Helping people and doing something creative have been priorities for Sunnie Brook (@sunniebrook) from the time she was a teenager. “I honestly thought I’d end up becoming a counselor for young women,” she says. “My mom was the one who recognized my passion for playing with hair and encouraged me to enroll in beauty school to supplement my college income.” Suffice it to say, Brook fell in love with the craft almost instantly. “I learned about the great opportunities that existed and really enjoyed connecting with many different types of people,” Brook says. “At the time, I had no way of knowing about the incredible career path this profession would ultimately take me on.”
After working behind the chair, cutting and coloring hair in her hometown of San Luis Obispo, CA, for a couple of years, Brook decided to take on new challenges, including becoming an educator for Paul Mitchell and entering a photo shoot contest conducted by the company’s editorial director Lucie Doughty. “I won the grand prize, which was an all-expenses-paid photo shoot,” says Brook. With one under her belt, she continued to do more and more—all with the goal of building her book. “I’d drive to LA on the weekends, working in a Beverly Hills, CA, salon while doing shoots as often as possible,” she says. “Eventually my portfolio was good enough to land me agency representation. I began doing fashion and commercial shoots and as my reputation grew, I started meeting more celebrities.” Elisabeth Moss, Allison Williams, Chrissy Teigen and Rashida Jones are among those Brook has worked her hair magic on, creating camera-ready looks for the red carpet. As if that weren’t enough, Brook’s creations have been spotted on the pages of Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Allure and Harper’s Bazaar.
Never content to rest on her laurels, Brook has also made a huge splash in the digital world, launching a beauty blog (sunniebrook.com) and YouTube channel. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her aspirations. “There are still so many things I desire to do,” Brook says. “I hope to meet and mentor many more artists; collaborate creatively with a haircare brand; develop a product line; create an art book on beauty and empowerment; and speak about beauty on TED.com. Last but not least, I’d love to travel to Asia and do hair. I’ve never been!” Knowing Brook, it’s only a matter of time.