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Military to review banned hairstyles after criticism from African American soldiers

US Army

US Army

A composite illustration shows various slides from the Army's regulations on hair styles for women.

The U.S. military says it will review a new policy restricting the kind of hairstyles soldiers can wear. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement this week after the policy drew criticism for being racially biased.

It would ban hairstyles commonly worn by African American women, such as braids and cornrows. 

In a letter dated yesterday, April 29, 2014 and addressed to members of the Black Caucus, Hagel addressed concerns from lawmakers:

"I want to assure you that, while none of the Army's revised grooming and appearance policies were designed or intended to discriminate or disparage against any Service members, I take your concerns very seriously."

Hagel also pledged to review hairstyle policies "as they pertain to African American women."

For a look at this latest development, we’re joined by Jesse Holland, race and ethnicity reporter with the Associated Press.  


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