When it comes to staying inspired in the professional beauty industry, hairstylists have so many resources at their fingertips to help fuel their creativity. Whether it be films, fashion, art, or even everyday people, inspiration can truly be found anywhere — including unexpected places like your fridge or kitchen pantry.
For Teresa Romero, Creative Director for Sam Villa and Artistic/Education Director for Jose Luis Salon, inspiration has a tendency to find her when she needs it the most. As a master hairstylist with over 30 years of experience working in the industry and numerous accolades to her name (NAHA Masters, WELLA Beauty Envision Awards, Alternative Hair Show, and the Southwest Hairstyling Awards, to name a few), Romero has managed to take advantage of all the creative goodness around her to create some extraordinary, avant-garde hair looks. Here, she shares exactly what fuels her creative fire as well some impactful moments in her career and what she plans to prioritize in what’s left of 2023.
On what inspires her: “There are so many things…art, fashion, music, nature, street styles, people in general. Very often inspiration is triggered when I’m under pressure or not looking for it. That moment when something catches my eye or emotionally moves me. It’s a journey of the senses fueled by the environment I’m in that often leads to exploration of new ideas and possibilities.”
On her biggest “aha” moment as a hairdresser: “The beautiful thing about what we do is there are many “aha” moments throughout our careers. Early in my career when I realized the direct correlation between sectioning for cutting and color placement. The discovery of how sectioning causes the eye to visually experience movement in hair hair. For example: Diagonal forward sectioning causes hair to move forward in a haircut and the same can be said with a diagonal forward slice of color. Both cause the eye to look towards the face. Having a deeper understanding of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal sectioning opened my mind up to so many exciting discoveries and an increase in confidence. To this day, I always factor this into consultation and creative projects. Planning how the sections of cut and color compliment or contrast each other is key.”
On what’s unique about her teaching style: “It’s important to connect with your student, client, or audience. In preparation for this, I try to learn as much as possible about the people I’ll be with prior to seeing them and then take a few minutes to speak with them directly, making that personal connection, to learn what is important or exciting to them. Teaching is more than the delivery of information; it’s about connecting and creating a memorable experience that can be shared beyond the classroom. Helping others discover new things, gain confidence, and ignite inspiration is my goal.”
On her educational focus for the next couple of months: “As 2023 winds down I’m excited and preparing for 2024 shows and in-salon classes. Be on the lookout for more about fringes/bangs, detached sectioning, and layer stories. We have so many things happening with Sam Villa Education and will be sharing tips such as”
- For truer results in eyebrow length to micro fringes. Dry and style the fringe first, before cutting or texturizing.
- Layers with detached sectioning will continue to dominate by adding floating airy movement to one length hair. Start in the nape and add subtle layers to the established length by elevating hair straight out from the head and removing 1” of hair. Then take a 1-2” horizontal section above the nape and blend to the established length. This section will be detached from the nape section—elevate it straight out and be careful to maintain length while layering the ends.”
On a moment where she knew you made an impact on a student’s learning: “I used to be an educator and director of education in a cosmetology school and being part of someone’s journey at the beginning of their career was really exciting. Sometimes you don’t realize the impact, it can be years later when you run into someone and they tell you that you taught them a technique and they use it all the time and love it, thank you. It’s comments like this that remind me why we do what we do. We share with people to help them expand their knowledge and we really care about their career and growth.”
On the one tool she would bring if she were stranded on a deserted island: “I’m going to assume my deserted island has electricity (lol) so I would bring my Sam Villa Signature Series Sleekra Professional Straightening Iron ($145). I can create anything with it from smooth sleek hair, to curls and ric-rac textures.”
On something about herself that we don’t already know: “Outside of hair and fashion, I really like racing and extreme sports. All kinds…motorcross, freestyle, F1, MotoGP, drag racing, BMX, skateboarding, snowboarding, etc. I admire the commitment and focus of the athletes, as well as the engineering that goes into these sports.”