Connie Herman found her husband Travis’ big and bushy beard annoying for the longest time. And as the top of her head only reaches the bottom of her husband’s chin, she had had to face up to this problem in their marriage for years. All in all, she longed to see the face of the man she had fallen in love with once more. Then, in the middle of an eventful night, Travis subjected himself to a secret makeover – and when Connie woke up, it was to both a brand-new day and a brand-new husband.
Travis and Connie live in Atlanta, Georgia, along with their two young sons. Travis himself had studied microbiology at Oklahoma State University and intensive brewing science at the University of California, Davis. And with these acquired brewing skills, experience and qualifications, he came home to co-found craft ale producing business the Scofflaw Brewing Company.
Travis’ scruffy, hirsute appearance therefore fitted perfectly with his job as a brewmaster and brewery owner. His beard was long, black and bushy – very much the backwoodsman look – and his clothes were casual and functional. Furthermore, the hair on Travis’ head was similarly unkempt to that on his cheeks and chin. Years of buzz-cutting it all to one length had rendered his crowning glory thick and unmanageable.
However, Travis’ wife, Connie, wasn’t so enamored with his shaggy look. What’s more, by September 2016 things had gotten serious, as the brewer explained at the time in a video since uploaded to YouTube. He admitted, “My wife thinks my beard is a little bit unruly,” adding that maintaining his facial hair was what annoyed his wife the most. He further explained, “You have to brush [the beard] to keep it looking somewhat right, and you end up leaving a little trail of hair everywhere. It drives her insane to see it in the sink.”
So, in secret, Travis enlisted the help of a makeover team from The Rachael Ray Show. The makeover segment of the show is led by personal groomer Kyan Douglas, and he agreed to turn Travis from shabby to chic. Indeed, the brewer subsequently underwent a radical personal rebrand – from the hair on his head down to his footwear on the floor. And when the style professionals had finished, he had been transformed into a completely different-looking dude.
Stylist and television personality Kyan Douglas originally came to fame as the grooming expert on the hit TV program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The show offers tips and advice on culture, fashion, food and wine, personal style and interior design for unsophisticated types. Now working as part of The Rachael Ray Show, Douglas has overseen more than 400 makeovers. However, in regard to Travis’ imminent transformation in the middle of a September night, Douglas stated, “We have never done anything like this.”
Then at 4:00 a.m. one morning, Douglas and his makeover team descended on the Herman household. What better way to keep the whole process a secret from Connie than by completing it while she was asleep? Following the stylist and his posse was a team of camera operatives and sound technicians ready to record the whole scene as it unraveled. From the makeover to the grand reveal, the mobile TV production unit would capture it all, and this footage would be aired on The Rachael Ray Show at a later date.
And when Douglas and the crew arrived at the suburban house, Travis was waiting for them and quietly let them in. Hugging Douglas as he entered, he welcomed the team into his home. His wife, on the other hand, was fast asleep upstairs along with the children and oblivious to what was going on just a few feet below. When she woke up, however, Connie would see her husband in a totally new light.
The first step of the makeover saw Douglas introducing Patricia, a master barber, who helped with some cutting suggestions. Then, before they could begin the transformation, the stylist quickly discussed what they were planning to do with Travis. Douglas said to him, “So Patricia and I have been talking about your look a little bit.”
The stylist observed, “It looks to me like you just use a buzzer or a shaver on your head.” Travis confirmed this as fact. Douglas then continued, stating, “I know Connie wants to probably see the beard go. It’s been a long time since you’ve been clean-shaven, I want to take the beard off completely.” The brewing expert seemed to heartily concur, saying with enthusiasm, “Let’s do it!”
Thus began the enormous task of turning Travis’ look from hirsute and scruffy to handsome and smart. They started first with the hair atop his head. To stop it being so tufty and untidy, Patricia shaved his hair in a different way than the brewer usually does for himself. Douglas explained, “What we can do to really update his haircut is to give him a fade, so going from longer to shorter just creates a lot of structure. And we’ll just use some product to finesse it a little bit, give it some texture.”
Next, it was time to tackle the main task of this makeover and the bane of Connie’s life: the beard. Carefully shearing away the great fuzz of facial hair with an electric shaver, Patricia ensured that Travis’ face could see daylight for the first time in years. And when the barber had buzzed off half of the beard, Douglas asked, “Can you feel a difference right now?” Travis replied, looking thoughtful, “Heavier on one side than the other…”
So, as the tufts of hair piled up on the floor around the beer man’s feet, the beard on his face was swiftly banished. “This is pretty awesome,” Travis conceded when Patricia was finished with the shaver. This new, groomed look not only left the brewer’s face free of fuzz, but it also revealed more of what had been hidden under the hair.
Douglas was not done with Travis just yet, however. To complete the craft beer creator’s new look, the stylist wanted to dress him in smarter clothing to match his neatly shaved face and carefully considered hair. Unpacking a suitcase full of garments on the floor, the stylist was ready and waiting with options for Travis to dress in once his grooming was complete.
Douglas explained the choice of clothes to the brewery operator. The styling veteran said, “For me, one of the most important things a guy can have in his wardrobe are just really good basic, dark jeans. These go with everything because they’re dark and they’re not faded.” Douglas then added, “The next thing is just a good pair of dark boots.” Holding up a shirt, he stated, “This is just like a really lightweight denim shirt. Because this is so thin, it’s almost like an all-year-round kind of shirt. Dark blue on dark blue, kind of tone-on-tone thing, but because it’s all dark it’s also kind of slimming.”
Then once Travis was dressed in the new clothes, it was time to show off his transformation to his wife. Connie was still upstairs sleeping; since it was about the time she normally woke up, however, it wouldn’t be long before she appeared. Douglas encouraged Travis to send his wife a good morning text message to get the ball rolling on the eagerly anticipated big reveal.
“Trap’s set, she’ll be down in just a second,” announced Travis with a twinkle, as the makeover team and camera crew waited for his wife to make her appearance. Connie emerged at the top of the stairs with a sleepy son in her arms. “Oh my gosh! No…”, she exclaimed in delight the moment she saw her husband’s amazing transformation. “I thought you went to a poker game,” she added, before rushing down the steps to embrace her husband.
And Connie certainly didn’t hide her joy at the sight of her husband without a beard. She explained to the camera, “That’s how I met him, years and years ago, and it’s nice to see that face again instead of staring at the beard.” She then added, “I’m actually still trying to get past the fact that he doesn’t have a beard on anymore. I really like it – love it.”
Then, when the couple guested on The Rachael Ray Show, the host asked Connie how she felt. The wife admitted, “Right now, I’m actually going to cry. He looks great. And I’ve missed this face for a very long time, so I’m glad it’s back. Thank you so much, Kyan.” Ray then confirmed with the couple, “You guys met when you were like 16?” She also joked, “He couldn’t even grow a beard when they met.”
But what did the man himself think of his new look? Ray inquired, “You love how you look though, right?” Travis replied, “I do, it’s a little higher maintenance than the beard, but you know.” It appears, however, that the beer maker preferred his beard to the clean-shaven look. That’s judging from a photo posted by Connie to Facebook in 2017, in which Travis is shown with yet more facial fuzz.
It seems growing a big bushy beard is a popular choice for a lot of men as they get older, however – much to a lot of wives’ disapproval. Indeed, when Jeff Schultz from Missouri underwent a similarly dramatic makeover on The Rachael Ray Show, his wife, Lori, almost didn’t recognize him.
With his long hair and enormous, bushy beard, Lori Schultz’s husband didn’t look like the man she married three decades ago. In fact, Jeff Schultz had grown so comfy with his look that he hadn’t shaved his face in 20 years. But when Lori finally decided it was time for Jeff’s style to change, she never could have expected the dramatic transformation that took place.
It was some old family photos that convinced Lori, 53, from Willard, Missouri, to take action. She told the Springfield News-Leader that the story of Jeff’s makeover began when Lori’s mom was clearing out her loft. Among the mementos she dug out were pictures of Lori and Jeff back when the couple first started seeing one another.
Jeff, 52, had started growing his hair and beard when he experienced some difficulty in his life. So when his wife suggested they should apply to The Rachael Ray Show for a makeover, he eventually agreed. Lori told the Springfield News-Leader her husband had been a fan of the TV host for years, stretching back to when Ray starred on the Food Network.
Lori decided to send the show a recent photo of Jeff, along with one of the old pictures her mom had found when tidying up the attic. Lori wrote, “Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband inside out, just help me with the outside.”
And when the show wrote back to invite the couple to New York, Lori told the Springfield News-Leader her husband agreed, “just ’cause it was Rachael Ray.” The couple were told they’d be appearing on an episode with Kyan Douglas, one of the original stars of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy when it first aired back in 2003.
Kyan was the show’s “grooming guru” and helped men with their hair, makeup and personal hygiene. The original series ended in 2007, but Kyan still carries out makeovers for the The Rachael Ray Show. He told Buzzfeed that he enjoys helping others change their appearance because of the “wonderful synergy between physical transformation and an internal transformation.”
Kyan enlisted the help of Elena Linares, who runs the Razzle Dazzle Barbershop in Miami, to work her magic on Jeff. Originally from the Bronx, Elena moved to Miami in the 1980s. She started her first salon, on South Beach, in 1989 and set up Razzle Dazzle in 2008.
Elena opened Razzle Dazzle in 2008 as a barbershop with a difference. It’s a burlesque-themed salon, complete with racy outfits. The salon owner told Blog Talk Radio, “The idea behind Razzle Dazzle is to pamper men in a flirty but wholesome, professional manner.”
Elena has gone on to open two more Razzle Dazzle outlets in Surfside and Coral Gables. She’s even featured on TV series The American Barber. “When I started Razzle Dazzle, the barbering niche hadn’t even began,” she said. “I knew that I was going to be dominant in the industry.”
With all their experience, then, it was unlikely that Elena and Kyan would have been worried by the challenge of Jeff’s makeover. Rachael Ray asked Jeff how much of his facial hair he’d be willing to lose. He said his wife had “married me with nothing on my face, so I’m willing to go that far.”
Jeff and Lori spent four days in New York to film their appearance on the show. Lori wasn’t even allowed to see her husband during the makeover process. But his dramatic transformation certainly made their enforced separation worthwhile.
Although the couple had been apart for less than 96 hours, when Jeff stepped onto the stage with his new haircut and a clean-shaven face, Lori barely recognised him. She even exclaimed, “That’s not my husband!” Not only had Jeff’s hair been transformed, but he’d also been given a sleek new outfit to replace his tatty old overalls.
And Jeff himself seemed to be delighted with the results. When he turned to face himself on the big screen, he became emotional and even had tears in his eyes. “I feel amazing,” he confessed.
Lori said Jeff’s clean-cut new look was an enormous change. “He looked totally different,” she told the Springfield News-Leader. “His skin hasn’t seen fresh air for 20 years.”
Back on the show, Rachael Ray was a huge fan of the transformation. “You look so handsome,” she told Jeff. And viewers were also impressed. When Madwood Studios uploaded a video of Jeff’s makeover to YouTube, one commenter wrote, “He looks at least ten years younger.”
It was clear that Lori and Jeff were delighted with the results of his revamp. As an excited Lori hugged her husband, Jeff said he felt great. “I’ve been Razzle Dazzled!” he added.
Lori revealed that the she and Jeff had even spent some time with Racheal Ray off the set. Lori told the Springfield News-Leader that although the host clearly had a lot on her plate, she still took a few minutes to speak with the couple. Lori added, “She was very gracious.”
Jeff’s wife also told the newspaper that she thinks her husband is now “kind of New York-looking.” And Lori revealed that his dramatic new look even came close to causing a problem when they flew home. In fact, Jeff looked so different from his previous incarnation that security staff at the airport even asked if he was really the same person as his driver’s license photo.
Following his haircut, Jeff’s hair was donated to the non-profit Locks of Love. Based in Florida, the organization supplies hairpieces for children and young people under the age of 21 who have lost their hair due to medical conditions. Many of them suffer from alopecia, which means they lose not only their hair but also their eyelashes and eyebrows.
In most cases this hair loss is irreversible – and there is no cure. Other children who receive hair from Locks of Love may suffer from a skin disorder or be cancer survivors or burns victims. So not only did Jeff look great after his makeover, he did something great to help others too.