppose a soldier decides to shave their head with no intention of growing it back out. In that case, they will eventually be forced to wear a hat or other means of camouflaging the baldness while they remain in uniform.


Knowing that your hair is not just there to look good is essential. Hair provides us with protection from the environment. It keeps us warm and relaxed when needed. It’s also important to know that hair doesn’t just grow faster in the summertime. It grows at the same rate all year round. Here are a few key points to remember when considering shaving your hair.

We hope you enjoyed reading our post about why the military shaves your head. It is a good tradition, and it shows pride in the military. It also gives a sense of unity and shows that everyone has their cross to bear. As they say, “united we stand, divided we fall.”

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