Male soldiers are authorized to wear clear nail polish while in service uniforms. But don’t worry, nails cannot exceed 1/4 inches from the tip of the finger, however. (Insert eye roll here.)

This is the latest and greatest, according to the newest All Army activities message (ALARACT), an Army-wide electronic message distributed by HQDA (Headquarters for the Department of the Army) for issuing instructions or information having worldwide Army use. ALARACT messages are not DA authenticated and cannot be used to establish, issue, or change policy.

These changes coincide with the announcement made on 26 January 2021 by the Sergeant Major of the Army and the Army G1. The ALARACT serves as the standard until the next AR 670-1 and DA Pam 670-1.

Before I share my thoughts, let’s review the changes.

Change 1:

Male and female Soldiers are now authorized to wear highlights (a uniform blend of colors) with natural colors as long as it represents a professional and natural appearance.

Colors must blend naturally together to not display a vast difference between shades of natural colors (ie. natural black hair with blonde highlights/streaks is not authorized).

Unnatural colors such as — but not limited to — purple, blue, green, pink, bright red, and fluorescent/neon colors are prohibited. This also applies to hair extensions, wigs, and hairpieces.

Change 2:

Authorizes no minimum hair length for female Soldiers.