Stylist Spotlight: Carla Rea

Stylist Spotlight: Carla Rea

Our stylist community is our family. We love sharing with you our brothers and sisters who not only support Virtue, but also help share our vision that everyone deserves to have truly healthy hair. They inform and enlighten us, and in turn, we continue to deliver the most revolutionary hair care they could ask for. What we’re trying to say is, we couldn’t do it without them.

For Raleigh-based stylist Carla Rea, hair has always been her greatest passion. “I can’t remember a time in life when I wasn’t interested in hair,” she says. “I was always doing my doll’s hair, my aunt’s hair, rolling my great grandma’s hair with velcro rollers while watching The Godfather.” Growing up dyslexic, Carla found hair to be the thing that brought her comfort. Here she explains how she began her journey as a stylist, why her worst haircut was actually her best, and which Virtue products she can’t live without.

Q: How did you get into being a stylist? How did you get to this point in your life?
After losing my hair dresser to AIDS, I did a lot of walks for the cause. That’s where I met Eric Checka, who encouraged me to go to hair school, and promised me an opportunity when I was done. There was a lot of support from the stylist community.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about owning your own salon?
There are a lot of challenges that come with a big salon. Running a private salon is so much easier. With big salons, it can be difficult to keep up the education aspect. In my current situation with my private salon, we can set aside time to get on Behind the Chair, Instagram, and other resources to keep up with trends and stay educated. Overall, though, I’ve been lucky because so many of my clients have been with me for years. My client, Deboarah, has been with me for more than 28 years.

Q: What is your best moment about the journey? When did it feel like you caught your “big break?”
A long time ago I did Sandra Bernhard’s hair—she is an idol of mine. I’ve done Brittany Howard’s hair (from The Alabama Shakes). I wouldn’t do hair for a big show, but doing it personally for my idols feels special. I’ve had the pleasure of doing hair for a lot of women in politics as well, which I’m proud of.

Q: What is your salon’s unique approach to beauty and style? How do you define a “success” after a client leaves your salon?
I think success is talking with clients about their needs, and reevaluating that as their lives change; trying new things when clients want to; staying in contact with clients to make sure they’re still loving their hair after a few days.

I like having a beautiful space for them to come in to, from the music to the hot tea to the décor. I want them to feel comfortable, and like they’re able to say anything. A huge advantage to having a private salon is that it’s just the two of us.

Q: Who would you say is a true “style icon” in terms of beauty, fashion, life?
Diane von Furstenberg and Linda Roden. She’s a silver haired maven.

Q: What is your favorite trend/style?
White shoes, a lob with layers, or a shaggy bob.

Q: Worst haircut you ever gave someone else?
Once, in the middle of a haircut, I realized that my client’s hair wasn’t going to do what I wanted it to. I’d learned the pattern of their hair too late. I did the consultation in the middle of a haircut, and learned that, as a professional, you have to have that conversation earlier, and maybe even blow it out to give the client a better picture of what’s happening.

Q: What’s your personal hair routine?
I love to mix it up. I usually use Virtue Smooth Shampoo and Recovery Conditioner. Healing Oil is my new BFF. I use Volumizing Primer around the bangs for volume, Moisture-Defining Whip around the ends, and I blow dry thoroughly. Day to day, I’m big fan of dry shampoo, and I don’t worry about it because the Alpha Keratin 60ku is so healing. Then, I use the Restorative Treatment Mask every three days.

Q: What other things are you passionate about that aren’t hair related?
Adore gardening, cooking and am a member of the Betty Eichenberger Adams Society, which funds art for children and programs at CAM. I love the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in Raleigh! I also love seeing new work from artists. My current art crush is Ashley Longshore.

Q: What’s next for your career?
I don’t see retirement in my future any time soon. As long as I can be behind the chair, I’ll be doing hair. It’s what I love most.

Q: Why Virtue?
It’s revolutionary!!! There isn’t anything better. And I’ve looked! Since I tried Virtue, I haven’t shampooed hair with anything else since. I’ve had 13 clients get cancer in the last year, including my mother. I give them the Virtue Full Conditioner during treatments to give their scalp some love. I’ve seen such a difference in their hair.

Q: What’s your favorite Virtue product?
Recovery Conditioner and the Restorative Treatment Mask.

Stylist SpotlightsStylist Spotlights
2020-02-26 19:28:00 0 viewed