Gorgeous guises are her forte; on Instagram posts she slays supreme. And yet, for London-based influencer Chanel Brookelyn, becoming a content creator was never on the cards. “It wasn’t a career direction I set out to do,” she confesses. “It was definitely an organic career path for me, but now I’m here I love it.” Over the years Chanel has fast-tracked her way to becoming everyone’s ultimate hair goals. Her penchant for high-octane wigs – human and synthetic – has followers (including the Spell team) saving her snaps to show to the hairdresser. “I’ve always been quite fearless when it comes to experimenting with my hair,” she says. “In the past I’ve even shaved the side of my hair. I probably wouldn’t do that today though!”
Here we catch up with the mane star to talk about her career to date and garner some much-needed hair tips for the New Year...
How did you become a content creator?
I was running a salon in London when Instagram first started having a buzz. I would often take photos of my frequent hair changes and post them on my personal Instagram page as well as the salon’s to show off the work we could do. That’s when my reputation as a hair chameleon evolved.
What's the highlight of your career so far?
I am fortunate to have experienced quite a few highlights in my career, but I would say one of the best was being selected as a global ambassador for Schwarzkopf. I’ve worked on so many exciting campaigns with them. It was a dream come true to work with a brand that I have used for so many years.
You're also a Spell Beauty rep and recently wore The Feme Collection Chic Lob. What did you like about wearing a long bob?
Firstly, the colour was super lush! There’s something about red hair that really complements melanin-rich skin. I’ve played around with so many colours but I always come back to red. Also I love that it’s glueless and there’s no melting the lace - I can literally get up and go with this wig. The fact that it’s pre-cut is great too. I didn’t need to style it at all, I could just take it straight out of the box and put it on.
Why is it important to tweeze the parting on a new wig?
Customising my wigs is paramount to ensuring they look as natural as possible. I usually tweeze the parting a little bit to make it look more prominent and doing this helps the hair lay flatter too.
You're known for experimenting with your hair colour. What's your advice for DIY dye?
Yes, I am obsessed with trying out new looks with my hair, especially with wigs because I don’t have to worry about potentially damaging my natural hair. For DIY home colouring, I have to say safety first! Carry out a 48-hour patch test at the back of your ear to ensure that you don’t have any allergies to a specific colour. I think people tend to skip over this part in instruction leaflets, but it really needs to be done before every colour application - especially when using a new brand.
Where do you go to find your hair hacks?
I’ve learned a lot of hair hacks over the years. My mum was such a big inspiration for me because she used to work in a hair salon and growing up she used to do my weaves. One brilliant hack I learned from her is to use a razor when cutting layers into the hair, which avoids creating blunt-looking lines. This is used a lot now, but back then it was honestly ground-breaking! Of course, Instagram and YouTube are great for discovering hair hacks too. I’m obsessed with DIY, so any time I need something done, I usually search YouTube for ways I can do it myself at home. Most recently I’ve been obsessed with all of the different benefits of aloe vera - it can do wonders for natural hair growth! At the moment I’m doing the 30-day Aloe Vera challenge and have already seen amazing results.
If you weren't an influencer, what do you think you'd be doing?
I’ve always believed that it’s important to do what I love and work hard to achieve it. Aside from content creation, I am also a web designer and business consultant for small and medium-sized businesses. I have a strong work ethic and love that I am able to use my skills to do more than one thing in my career.
Game time... Choose one!
Wigs or weaves...
Braids or faux locs...
Gel or holding spray...
Both. This depends on how I’m wearing my hair. Gel, for when my hair is in its natural coily state and holding spray for when it’s straight. A lot of the time I do actually like to use thick oils to hold down my hair for ponytails and top knots.
Heels or trainers...
Home or away...
Tik Tok or snapchat...
Nandos or Turtle Bay...
Nandos (veggie option every time!)
Nicki Minaj or Cardi B...