What do Hair Stylists do?Hairdressers work on feature films and on some commercials and pop promos. They liaise closely with colleagues in the hair, makeup and costume departments, as well as with directors, actors and extras. They prepare performers' scalp and skin and create hairstyles to suit production requirements. They also work with wigs, hairpieces, and hair extensions and may be required to use chemical solutions, and to administer hair and scalp treatments as necessary. They oversee hair continuity during shoots, and remove products as required. Hairdressers are recruited onto films during pre-production and work throughout production, usually on a freelance basis. The hours are long and the job can involve long periods working away from home.
What is the job?
Hairdressers are briefed by heads of department (either the makeup and hair designer, or the chief hairdresser) who provide them with detailed continuity notes for the characters they create. They work on principal and supporting actors and, depending on the schedule, usually look after several actors throughout the shoot. Personal Hairdressers are specifically requested by one of the principal actors to work exclusively on their hair, and they have autonomy within the department. They liaise closely with the chief dresser, and are responsible for breaking down the script, all hairdressing requirements, and monitoring the continuity of hair for their own actor, throughout each production. They attend any wig and/or hairpiece fittings with their artists.
Dailies work on productions on a day to day basis, usually on large crowd scenes. In all cases, Hairdressers prepare performers' hair and scalp in advance, note any allergies or sensitivities and report them to appropriately qualified personnel. They wash, cut, blow dry and style hair, apply hair products and use techniques to create specific designs. They repair, alter and dress wigs and hairpieces. Hairdressers usually accompany their performers onto set, and standby during their scenes, touching up hair and redressing wigs between takes, and ensuring that continuity notes are maintained by taking length measurements and Polaroid photographs. When the scenes have been shot, Hairdressers wash out products from, and condition, performers' hair. They remove wigs, and ensure that they are cleaned and prepared for further use. Hairdressers may be required to assist with any subsequent publicity shots.
Job description sources include (but are not limited to) imdb.com, skillset.org and wikipedia.