Hair Color Trends

COLOR CLASS: How Tracey Cunningham Works With Budget-Conscious Color Clients

Alison Alhamed | January 16, 2017 | 12:46 PM
Tracey Cunningham on stage at Redken Symposium 2017.

At Redken Symposium 2017 in Las Vegas, Tracey Cunningham’s Redken Ambassador class was standing-room only. And it’s no surprise—Cunningham is known for creating the color of some of Hollywood’s most beautiful—you know, all the celebrities your clients bring in pictures of for inspiration: Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Stone, JLo, Mariah Carrey, Britney Spears (need we really go on?), and still finds time to service 40 clients a day (with the help of some incredible assistants, of course).

“I’m not an educator, I’m just someone who loves to do hair,” Cunningham says. “Less is more, that is my motto.”

Trust us, she’s modest. This woman kills it with education. She can answer any question from any colorist and gives the REAL answers.

At her class, one of the highlights was when she talked about working with younger clientele or budget-conscious clients.

Cunningham suggests avoiding single-process color because that means your client will have to start coming in every four weeks for a retouch.

“Yes that would be GREAT for you, but guess what? If they can’t afford it they’re not going to come back to you,” Cunningham says. “They’re going to start doing it at home out of desperation. I see so many young people come in and they say ‘I want to go red.’ If you do a single-process on her you’re going to lose that client.”

Cunningham says babylights and a glaze go a long way without requiring too much maintenance for a younger client without a huge paycheck.

“It’s important you don’t do too much on someone who can’t keep it up. I want my client’s hair to look good ALL the time, so I tell them if the color has lost its vibrancy, just come back in like every two months,” Cunningham says. “This is affordable, because I’m not charging for a base color, just a glaze."

Recently, on Instagram, Cunningham posted a piece on Khloe all about the reasons why she ALWAYS looks good (and girl ALWAYS looks good...). "Even if she has 'roots' she looks good because I do NOT lift her base!" she says. "I just do highlights, not weaving too tight so her natural color comes through. I use Redken Flashlift and 1/4 oz of Olaplex Rinse, then I root her with 09n + 09nb at her hairline, and 07n + 07nb for five minutes. If you make your client too all-one-color blonde it makes it hard to enjoy the color! You are always touching up the roots!"


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