ust like everything else in the hair world, the term hair models can mean many things to different people.
Categories Of Hair Models
Hair models can include the different categories:
1. Hair models recruited by hairdressing students for school hair demonstations.
2. Cosmetology exam hair models
3. Apprentice hairdresser hair models
4. Hair models for platform artist demonstrations, shows or related
5. Professional models or celebrities with great hair who model for print & TV hair ads
6. Hair models for consumer product demonstrations (QVC, HSN, etc)
7. Professional hair photo shoot models
8. Talk show hair models
Hair models recruited by hairdressing students for school hair demonstations
When I attended Paul Mitchell Cosmetology school I had to have a series of “hair models” to work on. The first model I was required to have was for a male haircut. I was also required to have a hair model for a wet set and blow dry. Through out the entire hairdresser program I was required to find my own hair models.
In most cases hair models recruited by cosmotology students receive payment in the form of free hair services. Since specific hair cuts and styles are being demonstrated, the hair model can not choose how their hair is cut, styled or chemically treated.
The cosmo student will tell the model what type of hair service they will be demonstrating and the model must allow the student to perform those hair styling procedures with no say on the outcome.
Cosmetology exam hair models
Most states require that any cosmetology students sitting for their exam must bring hair models to demonstrate certain hair cutting and hair styling techniques.
Since hair models are required to take the State Boards, many cosmetology students are willing to pay for a model’s time and willingness to cut and/or style their hair.
Hair Models For Apprentice Hairdressers
Apprentice hairdressers are most often hairdresser who have recently graduated from cosmetology school and have signed on at an established salon to further their craft.
Any salon that has an active apprentice program will have what is known as mandatory hair training nights. At those training sessions the apprentice hairdressers will learn new hairdressing techniques and be required to demonstrate them on hair models.
The apprentices are often required to recruit their own are usually required to find their own hair models for weekly practice sessions. Depending on the weekly lesson the apprentice hairdresser may require different types, textures or lengths of hair.
Payment for hair models used in salon training night sessions is again offered in trade. Similar to hair models for cosmetology colleges and State Boards, the model has virtually no say in what is done with their hair since the purpose of them being a model is to allow the apprentice to work with their hair.
Hair models for platform artist demonstrations, shows or related
When I was attending Paul Mitchell I was asked to be a model for a platform demonstration because my hair was the longest in the school. I was required to sit on stage while an instructor braided my hair and then created an unusal bubble hairstyle.
All of the major hair shows that occur throughout the year offer platform performances with demonstrations of the latest hair color and styling trends. Hair models are recruited for the shows and are required to allow their hair to be cut, colored and styled according to the hair artist’s program. Payment is usually provided in the form of services or products.
Being a hair model at a professional hair show can be tedious since the models must often be on stage for a period of time or available before the show for practice sessions.
I recently attended a Rusk chemical straightening class and a hair model was used to demonstrate the straightening process from beginning to end. The model was not paid to be at the class but she did receive a complimentary chemical straightening service which was why she agreed to be the class model in the first place.
Professional models or celebrities with great hair who model for print & TV hair ads
The models you might see on Pantene or similar hair commercials, billboards or TV ads are usually selected either because they are a well-known celebrity or they are primarily a professional model who also has great hair. What is not widely known is the fact that it is rare to find a full time professional hair model.
Professional fashion models who work the catwalks have their hair coiffed in a variety of high fashion looks but their hair is styled to complement the fashions they are wearing. The models are primarily selected for their ability to wear the clothes with good hair as a lesser concern.
If a person has gorgeous hair but their face and body don’t fit with the ideal of a model, it is unlikely they would be selected as a hair model.
Models who do appear in hair ads are usually well compensated, especially if they are also celebrities like Eva Longoria who has a long standing hair modeling contract with a major hair brand.
Hair models for consumer product demonstrations (QVC, HSN, etc)
A good example of this category can be demonstrated by the HairDo line of clip-in hair extensions which was sold on a home shopping venue. The creator of the line, Ken Paves, demonstrated the use of the clip-in extensions on the air using hair models.
The hair models were paid professional models with great hair who were required to be part of Ken’s product demonstration.
Professional hair photo shoot models
Models were also used to the original HairDo photos shoots with Ken and Jessica Simpson. While the women used in the shoots had great hair, they were first and foremost professional models who also had beautiful tresses. They were paid as models on a photo shoot that involved styling their hair to advertise a new clip-in hair extension system.
Many salons will also do professional photo shoots to develop a book of their work to submit to the media. They will often pay for hair models for the shoot. Unless the salon is on a tight budget, they will hire models with great hair rather than people with great hair to model.
Talk show hair models
A lot of daytime shows like Oprah and Tyra will have hair and beauty makeovers. The models for these makeover shows are generally everyday people whose payment is the makeover.
For other shows such as Today where new hair trends are showcased, professonal models with the appropriate hair are selected.
Advantages To Being A Hair Model
If you wish to receive free hair services and don’t care what they involve, sign up to be a hair model for a local cosmetology school, at a salon with an active apprentice program or as a model for State Board sessions. Besides having no say in how your hair is cut, colored or styled, you will most likely not be paid unless you can negotiate some free hair care products or discounts on future services.
Hair modeling can be exciting and fun and certainly is full of surprises, if that’s what you enjoy.
If you want a complete makeover but can’t afford to spring for the cost, sign up for a TV makeover, which are available on the local, regional and national levels.
Disadvantages To Being A Hair Model
You will most likely have no say in how your hair is cut, colored or styled. In some cases damage can occur to your hair that may involve long term growing out periods. If you are a hair model at a professional show or for a platform artist you may be required to commit to an extended period of time for practice sessons as well as the actual show.
If You Want To Be A Professional Hair Model
Keep in mind that if you want to be a paid hair model that does TV or print ads, you will need to first qualify as a model according to height, weight and overall body shape. You will also need to have the appropriate bone structure and look. Finally, you will need an agent to help you book jobs that showcase your hair.
Finding The Modeling Jobs
If you wish to be a hair model to benefit from free hair services and products you can start by making phone calls to the local cosmo schools and salons that have apprentices. Ask if they are looking for hair models. You can also post an ad on Craigs List that you are looking to be a hair model. If you do post a Hair Model ad be sure to include the length, type, texture and current condition of your hair.
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