Police Scotland has postponed a new clean-shaven policy after taking health and safety advice and listening to officers, the force has said.
The policy, already delayed from May, would need many frontline officers and staff to remove beards and moustaches.
The Scottish Police Federation (SPF), the LGBTI Police Association and others criticised the plans and four officers took legal action.
Police Scotland said the policy would be reviewed again in 12 months.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: “I am very grateful to all divisions, staff associations and unions who provided valuable feedback during the consultation phase.
“Postponing implementation allows further examination of the evidence base for a policy which is proportionate and justifies change, particularly where that changes has a significant impact on officers and staff.
“This work will be reviewed in 12 months to ensure we reach an agreed position on a policy which has the health and safety of our people at its core.”
In April, ACC Speirs had written a message on the force’s internal website saying, with some exceptions, frontline officers and staff would need to be clean shaven so they could wear protective FFP3 masks.
He said the implementation of the policy had been approved by the chief constable and it was due to be introduced on 29 May.
But the force had not carried out a consultation at this point and the SPF, which represents rank-and-file police officers, said it had been inundated with complaints.
Police Scotland told the BBC it took the decision to postpone after seeking further health and safety advice and listening to the “lived experience of its people”.
The SPF welcomed the move.
The federation’s general secretary, David Kennedy, said: “It was highly criticised from all areas of the service and whether to delay indefinitely, or until proper understanding as to why such a policy would ever be required, can only be described as the correct decision. “
Police Scotland did not confirm whether any agreement had been reached with the four male officers who took legal action over the policy.