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Do you put natural or dyed hair color on ID?

When filling out personal identification documents like driver’s licenses, passports, or other government IDs, people often wonder whether they should list their natural hair color or their current dyed hair color. There are pros and cons to consider for each option.

Putting Natural Hair Color on IDs

Listing your natural hair color on an ID has some potential benefits:

  • It matches your “official” identity – The color you were born with is your true hair color in the eyes of the law.
  • More consistency across documents – If you consistently use your natural color, all your IDs will show the same thing.
  • Reflects your base identity – Your natural hair represents your core genetic identity, before any artificial changes.
  • Easier to remember – You don’t have to recall what color your hair was dyed when applying for the ID.

However, there are also some downsides to consider:

  • May not match current appearance – If your hair color is different now, your ID photo won’t match your current look.
  • Requires remembering natural color – If you’ve dyed your hair for a long time, you may forget your original shade.
  • Doesn’t reflect real-world usage – How you currently present yourself matters more than your theoretical “base” identity.
  • Can cause minor hassles – TSA or bouncers may question the mismatch between your ID photo and real hair color.

Putting Dyed Hair Color on IDs

On the other hand, listing your current dyed hair color on an ID has some advantages:

  • Matches your current appearance – Your ID will show what you look like day-to-day.
  • Avoids hassles from mismatch – TSA/bouncers will see a photo that matches your real hair color.
  • Reflects your chosen identity – Your current hair represents how you want to present yourself.
  • Easier to document – You can simply write down your current hair color.

Putting dyed hair color also has some potential problems:

  • Inconsistency across documents – If you change hair colors, your IDs may show different colors.
  • Not your “official” identity – Eyes of the law care about natural hair color.
  • Requires updating – You’ll need new IDs each time you significantly change hair color.
  • Temporary – Your dyed hair could change at any time.

Tips for Deciding on ID Hair Color

When deciding whether to put your natural or dyed hair color on an ID, keep these tips in mind:

  • Consult ID agency – Check official policies on hair color for that document.
  • Consider duration – If you plan to keep hair dyed a long time, list that. For temporary dyes, use natural.
  • Think about consistency – Keep it the same across all your IDs for less confusion.
  • Discuss with document photographer – They may have insight into which option is best.
  • Match majority of the time – Use the color you have most often to minimize mismatches.

Guidelines for Different IDs

Exact rules on hair color for IDs vary by state and agency. But here are some general guidelines:

ID Document Recommended Hair Color
Driver’s License Dyed or natural both typically accepted
State ID Card Dyed or natural both typically accepted
US Passport Natural hair color recommended but not required
Global Entry Card Dyed or natural both accepted
Green Card / Permanent Resident Card Natural hair color recommended
Work / Student ID Current dyed (or wig) hair color recommended

For unofficial IDs like work or school, dyed hair color is generally fine. For government IDs, they often prefer natural hair color but don’t strictly enforce it if your appearance has changed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you be fined or denied for wrong hair color on ID?

It’s very rare to actually be fined or denied a government ID solely for listing an incorrect hair color. But it’s still best practice to follow official guidelines as closely as possible to avoid any issues.

What if your natural hair color is unclear?

If you have been dyeing your hair since a very young age and are unsure of your original hair color, it’s reasonable to list your best guess for natural hair color on an ID application. You can explain the situation if questioned.

Can you mix dyed and natural on ID?

Technically you can list something like “naturally brown, dyed blonde”. But for simplicity, it’s best to pick either your natural or most common dyed color. Exceptions can be made if your hair is half-dyed multiple colors.

What about wigs or hairpieces?

For the ID photo itself, it’s recommended to appear with your natural hair or current dyed hair. Wigs and hairpieces can be noted in the written description if they are worn daily. But the photo should show your typical real hair.


Overall, it’s generally recommended to put your natural hair color on most government IDs, but some flexibility is allowed if your dyed color differs significantly. Consider official policies, how long you plan to keep your dyed color, and what matches your daily appearance. Discuss options with your document issuer to ensure your ID reflects your identity accurately while following all regulations.