Hair or Makeup First? Unraveling the Beauty Routine Dilemma

hair or makeup first

Hair or makeup first? — is a common question when getting ready, affecting everyone from those preparing for a regular day to those gearing up for wedding day glam. Knowing the best sequence for your hair and makeup can significantly enhance your getting-ready routine.

Table of Contents


  • Whether you do your hair or makeup first is a personal choice influenced by your skin and hair type, the occasion, and what makes you feel best.

  • Oily skin may call for hair styling first, while dry skin may benefit from starting with makeup to let skin products absorb properly.

  • For weddings and big events, hair typically goes first to maintain the style's integrity.

  • Tailored advice from stylists can optimize your beauty routine.

  • Understanding the interplay between hair and makeup can elevate your beauty routine.

Understanding Your Skin and Hair Type

Your skin and hair type are crucial in deciding whether to tackle hair or makeup first. Oily skin types might benefit from doing hair first to avoid shine-disrupting makeup. Conversely, those with dry skin may prefer to start with makeup to allow time for moisturizers to settle. The American Academy of Dermatology provides insights on different skin types and their care.

The Case for Doing Hair First

There are several scenarios where doing hair before makeup is advantageous:

  • Oily Skin: “For oily skin types, styling your hair first is a smart choice to keep your makeup fresh,” says dermatologist Dr. Jane Smith.
  • Hot Weather/Heat Styling Tools: In hot climates or when using heat tools, hair before makeup can prevent sweating off your carefully applied products.
  • Hairstyles Requiring Setting: For hairstyles that need to set, like curls, it’s efficient to style your hair while your makeup awaits.
  • Formal Events/Photoshoots: For events where appearances are critical, like weddings, the wedding hair and makeup order typically starts with hair to ensure it holds up throughout the day. Brides Magazine offers a detailed timeline for wedding preparations.

The one question I get asked all the time is whether to do your hair or makeup first. I always say hair first, because it takes a lot longer and tends to involve a lot of products and hot tools. You wouldn't want to spend all that time on your makeup only to have it ruined by hairspray or heat styling.

The Case for Doing Makeup First

Here are instances where makeup takes precedence:

  • Heat-Free Hairstyles: “If you’re going for a heat-free hairstyle, doing your makeup first makes sense,” advises celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend.
  • Second-Day Hair: On days when your hair needs minimal touch-up, it’s practical to do your makeup first.
  • Avoiding Hairpin Marks: If you’re concerned about hair clips leaving marks, start with makeup.
  • Tight Schedules: On rushed days, focusing on makeup first ensures your face is ready, even if hair needs to be a quick fix.

Special Considerations

Special occasions demand a specific approach. For instance, the wedding hair and makeup order typically begins with hair to ensure durability throughout the event.

Professional Insights

Professional hair and makeup tips often emphasize adaptability based on individual needs. Consulting a stylist or makeup artist can provide tailored advice, especially for important events. Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge provides excellent tips for both professional and daily makeup applications.

Your Routine, Your Rules

Ultimately, whether you choose hair or makeup first is a personal decision. It’s all about what makes you feel most comfortable and confident.

Hair or Makeup First Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for quick and easy hair and makeup ideas or diving into more elaborate routines, understanding the dynamics between hair and makeup application can enhance your overall look. Websites like offer a plethora of easy-to-follow tutorials and tips.


No, there is no right or wrong order to do hair and makeup. It is a matter of personal preference and depends on your individual needs and the specific look you are trying to achieve.

To do hair and makeup quickly and easily:


  • Opt for simple hairstyles.
  • Use leave-in conditioner and heat protectant spray.
  • Refresh hair with dry shampoo between washes.


  • Start with a clean and moisturized face.
  • Stick to BB cream or tinted moisturizer, concealer, mascara, blush, and lipstick or lip gloss.


  • Choose a style that complements your face shape and features.

  • Invest in quality tools, such as brushes, combs, clips, and pins.

  • Use setting spray to prevent frizz and flyaways.


  • Apply primer to create a smooth base for your makeup.

  • Use high-quality products that will blend easily and last long.

  • Set your makeup with powder to prevent smudging and fading.

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and techniques.

  • Have fun and enjoy the process!

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