Talking Fall Hair Color With Redken’s Tracey Cunningham
With November just a week away, Fall has hit its stride, which means a couple of things: First, you’re likely coming to the end of your seasonal-transition skin issues (rejoice!) and, two, you’re probably considering a hair color change now that those summer sun streaks seem incongruous with the cooler temperatures. “I warm my clients’ shades up in the fall,” Tracey Cunningham told us. As Redken’s creative consultant for color and one half of Beverly Hills’ celeb-friendly salon Byron + Tracey, Cunningham knows a thing or two about color changes (she tends to the tresses of Kate Bosworth, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Jessica Biel on the regular). Here, the coiffing star talks deep mahogany and brilliant copper-red hues and name-drops the Victoria’s Secret Angel who currently boasts the most requested hair color in L.A.
So, why warmer for winter?
It’s funny how clients embrace the winter. You’d think that we’ve trained them to think that they need to go darker! But people just really want to do that. They really want to cozy up.
Break it down for us; how are you instructing your clients—be they brunette, red, or blonde?
For my brunette clients, I plan to keep their base a dark chocolate truffle hue with thick golden highlights starting from the mid-section of their hair; for redheads, I lean towards a single-process tone with no highlights, just vibrant deep mahogany tones; and blond locks will be light and golden—a California blonde with the base a shade darker to give some dimension to the look. Think Kate Bosworth for this blond shade, it pops on her and looks great with a red lip. Sometimes just doing a gloss will work—it will warm up your highlights to a caramel tone—or with solid color, it would just make it more rich.
Whoa—Kate Bosworth has been really blonde recently. Will that really work on everyone?
Well, Kate is naturally really blonde. People always ask, “What’s the perfect blond?” and it’s really whatever looks good with your skin tone. Like…Cameron Diaz can tan.
So is rich blond the color that a lot of people are asking for right now?
Actually, it’s red! Everyone is asking me for red. I think Emma Stone has had a made big impression. That’s the wish color of everyone, somewhere between Karen Elson and Emma Stone. There are certain people who can’t pull off that color, though. There are many different shades of red, but purple-red doesn’t really look good on a lot of people. Better to stick to more natural versions of red—reds that could occur in nature. I’ve always believed in natural tones; they look better on your hair and with your skin. And as far as upkeep is concerned, it’s way easier to maintain.
Speaking of upkeep, what about cold-weather maintenance? Are there things we should be doing differently in the fall or winter months to keep our color looking vibrant?
There’s no difference, really. I always recommend coloring every six to eight weeks, but for a single-process color, you should really do four to six weeks. Two months is just too long. In general, you should treat your hair like you would a fine garment—you wouldn’t throw a cashmere sweater into the wash! I love sulfate-free shampoos for gentle cleansing, but there are also great, color-safe, non-sulfate-free options from Redken, MorroccanOil, and Shu Uemura. I’m really into Redken’s Real Control Slim Supreme right now, which I use pre- and post-blow-out for nourishment. It’s just a really good blow-dry serum. It does everything—it gives shine and life to the hair.
Is there a specific fall style you’d recommend rocking with newly colored hair?
Buy some hot rollers—big, big hot rollers are awesome. Everybody looks good with a blow-out. And Lily Aldridge.
Yes. She’s the most commonly brought-in celebrity picture right now for color and style. Everyone brings in that J Brand ad and those Victoria’s Secret pictures. Sometimes I even take pictures of those pictures with my phone and text them to her because she’s a client. She loves it!