Librarian Wendy had been known for having extra-long hair for most of her life. By the time she went onto TV’s Rachael Ray show, though, she was ready for a change. And her first haircut in eight and a half years completely transformed her look.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, resident Wendy had always let her hair grow to super-long lengths – and her flowing locks had made up her signature look for years. “People know me by my hair,” she said on Rachael Ray in October 2018.
That look went well with Wendy’s fashion style, too, which she calls bohemian. “I like flowy skirts and dresses and colors and patterns and florals,” she said. “The world should have more color in it.”
However, by the time Wendy appeared on the TV talkshow, she had perhaps taken that boho theme too far. She was 49 years old and hadn’t had a haircut in eight and a half years. With a big birthday on the horizon, then, Wendy knew it was time to switch up her look.
“I’ve always loved my long hair, but now that I’m about to turn 50. I think it’s time for a change,” Wendy said. There were several reasons for her decision. For starters, she said her hair – which reached her lower back – had become “difficult to take care of.”
“When my hair is this long, sometimes it gets stuck in things. It gets stuck in people’s glasses, in people’s jewelry. Sometimes I close a door on it,” Wendy said with a laugh. Her solution? Always to put her hair up in a bun or weave it into a braid.
Secondly, Wendy thought her hair could potentially be having a detrimental effect on her personal and professional lives. She works as a part-time librarian, and at the time of the show’s taping, she reported that she was single.
“I absolutely love my job at the library, and I wish it were full time… So I’ve been interviewing for more full-time work,” Wendy explained. “I think that a fresh new look would give me more confidence, and maybe it’ll be the same with going on dates.”
But most importantly of all, Wendy wanted a makeover to honor her mother, who had passed away at 50 – an age that Wendy herself was now about to turn. “[Being] 50 is much more meaningful for me than it would’ve been if [Mom] had been around,” Wendy admitted.
“In her honor, I want to just really live my life to the fullest and be the best me I can be,” Wendy concluded. And with that, she began her makeover journey on Rachael Ray – a show that, however, typically centers around its host’s well-known cooking expertise.
In fact, Ray had been apprehensive when she’d initially allowed makeovers into her food-centric series’ line-up. “When we first started the show, I’m like, ‘Everybody does makeovers; let’s not do makeovers.’ And then we started doing them and… I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I love these! They’re so fun,’” she admitted.
Ray’s excitement was certainly palpable as she stood by Wendy’s side, holding her hand as celebrity stylist Ted Gibson readied his shears. “So, are we gonna make the first cut?” Ray asked Gibson before turning to Wendy to wonder if she was “freaked out by cutting off a lot of hair.”
Wendy again touched upon her own history with lengthy locks – but said she was prepared to close that chapter. “I’ve been known for my hair forever, so I am a little bit [freaked out], but I’m really ready,” she told Ray.
Wendy also revealed that she had cut and donated her hair three times prior to her appearance on Rachael Ray – and that she’d be donating her clippings this time, too. Then, with that, Gibson got his scissors ready, while Ray reassured Wendy that the new look was “not short.”
As the show’s live audience cheered, Gibson finished cutting through Wendy’s ponytail. And although she had the rest of her makeover to go, Wendy was clearly already shocked by her shorter hair. She asked, “Oh my gosh. Can I touch it?”
Wendy’s complete transformation came later, though – after she had received a full cut and color as well as a new outfit. And when she made her way on stage, viewers clapped and cheered her stunning transformation.
For her part, Wendy couldn’t believe the new look, which she got to see for the first time while she was up there in front of everyone. “Oh, my god!” she exclaimed as she examined her short hair, which now had a gingery hue. “Wow!” she added as she then looked more closely.
Ray couldn’t believe the transformation, either, and she spoke directly to the man responsible for dyeing Wendy’s locks to a new, warm hue. “Oh my god, Jason! Look at that color!” the stunned talkshow host exclaimed.
Of course, though, the makeover’s ultimate success depended upon Wendy’s approval. And the librarian made it clear that she felt incredible after having had her extra-long hair chopped off. In fact, just as Ray asked her if she liked her new look, she started to cry.
Wendy admitted to the talkshow host that seeing her reflection was like having a stranger stare back at her. “I honestly don’t recognize myself,” she said. But that was a good thing. “I feel like such a different person,” Wendy added. “I feel so free and light and…” At that point, though, she had to trail off. The audience were clapping too loudly for the transformed librarian, who was walking into a new chapter of her life with a brand-new look.