Known for her uber-cool style and trend-setting threads, you would think hair stylist Tera Rae Stephens was a celeb…Well, in the world of tresses and locks, she is the star of the salon. Tera catapulted onto the Southern California hair scene with fierce determination and sheer certainty.
This born and bred Orange County wife and mother has always been full of life, drive, and smarts, but she didn’t always know she was meant for hair. Originally, she thought she wanted to be a teacher—“Mainly to get the summers off,” Tera admits with a big grin. However, this free-spirited lady was missing that passion she craved in her career. It was not until she saw her best friend finish Cosmetology school that started contemplating a life making people look their very best. “When you look good, you feel good,” explains Tera, “I wanted to make people feel like they could do anything. Sometimes, the right cut or color is all a person needs to make a huge difference in their confidence and self-esteem.”
In her early twenties, Tera attended Paul Mitchell The School. Tera took to hair like a fish to water—she was simply meant for it. While learning the ins and outs at school, she also worked as a server at OC hot spot Memphis and was a full-time super mom. Tera never gave up and one year after completing school, she not only had her own chair at the premier Corona Del Mar salon Christopher & Co., but she had an assistant…and was double booked.
Now, with over ten years of experience in her back pocket, Tera sets up shop with the busiest station at Tek Salon in Costa Mesa. Her specialty? The ever-popular and celebrity favorite, Hot Heads hair extensions. Originally, Tera was not interested in doing extensions; earning a bad reputation for damaging hair and taking 6 plus hours to apply, but not with Hot Heads. Tera loves utilizing Hot Heads’ tape technology that actually helps the hair grow and the little time it takes. She gives her clients instant length and volume in under an hour. “That’s my favorite moment,” says Tera, “When a client looks in the mirror and smiles from ear to ear when I’m finished doing their hair.”
When she’s not in the salon making people look red carpet ready, Tera is the queen of the Stephens family—wife of entertainment photographer Justin Stephens and mother of three radical kids: Griffin, Hudson, and Harper. She may not have the summers off, but just like her happy clients, Tera Rae Stephens sure has a lot to smile about.