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Manicures and hairlines: Marines adjust uniform rule to promote ‘culture of inclusion’

The Marine Corps this week updated its uniform rule in a way that gives all Marines more options when it comes to wearing their hair and allows women Marines to wear “appropriate nail polish colors.”

The rule also gives pregnant women more choices when it comes to maternity uniforms by allowing adjustable side tabs for short and long-sleeve shirts and approving the use of maternity and nursing undershirts. The Marines said the changes will “promote a culture of inclusion,” and a spokesman for Marine Corps Training and Education Command said the changes were made to “positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion,” according to the Marine Times.

According to the new rule, male Marines are permitted to edge their hairline. “’Edging up’ undesirable hair that extends beyond/below the natural hairline is authorized (e.g., remove a ‘widow’s peak,’ or remove excessive hair on forehead so it provides a neat line), as long as it provides a neat, professional, and natural appearance,” the rule states.

Both men and women are permitted to wear longer hair. The old rule said hair could extend two inches above the scalp, and the new rule allows three inches.

Women are allowed to get manicures as long as clear or nude fingernail polish is used that “resembles the wearer’s skin ton and covers the whole nail.” The rule also permits French and ombre manicures.

Elsewhere, the rule will allow the use of special characters on Marine Corps nametapes, such as apostrophes, accent marks, tildes and hyphens. But Marines with long, hyphenated last names may still run into trouble, as the size of the letters and the length of the nametape will remain the same.

The rule allows Marines to wear black, olive drab, MARPAT and coyote helmet caps, as well as olive drab or black socks.

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