How Tracey Cunningham Went From High School Haircuts to Hollywood Hair Color


Welcome to Big Break, where some of the most influential figures in the beauty industry reflect on the beauty moments that made them — from the good to the bad, and everything in between. Here, celebrity hair colorist Tracey Cunningham shares how she became a leader in the category with clients like Emma Stone, Jennifer Lopez, and Halle Berry.

Tracey Cunningham has been playing with hair since the moment she could walk. Before her list of clientele included names like Jennifer Lopez, Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry, and Emma Stone, it included her mom and school friends.

Cunningham had super-curly hair growing up; her mom, on the other hand, had straight hair. “When we would watch TV, I would see the hairstyles and I would look at my mom’s hair and think, ‘Why doesn’t she do that?'” Cunningham told POPSUGAR. She was only 7 years old at the time, but as soon as she started using a curling iron and a brush, it became clear to everyone around her that she was going to be something.

It took seeing Charlie’s Angels on TV in 1976 to inspire her to take her interest a step farther. “I’d never seen anything like the feathered hair,” Cunningham said. “It was the coolest thing ever, so I had to make sure my mom had the feathered look every morning.”

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