Should I dye and/or change my kid’s hair?
This is a very tricky question with multiple layers, especially when you have a child in the business.
Here are the scenarios I’ll be talking about:
The production wants to dye and/or cut your child’s hair.
Your child wants a mohawk and also wants to dye their hair – blue or pink – because all of their friends are doing it and it looks like fun.
Before we get started, I’m NOT going to talk about changing your child’s hairstyle on purpose to see if they get more work. This is more of a “OMG! Help me!” article.
Recently there was a call for a 7-8 year old boy to play a cancer patient. He would have to shave his head. Another recent call was for boys who are open to having their hair cut for a certain time period. Both were for background jobs.
My questions to you are: Are you willing to let the production shave your son’s head or cut his hair in a way that’s not stylish today for an extra role? Would you be more willing to do this if it was a more prominent role with more money?
In that age range of 7-10 years old, your child is able to understand consequences. So do you want to make the decision FOR your child or do you explain the situation and ASK your child what he wants to do?
It’s a tough call, right? It also depends on lots of different situations:
a) Is your child on hold for another role that they auditioned for before they got the ‘hair’ role?
b) Is your child booking jobs left and right at this particular time with their current hairstyle? Would it be too risky to change their hair at this busy time?
c) Does your child attend a school with a hair code in which they are not allowed to color their hair?
d) Is money one of the factoring decisions? (featured role vs. background role)
e) What kind of dye are they going to use? Will it wash out right away or is it permanent? Is there bleach involved? Will the dye go into their scalp or is it applied just to the hair itself? (Be sure to always check and be comfortable with your child’s well being before you say ‘yes’.)
It’s summer time and your child’s in camp. All of the girls want to highlight their hair with funky colors and the boys want mohawks with blue hair – your child included.
You go into a frenzy because you KNOW this is going to affect your child’s career. You get knots in your stomach just thinking about how you’re going to tell their agent/manager. Why, oh why, is this happening?!
Well, guess what people. It’s GOING to happen sooner or later. You yourself can make sure you do NOT put these ideas in your child’s head, but as soon as they see other kids doing it, they’re going to ask for it, too. Because that’s what kids do.
So now you have to decide which is more important: your child’s career or your child’s happiness.
(Doesn’t matter which you choose because you are going to lose anyway.)
IDEAS TO HELP EASE YOUR PAIN:
a) Compromise. Let your child know a deadline of when their hair has to be ‘back to normal’. Two weeks seems fair. That’s long enough for them to get it out of their system and short enough not to miss too much work.
For girls who want highlights, I suggest you just do the back bottom tips of their hair. So if you take a picture from the front, you won’t see the back. (However in most cases for modeling, the production may take different angles in which case they would see the back tips.) I suggest the back tips because at the end of your compromised timeframe, you can bring your daughter in for a trim where they will cut away the bottom blue highlights.
For boys who want a mohawk, at the end of your compromised timeframe, the sides of his hair will have already started growing back. Let the hair dresser give him a buzz cut so his entire head matches. Then it will grow back evenly.
HOW TO TELL YOUR AGENT / MANAGER ABOUT THEIR HAIR CHANGE:
Take a deep breath and just tell them. Your kid is not the only child in their roster who has done this. Agents and managers deal with young performers on a daily basis and they already know that this is eventually going to happen so you got knots in your stomach for nothing.
Take a quick pic of what their hair looks like and send it to their agent / manager because you never know what will happen. A part may come up that calls for a mohawk, or a kid who’s edgy, or a boy with a buzz cut / almost bald cancer patient.
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