October 12, 2020
Allie White Stylist at Midtown Curls Reno, Nv.
Allie and I grew up in the same small town a couple of years apart. We both knew about each other but never really hung out or talked for no other reason than that we were in different social groups.
As I began to follow more hairstylists on social media, I started following Allie. I thought it was neat that there was another person I knew from my hometown that started doing hair. Although I didn't really pay too much attention to her hair journey, being wrapped up in my own, I recall that her posts would always catch my eye. Allie shared openly all that it had taken for her to embrace the natural way her hair wanted to be... curly.
Though I didn't acknowledge this to Allie until many years later, I appreciated her honesty, what she was putting out there, and how she was delivering and talking about what she was learning. It felt like she was doing something important. It felt like she was making something of herself for the greater good of humanity by sharing what she loves doing -- hair. I admire this in Allie. I admire this in anyone that says “YES” to using their talents to help people.
Allie’s enthusiasm and passion came through in many ways during our interview. She talked about the roller coaster of the beauty industry and how important it is to find things that will keep your spark lit up otherwise you will burn out. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately of what that looks like for me. This project has been my saving grace in ways that I had no idea would come for me. And in other ways, it’s made me wonder and question what’s next for me and all of my life decisions. I believe this is just part of human existence so I haven’t been too hard on myself about it. And I am gearing up for my passions to be revived and I suppose I am longing for the sparkle in my own eye to return. I know I am not alone in this, and just as a reminder to myself and anyone else feeling this way, as we are still in the middle of a pandemic.
There are a lot of different parts of the beauty industry to Allie. One is how people really care and want to help you with your hair in the most healthy and organic way. But there is also the shadow side. Allie talks about it being shady, misleading, and dishonest. I agree. There are those who are only in it for money, doing whatever it takes to get you to buy their product, even if it’s just filled with plastic crap. She told me about the “Think Dirty App.” It’s an app that will tell you about all the nasty things in your products! Though I have to admit I haven't used it yet, I like the idea a lot.
To help counteract this shadow side of the industry and to focus on really helping people, Allie has a service called a “Lesson”. This is where she teaches you all about how to actually do your hair and how best to use your products so you can go home and recreate your look by yourself. And, who doesn’t benefit from that?
I believe going through our own experiences of happiness all the way through our challenges gives us the chance to more deeply understand others, the world, ourselves and how to empathize and show up for one another. I believe that this is a choice and the people that choose to dive deep into what they have gone through — do the work, if you will — help make the world a better place and are angels and people that I admire greatly.
This may be a small example of this but it feels important to me to point out… Allie’s own experience with her hair journey challenges while growing up and going through beauty school, but then finding love and passion for her own hair is exactly what makes her a great hairstylist. She has lived it first hand. She knows what it’s like to hate her hair, to have hair that no one understands, to put so much effort into it and it to still not look like it’s supposed to. She has empathy for people that are going through this very thing. And she has worked her ass off to acquire the tools and skills to understand what makes hair do the things it does. She has chosen to specialize in curls because she loves them and wants others to love, appreciate, and celebrate their own. She does everything she can so they understand how to do their own curls at home, encouraging her customers to fall in love with their hair and themselves -- all this while building confidence and supporting brighter lights in the world.
Our conversation hit home for me on many levels, but the biggest one that I was moved by and am still moved by, is when we talked about the intention of why someone gets a service done. Where does the desire to get botox come from? What about getting eyelashes done? Or hair extensions? And I like to push it a little further... What about even putting makeup on? Or why get dressed up or wear the clothes that you do?
For me, I have challenged myself for years to not wear makeup when I don’t want to. Or get super dressed up. Or wear only red lipstick. I remember when I got my hair extensions two years ago. I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this?’ I recall my answer was, ‘Because I want to.’ No one had them that I wanted to look like. There wasn’t anything wrong with my own hair. I wanted the experience of having them. I wanted to know what it felt like. I wanted to do some research as a human being and as a hairstylist.
And you know what? I loved it. I felt like a princess! I felt so beautiful and so extra. But, I have to admit, having hair extensions was a lot of work. They took so very long to dry and they were really hard to dance with because it was like having a down blanket on my head. But I am so glad that I chose to do it for myself so I could be able to have real conversations with people that were interested in having them.
Back to Allie, Beauty to Allie is perseverance and strength. This is true for her because this is what she is and has. Her ability to learn how to overcome challenges and make lemonade out of the lemons life has given her moves me and makes me want to do the same. More on that in the interview! I am so excited to see what is next for Allie’s career and her impact on so many people with her natural kindness, excitement, and passions.
Thank you, Allie for making the Beauty Industry beautiful!
Love and gratitude,
Creator/ Founder of The Beauty Project
Allie's Beauty Statement: "Beauty to me is perseverance and strength, going through the hard stuff.
The beauty industry means to me a place where you can fit in, no matter what, regardless of limitations, expectations or trends.
What I would like people to know about the beauty industry is that you are accepted. There is a place for you.
I am beautiful because I am strong, accepting, and inclusive."