I went to meet Teresa at her home in Westcott, where she has established a tiny salon. She works with clients both at her home and at theirs, and is an extremely experienced stylist, doing hair colouring, cutting and styling and blow dry. She has worked in her own salon in Surbiton for many years.
So far - so normal. But in fact, Teresa has had an extraordinary career, starting from a chance phone call a few years ago to work on a special event being held at Olympia in London called Salon de Chocolat.
‘No, you’ve probably never heard of it’ she said, ‘and it’s now called Chocolate Week, and it’s a huge exhibition held in Olympia every year - think of Ideal Home Exhibition for Chocolate.’ Well that sounded pretty extraordinary, so I asked her more. ‘It’s a big event with a huge catwalk with beautiful models all walking down the catwalk in dresses made of chocolate - and they need to have their hair done, with extraordinary styles and all incorporating chocolate. I had to do the hair of one of the models, who was stunning and had wild, red hair falling to her waist. And I had to work the hair round a fascinator which was made by Vivien Sherriff (milliner to the Queen, The Duchess of Cambridge and many celebrities.) And the fascinator was made of chocolate!’
So what happened next, I asked. ‘Well, I was so lucky, they asked me to come back the next year as lead stylist, so I had carte blanche to work on any styles I wanted. And from that I got a call to be the stylist for the Pride in London parade and event, which has four huge stages of performing musicians who give their services in support of the event. And that led to London Fashion Week which I do every year, and then Milan Fashion week, so the last few years have been really hectic.’
With all this excitement, I wondered why Westcott should be the next step. I know we are a seriously with-it village up to all the latest trends, but really? Teresa told me that she and her husband Gary married in 2015 and were looking for a house in this part of Surrey. They fell in love with their house in the village and with the village itself and moved here a year ago. ‘I love it here’, she said. Until a recent accident she was a keen runner, so at the moment loves walking round all the wonderful green spaces we have round the village, until she can get back to her running. ‘Its a wonderful change of pace, to drive back from London, or come back on the train, and you just turn that corner with Leatherhead behind you and know that you are nearly home and it’s a beautiful place.’
Tell me what’s the next step I said. ‘I just want to do the hair of everyone in Westcott’ she laughed. ‘Well not really, but I’m very experienced, and I believe that all that creative work in London gives me a difference, a perhaps more imaginative way of looking at hairstyles, and how you can change your look.”
‘But can you change your look just for a single event?’ I asked. ‘Say you want to look amazing just for one day, and then go back to your normal look?’. ‘Yes, of course’, she said ‘it’s easy because there are so many products that you can use which will just wash straight out if you want them to. But for normal use, I have a very special range of products from Italy called Milkshake, which are a mixture of milk and honey protein which give an extraordinary sheen and natural goodness to the hair’.
Teresa told me about the new trends for the spring - lazy waves, she called it, and new hair colours including peach blonde and strawberry blonde for the summer weather. But for right now for the winter, it’s all about gold and silver shine and sparkle. So if you see a few of us floating around the village with shimmering hair in the next few weeks, you know where we’ve been, and if you chaps haven’t thought of a special present for Christmas, how about a special night out with a special hair do thrown in? Now that’s a good idea!