Meet Cassondra Kaeding, one of Hollywood’s most sought-after colorists and responsible for creating rich and astounding hair color for top celebrities including Vanessa Hudgens, Lea Michelle, Josh Hutcherson, John Cusack, Mischa Barton and Ciara to name a few.
We caught up with Cassondra at the Sally Hershberger salon in Los Angeles to chat about how she got her start in the industry, building her own reputable VIP clientele, to becoming the most sought after colorist in Hollywood.
1. HOW DID YOU END UP IN THE CAREER THAT YOU HAVE NOW? I’ve always known I wanted to be a hair colorist — when I was 7-years-old, I went around and dyed as many friends’ hair in the neighborhood with Kool-Aid (…sorry Johnny.) When I got older, my parents wanted me to go college before I pursued hair, so I studied Business at University of Denver, and I worked at Under Armor in the marketing department. I wasn’t fulfilled working a 9 to 5, so I moved back to California to go to the Paul Mitchell hair school and have been coloring hair ever since!
2. WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION TO CONTINUE TO KEEP THINGS FRESH AND NEW WITH YOUR CLIENTS? BLOGS? SOCIAL SITES? FASHION SHOWS? I love to look at old editorial magazines like Vogue and W magazine. With Instagram, I usually go to hair accounts like @americansalon, @maneaddicts and @behindthechair because they provide an inside look at the beauty industry. I’m most inspired by my everyday life – my friends, clients, people on the street – l’m lucky to have inspiration all around me in LA and through my travels.
3. WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL? WHY? I would be an owl. For starters, I have a tattoo of an owl on my upper arm because I love them and they have always intrigued me. They symbolize wisdom– something I’m always working towards in my career and in life. Also, it would be pretty cool to see in the dark!
4. WHAT’S THE MOST POPULAR MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR? Definitely working on set for The Hunger Games movies. Seeing your work on some of the most in-demand actors in the business for the first time… on a big screen… in a movie theater is a pretty cool feeling when you are just starting out in your career! It also gave me the chance to work with many other talented artists, like Ve Neill and Linda Flowers, who’ve really paved the way in the hair and makeup industry.
5. WHAT “POPULAR” CLIENT HAVE YOU WORKED WITH THAT MADE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MADE IT? I’ve been doing Rooney Mara’s hair for the past 5 years. It’s rare to work with a client who is a total chameleon and has the talent and personality to take on such a wide range of hair colors and styles. My “I made it moment” came in the form of a Vogue cover, featuring Rooney Mara and my fresh color.