Australian flight attendant describes exactly how strict grooming regulations are

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Secrets from the sky: Australian flight attendant spills just how strict grooming rules are onboard – from what nail polish you can wear to WEIGHT restrictions and BMI checks

  • An Australian flight attendant has shared some of the strict grooming standards
  • The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, flies domestically and to the UAE
  • There are different requirements for both countries and various needs to be met
  • Hair colour must be natural, bun styles are preferred with only two bobby pins
  • Weight is monitored and height is a consideration so attendants can reach bags 


An Australian flight attendant has lifted the lid on some of the very strict grooming requirements she abides by in order to work in the skies.

The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook group explaining that she works both domestically and across the pond in the United Arab Emirates.

She is checked over by officials before every flight, in between and on the return leg to ensure that her ‘style’ and image is up to industry standard.  

So what is she required to wear and how does it differ between countries?

The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook group explaining that she works both domestically and across the pond in the United Arab Emirates (stock image)

The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook group explaining that she works both domestically and across the pond in the United Arab Emirates (stock image)

HAIR AND MAKEUP

In the UAE the hostess explained that her hair colour has to be as close to her natural colour as possible and worn in a plaited bun or regular bun at the nape of her neck ‘with a specific sized doughnut and hairnet without the hole showing in the middle’.

Interestingly only two bobby pins are permitted to be showing and there must be no visible flyaways around the crown of the head.

‘Short bobs are okay but anything longer has to be in a bun or a French roll,’ she said.

In Australia buns or a ponytail that is no longer than 30cm is permitted but no braids are allowed, only a ‘side twist’.

Hair being away from the face is likely a health and safety regulation related to preparing food while onboard the flight.  

Makeup across both flights is always natural tones without any glitter or winged eye liner, with a red lipstick in Australia and a purple shade in the UAE.  

In Australia buns or a ponytail that is no longer than 30cm is permitted but no braids are allowed, only a'side twist' (stock image)

In Australia buns or a ponytail that is no longer than 30cm is permitted but no braids are allowed, only a ‘side twist’ (stock image)

PIERCINGS AND TATTOOS

No facial piercings are allowed and only a single pair of studded pearl earrings in a specific size are acceptable on UAE flights in silver, gold or a pure diamond. 

‘Tattoos need to be covered with makeup or plasters. For the UAE you probably wouldn’t get the job if your tattoos are visible,’ she said.  

Nail polish colour is either French tip, nude or red in Australia with the OPI bubble bath colour permitted in the UAE.  

‘One ring can be worn on each hand only and your watch has to be a specific size,’ she said.  

‘I always carry spare pairs of hosiery and shoes must be flat in the cabin only, but heels are permitted for boarding the tarmac and in the terminal.

‘There is specific compliance on heels and sizes, the shape… the UAE flights you just get given shoes.’  

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT 

One of the most surprising factors of the confessional was about how flight attendant’s must be of a certain height so they can reach rafts in overheard lockers and compartments.

Not only this but for UAE flights cabin crew must be a certain weight or they will ‘put you on a health program’.  

‘Guidelines on how and where you wear specific uniform items also apply, so a winter trench coat is mandatory in southern or northern hemisphere flying,’ she said.

‘Jackets, hats and scarves are on for boarding and disembarkation. Cardigans only during the service and flight.’

One of the most surprising factors of the confessional was about how flight attendant's must be of a certain height so they can reach rafts in overheard lockers and compartments

One of the most surprising factors of the confessional was about how flight attendant’s must be of a certain height so they can reach rafts in overheard lockers and compartments

While this is just a brief snapshot of the rigorous training attendant’s are subject to when they join an airline, she explained that there are classrooms specifically set up at the training academy to teach style to prospective candidates.  

‘Thank you for recognising it is a tough job! It really is. We wear so many different hats. First aid. Saving lives 40,000 ft in the air. Safety and security are what we are ultimately trained for and we sit exams every six and 12 months,’ she said.

‘We are tested everyday prior to a flight on our proficiency of that aircraft type and emergency situation.

‘The fluff of food and beverage, style and image is the fun stuff but there’s so much more to cabin crew that the general public have absolutely no idea about.’ 

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