Can Firefighters Have Long Hair/Beards/Dreads?

When it’s about choosing a noble profession, a profession of saving lives, is it possible without the sake of unending sacrifices?

Indeed, it’s a matter of pride to be able to make sacrifices for welfare activities!

Being a firefighter is such a profession where many sacrifices are needed to survive with strict rules and regulations. It’s a profession where playing games with the risk of life and ensuring safety is the ultimate goal.

Having long hair, beards or dreads can or cannot be permitted depending on the department, but most of the services demand short hair. Because, when it comes to safety, grooming has many roles to play.

As there are much confusion regarding this profession and grooming, the common question is, Can firefighters have long hair?

When it comes to the grooming and hair length for the firefighters, it depends from place to place. But a proverb goes, “The first impression is always the last impression”. It resembles that a professional look and tidiness matter in the case of a firefighter, which comes from the grooming.

Let’s have a look at some interesting facts that will strengthen your knowledge.

Read also: Can Firefighters Have Piercings? (Piercings Policy/Rules)

Why Grooming Matter in Firefighters?

Why Grooming Matter In Firefighters

When it comes to firefighters, the first and foremost aspect of being a firefighter is prioritizing and ensuring safety. Here comes the role of grooming as well when it’s about their role and safety precautions.

Let us know why grooming matters in the job of a firefighter:

  • Anti-obstacle in the job: There should be no single obstacle between a firefighter and his career. The importance of grooming is immense.
  • Wearing and ensuring the equipment: Being a firefighter, you need various equipment like a helmet, fire jacket, shoes, etc. If you have long hair, then it may create an obstacle to wearing a helmet. The hair can get on your face or may stick anywhere, which is a matter of great disturbance.
  • Call response: One of the most critical tasks is to make responses to the call very ideally. Brushing your hair very often or various distractions can leave a significant impact on the task.

Fire Department Facial Hair Policy for Men.

It depends from department to department on the grooming policies. But let’s discuss the majority of the facial hair policies for men:

  • Rule One: Most fire departments prefer a clean shave as the facial grooming policy.
  • Rule Two: One can have a moustache, but beards are not allowed in most cases.
  • Rule Three: The reason behind not allowing for a beard is due to certain obstacles. The main obstacle is the beard becomes a barrier between the skin of the face and the inner seal of the mask.

Fire Department Facial Hair Policy for Women.

The facial hair policy is the same for both men and women. Women generally don’t have as much facial hair as men do. So there are usually no facial hair grooming rules for women in the fire department. But there are rules regarding the hair length of the women firefighters depending from place to place.

In the case of some women containing hair on their face, they should completely trim those. They should cut their hair to the ideal length. No artificial makeup or accessories are allowed during the job time.

Can Firefighters Have Long Hair, Dreadlocks, or Dyed Hair?

Well, it depends from department to department on the rules and regulations about the firefighter’s grooming. Most of the departments do not allow long hair. Some fire service departments don’t create an issue with long hair, dreadlocks, or dyed hair. So, let us discuss this in detail.

  • Firefighters can have long hair, dreadlocks, or coloured hair, maintaining proper grooming rules in departments where it is allowed.
  • In some departments where long hair is not allowed, there are no such standard regulations for grooming. So nothing can be done in this case, and one cannot get away with long hair, dreadlocks, or dyed hair.

What to Do in Case Your Fire Station Has Policies against Long Hairs?

Generally, there are no such policies against long hair in Fire Station. But in case your Fire Station is too strict about imposing policies against long hair, then you are unlucky.

There is nothing much that can be done in the case of policies against long hairs. Some steps are given below in case of policies against long hair:

  • There is nothing but to follow the rules and regulations regarding policies against long hair in your department.
  • It is essential to know how badly you want to become a firefighter. If there is an obstacle between your passion for grooming and your profession, you have to choose anyone.
  • Many other jobs do not have an issue at their respective places with long hair or coloured hair. But it’s up to you if you want to do something different for society and save human lives.
  • In terms of your decision and choice, being a firefighter will urge for many sacrifices, one of which a small part is your long hair.
  • If possible, you can also apply for a different place or fire department where there is no such strict ruling.

Can Have Long Hair Disqualify You from Being a Firefighter?

There is no such link that a long hair can decide if you are a good candidate for being a firefighter or not. But still, there is a slight impression at first sight, especially during an interview.

So, let us discuss if long hair disqualifies you from being a firefighter or not:

  • During an interview, it’s essential to give the max out of a candidate for several reasons. One of the main reasons is the narrowing down the list for loads of applicants for a limited number of openings.
  • So, in the case of fire departments where there is no long hair issue, you should still trim your hair for the best output of the interview.
  • It’s a matter of professional value when it comes to grooming. First impressions and tidiness play an immense role in increasing the success rate.

I Have a Beard for Religious Reasons; Will I Have to Shave It off to Be a Firefighter?

Indisputably, the department respects everyone’s religious beliefs. So there is no hindrance or obstacle in anyone’s way of maintaining religious activities or rituals. But, unfortunately, when it comes to safety and health precautions, nothing can be accepted, which hinders these aspects.

So the reasons behind shaving the beard, even if it’s for religious reasons, are as follows:

  • Maintaining safety and health is the foremost aspect of the department, facial hair is not accepted.
  • While using apparatus that assists in breathing, a face mask is crucial for implementing the purpose. Facial hair can create a hindrance by becoming an obstacle amid the facial skin and the inner seal of the face mask.
  • The face mask needs to create a seal around the face to avoid any harmful chemicals entering. Facial hair can restrict it as well, for which it is not accepted even if it’s for religious purposes.

Handy Hints: Check out our other article about How Often Do Paramedics (Emt-P) Get Drug Tested?

Do People also Stay Facial Hair Every Religious Activity?

But, you’ll find numerous platforms where a clean shave is nothing but a prevalent task. One of the similar platforms is the department of firefighters, where shaving every day is a must task. Although all departments do not have such strict rules but shaving every day is not uncommon depending from place to place.

According to the Fire Department of Los Angeles, USA, all the firefighters are bound to shave every day by 8 a.m. of the morning. Don’t think of this as any fancy regulation or rules imposed without any crucial reason.

Why Do Firefighters Have to Shave Every Day?

Why Do Firefighters Have to Shave Every Day

The Firefighters need to shave every day for plenty of reasons. Some of the reasons for shaving almost every day before their job are mentioned below:

  • Ensure proper seal: The beard is trimmed to the shortest length possible for the maximum amount of seal around the face. The face mask must provide excellent sealing to ensure harmful gas, chemicals, and airborne pollution are not entering the cover. Thus, firefighters shave almost every day.
  • Maintaining a positive image: Maintaining a good and professional idea in front of the public they serve is also one reason behind shaving. Tidiness and professionalism is one critical aspects of any job to be executed with perfection.  
  • Safety precautions: Nonetheless, you should not forget that the job is all about safety and saving people’s lives. So, everything that comes amid the safety and health precautions is entirely boycotted. The same goes for grooming and facial hair, where it may create a distraction, obstruction, and unavoidable circumstances.


Marching towards the end, it’s pretty clear that Can Firefighters Have Long Beards/hair/Dreads, or not? We would want to ensure that one should think well and select the firefighter profession. It needs the mindset of unlimited sacrifice, among which grooming is one of the minor parts of the list.

Although it may or may not need the requirements of short hair and clean shaves, you’ll always have to be ready to face the situation in this profession.

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