Beauty How To Interviews

Behind the Scenes with Celebrity Hairstylist Sunnie Brook

While the red carpets begin to roll out for the Oscars, I decided to catch up with a Hollywood’s top hairstylist Sunnie Brook in order to find out a few awards season secrets. Sunnie also shares some formal hair tips for special occasions and reveals her favourite beauty products, hair styling tips and the beauty rituals she swears by.

When it comes to red carpet glamour, the hair is just as important as the outfit. What are the trendiest hairstyles in Hollywood this awards season?

Right now lots of side parts and hair that is luxurious but relaxed at the same time. Accessories are definitely having a moment.

How do you prep for a major awards show like the Academy Awards? 

I usually start looking for inspiration from the fashion shows that are happening in NYC and Paris, Milan leading up to the Oscars. I look thru vintage magazines I have of previous runway shows and the beauty parts of the looks. I usually connect with the wardrobe stylist first to see what she or he will be wearing and then discuss with the makeup – what their inspiration is. But sometimes the looks aren’t decided till the night before.

Wash your hair the night before or day of? 

It really depends on the hair type and the look you are creating. But most of the time I prefer to work with clean hair that has been washed with Head & Shoulders Smooth and Silky (no frizz for 24hours) or Classic Clean (makes the hair very lightweight and airy). I prefer the hair to be as clean as possible so it gives me a fresh canvas I can create anything with.

Which hair products and tools are always in your kit?

Mason Pearson hairbrush – my go-to for blowdrying but also setting the hair. Playa Dry Shampoo and Endless Summer Spray – no white residue and the beach spray is great for a fuller blowout or to spritz after to relax waves and give texture.

Any “secret weapons”?

My Dottera Lavender and Peppermint oils. These help make everyone relax and feel good for such a big day – including myself! Sometimes I add them to my fine mist spray bottle and spritz them in the room before my clients arrive to set the vibe.

What are your favourite red-carpet hairstyle moments from this award season so far?

I’ve been inspired by the looks Adir has been doing on Saoirse Ronan and Jessica Biel. I also loved this look that John D did for Evan Rachel Wood for the Emmy’s.

Any red-carpet hair hacks that really work?

Add hair pieces. Photos are from every angle and two dimensional so go a little extra so that your look reads perfection. If the carpet is outdoor and windy, pull your hair back so your night fighting with it on the red carpet.

Superficial as it may seem, our hair sends a pertinent message to those around us. It’s one of the first things we notice as we meet somebody new. What is your number one hair care tip?

Brush your hair and apply an oil or mask to your ends before getting in the shower. This protects your hair from breakage (wet hair stretches more!) and from the ends getting dehydrated from cleansing shampoo.

And finally, any suggestion on a quick and easy updo for formal events?

A high pony or topknot. It’s like giving yourself a facelift. Looks classic and fresh but is incredibly easy. Both are looks often worn by Bella Hadid.


Sunnie Brook has been at the forefront of the beauty industry for over 15 years. As an experienced celebrity hairdresser, previous salon owner and educator, she infuses her artistic knowledge into creating styles that are innovative and feel effortless. She’s behind all the gorgeous updos and perfect hairstyles worn by Chrissy Teigen, Elisabeth Moss, Hailey Baldwin, Rashida Jones, Abigail Spencer, Sarah Silverman, Allison Williams, Hailee Steinfeld, Jaime King, Alanis Morissette, to name a few.

Photo: Elizabeth Griffin & Lauren Ahn for Cosmopolitan, Sunnie Brook’s Instagram

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