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Question #90374 posted on 09/18/2017 9:08 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is there a precedent for men's hair length at BYU? I've been growing mine out for awhile (I am a male) and it's to the point where I can tie it all back with a hair tie and it looks neat. I have it trimmed neatly around my ears, and it's held up off my collar and my neck is also trimmed. So essentially it fits the Honor Code without issue, because the Honor Code doesn't mention length anywhere. But I still feel like I'm gonna get shut down at the Testing Center by some Peter who, having grown up in Mormonville, considers any kind of long hair on a man "extreme".

Speaking of extreme, I also know that there are tons of guys here who have the same length as mine on top but who shave the sides of their head so it's off the ears and collar. So their *length* is essentially the same as mine, but I'd consider that cut far more extreme. Mine is about as natural as it gets, they look like wannabe Euro-star soccer players. But I see them playing intramural sports and taking tests in the testing center all the time...

Please tell me there's some precedent or way of validation for my reasoning I can lean on. I'm prepared to go to bat on my hair as it pertains to the actual wording of the dress & grooming standards, but the dogma surrounding it seems pretty tough to get through. (The dogma being that long hair is against the Honor Code, as virtually any student would agree, despite it not actually being codified anywhere).



Dear Rapunzel,

Unfortunately, BYU is not part of our judicial system and therefore don't base their decisions off of precedent. I personally don't like the hairstyle that you have, but I also wouldn't report you to the Honor Code Office either. The part of the Honor Code that you are referring to states: "Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles or colors, and trimmed above the collar, leaving the ear uncovered." Trimmed above the collar and leaving the ear uncovered are black and white rules. There is no gray area there (in my opinion). The part about extreme styles is a little more flexible. It could be argued that your hairstyle is "extreme" and it could also be argued that it is not. 

Unfortunately, there is no precedent for you to rely on, but that doesn't mean you don't have a good point. I agree with Anathema that the chances of you being reported to the Honor Code Office is low, so I wouldn't stress out about it. If it does happen though, do your best to be level-headed when you meet with the HCO. If they tell you to get a hair cut, I would suggest doing it, but again, those chances are pretty low.

I wish all the best to you my long haired, stylin', non-extreme peer!

-Sunday Night Banter


Dear Chadwick,

I've known guys to grow their hair long enough to pull back into a bun while at BYU. The guy in particular that I'm thinking about apparently just wore a beanie, thus hiding his hair, whenever he took a test in the testing center. He did eventually get reported to the Honor Code for his hair by some random person who evidently took umbrage with the length, and was forced to cut it. So, this isn't really a precedent for allowing guys to have long hair, but it is evidence that it will probably take some person being bothered enough by a rather small detail to report you (the chances of which aren't particularly high).