By Cathy’s own estimation, she hadn’t been anywhere near a salon since around 1993. That’s because the mom of three preferred to put her grown-up kids and grandchild ahead of herself. But with Cathy’s son soon to marry, her daughter reached out to the Rachael Ray Show for a makeover.
Cathy is from Reading, Pennsylvania. With three kids and a grandchild, most of her attention has been focused on them over the years. So if she had any spare money, it was unlikely that she would splash out on frivolous treats for herself. Instead, she always preferred to see her family right.
Indeed, Cathy was not about flash clothes or fancy haircuts. Afraid of change, she consistently went with what she was familiar. Her choice of hairstyle and clothes didn’t, however, go unnoticed by family and friends.
Cathy described her personal style as “comfortable.” She often wore casual wear, such as sweatpants and leggings with loose-fitting tops. That’s if she had the motivation for day clothes at all. As she admitted, she would sometimes stick to pajamas and slippers.
As for Cathy’s hair, it was very much a DIY effort. In the past, she would choose the drugstore-bought box colors, rather than going to a salon. And her bangs harked back to the 1980s, the very decade they were first styled.
Cathy’s hair, in actuality, was a shag of blonde waves hanging halfway down her back. With flicking bangs cut in the front, it’s a hairstyle that wouldn’t look out of place in a high school yearbook circa 1986. In fact, aside from a drastic change in color, it was more or less Cathy’s high school hairstyle.
As Cathy described to the Rachael Ray Show in October 2018, “This is who I am.” The mother of three also admitted that the idea of changing a style she had grown so used to scared her. She said simply, “I’m afraid of change.”
Friends often suggested that Cathy should update her hair. However, she had always been reluctant. “I’ve never seen my hair anything but long,” she said on the show. So, picturing herself with anything other than what she’s always known was difficult.
And when your hair has been the same for several decades, it can be hard to try something different. But Cathy had extra motivation to update her look. You see, her son was due to get married in October 2018, and, presumably like any mother of a groom, she wanted to look good for the occasion.
Indeed, Cathy’s daughter, Kayla, wanted to see her mom’s style updated. With her mom’s reticence, however, she knew drastic action would be necessary. So, she took the initiative and emailed the Rachael Ray Show for help.
“I just really want my mom to be in the 21st century,” Kayla said on the show. “[I want] for us to be able to go to Walmart without her in sweatpants.” So Kayla and her mom Cathy were decided: it was finally time for a makeover.
And with her son’s nuptials approaching, Cathy was no longer resisting change. She told the Rachael Ray Show, “My son is getting married in October, and I would like to look nice for his wedding.” Knowing she was about to take a big step in making such a dramatic change, Cathy had only one wish.
“After this makeover I hope my granddaughter remembers who I am when I go back home,” Cathy admitted on the program. It would be fair to say her own kids are old enough to recognize her after such a drastic change. Her granddaughter, however, is young enough that grandma may look like a completely different person.
So, with the only instructions from Kayla being to update Cathy’s look, a style team set to work with a blank canvas. They knew, however, that the biggest change would come in the form of Cathy’s new hairstyle. As hairstylist Kyan Douglas commented, “Those… are some intense bangs.”
As Kyan explained, “There’s a little bit of a disconnect between her bangs and the rest of her hair.” What that means is the drastic difference between Cathy’s blunt bangs and the length and volume of her hair was dating her look. This discrepancy made her appear older than she actually was.
The color was another factor contributing to Cathy’s old-fashioned hair. Indeed, though hairstylist Kyan doesn’t appear to be against using drugstore box colors, he did issue a warning. “Make sure that you don’t use a shade that is too warm, and don’t try to go too light because those two things will make it go brassy,” he said.
When hair goes “brassy,” it means the color has taken on unwanted red, orange or yellow shade. These tones make the hair a warmer color than the one picked in the salon due to natural pigments still being present. It’s hair’s way of fighting to get back to its original color and can be undesirable for users.
When it came time for Cathy’s big reveal, no one outside of the style team had seen her finished look, including Cathy herself. And when she walked into the studio, she blew everyone’s minds. Indeed, the shock was too much for Kayla; when she saw her made-over mom for the first time, she was reduced to tears.
Though the style team kept Cathy as a blonde, they adjusted the tones to make it appear more natural. They achieved a sophisticated style, with the most dramatic difference being to the length, which, cut to below the collar, added a touch of class. The bangs were still present, although updated and on trend.
Cathy wore a dramatic, red-tailored dress finished with a pair of leopard print pumps to add character to her stunning new look. While Kayla was in tears, her mom appeared speechless. Rachael described her as looking “amazing! And so young and hot.” And those working at the show agreed, writing on the website later that the styling was “one of our most incredible makeovers yet.”