Tracey Cahoon is a successful celebrity hairstylist who has worked with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Kate Moss and now owns her own salon in a renovated multi story car park ‘Peckham Levels’. I went to find out her career story and how it has led her to open her own salon.
‘Stand on the stool Tracey and shampoo the client’s hair’. This is how Tracey started out at a young age assisting her mum who was a hairdresser alongside two of her aunts.
Tracey began at Tony Guy, from there she movedfrom Ireland to Australia, and met a guy from Vidal Sassoon who she says ‘Inspired me to go to London’. London is what bought her all the great opportunities later on and if it wasn’t for him, maybe she wouldn’t have had the inspiration to come to a big city and pursue her goals.
“Inspired me to go to London”.
In London, she worked for a man named ‘Andy Jose’, although this wasn’t enough and she decided to go back to Toni & Guy- to broaden her skills.
When working back in Toni & Guy her peers would comment: “You should work on editorials, you have a really good eye and are really good with hair”. She took this advice, first working with an in-house photographer. This is what led her to gain many recommendations to work with other photographers and various model-agencies.
“You have a really good eye and are really good with hair”.
Although, what really kicked her career into high gear was an appointment that changed it all. British photographer Corrine Day came into a Toni & Guy salon, had her hair done by Tracey and was so impressed. She had her assistant call her up and ask “Corrine really liked you, do you have a portfolio?” Withina week Tracey’s career sky rocketed and she says “I was working with Kate Moss the next week”.
“I was working with Kate Moss the next week”
Tracey’s success grew and soon after she had the opportunity to work with Amy Winehouse. She first worked with her when she started to do test shoots for her first album. She actually asked Tracey if she would be able to create the iconic beehive for her at the end of a shoot. Which she did, although that didn’t come into scene until her second album and first featured in her single ‘Back to Black’.
After a very successful career Tracey decided to take a break to focus on her son, who she had aged forty- Tracey then went onto owning a one chair salon at the back of a vintage shop in Nunhead. This unfortunately didn’t work out and is also when Tracey heard about Peckham. After much planning and designing ‘Cahoonas Hair’ was born. It has now been a year since Tracey has opened this salon and it seems to be progressing very well each week.
“I wanted it to resemble the art department in a photo studio”, was the theme behind the design of the salon. Tracey wanted to create something unique, not have a traditional salon and have the chairs away from each other. She wanted to create an environment that people would feel comfortable in, a place where people can express themselves and a place where each person can have a one to one experience with their stylists. This reflects Tracey’s personality in many ways, as it shows that she really cares for her customers and wants them to enjoy their experience- making them want to come back each time.
“I wanted it to resemble the art department in a photo studio”.
Tracey is avery professional yet friendly and ‘easy to work with’ person. One of the girls said Tracey is very “supportive and passionate” and that Tracey has this “laid-back and playful” theme across the salon and her staff.
A woman who has had a successful career, travelled to many different countries and now owns her business- is a woman who has done really well for herself.