Hair style?

Posted In: Performing

  • Participant
    petaleafy on #214956

    Hello. I am new to this forum, so please forgive if I have posted this in the wrong place.
    This may sound a bit weird or bizarre, but do any of you who do a lot of performing have coloured hair? And when I mean coloured, I mean unnatural colours. I perform quite often and wish to perform even more but I really want to dye my hair pastel pink or pastel purple. Not super bright and in your face colours, but gentle, soft pastel colours. Do you think people will be put off asking me to perform somewhere if I have coloured hair? Do any of you have coloured hair and still perform often? Of course, I still dress properly for the occasion and everything else is fine, but I’m worried about dying my hair. I play at quite a few alternative things and I know they would not mind, but I am still a little worried about more ‘mainstream’ things, if that is the proper word to use?
    Please forgive me if this is a very random question.
    Rina xx

    Member
    Elettaria on #214972

    I have never played the harp professionally in my life, but I’m wondering if you can incorporate it into a fairly formal look. Is it long? If so, how about a fancy-looking updo, coordinated with a dress and accessories for perhaps a sort of fairy-tale princess look?

    The fancy-looking ones aren’t necessarily difficult to do, I used to get loads of compliments on updos that took under a minute. I’ve put “pink hair updo” into Google Image, and while some of them are the sort of thin that probably requires a professional hairdresser, others aren’t. You can get a lot of mileage out of a pretty hair fork, for instance, plus there are fake flowers and such.

    I have a gorgeous collection of wooden hair forks for when my hair is long, and dichroic glass hair barrettes for when my hair was shorter. Something like this deep blue barrette could look lovely with both pink and purple hair, if you’re wearing blue. This was when my hair (medium-thick) was around shoulder length. I’d just braid it, flip up the braid, secure it with the barrette halfway up the back of my hair, and let the ends curl around above it.

    Even shortish hair can be dressed up quite a bit. And if you can manage some braiding, contrasting roots look amazing in French and Dutch braids.

    Member
    Elettaria on #214973

    By the way, what kind of gigs do you play? It occurs to me that it might be useful to have a professional photo of you with your hair that colour on your website/generally available, in a nicely coordinating dress etc., just in case anyone is likely to complain afterwards that you didn’t match their flower arrangements, or whatever it is that stressed out brides complain about. I’ve heard stories. My guess would be that it would put some people off if they’re more conservative, attract others, and generally be memorable.

    Participant
    wil-weten on #214975

    Would your public come primarily to your performance to enjoy your harp music? Or do they like seeing you performing?

    As part of an audience, I wouldn’t like to be distracted from the music by some attention drawing clothes, jewelry, make-up or hair style.

    Member
    Elettaria on #214976

    Interesting point. I’d expect an orchestra to be in black, and a choir to be in something colour-coordinated. I saw the percussionist Evelyn Glennie perform in the nineties, and she was wearing a fabulous colourful outfit that felt like an addition to the experience. Perhaps since she has to perform barefoot, due to being profoundly deaf, and was the only virtuoso percussionist around when she began her career (percussion doesn’t really have the same conventions as, say, performing a Mozart piano concerto – and these days there are a few women flouting those dress codes too), she decided she may as well sod convention and go for it?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Elettaria.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Elettaria.
    Participant
    Philippa mcauliffe on #214989

    I personally would be dubious about non-natural colour at a wedding or funeral where you don’t want to stand out even though I am a teenager. I doubt I would be employed in a conservative city like mine for the formal events although you could have a wig as well perhaps. Have you got a website to put your different looks onto then the clients could choose what they want. It is different for a soloist like Evelyn Glennie who is meant to stand out. Solo pianists are now often in stunning backless dresses slit up to the thigh and beyond and would be fine with hair of any colour if they play well enough I would have thought (think Yuja!). Unusual styling never stopped Nigel Kennedy either. And Catrin Finch plays classical harp
    recitals in black leather and other edgy looks with modern hair but her own colour. But soloists are not competing with brides or coffins. Never outdo the bride, the bride’s mother or the coffin was what my teacher told me.

    Member
    Janis Cortese on #214994

    It depends on where you are likely to perform. You may find that it will close some doors to you for clients who are looking for something more conservative, but open others for people who like the idea of a harpist at their event, but who also like the added flash.

    In general, never work too hard to suppress your own expression of yourself. Like I said, you may find that it opens more doors than you realize, having a unique look. I could easily see a few coffeehouses and hipster events that would find it very interesting to have a harpist with a more unique fashion look.

    Consider that if you stick with a traditional look, you will be competing with every other woman with long hair in a formal dress who plays harp for weddings. If you look a little unique or hipster, you will probably get gigs from places who would never even have considered a harpist before they saw you, and for whom you may be the only such harpist. Maybe you can cultivate an atypical repertoire without going too far afield of the standards (Britten’s opening to his harp suite, Song in the Night) or just play normal classical music with odd pedal settings. I’ve known odd venues who would like that sort of thing — odd downtown shops, modern art galleries, coffeehouses, warehouse concerts … Stick with the alternative venues you’ve talked about — less competition for those.

    I’d say to give it a shot, maybe look further afield than you normally would for places to play, and if it doesn’t work for you, you can always go back to your natural color.

    Participant
    petaleafy on #215020

    Thank you all so much! You have all helped me so much, I am so sorry for this short reply, my family is going through a hard time at the moment and I am finding it hard to sit down at my laptop. But I want to thank you all so much for your replies, thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Much love xx

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