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Soldiers claim grooming regulations are racist

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Thousands of people have signed a White House petition claiming new grooming regulations by the Army are racially biased.

AR (Army Regulation) 670-1 makes twists, both flat twists as well as two strand twists as well as dreadlocks, which are defined as "any matted or locked coils or ropes of hair" unauthorized hairstyles.

The petition says that more than 30% of females serving in the military are of a race other than white. As of 2011, according to the petition, 36% of females in the U.S. stated that they are natural, or refrain from chemically processing their hair.

“I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, of the Georgia National Guard told the Army Times. Jacobs started the petition.

The regulations do allow multiple braiding of more than 2 braids as long as they are of uniform dimension and show no more than 1/8" of scalp between the braids and they must be tightly interwoven to present a neat, professional, well-groomed appearance. Beads or decorative items are not allowed in the braids.

The regulations also ban women from having more than 1" difference in the length from front to back, bangs that fall below the eyebrows and wearing a scrunchie with a color that is not similar to the hair color.

Other no-no's include hair that is not properly secured, unbalanced or lopsided hairstyles and parts that are not one straight line.

Extensions are also not authorized but wigs are still allowed.

The new hair regulations are part of a wider change in rules that include tattoos, grooming and uniform wear. They went into effect on Monday.

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