Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Army's new ban on many types of ethnic hairstyles has African-American women who wear their coifs in dreadlocks, braids and cornrows in a twist.
The Army's regulations stipulate such guidance as hair "must be of uniform dimension, small in diameter (approximately 1/4 inch), show no more than 1/8 (inch) of the scalp between the braids."
Dreadlocks "against the scalp or free-hanging" are banned. "Unkempt" or "matted" braids and cornrows are also considered dreadlocks and "are not authorized," according to the regulations that were updated this month.
It's that type of language, words like "unkempt" and "matted," that read to some African Americans, as code for racial bias.
"These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent," Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard wrote in a White House petition she started in late March asking the Obama administration to reconsider the policy.
Currently, the petition has more than 13,000 signatures.