Blog Celebrates How Beauty Changes Lives

Alison Alhamed | January 11, 2012 | 3:41 PM

How does beauty change lives? The Beauty Changes Lives blog answers that question by showcasing how beauty professionals and ordinary “civilians” are using beauty to benefit  individuals, communities and even the world.

As I was going through the site, I began to think about my own path to beauty—and how much my life has changed in the few years I've been entrenched in the industry. Below, please find my entry--but also consider posting your story as well. 

Growing up, I always knew I loved hair and beauty. I’d spend hours poring through magazine—attempting to recreate the looks on myself and willing friends. I loved reshaping eyebrows and playing with make-up. I even borrowed my mother’s shears from her cosmetology years and chopped my own hair (including one time when I was six, before I was to be a flower girl in my uncle’s wedding, oops!). I remember late night trips to the drugstore to color my hair on a whim—and the early morning salon visits to fix what I’d messed up the night before (don’t worry, I know better now...). I knew I loved beauty, but didn’t quite know what to do with that passion.

After graduating college with my journalism degree, I thought I had come full circle when I landed a job in the beauty industry as an editor for MODERN SALON Media. Little did I know that, soon I would not only be an editor, but a cosmetology graduate! After I expressed my interest in going to beauty school, before I knew it I was enrolled. For almost two years, I covered beauty professionals by day, and by night, was becoming one while attending cosmetology school at Pivot Point International in Chicago’s suburbs—talk about the best of both worlds.

Throughout my education, I saw first-hand how beauty can change lives—and documented my entire journey on’s Beauty School Diary blog. From making over one woman who suffered from trichotillomania (constant hair pulling or twisting), to witnessing a 12-year-old’s emotional hair donation to Locks of Love, to watching students fight through Chicago’s rough winters eager to make it to school and let down their client, to hearing of my friends making incredible financial sacrifices to make it through the cosmetology program—this is an industry that changes people and empowers people. This is an industry that TRULY changes lives—for both the client in the chair, and the stylist standing behind it. The most fantastic part about the professional industry is there are so many opportunities that can lead you to success. In addition to specializing in cut or color, you can be an editorial or runways stylist, travel the world to industry shows as a platform or guest artist, become a salon owner, manufacturer’s rep or educator—whatever you want!

Blog Celebrates How Beauty Changes LivesThough it was certainly a tough two years—working by day, going to school at night (something many students have to endure in order to fund their education), studying for exams on weekends, traveling to hair shows and events, and trying to maintain some work/life balance—it was the absolute best decision I could have possibly made. I gained so much knowledge about this industry—knowledge that only could have come from years and years of experience as an editor—not to mention the amazing friends I gained and experiences I had at school.

Different life choices and paths have led each of us to a career in beauty. FIRST CHAIR strives to serve as students’ navigation system as they begin their journeys and pave their way to success. As they begin to build their book and develop best practices, MODERN SALON will continue to guide and inspire.

I am SO proud to say, FINALLY, that I am a beauty school graduate!

The blog, located at, is an extension of the Beauty Changes Lives initiative launched by the American Association of Cosmetology Schools. The initiative raises awareness of careers in the beauty industry and provides beauty school scholarships.

The Beauty Changes Lives blog is a forum where anyone with a passion for beauty can converse, collaborate and inspire others. A team of guest authors including beauty bloggers, salon and spa professionals, and students share first-person stories of transformation, giving back, and inspiring others.

If you would like a career in beauty visit

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