Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by SALTY007, Jan 22, 2010.
OK. I'm hearing mixed answers on what length the girls hair must be when they start at the AFA.
Basically, don't let it touch your shoulders. It can be half way down your back. As long as it can be tied up so it's off your shoulders, you're fine. However, it's a real hassle sometimes because you're in such a rush to do what you're doing. So many girls cut their hair. They figure they can always let it grow back later if they want to.
Assuming USAFA follows the USAF grooming standards, a woman's hair must be worn so that it does not touch or fall below the eyebrows in front, and may not fall below the bottom edge of the shirt collar. The hair may be any length--just has to be worn up if it's longer than your collar.
USAFA does follow it, unfortunately it is not enforced enough by cadet leadership.
WOW, so they can report with it long and they don't cut it during inprocessing anymore?
-Back when I was there, we had to have it no longer than 1 inch layers during BCT, then we could let it grow out but as long as it was off our collar, but still couldn't wear it up. Girls used to curl it really tight so it looked short, then on weekends they wouldn't curl it and it was amazing how long it was
--my senior year a friend of mine worked to get the reg changed to be inline with AF regs, so we were allowed to wear it up--but it still had to be short during BCT.
The girls have to get it up in a good bun within a certain amount of time or they get it cut on I-Day. They have cadre that police the process and if it's not good enough, it's cut. It was a one shot deal- pass/fail. Fail = go into the cut line, pass = stand aside (alone and get some heat, but keep your hair). In my Ds year she was the only one in her BCT element that was allowed to keep her hair. I don't remember the time limit but she had been practicing. I have heard that 2012 had it easier than 2011 did because the cadre were not as stringent. Don't know how it went for 2013. Bottom line is that if they keep it or not is contingent on being able to get it up well and fast, and the opinion of the cadre. First letter home from D included a description of how it transpired and some a of glee that she had been able to keep it! The rest of the letter was not so exciting - but the opening sentence was something like, "I got to keep my hair!" ....
I know one young lady; class of 2008; who was able to keep her "Very long" hair in BCT because she could tie it ok satisfactorily. INITIAL REACTION: Excitement.
By the 2nd week of BCT, she spoke with her cadre ask in very precise english: "Can I PLEASE go to the barber and get this rat's nest cut off". They couldn't let her free at that point, so that evening, she found a pair of scissors and made a "Temporary" alteration until she could get a hair cut.
So, what is the moral of this story? Ladies; you know what it's like to have long hair if you have it. You probably know what it's like to have shorter hair. You know what you can do with it. You also know that it's not like it won't grow back. You're not going to BCT to win a beauty contest or anything. Keep the long hair if you want to; and be able to quickly conform to regulations. Or, realize that it's July/August in Colorado; you will be sweating profusely; crawling in mud; doing obstacle courses; marching; and a lot of standing around and waiting. How much of that time do you want to spend trying to keep you hair up or having someone commenting on it and getting to "Really Know You"? Or, do you cut it before BCT, and start letting it grow out once classes start and you have more time in the morning to take care of it.
Sorry, I have no empathy. I'm a guy. I had no choice. I don't know what it's like to be a girl. But I do remember prior to basic that my hair was shoulder length. The WORSE thing I did was to show up to basic with it that long. My son on the other hand, the weekend before BCT, gave himself a military basic training hair cut. When he got to BCT and that phase came up; he was simply told to relax and stand aside. Definitely a personal choice.
My long-haired daughter reported to I-day in 2008 with a neat bun. Although she can do it neatly and quickly, she was NEVER asked to demonstrate nor was she ever timed in putting it up on that day, or any other day. It was not an issue at all.
Several of her friends did cut to a short bob, and they were sorry. Yes, it was off the shoulders, but it was hard to keep out of their faces as it was too short for a pony tail and required pins to keep the sides up, etc.... In looking at pictures from Basic, you can see the long hair pulled back seems to stay up, and the short haired girls had muddy, wet hair hanging in their faces...
Just my two cents: Pony-tail length works best
My daughter reported to ID 2009 with should length hair that she could put in a bun quickly. She was asked to demonstrate that she could put it in a bun and was not required to cut her hair. The same was true with her two room mates -- all 3 simply wear a bun. They have had to make some adjustments to the color of hair pins, bands and head bands they wear -- they have had to hunt some to find the correct color ties, pins, etc. but all that came up after BCT and has not been a big deal -- easily solved with a trip to WalMart or Target.
My D arrived in '07 and got the timed bun; guess the rumor is true that 2012 had an easier time keeping their hair! I'd be interested to know if 2013 had the timed bun thing or if they, too, got to keep it if they wanted to. I suspect the crux of it is "cadre is everything". Cadre this summer will set the tone on it so we'll see soon enough what they think of short/long hair!
As regards long/short, flymom is totally right - the pics from BCT really tell the story. The short hair is very difficult to keep out of your eyes and gets extremely grungy. My D, too, has mentioned that the girls with short hair wished they had kept the long as well. I suspect 1BCT might be easier with short hair but 2BCT seems to be much easier with hair in a bun (no bangs!).
I have heard people say that the girls with their hair up all the time get infected hair follicles. D took hers down as much as possible and tells me she doesn't know of anyone that got an infection or that wished they'd gotten it cut.
IMO - if a female chooses to cut their hair a bob is the worst. IF you are going to cut it then get a pixie style cut. Short so you don't have to worry about pins or it getting in your eyes.
That said - if you get a *butch* type cut, you may get grief.
Personally, I couldn't even imagine long hair just because it'll get hot. And I've also had experiences where my hair was styled by my roomate - though it met regs, it was clear that it was the work of a roomate.
i'm pretty sure i sat in that room for 20-30 minutes and the cadets in there told me to keep trying until i got it right. my hair is just over 2 feet long, and i never had trouble with it. my hair is very curly though and i got it permed straight before basic so that it would not get really tangled, and it didn't. my advice is: if you want to keep your hair, keep it and just find your way of pulling it back.
Thank you MChansard, your post will be a relief to my daughter who has hair 3 feet long. It has been down to her waist or longer since she was 3 years old and she has never cut more than 6 inches off. She does plan to reduce the length to a more managable one for BCT, but doesn't want to cut it short. I think I would cry if she did, she was blessed with shiney straight hair like you might see in a shampoo advertisement.
What do you do to keep your bun secure?
Do you have any other advice for the incoming female appointees?
I have a little bit of advice here.
My opinion is to do what you're used to. Cutting your hair right before BCT is a VERY bad idea. If you want to cut your hair short- do it a few months beforehand. BCT is NOT the time to be figuring out what works and what doesn't.
I'm one of the 2012ers, and as long as you showed up with hair decent, you got to keep it.
Here's what worked for me. I had hair about 4 inches past my shoulders going into BCT. During BCT after showering every night, I would put my hair in two french braids, tie them together, and pin the ends up. Then I hairsprayed the heck out of it. It lasted through the night, and I didn't have to worry about it in the morning. I never got reamed for my hair. So if you don't know how to french braid, try learning, because I think that's one of the best ways to do it.
Also, make sure you bring everything you need for your hair with you. Ponytail elastics, hairspray, bobby pins. They generally don't have a very good selection of these things in the C-store, so coming with them saves you a HUGE hassle.
Sorry for the long message. I have no homework tonight and I was bored
Don't apologize for a long post chrissyjean...if you ever have free time and are bored again, we'd love to hear your advice! Thanks for what you posted, my daughter will find it helpful.
sorry this post is a while in response! so busy!!
my hair is not so much a "bun" it's more like a wrap. what i do is just secure it in a low ponytail, and then twist my hair around and secure that with 1-2 more rubber bands. it stays up just fine, and personally i think it's easier and more secure than trying to use bobby pins. now if whisps of hair fall out or are tucked behind your ears, for basic it just depends on the cadre if they want you to clip your hair back, but during the school year it's all fine.
Is the bulk of the bun much of an issue? My daughter's hair is past her waist right now and fairly thick. She plans to cut it shorter, but we are wondering what is the longest length that is still managable.
IIRC, the reg says the max is 3 inches in bulk.
Separate names with a comma.