Monday, May 23, 2011

The ABC's of Hair Modeling

There are many perks to having beautiful, healthy looking hair. Sure it can make you feel like a million bucks and the envy of all your friends. But did you know that a gorgeous mane can actually be your ticket to the world of big time modeling?

“Clients pay well to shoot amazing healthy hair,” says Linda Teglovic, owner of Body Parts Models, Inc. in Beverly Hills. Linda is a former leg model whose agency is the first of its kind on the West Coast. Since opening the business in 2001, Linda has placed her hair models with such big-name clients as Pantene, Garnier, Sebastian, and Paul Mitchell.

Hair is just one of the specialties in the world of body parts modeling. Other categories include hands, feet, necks, ears, and abs.

With any of the body parts modeling categories, perfection is important. According to Linda, hair models must have that swingy, shiny healthy hair we all envy.

“Usually, a model has virgin hair, or hair that's been very carefully highlighted,” she says.

And, although a hair model should have a photogenic face, she does not need to be 5'8" and 108 pounds. That's one of the things that makes parts modeling so appealing to talented individuals who might otherwise be turned down by a major modeling agency.

Linda is always on the look-out for fresh talent and has been known to pluck potential models right off the street. That's exactly what happened to Katie Chonacas, a stunning brunette whose hair falls around mid-back.

“I was in L.A. having brunch with a girlfriend. When I got up to leave, Linda ran up to me and explained who she was,” Katie says. “So, I guess you could say I was discovered!”

 Katie Chonacas

As for the stunning strands that caught Linda's attention, Katie says, “My hair is 100% natural. I have never put color on it.”

At just 5'5", Katie might not make it as a runway model. But thanks to the natural beauty of her hair, she's able to make a living in the industry.

As you can imagine, hair models must take extra good care of their tresses. Regular split end trims and conditioning treatments are a must.

“I tell my girls to keep their hair out of the sun,” Linda says. “Keep it coated in conditioner, tied in a knot and covered with a hat.”

Model Doris Weldon, a natural redhead with corkscrew curls, takes the advice to heart and tells other aspiring models, “take care of your hair in the same manner you take care of your skin. Use products with UV ray protection, moisturize, and never brush.”

 Doris Weldon

Doris says she was introduced to Linda's agency by word-of-mouth.

“I sent Linda an email and directed her to my Web site where I have a gallery of photos. Linda replied and asked me to attend her open call.” Doris signed with the agency shortly thereafter. It's exactly this process that Linda recommends to all aspiring hair models.

“Submit a picture of your hair to an agency, either a snapshot or a digital photo. It doesn't have to be a professional picture,” Linda says.
For natural “curlyheads,” Linda recommends taking two photos: one showing the natural curls and one with the hair straightened.

Linda advises against paying photographers or modeling schools thousands of dollars to create portfolios or composite cards. Once a model is signed, a legitimate agency will usually help a model put together the materials she needs to land jobs.
Once you've decided to pursue a hair modeling career, the pros say that research and Testimonialsing are vital.

“The only right way of getting there would be to have experience, Testimonials, and focus,” Katie says. “In time, you'll grow and become closer to your dreams.”

Doris says, “Seek out opportunities. Don’t wait for an agent to knock on your door… not gonna happen. Knock on his or her door.”

Practice is also extremely important, according to Doris.

“Stand in front of the mirror and pose. Try it with and without music. Look in magazines and try to copy the poses you see the models doing. Join free modeling Web sites and post your photos asking for feedback, but be prepared to take constructive criticism and be open to advice on how to better position yourself regarding your best angles,” she says.

If you have the good fortune to sign with an agency, be sure you review their policies regarding any changes to your hair.
According to Linda Teglovic, her agency requires the client to sign a contract stating what can and cannot be done to a model's hair during a shoot.

“Temporary styles or looks are fine, but I just can’t take drastic measures when it comes to my hair,” Doris says. “The long, red curls make me who I am. . .it would be like Cindy Crawford having her mole removed.”