Sunday, March 25, 2012

Carrie White / Upper Cut


Behind the scenes of every Hollywood photo shoot, TV Commercial, and party in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, there was Carrie White. 

As the “First Lady of Hairdressing,” Carrie collaborated with Richard Avedon on photo shoots for Vogue, partied with Jim Morrison, styled Sharron Tate’s for her wedding to Roman Polanski, and got high with Jimi Hendrix. She has counted Jennifer Jones, Betsy Bloomingdale, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn and Camille Cosby among her favorite clients.

Carrie White’s riveting beauty book (Upper Cut) reads more like a novel then a traditional beauty book. With a career that spanned more than forty-five years Carrie White lived the "Hairdresser Dream", styling everyone from Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret to many top Hollywood actors and actresses. 

Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, In Style, Allure, Vanity Fair, Ladies Home Journal, Mademoiselle, and Glamor. As one of Hollywood’s most sought after hairstylists, Carrie tells a roller coaster story of hair, celebrities and surviving life in the fast lane. Her engaging, celebrity-filled life story is a captivating tale but it’s her personal story that is at the heart of the novel.
Carrie White was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from Hollywood High school and enrolled in the Lapin Brother Beauty College. Through connections Carrie landed a position in a Beverly Hills salon and quickly made her mark in the all-male field of famous Hairdressers. Within a few years her appointment book was over flowing with celebrities. The list of her famous clients fills the final four pages of her book. 

But behind the glamorous facade, Carrie's world was in perpetual disarray and always had been. After her father abandoned the family when she was still a child, she was sexually abused by her domineering stepfather, and her alcoholic mother was unstable and unreliable. Carrie was sipping cocktails before her tenth birthday, and had had five children and three husbands before her twenty-eighth birthday. 

She fueled the frenetic pace of her professional life with a steady diet of champagne and vodka, diet pills, cocaine, and heroin, until she eventually lost her home, her car, her career -- and nearly her children. 

Carrie White’s book (Upper Cut) carried me back through time to the places and atmosphere of those distant heady days. She made me laugh with her total recall of the aura and feel of the Beverly Hills scene (people and places) that I remember well. I found myself uncomfortable reading about her struggles with fame and drugs and for the thought of her sweet little kids and all the hard times they journeyed through together coming out the other side whole and perfect again. 

With her sharp wit and keen eye, Carrie White has written one of the best stories about life as a world famous Hollywood Hairdresser,  that I’ve read.   I literally couldn’t put it down. 
An unflinching portrayal of addiction and recovery, Upper Cut proves that even in Hollywood, sometimes you have to fight for a happy ending. Carrie battled her way back, getting sober, rebuilding her relationships and her reputation as a hairdresser and today, the name Carrie White is once again on the door,  of one of Beverly Hill's most respected salons.

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