Hair Color on a Passport Photo – Guide

Do you like to play with colors? We know many people do and change their hair color quite often. But what happens to the passport once you’ve changed the hue? Do you need a new one, or maybe you’re fine as you are?

Here you’ll discover if your new hair color can have any effect on your passport and if you’ll need to add a new passport photo to your to-do list. Join us as we dive deeper into the topic and explain everything you need to know about hair color choices and passport rules.

Two women on the left, with red and black hair, and two men on the right with gray and bronze hair and a title: “Hair Color on a Passport”

Hair color & passport photo changes

It certainly won’t come to you as a shock that a passport picture is meant to be an accurate representation of yourself and a perfect way of identification when you’re traveling. What’s more you should know that there, in fact, is a question on hair color on passport applications. 

The bottom line is that according to the National Passport Information Center, changing hair color doesn’t require a new passport as such an alteration to your appearance is far from being deemed significant. You can, thus, stop looking for the nearest passport agency to submit a passport application.

Even if you’ve switched to a completely different new color, you’re still okay. In fact, even if you decided to go the extra mile and opted for more than one color, you’re still good. No renewals required.

To make things simple, as long as you have your natural color written in the passport book, you’ll be fine. There are a variety of passport hair color choices available in the government form for passport renewal, so if the shade you write down is in line with your current or natural hue, you’re all set.

  • Blonde
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Grey
  • White

It’s a good thing then, that security officers who check your passports can deduce your identity even if the hair color they see in the passport and on top of your head is different. A quick look between the travel document and your face should be quite enough.

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Hair color in passport pictures: rules surrounding significant changes

The most important requirement for a new passport is that the image in the document needs to be accurate and up-to-date. What it means is that should your face change in a significant way you’re up for a new photo and a passport application. Of all the rules surrounding passport photos this one’s a biggie, so do your best to keep that in mind.

Significant change may refer to:

  •  a drastic weight loss, 
  • skin changing its color,
  • a scar or another injury,
  • significant facial surgery (due to a gender transition, for example)

Luckily, those changes include many potential alterations, but not hair, the effect of which is that switching hairstyles and changing hair color will in no circumstances require a new passport photo. Whether you’re sporting your natural or another hair color, it makes no difference.

This knowledge alone can save you quite some time since now you know you needn’t search for a passport facility, apply for a new passport, submit applications and then wait all the way through the processing times. 

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Changing hair color: minors & their passport picture

If you’re planning a trip abroad with your child and they’ve just dyed their hair, we’ve got more good news incoming.

Just like an adult needs no new passport when altering the shade of their hair, children play by the same rules as the age of the person in the photo has no effect on the rules. Auburn hair, brown hair, black or even green or blue, their current passport photo can stay no matter what color they pick. 

You can rest easy as they’re not required to renew their passport books to correct hair color information. Their current passport photo can stay.

Changing hair color: elders & their passport photos

Now that we’ve covered children and their passport-related matters surrounding the hair color change, now we ought to move to older ladies and gentlemen who tend to change their hair as well. In fact, according to Men’s Journal, 50 (fifty) percent of people that reach what you’d call a more advanced age, grow gray hair, which is why seniors might also find themselves wondering if they should apply for a passport renewal.

Of course, in this instance, the change in hair color comes as a result of aging, but truth be told, the matter of how the hair changes color plays no part in this particular example. What follows is that, just like minors, they too can leave their current passport alone as it won’t be needing a renewal.

Hair color on passports & should you get a new one?

The color of your hair demands no issuance of a new passport since the State Department regulations do not recognize that such an alteration has significantly changed your appearance. In that case, if you, a family member or a friend has dyed the color of their hair, you can tell them in full confidence that they’ll be okay. No need to decide where to submit a new passport application, their current passport photos will still do just fine.


If I change my hair color, do I need a new passport?

The answer is no, your current passport book will do just fine. You needn’t submit a passport application and bring new photos.

What hair color to put on a passport application?

When submitting a new passport application and stumbling upon the hair color question in the form you can write down either the one you’re sporting now or the natural color.

Does hair color matter on passports?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter that much. Changing hair color has no effect on the passport and as long as the one you’ve written down is similar to the current one or your natural hue, you’ll be fine.

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