When she graduated from Hollywood High School in California in 1961, Carrie White did her hair up in a bubblegum-pink beehive. She had learned, she wrote in her memoir, that “if I could get my hair right, my life would work better.”

After attending beauty school, she developed a reputation for getting other people’s hair right. And soon she was coloring, snipping and shaping the heads of Tinseltown’s superstars — Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando among them.

The media called White the “first lady of hairdressing.” Seated in her chair in her Beverly Hills, California, salon were A-listers as disparate as Jimi Hendrix, Nancy Reagan, Sharon Tate and Lucille Ball; her work on Elvis Presley ensured that his fans’ eyes were focused as much on his jet-black pompadour as on his gyrating hips.

By the late 1960s, her salon was one continuous party scene.

“Sometimes I cut hair on roller skates, in spandex pants, with a gram of coke in my back pocket,” she told Los Angeles magazine in 2019. In those heady times, White was a star herself, even appearing on an episode of the game show “To Tell the Truth.” United Airlines sought her out to create a hairstyle for its flight attendants: She came up with a modish bob.

But the party didn’t last. White’s life spiraled downward from drug and alcohol addiction, a horrific descent she described in her memoir, “Upper Cut: Highlights of My Hollywood Life” (2011), which is being made into a movie starring Julia Fox.

After some years in the depths, White managed to get into recovery and stay there. Even as she resumed her hairstyling business with a whole new generation of stars, including Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock, she was a proud, not-at-all-anonymous member of Alcoholics Anonymous. She devoted herself to speaking publicly around the country about …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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