Why Hair Length and Style Matter to Casting Directors

NOVEMBER 28, 2022
Woman styling her hair in the mirror.

Knowing your look and keeping your appearance information updated in your online profile is key to working with Central Casting. Here’s what you need to know about how your hair length and style factor in to the types of roles you can portray.

Why hair length and style matter

For Casting Directors, hair length and style often play a big role when booking their scenes. For example, if casting a show set in the 1980s, like American Horror Story: NYC, Casting Directors need to ensure the Background Actors they’re booking have period-appropriate hair, which can include general style, length, and color. In modern shows, hair can still play a big role in how well your look fits the scene requirements. A pastel bob may fit right in for a trendy college scene, but likely won’t work for firefighter roles.

Hair is also an important detail when casting doubles (who often need to match a principal actor as closely as possible) and for some Stand-In roles (especially single camera Stand-Ins).

Modern hairstyles

Just like wardrobe trends, hairstyles are often distinct to time periods. When submitting for jobs, you may see posts that say “no modern hairstyles,” which usually means the Casting Director is working on a period piece or flashback scene. So while your copper balayage or curly fade may be perfect for projects set in 2022, they probably won’t work for shows in other time periods.

How do you know if your hairstyle is modern? Highlighting, ombre, or balayage dying techniques with natural or unnatural colors are considered too modern for most time periods. Also, contemporary braids, weaves, and extensions can make your look too current for period work.

But don’t some hairstyles come back around? It’s true that many modern hairstyles are versions of popular looks from the past, but they are often updated to fit the current period. Don’t forget that Casting Directors are also matching the aesthetic of a movie or TV series, so even if you think your modern look could fit a certain time period, it may not fit the production’s idea of that time period.

Getting booked with your hairstyle

Keeping your hair information and photos up-to-date in your online profile is key to finding work with Central Casting. We use the photos you upload to your profile when determining the types of roles you can portray, so it’s extremely important that these photos always reflect your current look. Our Casting Directors recommend wearing your hair down for your current photo so they can clearly see how long your hair is. If you add additional photos in different looks, you can wear your hair in whatever style you prefer, but you should always have a photo in your profile that shows your current hair length.

Don’t forget to also update your hair length, color, and style in the Appearance section of your online profile. If these field are blank or incorrect, you may be missing out on roles you’re perfect for.

Keep in mind that small hairstyle changes may not seem like a big deal to you, but could matter to Casting Directors. Even an inch of growth on your hair may make the difference between you being perfect for or not fitting a role. That’s why we recommend updating your photo and profile information any time your look changes.

To learn more about optimizing your online profile to find work with Central Casting, read our guides Why Updating Your Sizes is Essential for Background Actors and The Ultimate Photo Guide for Your Online Profile.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Hair & Makeup