How to Get Cast with Your Hairstyle

MAY 17, 2021
Woman with a long hairstyle

There are many factors Casting Directors consider when booking their projects, including determining if you have the right hairstyle for a role. From finding a job to showing up to set, here’s what you need to know about getting booked with your hairstyle.

What to look for when submitting or replying to messages

Depending on the type of role they’re booking, Casting Directors may be looking for very specific hair lengths and styles. These requirements often come with period roles where production is trying to create a certain look and with some Stand-Ins and doubles who need to match the principal actor. Even modern scenes can have very specific hair needs, so it’s important to always read job posts and avail messages completely to be sure you fit the look before submitting.

It’s likely your appearance has changed since the last time you came to an Updates session, which is one of the many reasons why your online profile is great tool to help you get booked. Updating your hairstyle and other appearance information and uploading new photos any time your look changes ensures Casting Directors always have your current details when considering you for work.

Keep in mind, you will be expected to show up to set based off the look you’re booked with. Please be accurate when updating your profile and honest about any hairstyle details you give Casting Directors.

What is a modern hairstyle?

You may come across job posts or messages mentioning “no modern hairstyles.” This usually means we are booking a period piece or that the project is shooting a flashback.

What are modern hairstyles? Highlights, ombre, balayage, or unnatural color dyes are usually considered modern. Contemporary braids, weaves, and extensions can also make your look too current for a period piece. Specific haircuts can be hard to flag as exclusively modern because, like fashion, hairstyles from previous eras come back, though often with an updated look. Basically, if it looks trendy, it probably won’t work for a period show.

Casting Directors will use your current photos to determine if your hair works for the role. Remember, they are casting with the production’s aesthetic in mind, so even if you think your hairstyle could pass for the 1970s, it may not reflect the overall look the show is going for.

Does hair length matter?

In addition to color and style, Casting Directors may also be looking for certain hair lengths. Again, this could be because they are aiming for a certain look or need to match the style of a principal actor.

Job posts may have very specific length requirements or have more general descriptions, like short, medium, or long. This is another case where Casting Directors will look at the photos in your online profile or ask you to submit a selfie of what you look like right now.

How to create your look

Your booking details will likely be in the form of a Details Blog, which you will receive as information comes in from production, often not until the evening before the shoot. Please read your details completely and carefully so you can create the correct hairstyle. Due to set safety protocols, you may not interact with many crew members on set, including the hair department. Knowing your details and showing up to work as expected shows you are a professional Background Actor.

Need inspiration on how to style your hair? One of the best resources is this project itself. If you’re booked on a TV show, look through episodes that have aired to get a feel for the show’s general look. If you’re not sure how to create a specific hairstyle, YouTube has a number of easy to follow tutorials for different hair types.

For more ways to be camera ready for set, check out our helpful resources in the Hair & Makeup and Wardrobe article categories.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Hair & Makeup


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