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Staying in Regulations

Staying in Regulations

Military Regulations & Hairstyles

When we think about the military, we don't think of hair. Or do we? The military has inspired many notable hairstyles that have been around for decades. The Flat Top, High and Tight, or the Induction/Buzz Cut. Keeping it clean, classic, and traditional. But more importantly, staying within regulations. Grooming standards have evolved over the years to keep up with the time, giving members more leeway. Not that much, but some. If you’re out there pushing the limits and need a refresher on regulations, we have you covered. Here are some quick highlights from each branch.


  • The length and bulk of the hair may not be excessive and must present a neat and conservative appearance. 
  • The hair must present a tapered appearance. A tapered appearance is one where the outline of the Soldier’s hair conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to the natural termination point at the base of the neck. 
  • When the hair is combed, it will not fall over the ears or eyebrows, or touch the collar, except for the closely cut hair at the back of the neck.


  • No more than 2 inches in bulk is allowed and 4 inches in length. It cannot extend below the eyebrows when headgear is removed or show underneath when headwear is worn. 
  • When in uniform or in a duty status, hair must be off the ears and above the collar.
  • Hairstyles with hair above the ears and around the neck will be tapered from the lower natural hairline upwards at least 3/4 inch and outward not greater than 3/4 inch to blend with longer hair.


  • Hair cannot exceed 2 inches in bulk, regardless of length. It also cannot be longer than 1/4 inch at the termination point.
  • Hair must not touch the collar, ears or protrude under the front band of headgear. 
  • Hair may have one (cut, clipped or shaved) front to back, straight-line part, not slanted or curved, on either side of their head, above the temple. Part will not exceed 4 inches length or ¼ inch width.


  • Marines can have 3 inches in bulk instead of the previous 2 inches.
  • Marines are now allowed to "edge up" or trim back hair, so it forms a neater line in their haircuts. 
  • Hair cannot protrude from beneath properly worn headgear in an unsightly manner.
  • Male hairstyles will conform to the natural shape of the head without eccentric directional flow, twists or spiking. 


Popular Military Hairstyles

Abiding by code has been instilled in the minds of military personnel everywhere. Being groomed, dressed, and staying in regulation. And we're not just talking about hair. The worst thing is making it to base and realizing you didn't shave. Hair regulations for the military differ from branch to branch, but there are classic hairstyles that are versatile and commonly used among personnel. 

Induction/Buzz Cut 

The Induction or Buzz cut is where it all starts, so we had to kick things off with it. It's the traditional welcome to the military hairstyle. Short, buzzed, and straight to the point. The length can vary when it comes to a buzz cut, short versus long. But a buzz is a buzz. If you want something low maintenance, this is the one for you.  

Classic Crew Cut

Ah, yes. The classic Crew Cut. This cut is tapered on the sides and back but is longer on the top of the head. Usually, the cut is in a uniform length or slightly tapered, with the front of the hair longer than the back. Many types of Crew Cuts exist, including the traditional Ivy League and Regulation Cut. 

Traditional Ivy League

A relative to the Crew Cut, the Ivy League leaves enough hair on the top of the head for either bangs or a side part. 

The Regulation Cut

Another variation is the Regulation Cut. This leaves longer hair on the top of the head that is able to be styled and gives it a fuller look.

An Undercut

The Undercut is always a favorite. The side and back of the head are shaved in uniform length and the top of the hair is left longer for a slicked-back look. The length of the hair on top can vary. It just depends on how you want to style it. 

A Smooth Fade

There's nothing like a smooth fade. We talk of a fade as a specific cut in itself, but it’s actually just a piece of the whole hairstyle. A fade is the way in which the hair tapers down the back and sides. You can add a fade to a variety of different types of hairstyles. 

But let’s be honest. No matter what hairstyle you choose to go with, every moment you're in regulation is another moment you wish you were Out of Regz. We’ll keep you in code while encouraging you to push the limits. Check out our lineup of pomades to help get the hairstyle you want. 

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