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Redken Creative Consultant Tracey Cunningham Hair Color Tips

Tracey Cunningham is one of the most highly sought after colorists in the business and has a client list that's packed with celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie among others.

(Image of Jennifer Lopez - - All Rights Reserved)

Born on the fourth of July, she came to Los Angeles from her native Seattle and word of mouth circulated around town with clients thrilled by her remarkable color skills and sharp eye for detail.

Byron & Tracey Salon In Beverly Hills

Today, as Redken's Creative Consultant for Color and co-owner of Byron & Tracey salon in Beverly Hills, Tracey collaborates with Redken on the latest hair color trends each season and in getting the word out with consumers on the right Redken haircolor brands to ask their colorist for to achieves these trends.

Tracey's work is featured in publications including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Allure, O, the Oprah Magazine, InStyle, and Entertainment Weekly.

Hair Color Is Not A Conditioning Treatment

Tracey creates color which is known for it's subtle rich tones.   Although she is a master of creating amazing color, she is famous for saying that "coloring your hair isn't a conditioning treatment!"   She advises all hair consumers "who have their hair colored to ask their stylist for an in-salon deep conditioning treatment such as Redken Chemistry at each visit and stay on top of  trims every 10-12 weeks to help eliminate dead ends."

Tracey offers lots of wisdom about caring for colored hair.  She recommends "the Redken Color Extend line for color-treated hair! It helps the color last longer and gives great shine! Another note to help take care of color-treated hair is to use color-safe products all the time; if you don't, it can dry out your hair and fade your color!"

Changing Your Hair Color With The Seasons

Tracey believes in changing up your hair color from season to season.  She believes it's "fun" to do because "small adjustments can help update your look from season to season."  She recommends "brightening it up for the summer with more highlights and tone it down for the fall season with low-lights."

If you want to be really blonde Tracey recommends "full highlights; if you would rather have natural subtle highlights then ask your colorist for partial highlights. Partial highlights are more natural and full highlights are more dramatic. The difference is that partial highlights are scattered throughout the head and aren't too noticeable, full highlights are placed throughout the entire head."

Keep An Open Line Of Communication With Your Colorist

Tracey advises hair color clients "to keep an open line of communication with their colorists."

If you have an unhappy hair color experience she suggests "make sure to tell your colorist. If you can communicate that the result is not the exact look you were hoping for, your colorist may be able to adjust it for you and understand better what you are trying to achieve for your next appointment."

If that doesn't work Tracey recommends visiting "your Redken Stylist and ask them to tone it down with Shades EQ - this will bring your color back and add shine. Don't ask your colorist to strip the color in order to remove all want to add color to darken up the shade."

Tracey notes "if you are having trouble describing the shade you like, bring in a picture of a friend or celebrity to show your colorist so she can see exactly what you are referring to."

She also suggests "if you hear a color term you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask your colorist for an explanation. Remember to inquire about maintenance how often you'll need to return to the salon for touchups, and how to best maintain your color at home between visits!"

Corrective Hair Color Treatments

Tracey warns "if you are going in for "corrective color" to correct color results you are unhappy with from a prior coloring experience  be prepared for a longer visit, as your colorist may need to remove old color and then recolor your hair."  Indeed, color correction is not an exact science and may even take more than one visit to achieve the ultimate results you desire.

Active Lifestyle Activities Might Put Hair Color At Risk

When hair is highlighted it is more prone to damage from certain lifestyles such as active swimming time.  Can pool chemicals impact beautiful highlights and lowlights or turn them undesirable colors?

Tracey agrees "yes, this can happen. You want to make sure that you use SPF before you swim and wear a bathing cap to help eliminate chlorine from getting to your highlights. I recommend Redken's Color Extend line as it contains UV filters, anti-oxidant vitamin E, conditioning silicone, ion blockers, and ceramide to help shield, stabilize and secure color vibrancy."

At Home Haircoloring?

Tracey does not encourage at-home coloring because as she points out "a lot of clients come into the salon for color correction after trying at-home color."

Tracey says "if you're planning to color your hair, visit your colorist or to locate a Redken Certified Haircolorist in your area. If you are hesitant to color your hair, ask your colorist for a Shades EQ service - this is a demi-permanent haircolor that delivers incredible color, shine, and condition to hair and is ideal if you want to enrich your natural color or brighten dullness."

Trust Your Colorist's Expertise

Tracey advises that you "listen to your colorist's expert opinion. During your color consultation, they will consider your desired result, then evaluate your hair's condition and look at your skin tone and coloring in order to create your custom color formulation."

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