Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Carrollwood salon owner makes the cut to style Condoleezza Rice's hair

TAMPA — Standing in her salon, with her freshly done hair and immaculate makeup, Theresa Henry looked anxious as 4 p.m. approached.

"Once she gets started, she'll be fine," her husband said. "It's like going into the ocean or a pool you've never been in before. Once you start swimming, you'll be fine."

Right at 4 p.m., two black sport utility vehicles pulled into the parking lot of the small Carrollwood strip center, home to Hair Expression.

"They're here," Henry said, nervously shuffling papers at the receptionist's desk.

The front door opened.

"Hi, Condoleezza Rice," the former secretary of state said, holding out her hand.

"I'm Theresa."

The two hugged.

Henry led Rice to a chair for a quick talk about the process. Then she began shampooing the hair of one of America's once most powerful women.

• • •

Henry's mind has been reeling since she got the call from Washington, D.C., last week.

Rice was going to be in town for Super Bowl XLIII, and her D.C. hairstylist wanted to know whether Henry could fit in Rice during the week.

How did they get her number? Henry wondered. No matter, of course, she would take the job.

"I was very surprised that my name came up," said Henry, 48, owner of Hair Expression. "I don't know how they got my name, but I think it is a great opportunity to display my talent and my credibility."

Rice chose Tuesday, a day that Henry usually closes her shop.

"I'm kind of glad they picked this day," said Henry, a beautician for 18 years. "I can really give her some attention."

Tuesday did not get off to a strong start for Henry. She woke up to a flat tire. She went to one shop to get it fixed. Too expensive. So she drove to her salon on a small replacement tire.

"That wasn't going to ruin my day," said Henry, a mother of three. "If I had to catch a cab to be here, I was going to be here."

Hours before Rice arrived, a member of the State Department security team inspected the salon.

Henry's husband bought Diet Pepsi. The D.C. stylist told Henry that was the beverage Rice liked.

While in the Tampa Bay area, Rice also attended a Lightning hockey game Friday and spent time at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor.

During the weekend, her name was floated as a contender to be the next Pac 10 commissioner. When asked Tuesday by a Times reporter if she was considering the job, Rice said: "Gosh no."

She is going to spend her time writing a book and focusing on education issues, Rice said.

As Henry worked on Rice's hair, the two "chit-chatted" about the television commercials Rice missed during the Super Bowl because she was at the game.

Rice also watched The Express, a movie about Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the college football's Heisman Trophy.

Two hours later, the event that Henry had so anxiously awaited ended. Rice paid the standard $60 fee, plus a $20 tip, and was gone.

"I felt like I hit the mark," Henry said. "When she left, she said she enjoyed the whole experience. That's what I like to leave with all my customers, whether you are high profile or not."

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4174.

Carrollwood salon owner makes the cut to style Condoleezza Rice's hair 02/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 7:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs


    CHICAGO — Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor hits a home run Tuesday during the third inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs. [Associated Press]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears


    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  5. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse


    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …