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Should You Do Hair Or Makeup First in 2024? | It Depends!

You’re ready to start your beauty routine for the day, but where do you start? Should you start with styling your hair, or should you start with your makeup? Does it even make a difference?

When it comes to the age-old question, “Should you do hair or makeup first,” the answer isn’t black and white. It’s pretty much a personal decision. We’ll show you how to decide for yourself below.

When to Do Hair First

Woman in a white cami pulling her hair back into a ponytail for a piece on should you do your hair or makeup first

Sklo Studio/Shutterstock

Many will say you should do makeup first, which can be accurate, but ultimately it’s up to the individual. However, there are times when hair should be completed before starting your makeup routine.

You Have Oily Skin

It’s recommended that you start with your hair if you are prone to oily skin. Doing your hair first will allow you to freshen up your face before applying makeup to reduce the oils on your skin; you’ll leave the house with a fresh face of makeup. 

It’s Summer, And You’re Using Hot Tools

The last thing you want after spending all that time doing your makeup and hair is to have your makeup ruined by the heat and sweat. Sweat can melt off your foundation and ruin your mascara, eyeliner, or even eyeshadow. On top of ruining your makeup, it can also ruin your skin. 

Sweat and makeup can clog your pores and possibly cause breakouts. If it’s hot and you’re using hot tools like a blow dryer or curling iron, it’s best to do your hair first so you can cool off before finishing up with your makeup. 

It’s Your Wedding Day

If it’s your wedding day, chances are you will be on an emotional roller coaster. This day is usually full of joy and tears. It’s a good idea to not only use waterproof mascara, etc., but also to do your makeup last.

You Like to Set Your Edges

If you have those pesky baby hairs and like to tame them, doing your hair first is a good idea. Laying your edges first gives the gel time to dry and ensures they stay in place. You may also want to wait on your makeup if your hair takes time to process.

Read Next: How to Tame Baby Hairs Easily

You Need to Wait for Your Style To Set

If you need to wait for your style to set, starting your hair first is a good idea. Those who may have time to waste may use hot rollers or another technique that requires time to cool or dry. While your hair is sitting, you can use this valuable time to work on your makeup while you wait. 

Pros and Cons of Doing Your Hair First

When deciding if doing your hair first is best for you, it may be helpful to look at this list of pros and cons. 


  • Doing your hair can be tiring and can sometimes cause excess sweat. Sweating can lead to messed-up makeup and clogged pores. Doing your hair first allows you to wash your face before doing your makeup should you need to.
  • Doing your hair first will give it time to dry and set if required.
  • You can lay your edges without messing up your makeup.
  • Your makeup will be fresh when you leave.


  • Whatever you use to keep your hair out of the way during your makeup may leave indents behind. These indents will need to be fixed before heading out for the day.

What to Do When You Can’t Do Hair First

If you’re in a situation that usually recommends you do your hair first and don’t have that option, there are some tips and tricks you can follow. 

Use a primer 

Using a good primer will help your makeup to last longer. When your foundation would normally melt, the primer will increase the staying power of your makeup.

Use Makeup Products That Will Last

Use good makeup products that are meant to last longer. Look for long-staying or waterproof products like the following to ensure a look that lasts.

  • Waterproof mascara
  • Liquid or gel eyeliner
  • Transfer-resistant and oil-free foundation
  • Long-staying eyeshadow

Use a Fan

While styling your hair, it’s essential to keep yourself calm to avoid sweating. One way to do this is to keep a fan blowing on you to help cool you down. Make sure the fan isn’t so high that it ruins your hair.

Spot-Treat the Shine

If you cannot avoid sweating and have gotten some shine, there are ways to reduce it. First, if you have some excellent blotting papers, this can help remove the excess oils without ruining your makeup. You can also use a powder foundation to help cover up the shine. 

When to Do Makeup First

To help answer should you do hair or makeup first, a woman in a bra doing her makeup with her hair up

Shift Drive/Shutterstock

It’s up to you to decide to do hair or makeup first. There are things to consider when deciding which one you should do first. Here are some times it is recommended to do your makeup before styling your hair.

Afraid of Leaving Hairpin or Headband Marks

Pulling your hair back while doing your makeup may make it best to do your makeup first. Doing your makeup first allows you to work out any indents that may get left behind by either pin, clips, or a headband. Another reason to do your makeup first is if you don’t have to worry about the heat.

You Do a Heat-Free Hairstyle

If your hairstyle doesn’t require any heat, you don’t have the stress of dealing with the extra heat and possible sweat. A heat-free hairstyle allows you to do makeup first with a quick style for your hair. Another reason for a quick-style and makeup first is if you’re working with second-day hair.

Read Next: How to Straight Hair Without Heat and Robe Tie Curls

Second Day Hair

If you’re using yesterday’s hair, you should need minimal styling to touch up your look. It is an excellent time to do makeup first, since you don’t have to worry much about your hair. This allows you to do a few final touch-ups before heading out the door, ensuring a fresh look all around.

You’re Short on Time

If you’re anything like me, you may be short on time. I prefer to do my makeup first to give me time to get out the door. If you run short on time after completing your makeup, you can opt for a simple hairstyle like a quick bun.

Read Next: Easy Everyday Hairstyles for 2024

Pros and Cons of Doing Makeup First

If you’re still not sure which to do first, check out this list of pros and cons of doing your makeup first to help you make your decision.


  • You won’t be ruining your hairstyle when pulling your hair out of the way to do your makeup.
  • You’ll have time to ensure you have a flawless makeup application.


  • Hair products may mess up your makeup.
  • The heat from your styling tools may cause you to sweat, which can ruin your makeup and clog your pores.
  • When styling your hair, you may need to touch up your makeup if you mess it up around the edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman in a white cami looking in the mirror doing her makeup before doing her hair


Below are the most frequently asked questions about completing your hair and makeup. 

How long before an event should I do my makeup?

How long before an event you should do your makeup depends on how much time you need. You” need to factor in how much time you need to do your makeup and if you’ll be doing your hair before or after.

You don’t want to wait too long and not have as fresh of a look, but give yourself enough time to have an hour to spare. It usually takes about an hour for makeup to settle in and see any spots you may have missed. 

Should I get dressed before doing my makeup?

Doing your makeup can get messy, and it can fall on your clothes. For this reason, it’s generally recommended to get dressed after doing your makeup.

However, this can depend on what you’re wearing. If you’re wearing something tighter, you may want to get dressed first, so it doesn’t mess up your makeup when going over your head. 

How do I prep for professional hair and makeup?

Come to your appointment with clean and dry hair. You’ll also want to make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. If you don’t include moisturizing in your daily routine, you’ll also want to moisturize the night before as well.

When should I book hair and makeup for a wedding?

It’s good to start searching for a beautician at least a year before your wedding date. To ensure that you get the person that you want on your special day, it’s a good idea to book at least ten months in advance if possible.

So, Should You Do Your Hair or Makeup First?

When wondering if you should do your hair or makeup first, the answer is up to you and your style. If you’re dealing with heat, it’s best to do your makeup last.

But it can still be a personal preference. Sometimes it makes more sense to do your hair first, while other times, makeup is the best option. Happy styling!