Grey hair, revealing clothes banned for cabin crew of Air India, but ‘bald look’ permitted

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Air India has issued sweeping new style regulations for its cabin crew, banning everything from grey hair on air stewards to pearls for their female counterparts as new owners seek to reinvent the former state carrier.

The guidelines go into extensive detail about what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to crew members’ appearance. One style point notes that while the “bald look is permitted,” men with deep receding hairlines or bald patches will be required to shave their heads – daily. Crew cuts are also barred.

Now part of the Tata empire after years of taxpayer-funded bailouts, Air India is also making it mandatory for female cabin crew to wear earrings – but only gold- or diamond-studded ones in a round shape. No pearls. Women aren’t allowed top knots or buns at the nape of the neck, and all bobby pins used must be the same size and type, the rules state.

Representatives for Air India and Tata Group didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Air India’s requirements are eyebrow-raising at a time when airlines are relaxing rules around crew uniforms amid a post-pandemic shortage of staff. Many Western carriers have long dispensed with requirements around weight and attractiveness that used to be pervasive in the industry, especially for women.

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