Allison Hamill is Salon Pure’s talented and focused Board Certified Master Colorist. She also happens to hold the title of Mrs. New Jersey America 2017 and will be travelling to Las Vegas at the end of August to compete in the Mrs. America Pageant. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with her and ask about becoming Mrs. New Jersey, as well as her background in the beauty industry, dealing with life-altering health challenges, and working at Salon Pure.
How did you get started with pageants?
“I competed in my first pageant while I was in college. I have always loved the glamour of pageants – I remember watching them as a kid and thinking how impossibly beautiful and poised those women were. Plus, I am definitely a goal-oriented person and the competitive structure appealed to me.
But, I really didn’t understand what was involved and I wasn’t prepared that first time. I did terribly – I think I went home and cried for like a week.
The next year I went back better prepared, I became a more well-rounded person and I placed. Then life got busy personally and professionally and I took a break for a few years.”
What made you decide to come out of “retirement” and compete in Mrs. New Jersey?
“I decided to come out of retirement because of my experience with Crohn’s disease (Allison was diagnosed with Crohn’s several years ago, it is a lifelong struggle and one that she has to deal with on a daily basis). I didn’t want to be defeated by my illness.”
Although there are huge physical and emotional challenges, and some days Allie just feels like laying low and being a “hermit crab,” for the most part she believes you have to stand up and be a role model. As she put it, even when you’re having a down day sometimes you still have to, “Kick some butt!”
According to Allison’s research on the topic, one in every two Americans suffers with some form of invisible illness, “My whole platform was informed by my experience with Crohn’s disease, I wanted to take a stand as Mrs. New Jersey and help represent all the people who face these kinds of challenges.”
How did you get into the beauty business?
After spending a couple of years in business school, Allison realized her heart was somewhere else.
“Ever since I was a kid I have loved making people look beautiful. I remember doing my older sister’s and her friends’ hair for prom when I was ten or eleven. I have always been inspired by glamour and beauty, it seemed only natural that I would want to work in this industry.”
What does it mean to be a Board Certified colorist? How does it inform your approach to color?
“I received my certification in 2012 from the American Board of Certified Hair Colorists. I spent four years working everyday and going to every class and workshop on color, learning everything that I could, from the biological make-up of a strand of hair to the best way to cover gray.
Getting that certification was huge in terms of my self-confidence. I know that I can deal with any color issue, in a positive way, for any one who comes into the salon. Whether it be covering gray, correcting color, or just introducing a new shade or highlight technique. I love working with my clients to make them feel as beautiful and empowered as they can be.”
What is the best part of being Mrs. New Jersey?
“Honestly, whether it’s my work in color or as Mrs. New Jersey, I always want to be the best at what I do. I love having the opportunity to get dressed up in my sash and crown and travelling around the state to advocate for causes I care about. I have the opportunity to raise awareness about Crohn’s and other ‘invisible’ diseases. I want to be a voice for people who have suffered in silence for too long. Having that crown is a responsibility I take seriously — I am serving as a role model for little girls — although it’s a ton of fun too.”
Is she nervous for the Mrs. America Pageant?
Allison says she is excited and a little nervous for the Mrs. America Pageant. “I have never competed on the national stage, and I know that all of the contestants will be incredibly accomplished and experienced.”
Overall Allison says her experience with pageants and working in the beauty industry has been a very positive one. “It has helped so much with poise and confidence. It has helped me dealing with the challenges life has thrown me such as Crohn’s. I hope my participation will inspire people across the country who quietly face their own personal challenges everyday. I hope it makes a difference for them to see that you can still be glamorous and beautiful – inside and out – even when you’re dealing with a serious life-altering condition.”
She is grateful for the love and support of her husband, family, friends, and co-workers at Salon Pure.
When life hands you adversity you have two choices, you meet the challenge or you give up. Clearly giving up is not an option for Allison!
The 2018 Mrs. America Pageant will be held on Saturday, August 26 at 7 pm EST and will be streamed live from the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas. The Salon Pure team will be rooting for Allison and all her fellow contestants.