Navy Haircut Standards
Members of the Navy are known for their clean cut, neat, and well-groomed appearance. They must comply to Navy Grooming Standards, which include specific hair styles.
Hair above the ears and at the nape of the neck must be tapered from the hairline upward at least 3/4 inches. In some cases, the taper may be combined with a hard line if the texture of the hair makes a taper difficult to attain. Hair may be no longer than two inches and may not touch the ears, shirt collar, or eyebrows. The length and bulk of the hair may not interfere with properly worn headgear and may not be styled in a manner that allows hair to extend more than two inches from the scalp.
Sideburns can’t extend past the center of the ear and may not be flared or pointed at the bottom. They must end with a hard, horizontal line. Muttonchops or other similar sideburn styles are prohibited.
Trendy or unkempt styles are not allowed and hair coloring, if used, must look natural and compliment the skin tone. Braided or plaited hair may not be worn while in uniform or on duty.
The face must be clean shaven, with the exception that a mustache may be worn. Mustache hair must be shorter than 1/2 inch in length, and a mustache may not cover the upper lip or extend 1/4 inch beyond the corner of the mouth. A shaving waiver may be granted for medical reasons. But, even in these cases, facial hair may not be styled our outlined and cannot exceed 1/4 inch in length (and facial hair will be monitored by supervisors).
The Navy does allow wigs or hairpieces to be worn by active duty personnel while in uniform only for to cover natural baldness or physical disfigurement. Any wig or hairpiece must be properly fitted, present a natural appearance, and conform to the grooming standards.
Styles that would work well for guys in the navy include the Classic Taper, Ivy League Haircut, or most other classic barbershop haircuts. Although a shorter style may be somewhat less versatile, Navy regulations allow men to have enough hair to be able to change looks a bit when relaxing in their civilian lives. For example, a short Classic Taper with longer hair on top could be worn neatly parted to the side while on duty, but could be worn with some spiky texture when off-duty. A buzzcut would certainly fall within regulations and, while not versatile, could be combined with a bit of facial scruff if off duty for a few days. A bit of hair product and styling can go a long way in terms of making a hairstyle look different during off- and on-duty days.
Despite the grooming standards, you can still pick a style that suits you and your personality. You’re sure to be looking great and feeling great once you find a style that works for you.