Tracey Cunningham (@traceycunningham1) is no stranger to covering gray. Although best known for creating glamorous looks on her many celebrity clients, Cunningham, a Redken Ambassador, is also passionate about offering her less high profile clients beautiful finishes. Many include covering, blending or enhancing gray hues.
MODERN checked in with Cunningham to get her five tips on covering gray:
- “Pay attention to the hairline,” Cunningham says. When it comes to darker shades, the colorist says it’s even more difficult. “Brunettes have the worst time coloring their hair because they often walk around with a black hairline. When I see this, I know that the colorist has not taken the time to do a lighter hairline.” Cunningham advises formulating the hairline to be one level lighter than the rest of zone 1 to prevent the hairline from going too dark, offering “the most natural looking coverage.”
- For clients who are just starting to go gray, Cunningham starts to gently integrate color, blending away the gray first with Redken Shades EQ before moving into somethng more permanent. Another option, Cunningham says, is to “weave in Redken Cover Fusion by applying only to the gray hairs.”
- When covering gray and lightening up the hair, Cunningham will often highlight around the hairline, and then do the base in between, or just balayage the ends, while the base is on.
- “Make sure to have a consultation with your gray coverage clients every three to six months, just to check in with them and make sure they’re happy,” Cunningham says. “During a consultation I often put my hand over their line of demarcation and say, ‘are you really happy with your hair?’ or show them some inspirational photos and ask ‘would you like me to do this next time?’”
- When it comes to brand or line selection, Cunningham does not hesitate. “Make sure to use Redken Cover Fusion on your gray coverage clients because it is a homerun every time. My favorite shade family is NA (Natural Ash) for reliable coverage with absolutely no warmth.”