What does the Head of Wigs do?

The Head of Wigs is responsible for managing all aspects of wig and hair design, maintenance and application. This role involves collaborating with Costume Designers, Directors, and other departments to ensure that the wigs and hairpieces complement the overall aesthetics of the production and meet the creative vision. The Head of Wigs also oversees a team of wigmakers and stylists, ensuring that all work is executed to a high standard.

Read our blog on Wig Designers

What are the main responsibilities of the Head of Wigs?

  • Collaborate with Costume Designers, Wig Designer and Director/s to create the vision for the wigs of the Actors
  • Oversee the construction, styling, and fitting of wigs and hairpieces
  • Use techniques such as ventilating (knotting hair onto a wig base), cutting, colouring, and setting wigs to achieve the desired look
  • Ensure that wigs are comfortable and secure for Performers
  • Maintain and care for wigs, hairpieces, and facial hair throughout the production
  • Conduct regular inspections to identify and repair any damage or wear
  • Ensure proper cleaning, storage, and upkeep of all wig and hair materials
  • Supervise and coordinate the activities of the wig department, including wigmakers, stylists, and assistants
  • Assign tasks and provide training and guidance to team members
  • Ensure that all work is completed efficiently and to a high standard
  • Attend rehearsals to observe wig and hair requirements and make any necessary adjustments
  • Be present during performances to assist with quick changes, touch-ups, and any wig-related issues that may arise
  • Coordinate with the stage management and wardrobe teams to ensure smooth transitions and quick changes
  • Manage the wig department's budget, including sourcing and purchasing materials and supplies
  • Maintain an inventory of wigs, hairpieces, and related tools and products
  • Ensure that all wig and hair practices comply with health and safety regulations
  • Conduct risk assessments for wig-related activities and implement safety protocols
  • Participate in production meetings to discuss wig and hair requirements and updates
  • Keep detailed records of wig designs, construction processes, and maintenance routines
  • Document fittings, alterations, and any changes made to wigs during the production

What qualifications do I need to work as the Head of Wigs?

There are no formal qualifications needed to become Head of Wigs but a degree or training in wig making, hair styling, theatre production, or a related field is beneficial. You may consider a course in hair and makeup, costume, arts and theatre. 

Search all wig based opportunities to help you get into theatre here

What skills do I need to work as the Head of Wigs?

  • Expertise in wig making, styling, and maintenance techniques
  • Proficiency in cutting, colouring, and setting wigs to achieve various styles and looks
  • Ability to visualise and execute complex wig designs
  • Meticulous attention to detail in wig construction, styling, and maintenance
  • Ability to ensure consistency and accuracy in wig designs
  • Strong leadership skills to manage and coordinate a team of wigmakers and stylists
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other departments
  • Excellent communication skills to effectively convey design concepts and provide clear instructions to the team
  • Ability to listen and respond to feedback from Designers and Directors
  • Strong organisational skills to manage wig inventories, schedules, and budgets
  • Ability to prioritise tasks and manage time efficiently
  • Strong problem-solving skills to address wig-related challenges quickly and effectively
  • Resourcefulness in finding creative solutions to wig issues

Always keep examples of your previous work. Read our blog 'How to make a costume design portfolio.' for ideas

What does a career as the Head of Wigs look like?

You can gain experience in wig making, styling, and maintenance, through apprenticeships or work experience on various theatre productions. A portfolio demonstrating previous wig design and construction work is a good tool to show your skill. Training will help you develop your skills, while building industry contacts. Large scale shows will have a Head of Wigs, with smaller scale often combining this role with wardrobe and/or make-up. 

How much can the Head of Wigs earn?

Grade 1 rates for 2023-2025 as per the SOLT/BECTU Agreement suggests a minimum weekly rate of £840.91. The Head of Wigs can earn on average £30k - £50k per year. 

The above is a guide. Pay, salary or fee can vary depending on the theatre or company, as well as your personal experience. National institutions or commercial productions can pay in excess of the above, with profit-share or community theatre paying less. 

You can find theatre jobs via The Stage Jobs here 


Published: 6th June 2024

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