Headmasters: Tracey Cunningham

Twenty-four hours in the life of the Redken celebrity colorist

5 a.m. As much as I want a leisurely start to the day, it’s time to wake up and get going. The Primetime Emmy Awards are three days away and there is no rest for the weary during awards season! My morning ritual includes a workout and organic Bulletproof Coffee from Erewhon. 7:30 a.m. I arrive at Mèche Salon in Beverly Hills, CA and meet with my team to review which clients are on the schedule. On any given day, I have between 30 to 40 clients. While that doesn’t change during awards season, I keep to my regular clients and hold off on taking any new ones leading up to a show. 8 a.m.I make a quick call to my agent to discuss a potential last-minute change in my travel plans next week. Shakira would like her hair colored in Barcelona and has asked if I can make an appointment while I’m in Europe; we see what we can move around. 8:15 a.m. Let the Emmy Awards preparation begin! I work with various nominees and celebrities, as well as producers, cast members and clients who are lucky enough to hit the red carpet. My first client for the day, Amy Poehler, comes in before the salon opens for a quick touch-up, which involves adding multidimensional highlights using Redken Chromatics prismatic permanent color, to make sure her color shines onstage. 9 a.m. The salon officially opens for business. I begin working on several clients who made morning appointments. The salon is buzzing with chatter and music. 11:30 a.m. It’s been a crazy morning, and I’m in need of some fuel. One of our colorists makes a coffee run—an Americano from Le Pain Quotidien, please! 11:45 a.m. Over the next few hours, clients visit the salon for specific touch-ups or Shades EQ Gloss services for Monday’s event. For the Emmys, it’s important that my clients stay in character and don’t change their color to follow a certain trend. Kate Walsh comes in a little before lunch, and I use Redken Shades EQ Cream with the new Carmin’R dye technology to brighten her radiant red color. 1:45 p.m. I fuel up on a turkey burger and sweet potato fries. It’s a very brief but nice break. 2:30 p.m. It’s a busy day! So far, the afternoon included appointments with Minka Kelly and Mindy Kaling. 5 p.m. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, one of my last appointments in the salon for the day, stops by. I use Redken Cover Fusion and finish with Shades EQ Gloss for a healthy shine. 8:30 p.m. I head over to Hedley’s for one of their dinner specials. 9:30 p.m. I make a late-night house call to color Jennifer Lopez’s hair; she’s heading to the MTV Video Music Awards the night before the Emmys. 11:45 p.m. My assistant and I head home for the night. The Emmys are only two days away, so tomorrow is sure to be just as energy-filled as today! ✂ As told to Kelley Donahue


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