Since September 1st 2019, men are now allowed to grow a smart, trimmed beard in the Military. The relaxation in policies aims to encourage diversity in the recruitment process and allow members of the Armed Forces to have more control over their own appearance. The beard must be well maintained and is subject to approval from a commanding officer. FINALLY men with beards in the RAF can participate in Movember.

The following characteristics of beards are generally not permitted:

Beards taking excessive time to grow.  The advised maximum time to grow a sufficiently thorough beard is 2 weeks. RAF personnel are permitted to grow their beards whilst on duty.
Stubble. Stubble is assessed as any beard length shorter than Grade 1 (2.5mm). This does not include the grace period detailed above.
Beards of uneven growth/coverage. The definition of ‘uneven growth/coverage’ remains within the subjective judgement of the CoC.
Longer length hair growth/‘hipster’ beards. Longer length facial hair growth is not acceptable. The maximum acceptable length of a beard is Grade 8 (25.5mm).

How To Shave your Beard

Of course, if you choose to grow a beard in the RAF, then you will need to take care of it.

As anyone who’s tried growing a beard will know, great facial hair takes a lot of work. Unless you want a glorified napkin hanging off your chin, it’s essential to groom the thing into shape with the right beard shampoo, beard oil and, most importantly of all, a trimmer that will deliver an even shave.

In reality, a razor doesn’t quite do the job in maintaining beards in the RAF. An electric beard trimmer is your best bet.

Your beard trimmer should have a battery that holds a charge for at least one hour, the blades should be high-quality, and you should be able to easily swap out combs and heads.

This guide is very useful in helping you to choose which is the best beard trimmer for you to purchase

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