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photoshoot ready hair; tips from a pro hair stylist

Photoshoot Ready Hair: Tips from a hair stylist

Hello friend, thanks for checking out this weeks post! Today we are going to talk about getting your hair ready for a photoshoot. I’ve been joined by a professional hair stylist Tammy Reynolds to give you some amazing tips for making sure your hair looks it’s best for your upcoming photoshoot.

Tammy Reynolds is a pro hair stylist based in Kidderminster, Birmingham. Awarded West Midlands stylist of 2019, she’s been doing her magic for years and even travelled the world doing it!

How to get your hair ready for a photoshoot

DIY Hair Care at home

Tammy recommends investing in high quality products, especially shampoo and conditioner. Choose professional products, where there’s no junk in the ingredients. Cheap shampoos have fillers in them and it’s not good for your hair. One of them is sulphate. “If it doesn’t say ‘sulphate free’, put it back on the shelf,” says Tammy. It might strip your colour, as well as your natural oils.

Also, while you’re at home try cutting back to how often you shampoo or cut down on the amount of hot tools that you use. If you have to use them, use a heat protection spray. “We honestly just end up cooking our hair,” says Tammy. “If it’s fluffy and you like it straight, you keep straightening it to get it less fluffy – you’re actually making it worse. You need to have a little bit of a break sometimes.”

Tammy Reynolds’ TOP 3 Hair Care Tips:

  1. Don’t shampoo very often (it dries your hair out)
  2. Use professional quality products
  3. Consistent conditioning/treatment

I can’t get a haircut before a shoot. How can I make the ends look better?

“The best thing will always be having a haircut. But if you can’t get one, look after your hair really well.“

Getting your your hair ready for photoshoot, you can “either use a ton of product on it to make it look like it’s healthy, or you style it in a way that the ends aren’t really on show.“

When we think about hair straightening, it’s always a sleek and shiny look. However, if your ends are quite dry and looking a bit fluffy – if you straighten your hair the fluffy ends will look even more obvious. What happens is when you apply heat, it’ll make your hair even drier.

“When hair is dry it doesn’t reflect the light and doesn’t look healthy,” says Tammy. “There’s an outer layer that’s usually gone or partly gone. It reflects light, so if it’s gone there’s no reflection. When you’re surrounded by light and your hair is not picking up any shine, it actually makes it look more dead. The best thing is to get rid of it.”

On the other hand, if you put plenty of nourishing and conditioning products on your hair you’ll see less dryness.

Tammy also recommends to change the way you style your hair and have something different for a photoshoot. “Any kind of texture or movement are great for hiding. Because of the texture, it’s hiding a little bit more, instead of dead straight.” There are few ways to create movement in your hair: curling, crimping or using hot rollers. Another excellent way to hide dead ends – sea salt spray. Sea water dries hair and you will get impressive curls.

“If you have a bun on top, ends are usually underneath.” This way good quality hair is on top hiding the dry and dead ends below.

“Anything you stick in the back won’t be seen,” says Tammy. “You can move all your hair behind the shoulders – simple tricks like that.”

Photoshoot Ready Hair: Checklist

Tammy has a list that goes out to models before a photoshoot and today she shares some tips with you.


Apply hair treatment consistently. “Prep the hair so it’s in the best shape possible by the time you’re going to a photoshoot.” If you can, get a haircut a week before your shoot. “It just looks so much better in the finished photo – lighting picks up everything,” says Tammy.


“It’s good when hair is slightly dirty: just from a day before, not 3 days before.” Tammy recommends to shampoo your hair the night before.

“I’m specific about how models shampoo, how they condition their hair, and what they do afterwards. I always say shampoo it twice, only condition from the ears down. If you’re conditioned to oily hair, and put conditioner on the roots, the next morning the hair will look oily. Rinse your hair really really well, for longer than you think you should.”

You want to get all of the product out. This is because as soon as your start applying more product on and heat it (if it was a bit oily) it’s going to get even oilier from the heat and extra products. Try to have your hair as clean as possible and free from any residue from shampoo and conditioner. Wash your hair before bed and dry it, without straightening. “Once it’s been straightened with an straightening iron it’s difficult to make it curly,” says Tammy. “Because it’s too silky and flat. So no hot tools the night before.”

ON THE DAY of the photoshoot

On the day of the shoot “I’m in control of the products, type of products and the way that they go on,” says Tammy. “Hair is like fabric, and I need it to be coated with certain things to do what I want it to do. If someone puts some product the night before, it might react with what I’m going to put. So it’s better to come with nothing on.”

Hair tips when you’re on the set

Fake Tan

Are you planning on using fake tan for your photoshoot? Be aware that it might coat your hair. If you’re blond, and have a fake tan on your face some of that fake tan will rub on your hair. So in your photos you might have different colours (super blond and orangey colour around the face). “You might not see it but camera will pick it up. Fake tan shouldn’t be on the hair anyway, but it ends up on the hair.”

Dry Shampoo

You can use dry shampoo in couple ways:

  • You can put it on the night before a photoshoot, so it soaks oils from your hair.
  • Use it to give your hair extra boost of volume.
  • If you’re doing historical hair (Marie Antoinette style white hair), dry shampoo will do the trick.

Hair Spray

Too much hairspray will make your hair look dull and dry on the set. “If you gonna use it, it needs to be in short bursts from distance, and not lots of it.” It will also be a good idea to use it when hair is completely finished, so you’re just trying to hold it in a position for a photo.”

More Volume

Tammy recommends several ways to add volume to your hair for a photoshoot:

  • A root booster (a spray that only goes on your roots);
  • Mini crimpers. You can crimp your roots, and it gives extra volume.
  • Dry shampoo.

Why have a hair professional for your photoshoot

“When you have professionals who know what they are doing, the end result is so much better,” says Tammy. “Because there were people who are really into what they are doing, taking care of just one specific thing.

What photographer sees through the camera is completely different from what model sees looking in the mirror, especially doing their own make-up and hair. It just makes sense to have everybody taking care of their own bit on a photoshoot. I fully believe that you should have all professionals on set.”

This week’s blog is based on Instagram Live talk with Tammy Reynolds, the full video is available HERE. Check out Tammy’s Facebook page and Instagram and get your haircut!

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you’re preparing for a photoshoot, make sure to check out my Photoshoot Prep blog archives and learn everything you need to shine in front of the camera. Feel free to leave a comment below if you still have any question related to photoshoot ready hair!

Speak to you next week!

photoshoot prep. getting hair ready for photoshoot. photography tips by Anastasia Jobson