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Military to review hair rules after complaints

Washington (AP) -- The military is reviewing its new regulations involving soldiers' appearance following criticism that the hair requirement is racially biased.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will make whatever adjustments to the policy are appropriate after the review.

The Army earlier this month issued new appearance standards that ban most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows. Those are all styles used predominantly by African-American women with natural hairstyles. Sixteen female members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to Hagel calling the changes "discriminatory rules targeting soldiers who are women of color."

Kirby said Hagel will have the deputy secretary of defense "work with the service secretaries and military chiefs to review their respective policies" during the next three months.

 
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