Picture Day Do's and Don'ts: Super Tips to Nail School Pics

Back-to-school season is officially here. Soon kids of all ages with those brand-new threads and cute little grins will be lining up for picture day. With any luck, your student won’t say ‘cheese’ with a cowlick or funky flyaway, and you’ll end up with an awesome little image you can pop in your wallet, frame in the hallway, and cherish for years to come.


Looking for a foolproof plan to ensure your kid’s school photo—and hairstyle—is picture-perfect? We’ve got you covered. Check out these easy do’s and don’ts for school photos.


Pre-picture-day haircuts and more

DON’T get their hair cut the day before picture day. Changing up your locks right before any major event is a huge no-no, for kids, and grownups alike. It takes at least a week to settle into a new look, and without a week or so grace period, you’ll have little to no time to learn how to properly style it.


DO make time for a haircut in advance—especially if your kid is looking to switch up their style. The key to styling freshly-cut tresses takes practice, and practice takes time. Three days is a good rule of thumb for short, cropped looks, but longer hair should err on the safer side—schedule their cut at least 1-2 weeks before the big day.


DO try to stick to a neutral haircut. Recently trending crops, colors, and cuts may not age well in photos—hold off on experimenting with bold new looks until after picture day, if you can. Instead, find common ground with your child. Aim to find a style that can still represent their individuality. Hint: photos come out best when kids look like they normally do. That way, when you look back on these photos in the years ahead, you’ll see an image of them as they truly were.

Supercuts family with curly hair

With a little pre-planning, getting that perfect picture day look is possible. 


Picture day styling

DON’T try out a new hairstyle on picture day morning. Between hustling to make breakfast, wrangling them into their best outfits, and everything else that comes with busy school mornings, you won’t have much time to fuss with new looks.


DO practice the style that you have in mind to ensure that it's not only quick and easy to replicate, but looks nice on them, too. There’s nothing wrong with putting a little extra work into your child’s hair on picture day—it’s fine to go for an “I woke up like this” look, but “bed head” isn’t what we had in mind. NOTE: For a sleek look, flat-iron your hair. For a cute look, pull back the top layer of your hair into a ponytail and secure it with a bow or barrette or curl your hair and let it loose for beachy waves, but don't allow it to cover your face and eyes...we want to see that super smile!


Photo-friendly product ideas

DON’T shampoo your child’s hair the morning of picture day. If there isn’t enough time to dry, your child’s hair may still look damp, flat, or extra frizzy by the time they say "cheese."


DO shampoo their hair and apply a leave-in conditioner the night before their big day. Avoid applying the leave-in product close to the scalp, as this might make hair look unwashed or greasy. Simply spritz with some water the next morning to reactivate the conditioner without oversaturating with product. This extra step will enhance curls, smooth hair, and boost body and shine.


DO use a light cream or alcohol-free styling gel in the morning. You want to help hold a neat, smooth style without the hair looking stiff. NOTE: Invest in travel-sized hairsprays or gels for quick, last-minute touch-ups right before the click.


DO use a clarifying shampoo to remove summer chlorine buildup from a summer of trips to the pool.


DON'T forget a deep conditioning or protein treatment for hair that is damaged, dry or thirsty from all that summer fun.


DO talk to your Supercuts Stylists for specific tips for your child’s haircare needs.


School pictures can be stressful, but with a little extra preparation, you can wind up with a super snapshot to cherish for years to come. Check in at your local Supercuts today.

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