The reason Virtue® formulas are efficacious, hardworking, and successful at transforming hair into its healthiest version is all because of our hair-healing technology––and no one understands that better than our Virtue® educators. As beacons of knowledge for the brand, they are curious, enthusiastic, and passionate about hair, health, and everything Virtue® stands for. Here, meet the hair wizards who are helping others understand the science behind our strand-saving formulas one client at a time. 

 

Though she grew up in the industry (her mother a stylist, salon owner, and educator), Virtue educator and affiliate, stylist, and salon owner, Traci Farmer, of Crazy Combs Salon in Raleigh, NC, initially chose a career in fine art. But academic challenges due to Attention Deficit Disorder and graduating during the recession led Traci to take her mom’s advice that, perhaps cosmetology had more in common with her art background than she’d previously realized. 

 

“After six months of beauty school, I realized the design principles of both art and hair are the same; it’s just a different medium—color, shape, form, strengthening or softening lines, building weight or diminishing it, etc. I became very passionate about transforming people and their image through hair,” says Traci. Here she discusses her industry icons, passion for social justice, and what can go wrong when you’re not trained to use thinning shears.

 

 

What’s your favorite memory from your journey? When did it feel like you caught your “big break”?

After a year of working post graduating from beauty school, I decided I wanted to move to Los Angeles. My boyfriend (now husband) was going to write and I wanted to work at Vidal Sassoon. We took six weeks to drive across the country, camping at all the National Campgrounds along the way. Once we landed, I got a job as an assistant to Jim Wayne in Beverly Hills. Jim was the North American Director of Education for Vidal Sassoon and Tom Brophy was Vidal Sassoon’s Artistic Director here in the US, and in the UK.

The education was very methodical. I got paid nothing for very long hours, but what I learned was invaluable. It gave me the confidence I needed to succeed. I knew I could achieve what the client wanted. I even overachieved at times and got creative, knowing that if they did not like it, I had the knowledge and tools to fix it, ensuring that they would love the final result. 

 

Is there anyone in the industry or beyond that you really admire, or someone who inspired you in your career?

There are so many stylists and educators both nationally and locally, each with different skills that I aspire to learn and execute. Ronnie Hawkins, Nick Arrojo, Martin Parsons, Sonya Dove, Tracey Cunningham, Debi Dumas, Karen Kirby Norwood, Jim Wayne, Tom Brophy and the Godfather Vidal Sassoon are a few on my list. It is important to always be teachable, and these are just a few of the many educators who have impacted my career over the decades.

 

How do you define a “success” after a client leaves your salon?

When they can’t stop looking at themselves in the mirror and they rebook before they leave.

 

What’s your favorite way to unwind after work?

Walking my dog, Orson; roller skating; binge watching British crime shows; and supporting local bars and restaurants. I love discovering new spots downtown and trying new food and drinks. 

 

If you could spend the day with someone who you would consider a “style icon” who would it be? What would you do?

Janelle Monáe—EVERYTHING.

 

 

How do you like to stay up to date on the latest trends, techniques, and styles?

I gravitate towards hands-on learning, so I enjoy workshops and hair shows, but I watch a lot of online videos and tutorials as well. I was already watching a lot, but COVID took it to new levels. 

 

What do you value most about being a Virtue® affiliate?

As a Virtue® affiliate, I feel like I’ve gained a second family. Although my role is to educate and raise awareness for the brand, Virtue® has gone above and beyond to support not only their salon partners but also their independent stylists unlike any other brand I have seen before. The product and its performance is hands-down one of the best in my experience, and the team goes above and beyond my expectations. And the bar is high!

 

What was the worst haircut you ever had?

I had an asymmetrical bob on my permed hair with a straight Betty Boop bang. 

 

Worst haircut you ever gave someone else?

I had been given a gift of thinning shears, and as a new hair stylist, I had not been trained to use them. I basically over-thinned someone’s hair who already had thin, fine hair. I couldn’t get the hair to do anything.

 

What was the first hairstyle or technique that you mastered? The hardest? 

The first was the Graduated Bob. The hardest was the Firefly.

 

 

What’s your personal hair routine? Your favorite part?

I shower and prep my hair before I go to sleep at night. I like the texture I get from air drying with Volumizing Primer at the root and 6-in-1 Styler throughout. I use a bit more product to build up and blow-dry in the morning.

 

What other things are you passionate about that aren’t hair related?

Oil painting, supporting resilience and fighting social injustice, as well as advocating for children who experienced childhood trauma. 

 

What’s next for your career?

That’s a good question. I was entertaining the idea of working as a stylist abroad for a portion of the year. I am curious and love people, different cultures, and travel, but don’t want to be a tourist.

 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Love yourself like you love others. Stop worrying about what others think. Try and try again (don’t be afraid to fail). Be confident, or fake confidence until you don’t have to anymore. 

 

What’s your favorite Virtue® product?

I can’t pick just one! 

  1. ColorKick™
  2. Volumizing Primer
  3. 6-in-1 Styler
  4. Restorative Treatment Mask
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