What does a Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designer do?

Depending on the size of the production and the requirements of the show, there may be separate positions for Hair and Make-Up Designers, or they may be a combined role.

Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designers also work in film, live music, photoshoots, television and more.

What are the main responsibilities of a Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designer?

  • Working with the Director to understand their vision, and with the Costume Designer to create the overall looks for the characters
  • Breaking down the script to work out hair and make-up requirements for each scene
  • Research on particular historical periods if required
  • Designing all wigs, hair and make-up elements
  • Attending fittings, photoshoots and dress rehearsals
  • Documenting the final looks in photographs so these can be followed closely by the wigs, hair and make-up team during the shows

As well as opportunities on the Get Into Theatre website, you can also search The Stage jobs.

What qualifications do you need to work in wigs, hair and make-up?

Often, academic qualifications are not as important as creative and practical skills. It’s possible to become a Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designer without a degree. You can often complete traineeships and freelance work within the industry to gain experience. Qualifications or courses in hairdressing, wigs, make-up and design may be useful. Find training and experience opportunities in Wigs, Hair and Make-up here.

What skills do I need to be a Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designer?

  • A thorough understanding of historical and cultural styles
  • Technical wigs, hair and make-up knowledge
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity and collaboration

What does a career as a Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designer look like?

Designers may begin their careers learning technical skills as a Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Artist or Technician, or begin as a trainee. It is common for Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designers to be freelance, and work on a project-by-project basis.

How much can a Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designer earn?

A trainee can earn no less than the national minimum wage or union minimum. More experienced Designers may earn between £21,000 and £50,000 per year.

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here


Photo: Pixabay

Published: 27 January 2022




Get personalised theatre opportunities

From an organisation? Share your opportunity

You can list your training, outreach or funding opportunities for free and within minutes. Set up an account now and we’ll start helping you reach the people you need…
Read me aloud