Should I Become a Hair Model?
Hair models work with photographers, hairstylists, hair care product companies and magazines to physically display the latest products, styles and fashions in hair. These professionals may model hair on a runway, pose for photographs or be used in live demonstrations. Hair models are often called parts models, because they only model a specific part of their body. They can work as freelancers or be represented by agencies. Since every product, style and client has different needs and different products to display, there are no consistent rules for what makes an effective hair model. The most important factor is that their hair meets the client's or product's marketing needs.
The earnings for models can vary greatly according to experience, self-marketing skills and type of modeling. While there are no salary statistics specific to hair modeling, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that models in general earned an average yearly salary of $37,240 as of May 2015. Let's take a look at the steps aspiring hair models typically take toward this career.
Step 1: Consider Model Training
Modeling does not necessarily require a formal education, but postsecondary training can provide the modeling skills and business acumen necessary for the career. Modeling schools offer modeling classes and workshops that cover topics such as posing for photo shoots, skin and hair maintenance, nutrition, professional communications, etiquette, personal development and portfolio creation. Hair models may also consider taking specialized courses related to hair styling and hair presentation. Not all modeling schools and workshops are legitimate, so individuals may want to research each organization before making any commitments.
Step 2: Promote Yourself
Since models are chosen based on their appearance, they often find work by sending out portfolios or picture resumes to modeling agencies, commercial casting organizations and individual agents. A model portfolio is a collection of pictures of the model that demonstrate modeling skills and prior experience. Hair model portfolios may showcase pictures of the model's hair in different styles. A picture resume, sometimes known as a composite card, displays a picture of the model and his or her body measurements. For hair models, the composite cards may include information about hair color, texture and length.
Models also bring these materials to auditions for potential clients to review. Keep in mind that some agencies and clients may not accept anything from models directly and instead only accept materials from agents representing models.
Step 3: Go to Auditions
Like other models, hair models go to auditions, also referred to as go-sees or open-calls, to secure employment. Auditions for hair models are usually held by talent and modeling agencies, photographers, marketing agencies and hair product manufacturers. You might learn about these auditions through an agent, advertising or word-of-mouth from other models.
Step 4: Get an Agent
Because of the nature of the industry, models need agents to boost their careers. Modeling agents have connections with casting directors, fashion designers, professional photographers and other industry professionals. Agents also take care of all managerial duties, including booking auditions, setting up photo shoots, arranging travel accommodations and negotiating contracts. By having professional agents take care of the business end of modeling, hair models can focus on improving their modeling skills and maintaining their looks.
Additionally, most clients prefer negotiating modeling deals with agents. While most agents will only take on models that have some professional experience, there are agents who go to modeling schools or hold open auditions as a way of discovering new talent. Once an agent decides on a particular model, the agent may offer a modeling contract, which establishes the terms of agreement, expected responsibilities of the model, duties of the agent and the agent's fee for services rendered.
Step 5: Advance With Experience
In modeling it's important to work as much as possible as soon as possible. Clients look for recognizable talent and solid reputations when hiring models. Keep good records and photos of work experience to show potential clients. Having a deep, professional background to show clients will help boost visibility, solidify reputation and open new work opportunities.
There are no strict requirements for a career as a hair model, aside from experience, self-marketing skills and healthy hair. However, some models improve job prospects with postsecondary education, a portfolio and an agent.