The Navy is cracking down on facial grooming standards, announcing it will no longer give permanent waivers for sailors who have medical conditions that can make shaving a painful experience.
On Oct. 8, Navy officials released new guidance to the fleet for sailors previously diagnosed with a skin condition known as pseudofolliculitis barbae — better known as PFB. It is a condition in which shaving causes inflammation and bumps to develop on the skin.
Navy officials cited concerns such as ensuring a proper seal while using breathing devices as a major factor in the decision to crack down on beards. In the past, sailors could be issued a permanent “no shaving waiver” to grow facial hair. Under the new directive from the Navy, that’s no longer the case.
“It is the responsibility of every sailor in every naval environment to maintain personal readiness and safety,” Navy officials said in the directive. “Navy grooming standards and requirements are aligned in support of achieving and maintaining personal readiness and safety regardless of assignment or duties.”
According to the internal Navy letter, sailors who have been diagnosed with PFB or “razor bumps” will have six months to be reevaluated by medical personnel. Afterward, those making new complaints about razor bumps will undergo medical treatment
Sailors who don’t follow the medical plan can face disciplinary actions, Navy officials said.
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