Salaries of Movie Hairstylists

by Rhonda Abrons; Updated September 26, 2017
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Movie hairstylists are the central reason film actors appear so magical and glamorous. According to the Salary Registrar, the high average of a salon stylist’s annual income is $50,000. The high average pay for entertainment stylists is $60,000 to $70,000 a year. Salaries of movie hairstylists depend on the film production budget and the stylist’s experience. Stylists who with special training and advanced skill will earn more money in the movie business.

Research Hairstyles

Movie scripts range from the futuristic stories to historical epics. Stylists who research history to know how people wore their hair in any particular era or social station will typically earn more than a hair assistant without that knowledge. Becoming an expert in wigs and extensions helps a stylist earn a higher salary. Films usually shoot out of sequence, so a skilled movie stylist also needs to pay close attention to detail to recreate hair styles in scenes.

Tools of the Trade Investment

Movie hairstylists usually need to have their own equipment just like those who work in salons. According to Schools in the USA, a basic set kit can be $1,000. Those stylists who are willing to invest in quality tools needed for movie production will command the most salaries. Successful hairstylists may have set gear worth $10,000. Stylists should keep an updated portfolio on the different range of projects they completed.

Production Multi-Tasking

Often, movie productions want to hire stylists who are able to multitask by performing other duties. The most common double duty is makeup artist/hair stylist. Makeup for movies is different than street make up. For instance, high-definition shooting requires another type of make up than film. Stylists who take the time to obtain specialized education on applying makeup for film are often worth more in salary than those who only focus on hair.

Congenial Personality

A stylist’s typical day on set involves 14 hours or more on their feet. The ability to maintain a harmonic personality under stressful, long shooting hours is a huge plus for stylists who want fast promotion in the movie business. Filming is famous for long down times. A stylist who knows how to sooth stressed actors and get along with crew members will go far in film. The ability to use imagination for style collaboration on scripts is also a huge plus.

About the Author

Rhonda Abrons is a writer/producer in Austin, Texas. For more than 25 years her journalism work has been published in many newspapers including the "Austin-American Statesman" and the "Boston Globe."

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