At the center of Hollywood Beauty Salon is Rachel “Hollywood” Carr, the soul of the salon. Rachel conceived of and operates the Hollywood Beauty Salon. She uses her own journey with mental health challenges to connect with — and advocate for — her clients.

Rachel has been on her own since high school. She has fought to overcome depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. Her commitment to recovery began when her daughter, Cadence, was born. Today, Rachel is a Recovery Guide/Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner at the Germantown Recovery Clinic. Her story anchors the film, just as she anchors the Hollywood Beauty Salon.

Inside the salon, Rachel acts as counselor, teacher, consumer advocate and hair stylist. Her flair for hair helps others feel good about their appearances, which she insists is key for recovery. However, she realizes that the health of the mind is just as important. She runs therapy groups and serves as “a guide on the side,” helping members learn how to take public transportation, find housing, and sift through bureaucracies that can entangle people with mental illness as they try to access essential services.

This video originally appeared on, a website that shares mental health recovery stories.