Reynaldo Arroyo had not cut his hair for 15 years before he joined the armySALT LAKE CITY ARMY RECRUITING BATTALION

When he enlisted with the US army Reynaldo Arroyo indicated that he was willing to die for his country. And he backed it up by surrendering a large part of himself: his hair.

Until last Thursday Mr Arroyo, 23, had not cut his hair for 15 years. His thick black locks reached his waist and did not come close to conforming to the army’s strict regulations, which state that men’s hairstyles must have a “tapered appearance”, where the “outline of the hair conforms to the shape of the head”. Hair must not fall over soldiers’ ears or touch the collar, let alone the hips.

Mr Arroyo left the barber’s chair with two bags of hair that he plans to give to a charity that makes…