Mane change: Thai police let their hair down with 5cm rule revision

Royal Thai Police Officers in formation sporting the current regulation shaved haircuts. Photo taken from the Royal Thai Police Facebook page.

Thailand’s national police chief has instituted a revision in police regulations, permitting male officers to sport hair up to 5 centimetres long. This move is a marked difference from the 2018 uniform practice code which mandated that male officers maintain a closely cropped hairstyle with the back and sides of their heads completely shaven.

In the new 2023 uniform practice code, male officers now have the liberty to grow their hair up to 5cm on top of their heads. However, the hair on the sides and back of their heads must remain under 1cm in length.

Furthermore, Police General Torsak Sukvimol reported that the regulations now provide for police officers assigned to investigation, intelligence, narcotics suppression or those stationed in high-risk areas to opt for a high-fade haircut. This, however, requires prior approval from their superiors who hold the rank of superintendent or above.

Female officers with long hair haven’t been left out of these changes. They are required to secure their hair appropriately using a black hairpin.

This shift towards relaxed regulations concerning hairstyles was initiated after Police Lieutenant General Yingyos Thepjamnong, chief of the Personnel Division, informed the Royal Thai Police’s Legal Affairs and Litigation Office of the national police chief’s intentions.

The source disclosed that the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will be responsible for communicating this amended regulation to senior police officers.

With these changes in place, male officers will no longer be obligated to get a weekly haircut. This could result in financial savings for those who frequent private barbers. However, it remains unclear whether this change was initiated in response to demands from the police force itself, reported Bangkok Post.

Other regulations have been implemented in the past that seek to reform the uniform of the Thai police as well. In related news, the Thai police have sought to change the uniform of the traffic police to differentiate the roles of certain officers earlier this year. To find out more, you can read HERE!

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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