Before developing a client list that includes Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore, Cunningham stumbled on the job opportunity of a lifetime.
"Bette Midler's nanny had quit, so they needed a nanny very quickly," Cunningham explained to Steel.
With one foot already in the door, Cunningham learned styling by studying Midler's hairdresser and even offered to step in for him when he wasn't available.
"I said to Bette, 'I can do your hair. I'll do it.' And she said, 'Are you sure?'" she recalled. "I said, 'Oh Bette! I can blow dry.'"
Cunningham did so well with Midler's hair that the Golden Globe winner later paid her way through beauty school.
"Isn't that amazing?" said Cunningham. "She's very proud."
Today, Cunningham is so busy at her Meche salon in Beverly Hills that she can only take new clients by referral. Luckily for Steel, Cunningham had time to give her a taste of what stars like Chrissy Teigen and Khloe Kardashian go to her for.
"To quote John Legend, all of me loves all of this hair," Steel joked.