Bride-to-be Holly had a few months to get ready for her wedding, and perhaps the biggest task on her to-do list was sitting down for a haircut that was decades in the making. At the end of the appointment, she looked amazing – and more than ready for her walk down the aisle.
During working hours, Destin, Florida, resident Holly served as a gate guard, overseeing the flow of traffic into and out of a plantation property. In the spring of 2017, though, she had plenty of additional tasks to complete outside of her job – Holly needed to prepare for her wedding.
Holly subsequently told Modern Salon that she planned on tying the knot late in 2017. So, when she sat down in the chair at Avant Garde Salon in the spring of that year, she was ready to change her look for the big day.
A haircut would indeed be a huge change for Holly. Allure magazine estimated that she had more than 2 feet of hair dangling from her head. Her two-toned tresses – bleached blonde and brown – almost reached her hips.
Fortunately, Holly had a team of skilled stylists ready to help her transform her look. Stylist and colorist Sara Pestella would dye Holly’s locks, but only after senior stylist Jeremy Hartfield had snipped off the excess length.
Although many people feel nervous as they sit down in a salon chair, Holly was likely more emotional than the typical customer. According to Modern Salon magazine, the gate guard’s “hair consumed her.”
Pestella went on to reveal why Holly had let her tresses grow to extreme lengths for so many years. “[Holly] always felt like she needed to keep her hair long because of what her dad said: that a woman must have long hair or she wouldn’t be pretty without it,” Pestella explained.
Of course, Pestella went on to say that she and the team at Avant Garde Salon all “disagreed” with that sentiment. So, somewhat symbolically, they started Holly’s makeover – which took a whopping seven hours to complete – with a haircut.
A video on his Instagram page shows Hartfield’s first snips across the back of Holly’s hairline. He carefully cuts off around two feet of hair, removing most of the yellow-blonde shade that covered the bottom half of Holly’s tresses.
In the video, a handful of stylists gather around Holly’s chair as Hartfield cuts away her extra-long locks. They cheer and laugh as Hartfield finishes removing the ponytail, which he holds up to show the bride-to-be.
With the unwanted length gone, Hartfield could shape Holly’s hair into an angled bob. Her new cut’s longest strands only reached her chin, a drastic change from her previous style. But that wasn’t all the stylists had planned for Holly.
Pestella waited until after the cut to apply some dye so that none of her work would end up on the salon floor. Next, once Hartfield finished, she proceeded to color Holly’s reddish locks to create a warm shade of blonde.
But Pestella then dried Holly’s hair and realized the color wasn’t exactly right. “Due to existing red [tone], it was not quite perfect but so close,” Pestella said. So, she added a shadow to the roots for extra dimension and depth.
The final step in Holly’s transformation was a fully glam makeup application. The bride-to-be rocked a smoky eyeshadow look with dramatic, dark eyelashes. A frosty pink lipstick added a bit of romance and softness.
All of that, as previously mentioned, took seven hours – but the half-day salon appointment was necessary for Holly to fully metamorphosize. “I started at 7:00 p.m. and finished at 2:00 a.m. No kidding, this transformation was indeed overnight,” the stylist said.
More importantly, though, in shedding her extra-long locks, Holly seemed to let go of her preconceived notions about long hair and femininity. “[She] feels beautiful in her own skin,” Pestella reported.
Of course, Holly’s previous style had been decidedly low-maintenance. So, to ensure she could keep up with her sassy new bob, the owners of Avant Garde Salon promised the bride-to-be a free year of styling for free.
Those who saw pictures of Holly’s new look online were stunned by the drastic change that Hartfield and Pestella had been able to perform. Instagram user julesfabjules commented, “The transformation is stunning!!! She looks beautiful and youthful.”
Another Instagram user, carolmstudio, was almost at a loss for words. “Wow! What else can one say? Amazing. I know she had to feel completely transformed,” they wrote. Others complimented Holly’s natural beauty and wished her well on her upcoming wedding day.
Hartfield’s Instagram post about Holly’s transformation received more than 4,500 likes, and Pestella did indeed confirm that Holly loved her look. But there was one lingering question among those lauding the makeover – what was her spouse-to-be’s reaction when he saw how amazing she looked? There was never a concrete answer, but it’s easy to assume that he loved it as much as everyone else.