wearemitu

This Army Recruit Just Got His First Haircut In 15 Years And OMG He’s Unrecognizable

As a society, we place a lot of importance on hair to impose a set of standards, etiquette, and mores on each other. Thus, I don’t take it lightly that U.S. Army Private Reynold Arroyo had a big  — no, massive — chop so that he could enlist. Arroyo donated a whopping 150 inches or 12.5 feet of hair to Locks of Love

Hair can be such an expression of who we are, that it’s not uncommon for people to cry after a bad haircut. Hair can be such a reflection of beauty standards, that it’s not uncommon for us Afro-Latinxs to cry over our alleged “pelo malo.” Boys have short hair, girls have long hair, blondes have more fun, brunettes are brainy. There are hairstyles and haircuts (usually the black and brown ones) that are banned in schools, offices, and institutions. 

Now, are you as exhausted as I am? Take it from me, if you have the freedom to wear your hair without restrictions, take advantage. Get weird!

Long hair, don’t care.

When 23-year-old Arroyo decided to enlist at the Army recruiting station in Missoula, Montana, he knew he would have to make some changes. The California native had moved to Montana just to enlist.

“I moved out here from California, and I’m just really excited to be enlisting in the Army,” Arroyo said. 

The only problem was Arroyo hadn’t cut his hair in 15 years. His last haircut was in 2004. I have a medium-sized afro that is home to several squirrel families, I can only imagine what’s in Arroyo’s mane. 

Tío Sam ain’t playing.

The Army has strict grooming guidelines and as it stood, Arroyo’s 150 inches of luscious locks weren’t going to work for Uncle Sam. Tío Sam was like, “Nah, your hair is to dope for this job where everybody has to look the same for strategic reasons and important military things, bruh.” 

I can’t imagine what it is like going through a military makeover. According to the longstanding policy, men’s hair must be “neatly groomed” with “sideburns neatly trimmed.” This clearly leaves little room for swag or rock and roll, although Arroyo makes due.

15 years and 150 inches later…

While the army provides haircuts, Arroyo decided to get a headstart on the makeover. As soon as he enlisted as an Infantryman with the Army Airborne at the Missoula Army Recruiting Station, our boy was ready to trim his follicles for a good cause. Bruh has got spunk! 

A stylist put Arroyo’s hair into multiple sectioned ponytails before she snipped and buzzed 12.5 feet of locks. His hair was longer than an NBA player. His hair has more square footage than every New York City apartment. His hair is so long, Rapunzel was like: do you use Morrocan oil? I must have your secrets. Before he was serving hair metal, now he’s serving … metal tanks at the military (I don’t know anything about the Army, but he looks good)! Get you a man who can do both.

When the stylist was finished there was so much hair it filled up two bags. The Salt Lake City Army Recruiting Battalion shared Arroyo’s transformation on Facebook. 

“He decided to cut his hair in exchange for a brighter future with the Army and donate it to the Locks of Love foundation,” they wrote in the caption. 

Locks of Love.

Arroyo donated all 150 inches to the organization Locks of Love. The nonprofit charity, founded in 1997, uses human hair donations to provide wigs for Canadian and American children in need of hair due to medical conditions. The organization was spearheaded by Madonna Coffman, a cardiac nurse, who lost her hair to alopecia in her 20s after receiving a hepatitis vaccination. While Coffman eventually recovered, 13 years later, she was shocked to discover her 4-year-old daughter had alopecia too. Locks of Love was born out of a mother’s pain and compassion. In over three decades, the nonprofit has provided thousands of wigs and hairpieces to children. 

We stan a benevolent king.

“Today we’re going to be cutting my hair. Hopefully, some lucky little girl’s gonna get it,” he said in the video.

I think several people will probably get your hair, Arroyo. Although, it would be nice to think that there is one bratty little kid who demands all 150 inches of hair so that they can strut around the playground like a boss. 

Shout out to Arroyo for not one but two acts of service in a day. I am sure he will have many more once he gets his juices flowing in the Army. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com