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Uniform Regulations

1004. Personal Appearance

1. The Marine Corps uniform regulations for standards of personal appearance and grooming are as specific as practicable in order to establish the parameters with which Marines must comply. Marine Corps uniform standards of grooming do not allow eccentric or faddish styles of hair, jewelry, or eyeglasses. Eccentricities in individual appearance detract from uniformity and team identity. Because it is impossible to provide examples of every appropriate or unacceptable style of "conservative" or "eccentric" grooming and attire, the good judgment of Marines at all levels is key to enforcement of Marine Corps standards in this issue, as in other issues.

2. Articles that are not authorized for wear as a part of a regulation uniform will not be worn exposed with the uniform unless otherwise authorized by the Commandant or higher authority. Examples of such articles include but are not limited to the following: Pencils, pens, watch chains, fobs, pins, jewelry (except as authorized herein), handkerchiefs, combs, cigarettes, pipes, barrettes, hair ribbons/ornaments, flowers (corsages/boutonnieres, etc.) or other similar items. Except for the authorization contained in paragraph 7000, articles such as cellular phones, pagers, etc. are not authorized for wear on a regulation uniform.

3. Articles that may be worn while in uniform include inconspicuous wrist watches and rings. Sunglasses may be worn on leave, liberty, and in garrison but not in formation with troops, unless the need to wear sunglasses has been certified by medical authorities. When authorized for wear in formations, sunglass lenses will be of standard green or dark green shade or may be the type commonly referred to as "photosensitive." Sunglasses that do not have "photosensitive" lenses will not be worn indoors. Eyeglasses/sunglasses, when worn, will be conservative in appearance. Eccentric or conspicuous eyepieces are prohibited. Chains, bands, or ribbons will not be attached to eyeglasses; however, eyeglass restraints are authorized for safety purposes.

4. Subject to temporary revocation due to health, safety, or mission requirements, Marines may wear neat and conservative:
a. Articles of religious apparel which are not visible or apparent when worn with the uniform.
b. Visible articles of religious apparel with the uniform while attending or conducting divine services or while in a chapel or other house of worship.
c. Visible articles of religious apparel with the uniform which do not interfere with or replace required uniform articles.

5. Grooming Regulations

a. No eccentricities in the manner of wearing head, facial, or body hair will be permitted. If applied, dyes, tints, bleaches and frostings which result in natural colors are authorized. The hair color must complement the person's complexion tone. Color changes that detract from a professional image are prohibited. Fingernails will be kept clean and neatly trimmed so as not to interfere with performance of duty, detract from military image or present a safety hazard. Nail polish for male Marines is not allowed. Nail polish as it applies to female Marines will fall under standards in subparagraph 1004.5.c(5).

b. Men will be well groomed at all times and will abide by the following:
(1) Hair will be neat and closely trimmed. The hair may be clipped at the edges of the side and back; will be evenly graduated from zero length at the hairline in the lower portion of the head to the upper portion of the head; and will not be over 3 inches in length fully extended on the upper portion of the head; the back and sides of the head below the hairline may be shaved to remove body hair. Sideburns will not extend below the top of the orifice of the ear, as indicated by the line A-A' in figures 1-1 and 1-2. Sideburns will not be styled to taper or flare. The length of an individual hair of the sideburn will not exceed 1/8 inch when fully extended.
(2) Head hair will be styled so as not to interfere with the proper wear of uniform headgear. Hair which protrudes from beneath properly worn head gear in an unsightly manner is considered excessive, regardless of length.
(3) No male Marine will be required to have his hair clipped to the scalp except while he is undergoing recruit training or when such action is prescribed by a medical officer. This does not prohibit a male Marine from having his hair clipped to the scalp if he so desires.
(4) Members of the Selected Marine Corps Reserve will comply with these regulations, except that wigs are authorized for periods of inactive duty for training. If worn, wigs will comply with the above grooming regulations.
(5) The face will be clean shaven, except that a mustache may be worn. When worn, the mustache will be neatly trimmed and must be contained within the lines of B-B', C-C', D-D' and the margin area of the upper lip, as shown in figures 1-1 and 1-2. The individual length of a mustache hair fully extended must not exceed 1/2 inch.
(6) Except for a mustache, eyebrows, and eyelashes; hair may be grown on the face only when a medical officer has determined that shaving is temporarily harmful to the individual's health. In these cases, the current edition of MCO 6310.1 applies.
(7) No male Marine will be required to have his chest hair clipped except that which is so long as to protrude in an unsightly manner above the collar of the long sleeve khaki shirt.

c. The requirement for hair regulations is to maintain uniformity within a military population. Women's hairstyles require non-eccentric styles. Female Marines will be well groomed at all times and when in uniform will abide by the following:
(1) Hair may touch the collar, but will not fall below the collar's lower edge. Hair that would fall naturally below the collar's lower edge will be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned. During physical training periods in which physical training clothing is worn, hair will be allowed to fall naturally, without being fastened or pinned. This does not apply when conducting physical training in the utility uniform.
(2) Hair will be styled so as not to interfere with the proper wear of the uniform headgear. All headgear will fit snugly and comfortably around the largest part of the head without distortion or excessive gaps. Hairstyles which do not allow the headgear to be worn in this manner are prohibited.
(3) Faddish and exaggerated styles to include shaved portions of the scalp other than the neckline, designs cut in the hair, unsecured ponytails and styles which are distinctly unbalanced or lopsided are prohibited. Multiple braiding is authorized. If hair extensions are used in the braiding of the hair, the extensions must have the same general appearance as the individual's natural hair. Braided hairstyles will be conservative, and conform to other guidelines listed herein.
(4) Barrettes, combs, rubber bands, etc. are authorized, if concealed by the hair. Inconspicuous hair pins and bobby pins, if required, are authorized. Hair nets will not be worn unless authorized for a specific type of duty. Wigs, if worn in uniform, must look natural and conform to the above regulations.
(5) Cosmetics, if worn, will be applied conservatively and will complement the individual's complexion tone. Exaggerated or faddish cosmetic styles are inappropriate with the uniform and will not be worn. Non-eccentric lipstick and nail polish colors, to include colorless nail polish, may be worn with all uniforms. Fingernails with multiple colors and decorative ornamentation are prohibited. Nail length will be no longer than 1/4 inch from the tip of the finger.
(6) No female Marine will be required to remove leg hair except where considered unsightly and cannot be covered with appropriate hosiery as described in subparagraph 3027.5.

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