When she graduated from Hollywood High School in 1961, Carrie White did her hair up in a bubblegum-pink beehive. She had discovered, she wrote in her memoir, that “if I could get my hair right, my life would work better.”

After attending magnificence faculty, she developed a popularity for getting different individuals’s hair proper. And quickly she was coloring, snipping and shaping the heads of Tinseltown’s superstars — Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando amongst them.

The media referred to as Ms. White the “first lady of hairdressing.” Seated in her chair in her Beverly Hills salon had been A-listers as disparate as Jimi Hendrix, Nancy Reagan, Sharon Tate and Lucille Ball; her work on Elvis Presley ensured that his followers’ eyes had been centered as a lot on his jet-black pompadour as on his gyrating hips.

By the late Nineteen Sixties, her salon was one steady occasion scene.

“Sometimes I cut hair on roller skates, in spandex pants, with a gram of coke in my back pocket,” she recalled to Los Angeles journal in 2019. In these heady occasions, Ms. White was a star herself, even showing on an episode of the sport present “To Tell the Truth.” United Airlines sought her out to create a coiffure for its flight attendants: She got here up with a modish bob.

But the occasion didn’t final. Ms. White’s life spiraled downward from drug and alcohol dependancy, a horrific descent she described in her memoir, “Upper Cut: Highlights of My Hollywood Life” (2011), which is being made right into a film starring Julia Fox.

After some years within the depths, Ms. White managed to get into restoration and keep there. Even as she resumed her hairstyling enterprise with a complete new technology of stars, together with Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock, she was a proud, not-at-all-anonymous member of Alcoholics Anonymous. She devoted herself to talking publicly across the nation about dependancy and remained sober for the remainder of her life — 38 extra years.

Ms. White died on May 3 at her house in Los Angeles. She was 78. Her household mentioned the trigger was most cancers.

When Ms. White broke into the world of hairdressing, it was dominated by males — Vidal Sassoon, Jon Peters, Gene Shacove and others. Another well-liked male hair stylist was Richard Alcala, who was Ms. White’s third husband and who served as one of many inspirations for Warren Beatty’s rakish hairdresser in “Shampoo” (1975). Ms. White was a technical adviser on that movie.

In addition to styling stars for his or her private lives, Ms. White sculpted many for the films. Notable creations included the iron pageboy for Louise Fletcher’s portrayal of Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and the orange locks for David Bowie in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976).

“Doing hair gave me validation,” she advised The New York Times in 2011. “It was applause on the hour, and I needed it on the hour.”

She was born Carole Douglas Enwright on Aug. 25, 1943, in Los Angeles. Her mom, Grace (Cloakey) Enwright, an illustrator for the films, named her after the actress Carole Lombard. Her father, George Enwright, left when she was a toddler.

As a lady, she wrote in her memoir, she was sexually assaulted by her mom’s boyfriend, and for a time she was raised by a foster mom. In a basic Hollywood reinvention story, she began calling herself Carrie in highschool and later, after marriage, legally modified her identify to Carrie White.

She grew up in Pacoima, a predominantly Black and Hispanic part of Los Angeles, then moved to Beverly Hills. At Hollywood High, lots of her classmates had been rich and polished. She concluded {that a} key to success, other than shopping for a complete new wardrobe, can be to alter what she referred to as her “stacked pachuca hairdo adorned with spit curls on each side,” a remnant of her adolescence in Pacoima.

“The Hollywood High hairdo had a name: the Flip,” she wrote. “I would study the girls’ hair, imagining how they get it to curl up on the bottom. And I needed to cut bangs, smooth bangs that swooped to one side, not like my mother’s 1940s movie-star bangs.”

After highschool, she attended the Hollywood salon of the Lapin Brothers magnificence faculty from 1961 to 1963.

She opened her personal salon within the mid-Nineteen Sixties. One of her early purchasers was James Galanos, the style designer. He beneficial Ms. White to the well-connected actress Jennifer Jones, whose former husbands included David O. Selznick, the producer of “Gone With the Wind” and different large footage. Celebrities had been quickly swarming her salon, making it a spot to see and be seen.

“Some of the actresses would get their hair done before they got to the salon, it was such a scene,” Ms. White advised Los Angeles journal. She recalled the day in 1968 when Mr. Beatty got here in with Julie Christie — to the mortification of Joan Collins, with whom he had had a relationship, and who was sitting underneath the dryer in rollers.

Credit…Chuck White

Ms. White spent lots of her nights at Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, perfecting her curler skating and staying in form by doing laps. She collaborated with style photographers like Richard Avedon on Vogue picture shoots and Melvin Sokolsky on shoots for Harper’s Bazaar.

After dependancy ruined her life and profession, she step by step labored her manner again. She re-earned her hairdressing license, made amends with buddies, styled purchasers privately and opened a salon once more in 2005. Writing her memoir grew to become remedy, however the first draft took 11 years and ran 1,300 pages. Cutting it, she advised The Times, was excruciating, “like cutting the blue threads out of a Chanel suit.”

She closed her salon in 2017 and labored out of Farré Salon in Beverly Hills, the place she maintained a stylish clientele till the coronavirus pandemic compelled her to cease.

But even earlier than then, she had develop into dissatisfied with what she noticed as a slackening in Hollywood’s glamour quotient.

“Everyone looks like everyone else,” she advised The Times. “It’s tragic.”

Ms. White was married 3 times. Her transient marriage in 1962 to Jordan Schwartz, a fellow magnificence faculty pupil, was annulled. She married Frederick White, a contractor, in 1964; they divorced in 1968. She married Mr. Alcala in 1970; they separated a number of years later, although they by no means divorced. He died in 1988.

Her companion for the final a number of years was Alex Holt, a tutorial tutor. They not too long ago collaborated on a coming-of-age horror novel referred to as “Disposable Teens,” which has not but been revealed however is being shopped for a restricted tv collection.

In addition to Mr. Holt, Ms. White is survived by a daughter, Tyler Browne, from her first marriage; a son, Adam White, and daughter, Daisy Carlson, from her second; and two daughters, Aloma and Pitita Alcala, from her third. She can be survived by 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Aloma and Pitita Alcala mentioned that that they had not too long ago got here throughout one among their mom’s speeches for Alcoholics Anonymous, and that it appeared most becoming.

“When I die,” Ms. White had mentioned, “I want to be cremated and put into a disco ball and passed around to the song ‘Last Dance,’ by Donna Summer.”