Every year on October 17, we commemorate National Police Day, a day dedicated to honouring the dedication and sacrifices of our law enforcement officials.
In the past, the force was firmly regulated, particularly in terms of their physical appearance. Policemen were expected to have a specific haircut style that strongly emphasized a clean and disciplined look. This precise haircut demanded the sides and back of the head to be closely shorn, so much so that the “white” of the scalp was visible. On top of it, the hair couldn’t be more than 3 centimetres long.
However, changes are on the horizon as a new rule is set to take effect this coming Tuesday. The new regulation adjusts the strict guidelines concerning haircuts, allowing for up to 1cm of hair on the sides and back of the head, and hair on the top can now be as long as 5cm. This flexibility brings a fresh perspective to a time-honoured tradition, giving police officers room to express their individuality while still maintaining a professional code of conduct.
Last week, the police chief Torsak made a statement signifying that this lenient hairstyle policy is not just a matter of aesthetics, but a strategic move as well. He asserted that a more relaxed hairstyle will make it tougher for enemies to identify undercover agents, especially those assigned in the deep South. If they adhered to the former short haircut rule, the only viable undercover persona could be a Buddhist monk, which limits their range of disguise.
The new policy also opens up a fresh set of haircut options to officers engaged in high-risk areas, involved in intricate intelligence data gathering, or partaking in challenging drug investigations. These officers will now be permitted to sport a hairstyle that is kept short in the back but longer on top, although this is contingent upon its suitability and the approval from their superiors.
However, the rules concerning female police officers’ hairstyles while in uniform will remain the same. Those with hair longer than shoulder length are still expected to gather their hair into a tidy bun using only black hair accessories. Styles such as braids, pigtails, ponytails and bangs will continue to be outside the police code of conduct.
Additonally, for officers in uniform, the use of wet-style hair products and non-black hair dyes still remains firmly prohibited. This new shift in policy emphasizes balance, emanating the professionalism and integrity of the force while giving officers some leeway for individual expression.