Hair Tips From The Hunger Games’ Head Stylist

Nothing is too crazy for Cherry Petenbrink


You might not be familiar with her name, but you’ve definitely seen Cherry Petenbrink’s work on the silver screen. She styled the hair of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in The Hunger Games and created its crazy multi-coloured wigs worn by The Capitol’s residents. 

Petenbrink is also responsible for the tresses of Scarlett Johansson in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Nicole Kidman in Stoker, among numerous other A-list heads. So who better to talk to on the latest trends and tips than this mane whiz?

How to prep your hair for a dramatic dye-job

“Usually the hair has to be pre-lightened with bleach to allow bright colours to show on the hair.”

On picking the right hair colour for yourself

“When it comes to bright colours, some tones look better on certain skin tones than others. For example, orange and yellow works on very fair skin, while purples, blues and pinks complement most skin types. Green is a tough one to rock.”

On maintaining a bright colour

“Shampoo every other day with a sulfate-free UV protection shampoo like Joico Colour Endure to slow down the colour fade. It’s also good to limit the use of hot tools like blowdryers and hair straighteners. Heat can be very damaging and also cause accelerated fading.”

The hair trend you have to try now

“I love baby lights, a more delicate, subtle way to highlight hair, and Balayage, a softer version of ombré hair.”

The trend Petenbrink hopes will fade away

“I’m not a fan of hair so perfectly dip-dyed that there’s a perfect demarcation line.”

The one she hopes will stick around forever

“One trend I hope will never die is soft pastel ombré.”

The inspiration behind the cray-cray wigs for the characters living in The Capitol

“Honestly there were no rules, because the time period it was taking place in was never determined. But the department head of hair, costume designer and director did have some very specific visions. They wanted the hair to represent a combination of different periods, both past and present, futuristic but not cartoonish.”

The weirdest hairstyle a client has ever asked for

“One client came in and asked for “three layers please”, which was strange and needed clarification. I have limitations and am not afraid to say no if I know it’s not the best option for my client.”

Her personal go-to hairstyle and colour

"I love carefree cuts and styles that require little maintenance because I can dress it up or keep it casual. I’m into soft pastels like pink and lavender at the moment and I’m maintaining my hair colour with Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo and Conditioner.”

The one hair colour shell never try

“Henna or black: There is no easy way to get away from either of these.”

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