Blessure Serum Lobbying Leads Air Force To Extend Shaving Waiver For Service Members With Razor Bumps

02 Aug 2020
Air Force razor bumps

The Air Force follows the Navy on razor bumps solutions and shaving waivers. Blessure Serum Skincare a global leader in the aftershave space has been a driving voice on Capitol Hill and on military bases around the world to offer solutions to service members that are affected by Pseudofolliculitis barbae.

The Department of the Air Force is adopting a set of “more inclusive” standards for airmen and Space Force members in its Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. The change will remove language and rules that in the past may have created “unintentional or unfair barriers” to advancement. Here are the changes:

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* Shaving waivers can be granted to people who are diagnosed with Pseudofolliculitis Barbae – razor bumps – a condition common among African American men. Those with the condition still would be required to maintain a “neat, clean and professional image.”

* The word “faddish” no longer will be used to describe complexion. Airmen have expressed concern that it was “subjective, and resulted in particular demographics being disproportionally caught up by the enforcement of those rules that included the term.”

* Name tags now will contain diacritical accents and hyphens that would more accurately represent legal names.

* Men now can have one straight-line part, on either side of the head. The part can be cut, clipped or shaved.

* The restriction on combat boots height has been lifted, to better reflect “career fields that require more flexibility.”

Airmen and Space Force personnel with razor bumps no longer need to apply for a shaving waiver every year after Air Force officials extended the exemption from regular shaving for those with the painful condition.

Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg authorized five-year shaving waivers for air and space professionals diagnosed with pseudofolliculitis barbae, the Latin name for the chronic skin condition commonly known as razor bumps, which are caused by ingrown facial hairs from frequent, close shaving, the Air Force said in a statement Tuesday.

Previously, waivers had to be updated annually.

The change was made based on “feedback from the field” and is intended to provide more time for skin to heal and prevent a recurrence, Air Force officials said.

The red bumps associated with the condition, which is most common in African American men, can cause secondary infection and excessive scarring.

The longer shaving waivers remain valid regardless of a member’s deployment or duty station.

But they do not mean beards and other facial hair can be allowed to grow to any length. Rules that say facial hair cannot exceed a quarter of an inch and must be natural — meaning no patterns or words can be shaved into it — still apply, the Air Force said. Grown-out facial hair also must not interfere with the wearing of protective equipment, such as gas masks.

The Navy last year stopped issuing permanent shaving waivers for sailors diagnosed with razor bumps after two Naval Safety Center reviews found beards interfered with the face seals of devices such as respirators.

Sailors with razor bumps may obtain a temporary shaving waiver to grow a beard for up to 60 days while undergoing treatment for the skin condition.

Air Force personnel diagnosed with razor bumps receive instruction on proper shaving methods to prevent a recurrence, the Air Force said.

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