How to Get a Shaving Waiver Air Force

Title: How to Get a Shaving Waiver in the Air Force: A Comprehensive Guide

In the United States Air Force, personal appearance and grooming standards play an essential role in maintaining discipline, professionalism, and uniformity among its personnel. However, there are cases where individuals may require a shaving waiver due to various reasons, such as skin conditions that make shaving difficult or painful. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to obtain a shaving waiver in the Air Force, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Section 1: Understanding Shaving Standards in the Air Force
Before delving into the process of obtaining a shaving waiver, it is crucial to understand the general shaving standards set by the Air Force. According to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, all male personnel are required to be clean-shaven unless they have a valid shaving waiver.

Section 2: The Process of Obtaining a Shaving Waiver
1. Consult with a Medical Professional: If you have a medical condition that makes shaving impractical or painful, the first step is to consult with a medical professional. They will assess your condition and provide documentation that supports your need for a shaving waiver.

2. Contact Your Chain of Command: Once you have obtained medical documentation, inform your chain of command about your condition and intention to request a shaving waiver. They will guide you through the process and provide the necessary forms to initiate the request.

3. Complete the AF Form 1042: The AF Form 1042, also known as the Request for Shaving Waiver, is the official document required to apply for a shaving waiver. Ensure you fill out the form accurately, provide all necessary medical documentation, and include a detailed explanation of your condition and how it affects your ability to shave.

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4. Submit the Request: After completing the AF Form 1042, submit it to your chain of command, who will forward it to the appropriate authority for review and approval.

5. Await Decision and Follow-Up: The shaving waiver request will go through a review process, and a decision will be made by the Air Force. Once a decision is reached, you will be notified accordingly. If approved, you will receive a shaving waiver and be exempt from the clean-shaven requirement.


1. How long does it take to obtain a shaving waiver in the Air Force?
The timeframe for obtaining a shaving waiver can vary. It depends on factors such as the complexity of the medical condition, the efficiency of the chain of command, and the review process. It is advisable to initiate the request well in advance to allow for any unforeseen delays.

2. Can I get a shaving waiver for personal preference or convenience?
No, shaving waivers are only granted for valid medical reasons that prevent an individual from shaving. Personal preference or convenience does not qualify as valid grounds for a shaving waiver.

3. Will a shaving waiver impact my career progression or opportunities?
Having a shaving waiver should not negatively impact your career progression or opportunities within the Air Force. However, it is always advisable to communicate with your superiors and ask for clarification if you have any concerns.

4. Can I be required to shave if I have a shaving waiver?
In certain circumstances, the Air Force may require you to shave temporarily for specific operational reasons, such as gas mask fit testing or deployment to areas with limited access to proper medical care. However, such requirements should be communicated and documented accordingly.

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5. Can I request a shaving waiver for religious reasons?
While the Air Force accommodates religious practices, shaving waivers are not typically granted solely based on religious grounds. However, a religious accommodation request can be pursued separately through appropriate channels.

6. Can a shaving waiver be revoked?
Yes, a shaving waiver can be revoked if the medical condition improves or if there are changes in the Air Force’s policies or regulations regarding shaving waivers. It is essential to stay updated and comply with any changes communicated by the Air Force.

7. Are there alternative grooming standards for individuals with shaving waivers?
No, individuals with shaving waivers are still expected to maintain professional grooming standards in all other aspects, including haircuts, uniform appearance, and personal hygiene.

8. Can I appeal a denial of my shaving waiver request?
Yes, if your shaving waiver request is denied, you have the right to appeal. Consult with your chain of command to understand the proper procedure and timeline for filing an appeal.

Obtaining a shaving waiver in the Air Force is a process that requires proper documentation, communication, and adherence to regulations. By following the outlined steps and seeking guidance from your chain of command, you can successfully navigate the process and obtain a shaving waiver if you have a valid medical condition. Remember to stay updated on any changes in policies or regulations and maintain professional grooming standards in all other aspects of your Air Force career.

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