Navy gets rid of permanent shaving profiles, updates policies

(Sept. 10, 2018) Chief Operations Specialist James Conyne, a recruit division commander, inspects the quality of a recruit's shave before a personnel inspection inside a compartment in the USS Kearsarge barracks at Recruit Training Command (RTC). More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy's only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Fling)

US Navy Sailors with shaving chits may be giving them up, as the Navy pursues a different route for treating those who get “bumps.”

The Chief of Naval Personnel reports that Sailors who suffer from Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB) will likely need to seek other medical treatments, as a Naval Safety Center review concludes that facial hair -even when only 1/4 of an inch- can disrupt a proper seal when using respirators.

“The impact [of this policy change] is an improvement in readiness of the force and improvement in safety of the Sailor,” said Director of Military Personnel, Plans and Policies Rear Adm. Jeffrey Jablon.



According to the Navy, PFB is a treatable medical condition caused “when tightly-curled beard hairs are sharpened by shaving, causing them to curve back and re-enter the skin, which can produce facial inflammation, bumps and infections.”



Once a normal affair, permanent shave profiles are no longer authorized, though temporary profiles will still remain until treatments can be conducted.

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