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    Sock it up: Perfect hair gels for female Marines

    Sock it up: Perfect hair gels for female Marines

    Photo By Pamela Jackson | For extra security, use hair gel and hairspray to secure it.... read more read more



    Story by Pamela Jackson 

    Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

    ALBANY, Ga. — For female Marines, the old adage “rise and shine” takes on a new twist and typically starts a few minutes early each morning. For them, whipping their long locks into a suitable style in minutes is not a reality.

    For those who have long hair, the twist is taking a sock and wrapping hair around it to get the picture-perfect Marine Corps-standard bun worn by female Marines. The process usually involves a lot of hair wetting, conditioning, spraying, combing, brushing and spritzing of gels, oils and the like.

    “The secret is an actual sock and having really wet hair,” Joanna Sudduth, legal assistance noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, said. “In recruit training, the drill instructors teach us how to roll the sock bun and what the grooming standards are for female Marines. It’s all about uniformity and something we take great pride in.”

    Unlike male Marines’ weekly trips to the barber for a standard fades, getting the perfect bun can be quite costly in terms of hair products used by females.

    “Like most females, I have a preference on the type of products I use, which can be expensive and when I am done, my hair is really hard with no fly-aways,” Sudduth explained.

    Lance Cpl. Jailyn Dennis, adjutant clerk, MCLB Albany, said it is harder for African-American females to maintain their hair because of the standards and humidity here in Southwest Georgia.

    “I usually wear short extensions or braids because it is easier to maintain in uniform,” she said. “There is usually not enough time changing over from physical training to do anything to your hair because it takes too much time.

    Dennis said wearing micro braids are sometimes frowned upon because the braid is considered ‘unfinished’ according to the uniform standards of grooming found in Marine Corps Order P1020.34G, chapter 5.

    “I can’t wear my natural hair because it is too hard to maintain during the work week and it would only break off if I wear it out too long,” she said. “I mostly wear extensions or a short bob to protect my own hair, which is very thick and lengthy. A sock bun breaks my hair off due to wrapping it tight around a bun daily.”

    According to MCO P1029.34G, female Marines can no longer exercise the option of cutting all their hair off in order to prevent adding pounds of gel and hairspray to keep their hair in place. It requires female Marines to maintain minimum hair length of at least one-quarter inch from the scalp.

    Capt. Sarah Ray, executive officer, Headquarters and Support Company, MCLB Albany, wears a sock bun daily and said female Marines are required to maintain their hair above the standards required of other services.

    “We are ordered to maintain our hair in a matter which does not reveal any hair accessories and prevents fly aways or loose hair,” she said. “It costs more in time and money to ‘de-bun’ my hair when I take it down. The reason our regulations are so strict is to ensure our hair permits for proper wear of our gear to include our kevlars and gas masks.

    “I personally am grateful our regulations ensure that I won’t die from a head wound or endure a chemical poisoning because I can’t properly wear my gear,” Ray added. “Our professional appearance sets us apart from our sister services and it is evident to everyone that we are among the few and the proud.”

    Step-by-step process to achieving a flawless bun:
    Sgt. Joanna Sudduth uses seven basic steps to transform her long, dark brown hair into a flawless bun. She recommends starting with a regular or uniform sock that matches the hair color, cut out the toe portion of the sock and roll it from the top down creating a doughnut.

    1. Wet hair and make sure there are no tangles.
    2. Use a heavy-duty hair gel to slick back all of the hair into a ponytail with a rattail comb.
    3. Once hair is secured, place all of the hair through the sock bun (be sure to use a sock that is close to your hair color).
    4. Comb access hair over the sock bun evenly and use more gel to hold it in place.
    5. Secure the hair onto the sock bun with a hair tie.
    6. Wrap the rest of the hair around the hair tie to hide it.
    7. For extra security use hair gel and hairspray to secure it.



    Date Taken: 08.23.2012
    Date Posted: 08.23.2012 13:51
    Story ID: 93702
    Location: ALBANY, GA, US

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