Stylist and Hair Colour Specialist, Cherry Petenbrink has carved a niche for herself in the salon and beauty business with an artistic experience spanning 37 years. From reputed educational platforms across the globe to top Hollywood celebrities, her expertise as a colourist is widely recognised
Cherry is a Joico Guest Artist and the Artistic Director for Olivia Garden. Apart from this, she has done colour makeovers for big-screen stars like Scarlet Johannsson, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, and Mindy Kaling, to name a few. On her recent visit to India for Olivia Garden, Cherry Petenbrink spoke to Professional Beauty about her journey in the industry, educational standards and more.
Please tell us about your artistic journey?
I started working in the hairdressing industry 37 years ago. This industry upheld me because of its versatility – I have worked behind the chair, owned a mega salon with 31 employees, and also, worked with top manufacturers like Joico and Olivia Garden. My career has given me immense opportunities, from editorials and commercials to working on mega movies like the hair colour makeovers for ‘Hunger Games’. I was also credited for Scarlett Johansson’s hair colour for the ‘Captain America’ series and recently did Ruby Rose’s hair colour for ‘Batwoman’. Also, Olivia Garden brought opportunities like fashion weeks and magazine covers to me.
Movies, editorial, or salon management — which part was your favourite?
Salons! It has been wonderful to be growing from a small spa with only one staff member into a full-fledged Body Shop spa and salon. The best part was being able to mentor people – it is so rewarding when you see a hairstylist grow under your care, supervision, and mentorship. At this point in my career, with everything that I have done, giving back is now my priority — be it hair shows or education or training the team. In India, ESSKAY Beauty is building an education team and other programs for Olivia Garden and for me, it was a wonderful opportunity to help train their team so that they can continue to educate others.
What are your thoughts on the education standards in the Indian hair industry?
As the Artistic Director of Olivia Garden (OG), I found that in India the stylists are hungry for education – it doesn’t matter how long they have been hairdressing, they want to learn new techniques. They are eager to explore what’s modern and trending in other parts of the world while keeping an eye on what’s trending in India, as well. So, it is always rewarding to come here as the response is overwhelming.
Your pick of the top trending colour shades?
Stay natural and organic. The baby lights and gradients in unconventional shades are here for a while.
Any pro tips for the hairstylists who look up to you?
Constantly keep learning and perfecting your skills because there is always something to learn.