Marines with ingrown facial hair will no longer be subjected to negative paperwork or face separation due to the condition, according to a recently released administrative message.
The new policy, taking effect Jan. 31, will prevent units from giving Marines a 6105-counseling due to the diagnosis of Pseudofolliculitis Barbae.
In addition, the Corps will no longer separate or deny reenlistment to Marines solely because they are diagnosed with the condition.
Pseudofolliculitis Barbae is a condition in which curly hairs grow back into the skin. Shaving worsens the condition by sharpening the hairs, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
The condition effects 60% of African American men, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
“For most cases, totally avoid shaving for 3 to 4 weeks until all lesions have subsided, while applying a mild prescription cortisone cream to the involved skin each morning,” the association added.
In addition to blocking negative paperwork due to the diagnosis, the Marine Corps is making it easier to obtain and work with a shave chit.
Medical officers will not have the authority to issue temporary and permanent no shave chits to Marines diagnosed with the condition.
The old policy saw medical officers give recommendations, but it was up to the unit commander to make the final decision.
“Marines diagnosed with PFB shall not be required to retain a copy of their medical waiver, or ‘shave chit’ on their person as proof of a diagnosed PFB condition,” the administrative message added.
The policy change was made as part of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s goal to increase retention in the force in the hopes of creating a slightly older, better trained and more experienced Marine Corps.
“As promulgated by the Commandant of the Marine Corps in Talent Management 2030 the Marine Corps continues to seek opportunities to focus on and invest in the individual Marine to improve individual and force readiness,” the administrative message read.