Advice on hair

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by GoodenA, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. GoodenA

    GoodenA New Member

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    I just received an appointment and I'm beyond stoked but I have a few things to take care of, one of those being my hair. I am African American so I know that this isn't really a common problem but I need to know what to do with my hair. I know I need a style low cost and low maintenance. If anyone has advice I'd really appreciate it.
     
  2. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    First, a few questions. 1)How long is your hair? Longer than average? Short? 2) What is the texture? Do you perm it regularly or do you keep it natural? Advice for how to take care of it during your basic cadet training depends on how you generally keep your hair now.

    I don't go to the academy, but I am an AFROTC cadet who went to Field Training this past summer. So as a black female I can tell you I had the same concerns going in.

    -- Idk what they say at BCT, but for Field Training they told females to wash their hair every 1-2 days for hygiene purposes :rolleyes:. Good advice for the general public, but if you're black you already know that if you do that, your hair will fall out. If they tell you to wash your hair every day, IGNORE IT. If anyone asks you about it, which they probably wont, just calmly explain that it is NOT hygienic for you to do so and would actually be detrimental to your hair. Normally, you should wash your hair every 2-3 weeks. However, when you are working out as hard as you will be during BCT, you should wash it once every week. Absolute longest you should wait is 2 weeks and no more frequent than once every 4-5 days. The exeption being if you have a day where your head gets drenched in some particularly foul liquid, wash it immediately if that happens. Do it on the weekend when you have a bit more time for showering, Sunday is usually when you have the most "free" time.

    -- Now for how to style your hair while your there. My hair is a bit longer than average (for black females i mean) so I decided against getting cornrows for FT. I started to regret that about half way through. I permed my hair maybe 2 days before I left so that it was nice and flat and straight for the first part of FT. Every morning I put my hair in a ponytail, braided it, and then twisted the braid around itself and put another hair tie over it to create a bun that stayed in place for the rest of the day. This worked, but my hair was destroyed by the end of FT. Idk how it will be for you, but I was never fully dry at FT, whether from sweat, obstacle course water, humidity, or rain. My hair was never allowed to dry properly, and because of the way I had it, it was just a mess at the end.

    -- I know cornrows are something you probably haven't had since elementary school, if ever, but no one cares how you look in training. I would suggest getting them for BCT, not big fat ones that make it hard to wear hats, but nice, thin plaits that can be be put into a bun easily. It will save you a lot of stress and time that you won't have in the morning. To give you an idea of how much time you may have to get ready. At FT wake up was at 0400, we were supposed to be on the drill pad for Physical Training at 0405 and were required to use the bathroom before hand. That's not a whole lot of time left over to mess with your hair, which must be in regs before you leave your room. I know people that got cornrows for training and were happy with the decision.

    -- One thing I will say is, if you don't end up getting cornrows, don't be afraid to use water to slick back your hair. I know that is something you wouldn't normally do, but it does help in the short term. You will not have time in the morning to put hair lotion or anything like that in your hair to pat down the strays, but water and a quick brush over helps to keep everything in line. Do not continue to do that past BCT, but I assure you, it does work in the short term.

    -- The academic year is a different story. You will be going to classes and it won't be as intense. I think a good plan would be to have cornrows for BCT and then, in that transition period you have after it ends and before classes begin, get rid of the cornrows. Perm your hair if you know how to do that on your own, or just give it a good wash if you don't perm your hair, and keep it slicked back in a regular ponytail/braid that you can easily put into a bun. That is pretty easy to keep up when you have more time for personal hygiene. That is how I style my hair for ROTC. Keep some gel handy and bobby pins if that is something that you normally use.

    I watched this before I went to FT and I think it is a helpful video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibt43OLo7nA Continue to search online for the answer. You aren't the 1st person with these concerns and you won't be the last. After you get there, look for a black female who has been there for a little while and ask them what they normally do to keep their hair healthy and looking sharp for the uniform.

    I hope this helps, if you have any more questions feel free to ask. Good luck, and congrats on your appointment. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  3. GoodenA

    GoodenA New Member

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    Thank you

    I have always done the microbraids and I'm used to getting it done every 3 months and I don't know if I will have the resources to continue to get it done. My mom suggested cutting it short and getting a perm so that I would only need to brush it. My hairs not relatively long so cutting it wouldn't be so bad I'm just thinking about other options.
     
  4. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

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    I don't know about USAFA, but on IDay at USNA girls all had to have short hair. Heard rumors even those with short hair had their hair hacked some more by the barbers. I would think best bet would be to go in short, easier to deal with. Time will be a limiting factor during summer training. I noticed the pictures of plebe females over the summer and their hair took on a limb look as the week's wore on. DS said there isn't enough time to wash hair in the showers.
     
  5. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    I will defer to the female cadets here but you do not have to cut it short unless you can't put it up in regs in 30 seconds.


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  6. Sweetpea704

    Sweetpea704 Member

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    If you have very long hair, I would advise you to cut some of the length at least to a bit longer than shoulder length. I saw a video saying that some girls had trouble with their hair molding! This is because it was never truly dry, either from activities during training or just from sweating.
    As a former dance mom, I can tell you that the easiest way to bun your hair is to use a hairnet and plenty of safety pins. Hairnets prevent any stray hairs from popping out and making your bun look sloppy. Buy hairnets that match your hair color. If you have curly hair, make sure you bring your favorite products or even better, bring a small amount and have mom mail you product care packages.
    Here is a video that shows you how to make a nice bun. The only other advice that I have is to practice, practice, practice. I had to change my daughter's hair between every dance number she was in and got pretty quick at it. :thumb:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Military-Bun
     
  7. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Do they let you bring your own hair stuff to BCT?
     
  8. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    I heard micros are difficult to wrangle into a bun in short order. Probably shouldn't go in with those. If your hair is short already and do not mind cutting it to where you can wear it down in uniform (i.e. it won't touch your collar), then go ahead. Just don't think you HAVE to do anything drastic like chop off all your hair to go into the military.

    I've heard mixed reviews about cutting hair. Personally, I would never do it, but to each their own. Some are glad they cut their hair because it made putting their hair in a bun a non issue. Some had a tough time of it because they cut their hair to that odd length where it's too long to be out and too short to be in a decent bun. If you don't get it to the right length, you'll have to use a ton of bobby pins to keep the fly-aways contained.

    Just know that if you cut it short, you will eventually either have to let it grow out (and go through that awkward period where it's hard to get into a bun) or have it cut regularly to remain in regs. I have no idea who cuts hair for the AFA or if they allow you to go off base to get it done, but you may want to consider whether or not you are willing to trust a stranger with scissors with your hair while your there.

    If you are reluctant to cut your hair, don't do it. Get the micros taken out some weeks before you go to BCT and practice, practice, practice getting your hair in a nice bun in less than a minute. You will get the hang of it eventually. Whatever you decide, do it early enough so that you can get used to dealing with your new style before you go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014

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