FILM & TELEVISION
The hair department is responsible for the research, design, the application, maintenance and continuity of hair and wigs during feature film and television productions. Sometimes the hair and make-up departments are not separate, and one department looks after both the hair and make-up requirements.
The work involved ranges from creating contemporary looks to dressing wigs or hair to period styles, and hairdressing aspects like hair cuts, extensions and colouring. All hairstyles then have to be maintained during filming and are photographed and logged for reference. At the end of a day's shoot, wigs and other hair pieces may need to be cleaned and reset.
Hair and make-up are key elements in the overall design of films, creating a look that is appropriate for the characters, time periods, setting and style of the production.
It is advisable to have a qualification in hairdressing. As a hairdressing qualification does not teach wig work or period styling, to be proficient in this area, it requires lots of hands-on industry experience and practice.
Many theatre productions have wigs and these are maintained by the Wig Department. The department is headed up by the Wig Mistress or Master and (depending on the number of wigs in the production) a number of Wig Assistants.
Duties range from washing and possibly doing repairs, to setting and dressing, then attaching the wigs to the performers. At the end of the show, the wigs are taken off and put on their blocks.
As with the make-up team at a fashion show, the hair team has to please the fashion designer. The hair team would follow the instructions of the head hairstylist.
A hairstylist has to know how to dress hair, all types and lengths of hair, fast and meticulously - hair cannot fall down during those fast clothes changes! Knowing trends and what works on a catwalk is important.
Photographic shoots can also be fast paced, with many changes of hairstyle required by the photographer or client.