When casting directors are booking stand-ins, one of the most basic characteristics they look at is the stand-in’s hair.  Casting directors try to match not just the color of the stand-in’s hair to the hair of the principal actor, but also the style.

Women & Hairstyle

For women, the style or length of your hair compared to the actress isn’t always a major factor. You can have longer hair and get booked to stand in for someone with shorter hair and vice versa.  In my experience, I have found that films have stricter hair requirements for stand-ins than television projects.

Whatever the project, it’s important to be honest about how your hair currently looks. If you have recently changed your color, added highlights, or gotten a significant haircut, you should inform the casting director of this when you get called to stand in. If you don’t have professional pictures of you with your new hairstyle, you can take a candid digital photo to have ready to send out upon request.

Changing Your Hair for the Job

For particular jobs, you may be required to change your hair to match the actor you are standing in for. You will usually see this detailed in the casting notice, and the casting director should be able to give you more information about how the actress’s hair will be styled.

If the casting director didn’t mention that you should be willing to change your hair, then most likely it is not required. If it is required, you would be asked to cut and/or color your hair after chosen for the job, not for the interview.

Making the Decision to Change Your Hairstyle

Changing your hair for stand-in work can be a big decision. If you’re an actor, you have headshots that reflect your current image, and you will have to figure out how to work around that issue if your image changes.

If you are thinking about changing your hair for a stand-in job, here are some things to consider:

  • How many days of work will this job give you?

When you get called for consideration for stand-in work, the casting director should be able to tell you how many days you would be working on the project.  A major character could work anywhere from 10 days to 40 or more days on a film. If you would only be working on the project for a shorter term, it may not be worth it to you to change your hair.

  • Does it make sense financially to change your hair?

Find out if you would be responsible for covering the cost of changing your hair. A cut and color can be expensive for women, and it could be more expensive in the long run if you decide to change it back to your previous style. You can ask if there is someone in the hair department who would be willing to do it for you. This would save you money, and their stylists would know best about how your hair should look to match the principal actress.

  • Will you have to cut your hair?

Figure out how much of a cut you would be comfortable with. Trimming your hair a few inches is a minor change, but a much shorter cut or bangs can change your look a lot, and it would take longer to grow back out to your previous style.

  • Will you have to change the color?

Once you change your hair color more than a few shades, it’s not easy to change it back. It could take several appointments to gradually change your hair shade-by-shade to get it back to your previous color. It can also be damaging to the overall health of your hair.

  • Are you willing to get new headshots taken?

If your look changes dramatically, you may need to consider taking new headshots to represent your new look. Even if you want to change back to your previous style, you may need a new picture to represent you while your hair is transitioning.

Finally: Ask Questions!

There can be a lot to think about when deciding to change your hair for stand-in work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need more details about how you would have to change it. You need to feel comfortable and confident that you are making the right decision. Good luck!

Do you have any comments about changing your hair for stand-in work? Please share below!