In Bustle’s series The Book I’ll Never Forget, celebrities, influencers, changemakers, and more reveal the one book they’ve read that’s made a lasting impact on them, and why. For Advice Haul, Bustle’s beauty issue, Drybar founder Alli Webb shares her top pick — a best-selling self-help guide she says is a must-read.
Alli Webb certainly knows good hair, but she also knows good books. The founder of Drybar, Webb released her first book, The Drybar Guide to Good Hair for All: How to Get the Perfect Blowout at Home, in 2016. But before she was a writer, she was a reader, and the books she keeps on her nightstand have profoundly influenced her personally and professionally. For Bustle’s beauty issue Advice Haul, I asked Webb to recommend the books she’ll never forget — and there’s one in particular she says is a must-read.
Webb made waves in the beauty industry when she launched Drybar in 2010. It provided a service that many people didn’t know they needed: quick, affordable blowouts and styles. The salons don’t do cuts, colors, or intricate styles, which means you can get in-and-out with a fresh look in no time. It has quickly become the go-to service for anyone who has a big meeting, a hot date, or a formal event, and wants their hair to be shiny and bouncy to match the occasion. It seems simple, but it has turned out to be a $100 million idea.
In 2016, Webb released her first book, The Drybar Guide to Good Hair for All, a manual for getting salon-sleek locks at home and a handbook for creating Instagram-worthy styles in the comfort of your bathroom.
When it comes to her own stack of favorite reads, though, there’s one book that Webb says stands out most. She recommends Broken Open, the New York Times bestselling self-help guide by Elizabeth Lesser, the founder of the Omega Institute, a non-profit educational organization with a retreat center located in the Hudson Valley of New York. Omega Institute focuses on connecting holistic and modern medicine with science and spirituality for a rounded approach to inner and outer healing and social change.
"Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser was recommended to me by my therapist. (Yes, I think everyone needs therapy!)" Webb says. "This book has been a lifeline to me during a very difficult time in my life… If you’re going through a breakup, and need a relatable, beautiful book to help you get through it, I would not miss this book."
Broken Open is a guide to navigating life’s difficulties through the lens of hope. Lesser shares the tales of ordinary people who have lived through divorces, job losses, illnesses, deaths of loved ones, and more, and reveals how they used their experiences to radically transform their lives and find their purpose. OK, if the idea of "radical transformation" stresses you out, don’t worry: This book has been praised by many as a comforting book to help you just get through the most difficult times in your life, no transformation — radical or otherwise — required.
If an Omega Institute retreat is out of your budget, this book might be the perfect substitute. Through reading the stories of Lesser’s book, you may just discover that many of the obstacles in your life are opportunities to be transformed, not broken.
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