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Petitioners argue Army hair regulations discriminate against black women

Petitioners argue Army hair regulations

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - The Army released new uniform policies Monday, prompting protest from some who regard some of the hair regulations as racially discriminatory.

The new regulations forbid multiple large braids, hair twists, headbands and for the bulk of the hair to exceed more than 2 inches from the scalp.

Thousands of people have signed a White House petition asking the president to reject the new uniform regulations, saying they are racially biased against black women and that "lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent."

Brenda L. Jones, a hair stylist at Zee's Platinum Cut and Style in Security-Widefield told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that she can see both sides.  Jones, a former soldier, agrees that hair should be neat and professional, but thinks Army leaders should work with African-American women and be more understanding.

"Our hair is naturally curly, so we have to keep chemicals in it or keep heat on it to keep it straight," Jones said.  

Doing so in the field can be a challenge, Jones said.  She has several clients who are soldiers and battle that issue.

"Sometimes the hair can be a little bit bulky for the hats that they have to wear, so they have to come back and maybe straighten it down more or cut the bulk out," she said.  

Read details of the Army's new uniform regulations here.

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