Photographer: Kale Friesen Hair Stylist: Jamie Dennis
Hair Stylist: Kirsten McIntosh
Photographer: Kale Friesen Hair Stylist: Michelle Pargee
Photographer: Dave Evans Hair and Makeup: Anna Carina
Hair Stylist: Rocky Vitelli
Photographer: Paula Tizzard Hair Stylist: Rossa Jurenas
Long before Netflix I used to tune in to my favourite shows religiously each week and one that I would never miss was America’s Next Top Model. It was here where I learned the term ‘smize’ and to always point your toes in pictures. I especially loved when Tyra would pick girls that didn’t fit the typical model mold because it gave me hope in my heart that I, a 5’7, size 6 woman in her 20s could one day be a model too. I didn’t get the confidence to get any portfolio shots done until I moved to Australia and needed some in order to apply for a promo model job on the Gold Coast. Until that point I didn’t even know what a promo model was until the interview when they explained that not only would I get paid to promote brands but they would cover my hair, tanning and nail appointments as well, um score! Due to some personal (relationship) issues I moved back to Canada after only 4 months down under and decided to use my photos to apply to work with some photographers that I admired in Toronto. Unfortunately, what I found was that the only photographers that wanted to shoot with me either wanted me in some form of undress which I wasn’t confident or comfortable enough to do. It wasn’t until I made contact with a photographer in Toronto through Model Mayhem where I found my first hair modeling gig. The catch was that I would have to get my hair cut and coloured and the shoot would be two days without any compensation besides an 8X10 print of the final photo. This actually sounded better to me than any paid ‘glamour’ shoot so I agreed and thats how I got started.
On this first shoot my hair was coloured black and red and I was given an assymeric cut. For most this would be a crazy unwearable style but I didnt mind and promptly had it cut into a china doll cut after the shoot. Most hair stylists offer to cut your hair into a more wearable style after the shoot which makes it easier to agre to the initial edgy style. After about two or three hair shoots without compensation and varying colours and cuts I decided that I would start charging. I felt that had given enough of my time and had gained a knack for positioning my face in the various expressions in order to justify a paycheque.
Hair stylists are a unique breed of people. Each is an artist, passionate, and tend to have big personalities. For the most part, they are very considerate and fun to work with but it can be very stressful to be putting themselves out there for the world to judge with their collection. Often the reason stylists are shooting a collection is to enter in a contest for a magazine or hair colour brand. So if you have certain limits in regards to colour, cut, hours per day etc, it is best to confirm all of these with the stylist beforehand.
If I had to choose one of the most common things people say to me on hair modelling it would have to be when they they say ‘Oh gosh, I could never do that, I am too attached to my hair’ I understand that this could be very true. We tend to have an emotional connection to our hair. And there have been times when getting a whole new colour and style has been very uplifting. I also got a terribe cut when I was about 11 which made me look like a boy and I don’t think I would ever get over it. But people also have to realize that its not just about getting your hair cut and coloured. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on set and hair stylists have hired novice models that have a certain ‘look’ but are like deer in headlights on set.
If you want to get into hair modeling or really any niche market, I would advise not going through an agency. There are so many agencies that are scams and you can build a clientele just by networking. I can still list my favourite hair stylists off by heart and even though I don’t model anymore I always try and peruse Canadian Hair Dresser magazine and Salon 52 for the latest hair editorials.
The worst experence I had was with an arrogant hair stylist who proceeded to try and lead me by a choker necklace and a leash referring to me as a dog. It was supposed to be a joke but, just no. Overall my experience has been positive, I was fortunate enough to have complimentary travel to the U.S. and Europe to do hair shows as a result of shoots, and I have a ton of photos that I will one day share with my kids and grandkids (I hope).