How To Model in a Hair Show

Top hair stylists around the country use fashion hair shows to display their best work on live models.  You've seen the ads-Hair Models Wanted!-and chances are you've toyed with the idea of trying out.  If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a hair model, this article is for you.  First, here are a couple of characteristics that will serve you well if you plan to be a hair model:

  1. Attitude.  It helps to have great hair.  But as with most things, attitude will take you far.  I remember once when I was surveying men for a Glamour article, I asked men which celebrity had the best of a long list of features.  In response to which celebrity had the best hair, one gentleman answered, "Michelle Pfeiffer."  Now Michelle Pfeiffer had a lot going for her at that time, but good hair was just not one of them.  It was blonde, granted, but also thin and stringy. What this illustrates is that if you can be attractive in certain aspects of your appearance, you can make up for a shortage in other areas.  That's the attitude you want to take with you when you try out to be a hair model.
  2. Hair.  If you have a whole lot of hair and it's wavy, curly or stick-straight, you're a definite in.  But if you don't, try to draw attention to your hair's best features when you go to the tryout.  If when you put it up, a few wispy curls trail around the nape of your neck, then wear it up.  Alternatively, if you have a great punk look, go with it.  At the very least, make sure your hair is freshly washed and volumized. 

Here is what to expect when you try out to become a hair model:

  1. Model call.  This part will be excruciating; there's just no two ways about it.  You go to a cattle call with a bunch of other girls. These are the girls that have stepped straight out of the fashion magazines-the ones who pluck, exfoliate and apparently eat only every other Friday.  You'll be up on a stage with them so just get used to the idea ahead of time.
  2. Call out your inner Oprah.  If you have an inner Oprah, call her out, and if you don't, now is a good time to work on developing one.  Ask yourself, "What would Oprah say?"  She'd say something like, "You're perfect just as you are!"  That's the tone you're going for in your self-talk when it's your turn to step out on stage.  Just let the beauty, astute fashion sense and other impressions of your competitors wash right over you because you have that je ne sais quoi that puts you over the top.  It helps to remember that if you are chosen as a hair model, the stylists will do the wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyle for you-in essence, it's like a mini-makeover where you trade your time for the privilege of being made over by the pros.  And believe me, the pros can make anyone look good-think "Courtney Love."
  3. The runway.  If you know the model walk, go ahead and use it when it's your turn to walk across the stage, but if you don't, I wouldn't sweat it-this is not Milan, after all.  Just think of something that makes you feel good-be it your kid, your doggie or your hubby-and think of him awaiting you in the wings.  The stylists will probably ask you to walk out, stop, turn, and return.  Chances are they'll take a Polaroid or digital shot of you, along with your name and number, dress size and height. This part will be over before you know it.
  4. Stage fright.  The tone of every model call is different, but chances are someone will be barking out orders at you, most of the other girls will have that blasé look as if they've done this a million time before, and you'll feel like a deer trapped in headlights.  Those are not headlights, by the way, just the lights they use on stage, and you may as well get used to them now.  The show itself will be much more fun and much less intimidating.
  5. Know your boundaries.  You'll need to decide ahead of time just how much of a change you're willing to experience.  You are allowed to put some parameters on what the stylists can do to you, and if you don't, you may go from long-haired and brunette to crew cut and platinum.  Of course the more willing you are to let them toy with you, the more likely that you'll be chosen, so make your decision accordingly.  But if you just can't live with a mullet, do let them know ahead of time. 

Remember to relax and enjoy yourself as much as possible.  You're in it for the fun, the free hairdo and your fifteen minutes of fame! 


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