RAF News

Revision to RAF appearance policies for women

Three female personnel smiling for photo.

The RAF Dress and Appearance policy for all serving women, both Regular and Reserves, and female Air Cadets, has been updated and will come into immediate effect.

As the RAF continues to stride forward, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston formally announced the changes.

“We are modernising our appearance policies through Astra to better reflect the society we serve, empowering people with choice, but maintaining the values and high standards we expect from anyone in Royal Air Force uniform.  There will be more announcements on uniform and appearance in due course but, with this change to appearance policies for women, we have made a symbolic and widely welcomed step towards the Next Generation Royal Air Force.”

Three female personnel in discussion.

Having already changed the policy to allow canerows, cornrows, twists and braids in 2020, today the RAF has introduced further policy changes that reflect our diverse Whole Force whilst continuing to uphold the excellent appearance standards expected of serving personnel.

The backs of three female personnel, to show the appropriate hair.

Gone are the days when the only style for woman with long hair was a bun, as they now have the choice to also wear a single plait or ponytail that can reach down to the top of their belts.  Where a valid occupational, operational or safety requirement exists, women may still need to wear their hair tied up, such as medical personnel who are to wear their hair off the collar when engaged in clinical duties.  However, whatever style is chosen, it must still allow Service issue headdress to be worn correctly.

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