Beauty Launchpad Magazine

JAN 2019

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Live & Learn/ POV Full Strength COURTESY OF JESSICA WARBURTON 32 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | JANUARY 2019 September 11, 2001: I watched the Twin Towers fall on live television. The very next day, I enlisted in the United States Army and built a career in counterintelligence. For eight years, the Army was my life. I often like to joke that "I have a particular set of skills that I have acquired over a very long career" in my best Liam Neeson-style voice. But in 2010, my entire life changed overnight. I was diagnosed with a late stage of ovarian cancer and had emergency surgery. My surgeon removed approximately 12 pounds of tumors—400 individual polyps from my intestines alone. During the procedure, I stopped breathing and fl at-lined. Somehow I managed to walk out of the hospital eight weeks later. During chemotherapy, I started showing other women how to draw on eyebrows, glue on lashes and style their wigs. What I, and I think many, failed to understand prior to chemotherapy is that oftentimes all of your hair—not just patches—falls out. In Arkansas where I grew up, the wig stores cater to an older crowd and usually don't carry edgy looks. After a peer of mine who was undergoing treatment purchased a wig she's wasn't truly happy with, and after I had watched a few too many episodes of "Tabatha's Salon Takeover," I thought, "Oh, I can totally do that" (which, in hindsight, I really couldn't), and chopped up the wig with kitchen scissors. I then returned the wig to my friend, and she loved it. At that point I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to my military career, so I decided to go to cosmetology school. Little did I know that it would become the best decision I made. I've managed to marry the skills I learned in the Army with the skills I learned in school and assisting; these skills together give me an edge in a saturated economy. Now I'm currently developing independent classes that will teach these open-source skills to other industry professionals, such as body language, eye contact and verbal language. My path to success hasn't been easy, especially as a cancer survivor with permanent side effects, but in the words of my favorite surfer Bethany Hamilton, "I don't want easy, just possible." —As told to Alyson Osterman-Kerr Stylist Jessica Warburton defi es obstacles to forge a unique path in the professional beauty industry. Jessica Warburton (@hairhunter)

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