Should I get a haircut before my Headshot?

Collection of hair stylist tools

This question comes up occasionally from both men and women.  It's a fair question.  I think it's a great idea.  If you can avoid it, PLEASE don't do this the day before your headshot session. 

 I would suggest about a week to ten-days prior to your session.  I would suggest this more for men than for women.  Men don't seem to do many things different when getting their hair cut and tend to have much less hair than women to really make any real difference.  For women, your new styling might take a good week for you to feel comfortable styling on your own consistently.  If you do hate your haircut and decide that it's simply not how you would like to be photographed, having it done a week out prior to the day before will allow us to reschedule if required and push things out a few weeks.

Haircut for My Headshot

Some more things to consider before cutting those locks.  

  • Now is not the time to change things up and get that new color you've been dying to have.  Again at least not so close to your headshot session.  Guys even if it's the summer and you're thinking of buzzing your hair down to a 2 (which I'll often do come July), don't do it.  Wait until after your headshot.  Ladies, try to stay away from any drastic changes to your appearance be it with bangs, or layering or coloring.  Stick with what you're used to or again, if making changes give it a couple of weeks before your session.  Your hair is a big part of your overall look.  Giving it some time before your session will allow you to feel more comfortable.
  • Ladies, unless you're going to work with a hair and make up person (I strongly suggest this for all female clients), make sure you arrive for your headshot session hair ready.  This is usually more geared to one-on-one clients.  When shooting corporate business headshots, for example, I realize that these sessions might be scheduled throughout your work day when that's not possible.  So, have the product you like to use readily available.  Feel free to bring a hair dryer to work to use prior to your session.
  • During the warmer weather months, you may be dealing with tan lines.  Keep this in mind in the two-week period prior to your headshot session.  Always use sunscreen of course, but in the weeks prior to your session really try to stay out of direct sunlight for any long period.  You want to avoid sunburns of course but the tan lines you might get from a new haircut will be impossible to avoid when shooting up close.
  • Nose-hair!  This is a bit of a tangent I realize, however, if you're going to have a headshot, make sure you trim your nose hair to the point of not being able to see any of it, period.  Yes it's possible to edit out in post-processing, but why even rely on that when it's easy enough to address prior to your session?