Appropriate Hairstyles for a Passport Photo

Appropriate Hairstyles for a Passport Photo

Hairstyles, hair colors, hair lengths—all these things change numerous times throughout our lifetime. 

Some of these hair changes are bigger, some smaller, yet all of them have an effect on our daily life, from the compliments we receive on the street, to our passport photos.

Do we have to apply for a new passport every time we change our hair? What are the appropriate hairstyles for a passport photo? Find the answers to these and other hair-and-passport related questions below in our article. 

U.S. passport photo hair regulations

Passport photos are heavily regulated by the U.S. Department of State in many different aspects—and one of them are passport photo hair requirements. However, there is no list of specific hairstyles you can or can’t wear in your passport picture. When it comes to hair in ID photos, the most important thing is that it cannot hide the applicant’s face.

In the rest of the article, we’d like to present you with solutions to situations where U.S. citizens might not be sure if their hairstyle is allowed on a passport photo.

What hairstyles are the most appropriate for a passport photo?

First, we should change the narrative from using the word “allowed” to “appropriate” as there are no hairstyles that are forbidden in passport photos. Key biometric characteristics do not include a person’s hair. 

The true question is which ones are the best and what to avoid to make sure that your picture gets through the passport application process smoothly. Have a look at some of the possible solutions to specific most common scenarios below. 

Can I have bangs in my passport photo? 

You won’t be asked to cut off your bangs specifically for your passport photo, but if your hair covers your eyebrows or overlaps your eyes, it will most likely be considered a violation of U.S. passport photo rules.

In this situation, it is best to part your hair in the middle and clip them on the sides of your face or push them backward, exposing your facial features.

If your hair covers just a bit of your forehead, you don’t need to worry much—you can leave it just as it is. But as a general rule: the more visible your face is, the better.

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Can I have long hair in my passport photo?

When it comes to long hair in a passport photo, it’s best to tuck all the loose strands behind your ears, so your face is fully visible. Other than that, there is no need to change your hairstyle in any way. 

Can I have my hair in a bun in my passport photo?

You may keep your hair in a bun, a ponytail, or up in your passport photo. You need to keep in mind that your whole hairstyle has to be visible in the picture, though. Make sure that you look composed.

Be sure all of your hair stays in the picture and its loose strands are not flying out everywhere, as the officials checking the photo might be weary if your hairstyle is unusual.

Can I have dyed hair in my passport photo?

If you wonder whether the current color of your hair may differ from the one you have in your passport photo, the answer is yes. 

Officials in the U.S. Department of State are fully aware that hairstyles – and hair colors – change frequently. Therefore, as long as your hair doesn’t cover any of your facial features, the color doesn’t matter. 

With your proper hairstyle, now you can take a passport photo

Once you know which hairstyles are good for passports, you can proceed with taking your perfect passport picture. At this point you might start wondering which type of passport photo service to choose. 

Well, as times are changing and the world becomes more and more digitalised, even passport photos can be tuned online. There are now online passport photo converters available—tools that don’t require to leave a house to take a passport photo.

From all the passport services currently available, we strongly recommend PhotoAiD

PhotoAiD® is a passport photo converter that double-checks new passport photos in terms of official regulations. The compliance check is first performed by an AI, and then by a human expert to ensure a nearly 100% success rate. 

The program is friendly and very easy to use—even for the less technologically advanced people. PhotoAiD® works very fast—users only need 3 seconds to convert their ordinary images into impeccable passport photos.

Hairstyles on passport photos summed up

There are many different questions and concerns you can raise when it comes to hairstyles on passport photos—can I have my hair dyed? Do I need to tuck my hair behind my ear? And many more. The most universally popular answer is: wear a hairstyle that is typical to you, yet don’t hide your facial features. 


In this section, we’ll answer a few common questions about hair in a passport photo.

Are beards allowed in passport photos?

Yes, beards and facial hair are allowed in U.S. passport photos as long as they are a part of your appearance every day. Don’t shave your beard just for a passport photo.

Do I have to take a new passport photo if I dye my hair?

No, you don’t have to get a new passport photo if you dye your hair. This is one of the small appearance changes that don’t affect your passport. 

Can I have bangs or curtain bangs in my passport photo?

Yes, you can have both bangs and curtain bangs in your passport photo as long as they are a part of your appearance every day and that they don’t hide any of your important facial features such as your eyes. You should try dividing your bangs into two sections to ensure that your face is fully visible.

How should I do my hair for a passport photo?

The best way to do your hair for a passport photo is to keep it natural to you – meaning to make it look the way it looks everyday. Just remember that it shouldn’t hide any of your facial features. 

Do you have to put your hair behind your ears for a passport photo?

You don’t have to put your hair behind your eyes for a passport photo but it’s not wrong if you do. The more your face is generally visible the better for your passport application.

How to wear hair for a passport photo?

Official passport photo requirements are not specific on the matter – they only state that the face must be fully visible. It’s generally advisable to avoid fancy hairdos and hair accessories, sticking to simpler styles.

What’s the best hairstyle for a passport photo?

Passport photo hair rules are not very strict, applicants only need to make sure that their face is fully visible. Generally, it’s advisable to stick to modest and elegant hairstyles, avoiding extravagant ones. If you have long hair, tying it back is usually a good idea.

Can you curl your hair for a passport photo?

Yes, there is no specific rule against it; passport pictures need to represent the current look of the applicant.

Are hair clips allowed in passport photos?

No, no accessories can be visible in the picture.

Can hair cover the forehead in a passport photo?

No, the hair needs to be pulled back or to the side.

Can you wear your hair in a ponytail for a passport photo?

Yes, it’s actually advisable, since it will leave your face and ears visible.

Do ears need to show in passport photos?

Yes, the ears always need to be visible. The only exception is for applicants that wear religious head coverings.

Can I have colored hair in a passport photo?

Yes, as long as the face is fully visible, the hair color does not matter.

Can you wear your hair down in a passport photo?

Yes, but you need to make sure that the face is fully visible, ears included.

Can you tie your hair back for a passport photo?

Yes, as long as there are no accessories visible. Thin hair ties won’t be a problem.

Can you wear a wig for a passport photo?

Yes, you can. However, a wig must be a natural element of the applicant’s everyday life. They cannot wear wigs exclusively for a passport photo.