On Getting a Total Makeover...

Welcome to our new website!  Like many big projects, this one has been in the making for quite a long time.  When the new site went live last week a calm come over me as I navigated the pages thinking, 'yeah - that's us.'  This came together during a time of intense change for me personally.  From its inception the Alter EGO brand was meant to embody the concept of changing identity; and lately, I've been thinking a lot about the metamorphoses we experience as humans in our individual lives.  

It seems I have spent much of my life discovering my own identity.  As a youth and even into my twenties I maintained the idea that eventually you 'grew up', as in arrived.  Knowing yourself.  I flailed through life seeking clues to who I would become as if it were predetermined.  I settled into my first career.  After a decade of practice and some notable successes, I thought "Oh, this is me. Here I am, grown up."  And then I became a mom, and suddenly my world was in limbo again.  Just about the time I found my bearings, my marriage crumbled.  Talk about identity crisis. Try being a newly single, working mom in your late thirties. Who knew this would be my favorite identity yet?  I think what has finally made me so comfortable in my own skin is the understanding of constant change in life, and how to more gracefully, through practice, embrace change.

I know more is coming for me.  I don't know what to expect, so I'm ready to fall into it as gracefully as I can.  I watch my grandmother struggle to find her new place in the world after losing her husband of 60+ years. Without him, how does she relate to even her closest loved ones?  I want her to understand that even though I've only known her as one of a pair, she is precious to me in her own right.  I've also been learning more about my grandfather's many identities in life.  At first, I was uncomfortable with this; I didn't want to let go of his identity as my grandfather to make way for others.  But he was a photographer - someone who saw tremendous beauty in the world - and he drew me in with his pictures.  I think about my son, and how what he's inherited from us will carry him through his life, ever growing and changing.

At Alter EGO, we are blessed to help effect the outward expression of so many transformations.  Our clients are amazingly interesting people!  Many new stylists express their surprise at just how often we get to do creative colors and how many first time clients choose us for complete makeovers.  Clients even share their research process leading to Alter EGO.  To me, that's an indication that we are effectively conveying to the world who we are: agents of beautiful change.

This business has taught me a lot about how others experience change.  Too often, a client leaves brimming with excitement over her new self, only to encounter 'the others'.  Sadly, 'the others' might be people who should love and nurture them - a husband, frequently a mother.  'The others' say well-meaning, but destructive things like, "Why did you cut your hair?"  or "I liked it better blonde." or "You know I just love you with long hair."  As a mother, I know that reacting this way stems from my own fear of loss. What I've learned, though, is that change means you are living; it's recognition is an opportunity to love each other right now - in the present. Let's agree together to give ourselves grace, instead of struggling futilely against the constant force of change.  

Finally, many thanks to our best styling team ever.  Thank you for choosing Alter EGO; YOU have made us the best hair salon in Raleigh.  Thank you for all your hard work over the last year.  The result of that is this new identity, and all the media here is ours.  All original.  This is us now!  Isn't it great?!

Style by Aspen Johnson.  Photography by Trevor Underwood.  

Masked model styled by Dana Rosa for Alter EGO's annual SPECTACLE charity event.  Mask is original artwork by Mathew Curran for SPECTACLE.  Photo by Joe Bruno for Oak City Hustle.