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Bunny Jean Cunningham

Let’s face it; Davis doesn’t have a reputation for high style, in fact, just the opposite.  Most of you probably know at least one person who goes to San Francisco to get their hair done.  Even more know someone who drives into Sacramento, or even Vacaville of all places.  Well I’ve worked as a stylist in Davis for 23 years come August, and I’m here to tell you that they are wasting their time, and money!

Anybody who has spent any time wandering around downtown will have noticed a salon on just about every block, and in some areas two or more.  Yes, you can find your run of the mill chop shop where you can walk in and get a haircut for somewhere around ten dollars, no appointment necessary.  But on the other hand, I could name at least a dozen salons in town where you will find the same (or better) service than you would find in most metropolitan centers.  And that’s what I’m going to do over the next few blog posts, starting with J. Cunningham, Too.

The reason I decided to start here is because the owner happens to have been one of the greatest influences in my career.  Bunny Jean Cunningham, yes Bunny Jean to her friends, is the driving force behind not only J. Cunningham’s, but also a good percentage of the more skilled stylists and salon owners in town.

Jean takes over a room when she enters.  A very dynamic, and energetic woman, she has no problem telling you what she thinks, and I can tell you from experience, when it comes to hair, she’s most likely correct.

Jean started her career in 1959.  She had always assumed she would be a nurse or doctor.  She’s not afraid of getting messy, and she’s definitely not afraid of a little hard work.  Jean realized very quickly, however, that chemistry was her downfall.  So when a friend of hers dropped out of cosmetology school, Jean thought, “How bad can it be working with people’s hair after working on a ranch?”  Luckily for us she discovered her true calling!

One of Jean's multimedia works

Jean has owned three salons in different parts of the country over the years, but by far the most successful is her current salon in North Davis.  You can find it connected to the Davis Athletic Club, and if you do, you won’t be disappointed.  Jean has the eye of an artist.  Jean taught me how to cut hair right out of school.  That’s the way she likes to work, hire someone with no bad habits and get them started on the right path.  After 20 years of continuing education, and daily practice, I still prefer to cut the way Jean taught me!

Jean is also a multimedia artist of no small talent.  She studied painting some years back, and though she became sidetracked (being a single mom and business owner), after studying with local ceramists Donna Billick, she found another of her many talents!  Jeans work in ceramic shows her personality just as much as her cutting style does.  Her pieces seem bigger than life, with a very obvious hair motif running through them, they are very much Bunny Jean Cunningham.

Another of Jean's beautiful ceramic pieces on display at J. Cunningham, Too

Jean’s work, both in hair and ceramic, can be seen most of the days of the week at her salon J. Cunningham, Too, 1809 Picasso Avenue in the Davis Athletic Club.  I can’t recommend her highly enough.  If you want one of the best cuts anywhere in Northern California, without the drive, make an appointment, or just stop by to view her work.  I guarantee a very enthusiastic reception!

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