If you've ever watched an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians or admired Kim K's always perfect hair and makeup, you'll know that it takes a team of elite stylists to keep the girls looking flawless. One of these chosen ones is Scotty Cunha of Andy LeCompte Salon. Yes, THAT Andy LeCompte, whose salon has been named the most celebrity-heavy beauty spot in LA.
From humble beginnings as a Starbucks barista, Scotty has climbed the ranks in the beauty world, touring with Miley Cyrus, styling for major magazines, working with the likes of Kristin Cavallari and Lucy Hale, and of course, famously styling the Kardashians every day. Read on to learn more about Scotty, his journey, and who his dream BFF is.
How did you get started in the beauty industry?
I'm from Rhode Island originally and I hated high school. I wasn't academic, I went to summer school every summer, and I just knew I wasn’t meant be in school or go to a college for four years. I was very artistic, so I wanted to do something with my hands that also involved beauty and fashion.
I wanted to go to fashion school but I didn't want to take boring classes like textiles and sewing, so I thought, "let me try makeup.” Paul Mitchell (beauty school) had opened right next to my house, so I got my GED and went straight into beauty school.
Fun fact, celeb hairstylist Sunnie Brook was an educator for Paul Mitchell. Read her story here.
Sofia Ritchie, styled by Scotty Cunha
So, how did you end up in LA?
I was in beauty school for a year and I was thinking, "where else can I live?" I was soo over the East Coast! I thought, "I’m going to move to LA and do celebrities and have a salon on Rodeo Drive..." I had never been to LA and those were the things that I just thought were glamorous! I finished beauty school and moved to LA when I was 19.
I had to go back to beauty school in California since California requires more (school) time, and I literally worked at Starbucks while I was going to beauty school, which was the hardest job ever! I’m always nice to my baristas because I feel for those kids!
From Starbucks barista to helicopter rides with Kim Kardashian
Where was your first job as a "real" hairstylist?
I finally got my (cosmetology) license, and I dropped off my resume at every single salon. I finally started at Jonathan Salon, which was a really big deal back then. We were on this TV show called Blow Out and we were filming and I thought I was so cool! But I was still an assistant for 4 years and I was kind of miserable and needed a change.
When I was ready to move to a new salon, Andy LeCompte had opened a salon (Omg I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already!) and that was my first job. I got a chair and I was taking clients.
What was your "big break" as a celebrity stylist?
My first celebrity client was referred to me by my friend Jen Atkin of The Oaui. I’ve worked with her a lot with the product and I still work with her to this day with the Kardashians. Her agent asked her if she knew anyone who would be good to go on tour with with Miley Cyrus, and she was like, "Yeah, Scott!"
I did a random Walmart commercial with (Miley) and then we were literally inseparable for a year. I was with her every single day for a year. When I got back she started to do movies and I didn't really want to be in film or TV because I had already done the last season of Hannah Montana with her. I just knew that TV wasn't for me because it's such a set schedule. I didn't see myself being on set every single day.
We gotta know...how did you get started with the Kardashians?
I came back from my whirlwind year and I met my agent and he introduced me to the Kardashians. I literally didn't even know who they were. It was for this random magazine...I was supposed to do Kim, but when I arrived her glam had already been done, so she told me I was going to do her sister Kourtney. I had no idea who Kourtney was, but I did her (glam) and I’ve been working with them ever since!
The Kardashians styled by Scotty Cunha
They asked me if I wanted to work on their TV show and I would just do their glam every day, Monday through Friday. Then I started doing Kendall and Kylie when they were 15 or 16! They're still my friends and I still work with the girls. I’ve done all their hair and it's really wild to see how far we've all come. I’ve come a long the way because of them.
Kylie Jenner styled by Scotty Cunha
What is the biggest challenge you face?
I'm so lucky, I really don't have any big challenges! I always joke that my biggest challenge is always having to check my bag because I always have hair stuff in it…I can never do a carry on.
Who is your dream celebrity client?
I don't want to do her hair, I just want to be friend. Rihanna - she's my idol! She performed two shows in LA and I went to both of them!
Have you ever met her?
Rihanna was coming back from a show in Anaheim and she was going to be at this bar that my friends own. I had to take off all my Rihanna swag and dress normal because I didn’t want to look like a freak. I was with my friends who are friends with her and I wasn’t sure what her mindset was so I stood next to her but I didn't say anything. I'm just waiting for the right moment… hopefully on a yacht or on a beach or something.
If she asked me do her hair, obviously I would do it, but I just want to walk out of a restaurant with her with a wine glass.
What's your favourite Rihanna hairstyle?
I think one of my major moments was in 2014 when she had on this green, silk dress and the blonde bangs down to her collarbone and was so chic and I just loved her blonde and she was totally giving me Scarface vibes.
I'm really loving her big hair right now which is gorgeous and wavy and curly. I always love her when she has her natural, big hair.
What hair trends are you super into right now?
I love that everyone's chopping their hair! I think it's really fun and cute. I’m usually a long hair person but I also work in a salon and my clients want to chop their hair! I'm usually like a long hair person but I'm really loving everyone kind of being like f**k it and cutting their hair off.
Kendall Jenner styled by Scotty Cunha
Can you give us a celebrity hairstylist styling secret?
My favourite secret in the world is spraying your toothbrush with hairspray to tame flyaway without making your hair sticky!
What's your advice for anyone trying to achieve their dreams like you?
Be yourself and be on time.
There’s only one you. A lot of my clients love me because they want to hang out with me. Anybody can do a beach wave, but I have a great personality and I show up on time and I'm reliable.
-As told to Luxy Hair
All photos courtesy of Scotty Cunha and The Only Agency.