Chicagoan is Oscar's hair apparent tonight

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Before he moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to jump-start his career as a hair stylist six months ago, Johnny Wright had no idea he would contribute to the glitz of the Academy Awards.

This afternoon, he helped two nominees, Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, who were nominated for art direction for the period piece ‘‘Atonement,’’ get all dolled up for the big night.

‘‘They were very easygoing. They weren’t as stressed out as I thought they’d be,’’ Wright said, after finishing his work shortly before the show began.

All across Los Angeles, stylists and makeup artists were making house-calls to Oscar-goers, collecting ‘‘almost triple what you’d pay in the salon,’’ said Wright.

When they’re done, they hope they have created a work of art that millions of people will see later that night on television.

‘‘I have a bag of tricks: all my great tools, curlers and an iron, shellack, acrylic in a bottle — because sometimes you’ve got to hold thin hair in place,’’ Wright said. ‘‘I use extensions, bobby pins, sprays and sheens to create my masterpiece.’’

His work done, Wright didn’t attend the Oscar show. Instead, he was off to a viewing party at the W Hotel, where he was rooting for Spencer and Greenwood — so he could see his masterpieces on stage.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on February 24, 2008 9:30 PM.

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