Performance hairdresser

A performance hairdresser


Performance hairdressers assist and support artists before, during and after the performance to ensure the hairdressing is in line with the artistic vision of the stage director and the artistic team. They maintain, check and repair wigs and assist with quick changes.

The duties of a performance hairdresser include, but are not limited to:

  • Advising clients on their haircare needs
  • Creating hair styles for formal events
  • Analyzing clients’ hair, facial features, and needs, and determining/recommending beauty treatments
  • Styling and dressing hairpieces, extensions, and wigs
  • Maintaining an appointment calendar through scheduling
  • Demonstrating and selling styling products
  • Learning and perfecting new styles and techniques
  • Maintaining and updating client records
  • Shaving and trimming beards and mustaches, and sideburns
  • Waxing eyebrows and facial hair
  • Trimming, cutting, and shaving hair using clippers, scissors, trimmers, and razors
  • Maintaining work stations and sanitizing tools and equipment
  • Applying chemical setting, straightening, or curling solutions
  • Using curlers, rollers, hot irons, and curling irons
  • Applying hair color, dye, and tints
  • Administering therapeutic scalp and hair treatments
  • Performing scalp, neck, and face massages
  • Applying hot towel treatments

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to performance hairdresser:

hair and wig stylist
hair & wig artist
hair artist
hair and wig artist
hair & wig stylist
event hair stylist

Minimum qualifications

Performance hairdressers usually have a prior experience. They move to that position after some years working as hairdressers or hair stylists, and building their clientele.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Performance hairdresser is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Performance hairdresser career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to performance hairdresser.

wig and hairpiece maker
instrument technician
tent installer
event electrician
make-up artist

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of performance hairdresser. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of performance hairdresser with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

followspot operator
video technician
scenic painter
scenery technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of performance hairdresser.

  • Hair: Human hair, its composition and interaction with various chemicals, environment factors and health issues.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of performance hairdresser.

  • Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
  • Understand artistic concepts: Interpret an artist’s explanation or demonstration of their artistic concepts, inceptions and processes and strive to share their vision.
  • Safeguard artistic quality of performance: Observe the show, anticipate and react to possible technical problems, ensuring optimal artistic quality.
  • Repair wigs: Maintain and repair damaged wigs for use in stage performances.
  • Adapt to artists’ creative demands: Work with artists, striving to understand the creative vision and adapting to it. Make full use of your talents and skills to reach the best possible result.
  • Prepare personal work environment: Correct settings or positions for your working instruments and adjust them before starting operations.
  • Perform quick hair changeovers: Quickly make changes to a performer’s hairstyle during a performance.
  • Translate artistic concepts to technical designs: Cooperate with the artistic team in order to facilitate the transition from the creative vision and its artistic concepts to a technical design.
  • Work safely with chemicals: Take the necessary precautions for storing, using and disposing chemical products.
  • Meet deadlines: Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.
  • Apply hair cutting techniques: Apply various techniques that can be used in the process of cutting a person’s hair, such as layering, slicing and face framing. Give artists haircuts and shaves for stage performances.
  • Manage personal professional development: Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about own practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.
  • Work with respect for own safety: Apply the safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the prevention measures and risks to your own personal health and safety.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of performance hairdresser. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

ISCO group and title

5141 – Hairdressers

  1. Performance hairdresser – ESCO
  2. Hair Stylist Jobs and Job Description | Hair Design, Stylist and Hairdresser School
  3. Featured image: Photo by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash
Last updated on November 12, 2022

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