What does a Hair Stylist do?
The Hair Stylist is part of the Hair & Make-up department and reports directly to the Key Hair Stylist. The Key Hair Stylist is the head of the hair department and collaborates with the Director, Production Designer, and Key Make-up Artist to create unique designs that complement the overall look of the film.
They begin working full-time on designs long before the film begins production and before additional Hair Stylists are hired to join the crew on set. They may also be in charge of any wigs required & on a larger set, this is usually handled by the Hair Stylist specifically assigned to the wig-wearing actor. They are in charge of the hair look for everyone on screen, which can involve designing and execution, including hiring a hair team to cover every actor and extras.
What's a Hair Stylist good at?
Be adept in the craft of cutting and colouring, wigs, extensions, and beards.
Know the story of hair throughout the ages, be able to research.
Understand the Director’s vision, know what that means for hair, have a good eye for the look.
Share the vision of the style with team members, be the liaison between the Director and the rest of the team, put actors at ease.
Break down a script into hair requirements, schedule the hair needs, manage the team, budget, and daily call sheet.
Who does a Hair Stylist work with?
The Hair Stylist will work closely with the Production Designer and the hair and makeup team to deliver on the Director’s vision.
How do I become a Hair Stylist?
Many colleges provide diploma programmes in hairstyling, where health and safety issues, professional ethics, communication skills, and entrepreneurial practices are taught alongside the skills of haircutting, styling, and colouring. Hairstyling is a skilled trade, so an apprenticeship is often required. There are always new styles and trends to follow, so keeping up-to-date is important too. Volunteering for small theatre or film productions in high school is a great way to start applying your skills in hairdressing within the setting of the performing arts.
For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.
You might also be interested in…
Department: Wardrobe Department
- Costume Designer
- Designs the costumes and wardrobe for all the cast on a film or TV show.
Department: Hair and Makeup
- Makeup Artist
- Creates the makeup looks for all performers on the production and applies the makeup on set.
Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.