Our stylist community is our family. Each Stylist Spotlight, we love sharing with you these 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.
Patrick Gabrish of Tri Studios in Norman, OK, unknowingly began his career in hair as a painter. Though he began in visual arts, after hair school, he discovered the artistry in being a stylist. Here he discusses mastering balayage, nerdy guilty pleasures, and the A-line bob gone-awry that still haunts him today.
Q: What insights do you have for the pro community regarding re-openings/navigating the new normal?
I always say that nothing about my job has changed, except more time between clients and a face mask. So my biggest thing is just making sure I book enough time between appointments to clean and properly sanitize.
Q: How do you define a “success” after a client leaves your salon?
Noticing the small things that are different from when they walked in, like if they’ve lost the nervous tick they had when they arrived, or that little grin because they love their hair. Also, if a customer buys at least one product, I feel like they trust me as their stylist.
Q: What’s your favorite way to unwind after work?
Take a shower to wash off all the hair, pour a glass of wine, and go into the backyard. I love checking on my garden, seeing how my tomatoes are doing. I like to keep work at work, and when I get home, just focus on spending time with my partner.
Q: If you could spend the day with someone who you consider a “style icon” who would it be? What would you do?
I feel like this has changed a lot for me in the last four years because I find new people fascinating every day, especially when I fall in love with a brand. But I have to say Adir Abergel. I’d love to sit around and drink coffee or wine, and chat about our hardships and joys. He seems so down-to-earth, and I would love to hear more about him. I also love his style and would love to know where he shops.
Q: How do you like to stay up to date on the latest trends, techniques, and styles?
Checking out the big hair people on Instagram, see what they’re doing, and what the trends are. Also the interwebs for tutorials.
Q: What’s a trend that you hope comes back? Never goes out of style?
What I hope never goes out of style: effortless hair that looks naturally beautiful. I love a good lived-in, rooted color; sun kissed, effortless hair.
What I hope never comes back: borderline early 2000s emo kid. I’ve always been a fan of men with long hair; I have a soft spot for textured cuts.
Q: Worst haircut you ever gave someone else?
The first year at my first salon, I had a brand-new client who was from France. She came in with her cousin who was translating for her. She wanted an A-line bob, and I made it crooked. I didn’t even notice until she called and asked me to fix it. It still haunts me a little to this day.
Q: What was the first hairstyle or technique that you mastered? The hardest?
The first cut I mastered was men’s fades. I used to work near a university and would have lots of young guys coming in; they all wanted fades. There were several guys from an Asian fraternity that would come to me, so I got to know their hair type really well.
The hardest to master has been getting those perfect balayage, lived-in, rooted looks, especially since I had a lot of men in my chair in the beginning.
Q: What other things are you passionate about that aren’t hair related?
Art, specifically painting. It was my first love and it’ll probably be the thing I die doing. I love painting with acrylics because of the texture. I also like mixed media art.
Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure to indulge?
Nerdy stuff like watching Pokemon and kid’s cartoons. I’m a giant nerdy child at heart.
Q: How do you manage work-life balance?
Oh God, that’s difficult. I struggle with it to this day, but I’m always getting better. I don’t want to work more than four days a week or past 6 p.m. because, if this quarantine has taught me anything, it's that my family is the most important thing.
Q: What’s next for your career?
Finding a new education gig because I love teaching. One of the biggest struggles I’ve had over the years is finding a brand that fits me to be an educator for. I don’t want to conform—that’s why I became my own boss.
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Get out of your head. Stop over thinking. Not everyone is looking at you. Just be you! Every day I get better at talking myself out of that cycle.
Q: What’s your favorite Virtue product?
Probably the Lifting Powder. Dry Shampoo saves my life a few days a week, but the Lifting Powder really gives me the style that I’m looking for. It also kind of acts like a dry shampoo, which is a double whammy.