Selfie Love: 8 Tips for Taking Your Best Hairstyle Photos Yet
Selfies – love ‘em or hate ‘em, you know you want to learn how to take ‘em.
Inspired by the creations of French hairstylist Frédéric Mennetrier, we wanted to find out what makes a good selfie great – especially when you have a new style to show off.
Here are 8 pro tips for taking your best hairstyle photos ever – and a look at how Mennetrier is killing it on Instagram:
1. Spotlight, Please!
Since we don’t walk around backlit by our own inner glow (unlike Béyonce, #blessed), it’s important to find strong natural light for your photo, says lighting expert Bentley Meeker.
“Until about 150 years ago, we saw each other only in daylight or firelight,” Meeker told InStyle, “and both are full-spectrum sources of light.”
An added bonus? Natural light will make your hair look soft, shiny, and healthy.
If you take a peek at Mennetrier’s Instagram account, you’ll notice he posts a mix of natural and salon-lit photos.
And, according to Meeker, there’s nothing wrong with beauty lights – they can even showcase your naturally rosy cheeks.
“Halogen brings out the rosier tones in the skin,” Meeker explained. Just be sure to do your makeup in that particular light, he cautions.
2. Bare your Shoulders
You don’t have to go full Kim Kardashian. But, according to the styling experts at Madison Reed, showing a little skin can actually help direct the eye upward, to your hairstyle.
“A bare neckline – think tank top or wide-neck top – offers a great contrast to your hair,” writes stylist Cheryl Locke.
“Also, your hair will pop when you style yourself in a different color top from that of your hair.”
Mennetrier’s models might not be baring it all, but many of them are wearing neutral palettes: black, white, and even olive or taupe.
Your eye immediately zeroes in on their hairstyle, rather than their outfit – which means Mennetrier’s work shines bright.
3. Work Your Good Side
All feelings about duckface aside, there’s a reason you see people angling their phones when trying to take a selfie.
There really is a trick to capturing the most flattering photo, says beauty editor Lauren Valenti. And who knows the value of a flattering selfie angle better than the queen of selfies, Kim Kardashian?
“Kardashian has said in countless interviews that when it comes to finding her best angles for a selfie, it’s all about 1) Keeping her chin down and 2) Holding the camera up a bit higher than face level, which ensures her features appear more streamlined,” writes Valenti at Marie Claire.
While Mennetrier’s account doesn’t deal in selfies, per se, the photos are taken from flattering angles – and aren’t selfies more fun when they’re us-ies, anyway?
4. Master the Flip
Want to look like you sailed off the runway? Then you should master the hair flip, says stylist Riawna Capri, who has worked with Selena Gomez.
“I like to tell my clients to do a hair toss before taking a picture,” Capri told InStyle. “It adds lift.”
If you’re having trouble creating volume naturally, you may need to recharge your hair’s batteries with a good shampoo.
“It’s true – volume starts at the root,” celebrity stylist Jen Atkin told Glamour. “And it really does matter what you wash with. You want something that’s super cleansing.”
Make sure you look for a clarifying shampoo with plenty of nutrients – that way you can get rid of product buildup without drying out your hair.
Before starting your photo shoot, dry carefully with an ion hairdryer – diffusing if necessary and brushing hair out and away from the roots to create a little lift.
5. Create Movement
All’s fair in love and war…and fashion. According to beauty editor Jelani Addams Rosa, ladies with serious selfie ambitions should steal an age-old trick from photo shoots: use a fan.
While Mennetrier doesn’t seem to put his clients under a ceiling fan during their photo shoots, his cuts and styling emphasize texture and movement.
If your hair’s feeling a little blah in the summer heat, try a little dry shampoo, suggests Victoria Moorhouse at StyleCaster.
“While dry shampoo absorbs the oils that collect near your scalp, it also works to give straight hair movement and texture,” writes Moorhouse.
“To get the look, spray in dry shampoo throughout your hair. Wind strands around your fingers and scrunch it up to work in the product. This simple movement will give straight hair a windswept, ‘woke up like this’ texture.”
Maybe we can be like Queen Bey after all!
6. Get Creative
Mennetrier’s work is fun because it’s whimsical, which helps him highlight his personality and his clients’ killer styles.
Don’t be afraid to branch out and get creative in your own staging – think about how your environment might highlight your style.
And, says beauty editor Sarah Walter, there’s nothing wrong with doing a little “life edit” before you start taking pics.
“You want your clicks to capture the real you, but nobody needs to see your dirty laundry, old Starbucks cups, or unmade bed,” advises Walter at InStyle.
You want to look ah-mazing, so make sure your background helps you put your best foot forward.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Edit
Let’s face it: when we roll out of bed in the morning, we’re not about to #nofilter our way through an Instagram style-a-thon.
Even the great Kim Kardashian uses filters and cropping to highlight her best features on Insta.
“A lot has to do with how your crop it,” Kardashian told Jimmy Kimmel, according to Marie Claire. “If you don’t like something on your body, you just crop it.”
8. Before & After
Are you trading in your natural color for pastels or an ash blonde? Nothing says transformation quite like a killer “before and after” shot.
The key to taking a good one is to set yourself up in front of the same background for both photos – no matter how many days, or weeks, later you happen to shoot.
Try not to take your “big reveal” shot in a brand new location – like when you’re on vacation or visiting friends from three states over. (Save those pics for something else!)
Keeping your background the same in each photo will help you show off your amazing transformation – and help your audience focus on your killer new ‘do.
Whether you take pics every day or simply want to master the hairstyle selfie, there’s an art to making yourself look good on your phone.
Follow these styling tips to make sure you find your light, give your hair lots of volume and texture, and strike the pose guaranteed to bring in those likes.