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Hair In Passport Photos: U.S. Requirements

Hair In Passport Photos: U.S. Requirements

Hair in passport photos doesn’t always look like the cover of Vogue magazine. But at the same time, it doesn’t need to look drab or dull. Everyone has different hair and facial features.

Yet, passport photo rules for hair can be somewhat limiting. Still, why shouldn’t you be able to look your best on the international travel document that represents you?

So, in this article let’s talk about some hairstyles for passport photos that obey the rules without making you look like you just took a mugshot. After all, the passport is the one photo that people all over the world might see.

Passport Photo Hair Rules

Before you grab that hairbrush, let’s talk about the official rules on hair in passports. Namely, the Department of State has some regulations that passport photos must be in line with.

Contrary to what you might believe, there is not a list of specific hairstyles that are approved or rejected. Instead, there is a description that seems to make sense, but could be interpreted in different ways.

The DOS states that passport applicants must take their photo with their entire face visible. It goes on to talk about head coverings, accessories, and eyes (which can’t be covered either).

Naturally, these vague guidelines from the powers that be leave a lot of people to wonder “Can I wear my hair up in a passport photo?” and similar questions.

So in the next section, we’ll go into more detail about these passport photo hair rules so you can plan your hairdo accordingly:

Rules for Hair in Passport Photos: Explained

Your passport photo could get rejected if it doesn’t meet the government’s strict standards. So here’s what you should know regarding the different regulations regarding passport photo hairstyles:

Hair Behind the Ear

Tucking your hair behind your ear is one way to meet the regulations while showing your face. You can tie it in a ponytail to the side as well.

You might be wondering if your ears need to be visible. Only your head needs to be in full view, so your ears can be hidden by excess hair if you like that style.

Can You Have Forehead Bangs?

This is one of those issues that is not as night and day. Yes, you can have short bangs that only slightly cover your forehead. But if your bangs are all the way to your eyebrows, or close to it, that’s not going to fly.

Consider using a bobby pin or some other way to pin the bangs back a little.

Can You Have Your Hair Up In A Passport Photo?

Yes, you can keep your hair up in a bun or otherwise. This gives you a lot of creativity. You can even dye your hair. Again, the main rule is to avoid covering the face since the technology they use needs to identify your facial biometrics.

How To Wear Hair For Passport Photos: Conclusion

When it comes to passport photo rules, hair has some restrictions for sure. But using the advice above, you can have an end result you’re happy with.

Keep in mind that a great passport photo isn’t just about the hair. The lighting and skill of the photographer also come into play. So instead of letting a DMV employee take your photo, reach out to a private passport office in Atlanta instead.

That way, you’ll know you’re in good hands. And your passport photo will come out pristine and accurate to your unique look.

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