What To Do With Your Generic Military Haircut When You Get Out


You’ve made career, relocation, and family decisions for what you’ll do after receiving your DD-214, but have you thought about what you’ll do with your hair?

Just think of the possibilities. You’re no longer chained to hair-length regulations. And being clean shaven isn’t a requirement because few civilians need to wear a gas mask in their daily lives. You’ve always had a unique personality, but now you can express it through your daily presentation to the world.

There’s a term for this: personal style. Don’t turn your nose up at it; embrace it. A great haircut and beard should make you feel great about yourself and your new lifestyle. We hear chicks dig great hair, too.

Task & Purpose spoke with haircare experts on best ways to grow your civilian hair and beard.

Let it grow.

“Just let the awkwardness happen,” says Alyssa Sholl, a master stylist at New York City’s Hairroin Salon with over 10 years in the industry. “Wait until the winter and buy an awesome hat. Within a month or so, you should have enough hair to rock a new style.”

Nicholas Karnaze, a Marine Corps veteran and the founder and CEO of beard care company stubble & ‘stache, added, “I knew I wanted [my hair] to be long, but no other idea of how I wanted it styled. Going from getting my ‘low reg’ every week, to having to choose the frequency and location of my haircuts proved to be a bit of a challenge … It was only when I linked up with an amazing barber in [Washington D.C.] did I get my beard and hairstyle game in check.”

Know how to ask for what you want.

“What do you call a haircut? Is it like ‘The Jenny’? You just name the celebrity whom you want to look like? ‘Give me a Bieber.’ ‘Give me a George Michael, but still in the closet George Michael,’” said Marine Corps veteran Ben Feibleman.

Related: You know that terrible way troops dress? Don’t dress that way »

Sholl does recommend the celebrity pic approach. “Feel free to bring in photos. Your stylist is a wealth of knowledge in not only your hair cut, but hair texture, and what will look best! Trust them and don't worry about figuring it out yourself. They have your back,” she said.

This goes for your beard as well. Navy Reserves Lt. Ricky Ryba says, “I Google searched ‘celebrity beards’ and after hours of research and debate, I decided on David Beckham's beard style. Can't go wrong with the Becks, right?”

Before-and-after photos of Lt. Ricky Ryba of the Navy Reserves.

Having the right tools and products is everything.

There’s a huge range of haircare and grooming products on the market, but you shouldn’t be intimidated. Sholl recommends owning a soft bristle brush for just your beard. Ryba uses this one by Truly Genuine Man ($13.95). And a beard balm wouldn’t be remiss here, either. Karnaze suggests stubble & ‘stache’s Beard Balm ($22) to keep your whiskers in line.

As for the hair on your head, Sholl said, “Must-haves are shampoo and conditioner! Other products include, but are not limited to, are pomades, matte or shiny pastes, and leave-in.”

Feibleman’s top choice is Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Grooming Pomade ($10.40). Interested in splashing out? Sholl highly recommends Oribe’s Original Pomade ($39). Still flummoxed? Ask your awesome new hairdresser. “Your stylist will also be very happy to recommend products with what you feel comfortable using,” said Sholl.

Above all:

Keep it clean, keep it classy. It doesn't have to be short, but it would be nice if you could put on a tuxedo and not look like the best man at a ‘Duck Dynasty’ wedding,” said Feibleman.

Karnaze agrees. “Another mistake some veterans make is holding on to the ‘high and tight.’ You are no longer in the service. Let it go. It is time to redefine yourself.”

(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.

Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

Read More Show Less
Heckler & Koch's first batch of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goaded a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.

Read More Show Less

A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.

"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.

Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."

Read More Show Less
Members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepare a seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTRV) to be lifted by a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., on Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Clare J. McIntire)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.

Read More Show Less
Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pump water from a flooded common living area to an area with less impact on the local population, Dec. 13, 2009, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer)

The definition of insanity, the old saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result — a definition that applies perfectly to the Trump administration's response to the looming national security threat of global climate change.

Read More Show Less