Colorist To The Stars Tracey Cunningham On Why You Need Olaplex In Your Life (And What It Actually Does)

Tracey CunninghamPhoto Credit: Carlos Lopez
Tracey Cunningham is a name known and beloved by all in L.A. Renowned for her blondes and killer highlights, her clients are among the most sought after women of stage and screen —from JLo to Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron to Toni Collette, Jennifer Garner to Jessica Biel, just to name a few. The co-owner of Beverly Hills’ most sought-after salon, Mèche (with co-owner Neil Weisberg), needless to say, has been busy, busy, busy as L.A. opens up and vaccines are being given, but she took a moment out of her hectic schedule to sit down with Haute Living and discuss her new book, “Tracey Cunningham’s True Color” and her love of fan favorite hair healer, Olaplex. Tracey CunninghamPhoto Credit: James Houston

Tell me what the benefits are of Olaplex #8?

If you’re going to take the time to do a mask, put the 3 in and do a pre-treatment. All it does it strengthens your hair. It rebonds and strengthens it. When you’re doing the moisture mask you have to do it for at least 10 minutes. It’s patented and it has ceramides, hyaluronic acids, everything that will hydrate your hair and give it more smoothness and shine. I will tell you this I have are really tough time getting my clients to do a mask because they don’t want their hair weighed down. That’s why Olaplex made #8 to go into the hair and just sink in, but it will not weigh down the hair. It is great.

What are the benefits?

It gives you moisture inside the hair. It’s new technology that goes inside. I actually use it as a leave-in sometimes because my hair is really curly. There’s nothing wrong with anything that you like. When my hair is just feeling really dry, it just sinks in.

Do you have a ride or die product?

The professional product, #1, is my savior. It’s amazing. The #1 is just pure Olaplex. Make sure you get the #3 as well, and the #8 and #5. I will say about the #4, our shampoo, we spent so much money just formulating the shampoo — it’s amazing. I use the #5 every time I shampoo, but once every two weeks, once a week, I do the moisture mask.

Is there anyone this not good for?

No, there is no one this is not good for. It’s good for everyone. And something that not everybody talks about is that it’s a green product. Clients would say to me, ‘I’m pregnant. What kind of shampoo and conditioner can I use?’ and I said, ‘You can continue to use Olaplex.’ As a company, we just morally believe in that so we weren’t toting it around going, ‘We’re green, we’re green!’

Are you a co-founder in this or just an advocate?

Dean Christal, who was the owner of the company, he had a company before called Liquid and it was a hair smoother. When the hair straighteners came out and they all had formaldehyde in them, he tried to do one without formaldehyde but it wasn’t super successfully because you actually need formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen. But it bothered him so much that people were putting a carcinogen into their body. They create cancer. It was very upsetting for him, so basically everything he does is green, and that’s why I’ve loved working with the company from day one.

Can you share what you think as the colorist to the stars what you think a color trend will be for summer?

I think people are ready to get out. They’re vaccinated, they’re ready to live their lives. I think they’re going to be excited to get their highlights in. Yesterday, I was at the salon and it was pumping. Blonder, blonder, blonder — whether you’re a brunette or a redhead, highlights and Shades EQ.

Tracey Cunningham Photo Credit: Abrams Image

What trends are you happy that are over?

My favorite trend that is over is DIY. So many people having to do their hair at home because of the pandemic. Now they’re back at the salon and it’s awesome. Bye, bye DIY!

You just released a book. Tell me about it.

The first page is a forward by Bette Midler. It’s my favorite page. I love it that much. It goes through my life a little bit – why I love color – and we do a history of hair, a glossary and then I talk about color chameleons. The reason why I wanted to do this book is because I love kids hair color. Everyone is trying to get back to their true color. If you were born lighter, the first thing you do for anti-aging is highlights. Not Botox, but highlights. And then I have my clients give me photos of them as little kids. You get to see their true color. It’s a book for anyone with hair.

What’s the one takeaway from the book?

You need to have this book because it’s very informative. It has everything that you need to know if you have hair.

Why is having a great hair a luxury?

Having great is a luxury because not everybody has great hair. Whether you grew it out or you bought it, it is fantastic. And make sure you Olaplex that hair even if you bought it!

What to you is the greatest luxury in life?

The greatest luxury in life is being able to vacation and to have a home to come home to. So many people don’t have homes anymore. To be able to eat every day. We take it for granted that a lot of people don’t have everything that they need. It’s a luxury to have simple things.

 OlaplexPhoto Credit: Olaplex