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New changes for dress and personal appearance policy

We have updated our appearance policy for service personnel, reflecting a diverse and modern workforce.

We are pleased to announce changes to our appearance policy which will come into effect today. These changes have been made to provide individuals with greater choice reflecting the needs of our diverse workforce.

The most significant change will see a relaxation in the requirement for women with long hair to tie it up in a bun and will allow individuals to choose how they wish to wear their hair in uniform. The new options include; a ponytail or plait, braids, twists, cornrows or locks.

In addition servicewomen may also wear hair extensions, weaves and wigs providing they are of a neutral colour, do not extend below the belt, and can be worn with the appropriate headdress.

Service Personnel will continue to be required to ensure that their hair is well groomed and styled away from the face. In certain circumstances such as formal parades, ceremonial duties and for trade specific safety purposes, women may still be required to wear their hair up but for routine duties this rule now applies.

This brings all three services into line, with the Royal Air Force also announcing changes to its appearance policy today, following on from changes made by the Royal Navy earlier in the year.