Everybody wants to look their best on their wedding day. However, most people aren't brave enough to make major changes to their appearance just a few days before walking down the aisle. After all, different isn't always better, and they could regret their decision every time they look through their wedding album. But this bride is not like other brides - she chose to risk it all and do a major transformation just before she walked down the aisle. And her groom wasn't the only one whose jaw hit the floor.
Making a Last-Minute Change Just Before the Wedding
Planning a wedding can be a pretty stressful event. After all, people want to make sure everything is perfect. That is already hard enough when it comes to finding the perfect venue, finding the perfect dress, making sure that everyone is able to attend, and so many other little details. This bride, Holly, decided to take her stress to the next level by also changing her entire look just a few months before the big day.
She wanted to start out by mainly changing her hairstyle. After all, changing your hairstyle can change your entire look. While that is exactly what Holly wanted, she wasn't prepared for just how different she would look.
Time to Request a Day off From Work
Although Holly was going to be a beautiful bride, whether or not she ended up changing her hair and her entire look before the wedding, for her appearance to get where she wanted it to be, there was a lot of work to do. When she walked into a salon and updated them that she was getting married soon, they knew they would have a busy day of work ahead of them.
Holly's job was working as a gate guard and managing traffic flow on a plantation, and her hair stylists decided that she would need to request at least one day off so they could have time to work their magic.
Her Hair Hadn't Always Been That Long
It's probably no surprise that two-foot-long hair does not happen overnight, but it is still quite shocking to see how different Holly looked five years ago (the photo on the left) and right before her wedding (the photo on the right). She admitted that she really just let her appearance and her hair go (and grow) over the years, but it was time to fix things before the big day.
You can see that she has generally good hair health, based on the photo of her from years ago and also the length of her hair. It's not easy to grow hair out quite that long.
Partially Just to Impress Her Fiancee
No one really knows why Holly stopped maintaining her appearance over the years and how her hair grew out so long even though she didn't like the look of it anymore. She really just didn't feel like fixing herself up the way that she used to. Her fiancee didn't care how she looked; he just loved her, but she also wanted to look her best for her love before they got married.
Holly and Vashon Ridgeway were together for many years, but one day, something happened that changed everything and made Holly want to make a change.
A Surprise Wedding Proposal
Just about every girl dreams about the day that the love of their life gets down on one knee and asks them to marry them. Vashon did just that after a few years of dating, and Holly couldn't have been happier. She immediately said "Yes," and they were in newly engaged bliss. The day had come, and the big day (the wedding) was coming very soon as well.
Holly wanted to get married before the end of the year, but the salon she chose, Avant-Garde Salon, said that if she wanted to accomplish her makeover before the wedding, they needed some more time.
Picking Out the Perfect Wedding Dress
One of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding, for a woman at least, is usually picking out the wedding dress. It is the one day in a woman's life that she can choose whatever dress she wants, the most beautiful and extravagant or the simplest and most stunning. Holly found the dress of her dreams and even shared some sneak peek photos of it with her friends and family before the wedding day.
Everything seemed to be going as planned until the one big obstacle came in their path. It was about two feet long and attached to Holly's head.
How to Fix This Head of Hair
Everything was ready for the wedding with the exception of Holly's hair. Although she knew her fiancee would find her beautiful no matter what, she also knew that she could look better. And she was ready to take the steps necessary to look her best for her big day. Just one look at this photo, and you can probably already tell that there was a lot of work to be done.
Not only was her hair reaching her hips, but it also was not in great condition. It had a few different shades of colors and greatly lacked moisture and conditioning.
Hiring a Whole Team to Help
You know the state of your hair is pretty bad when you have to hire an entire team of people at a hair salon in order to fix it. Holly's main savior was named Jeremy Hartfield, and he was a senior stylist at Avant-Garde Salon. He was in charge of making all of the plans and executing the mission that was required. However, he did have a lot of help from Sara Pestella, a young stylist and colorist.
They needed a team of two people in order to bring about the desired results in such a short period of time. One person just was not enough with all of the work they had to do.
Sara Comes to the Rescue With Her Coloring Skills
Although you can argue that there are many different important aspects when it comes to styling and fixing someone's hair, especially hair in a state like Holly's, there is no denying that the color of the hair may be the most important aspect. If you don't have the right color hair to suit your face, the cut and just about everything else seem pretty insignificant. That is where Sara stepped in to start things off right.
Sara was excited to get to work and start Holly off on the right foot. She chose the colors and starting the dying process right away.
Her Hair Affected Her Emotional Health
It may sound silly to some people, but for certain people, their hair is directly correlated to their emotional health. Some people feel the need to keep their hair short, and others want to grow it long for a whole slew of different reasons. Holly had her own personal reasons that led her to grow her hair out so long, but she didn't know how much it was affecting her emotional state.
With the start of her hair transformation journey, Holly also learned that there were a lot of emotions mixed in together with her hair that she was now able to work through.
Holly's Hair Has a Backstory
Everyone has their own reasoning behind how they choose to appear. Beauty standards can be deeply rooted in society or family pressures. Even though she was not always super conscious of the reasoning, Holly realized that she was growing her hair long because of things that her father had told her throughout her childhood. He would always say that a woman was not beautiful unless she had long hair.
With the help of her stylists, Holly was able to move past the fact that she wouldn't see herself as pretty without long hair and accept that beauty is not just one person's opinion of it.
Making Sure That She Has an Entire Team of Stylists
Just about every bride has a few stylists and makeup artists on their big day. However, Holly took it to the next level. She had an entire team of people at the hair salon working to give her the makeover that she needed. They were excited about the task ahead of them and very excited to see the before and after transformation photos, but were they ready for all of the work?
They were excited to get started, but they also didn't expect that it would take as long as it did to complete the makeover. They were getting started on what would be seven hours of work.
Her Hairdresser Was No Stranger to Big Transformations
Getting the right hairdresser can be difficult enough for normal people on just a regular day. Imagine the challenge of getting the right hairdresser for your wedding day. And then imagine trying to get the right hairdresser to give you a whole makeover just before your wedding. Jeremy Hartfield had his work cut out for him, but luckily, he was cut out for the work. He was excited to get started on this important task.
He was a seasoned veteran in the world of hairdressers. He had a whole social media account to show amazing transformations with before and after photos of his clients. Holly was excited to get started, and it was time to make the first snip.
Starting Out With Just One Snip
In even a regular haircut, making the first snip can be the most stressful. Holly was quite scared to get started and was worried about what the results would be. When Jeremy made the first cut, she panicked and almost tried to back out. However, Jeremy stood firm in his decision and kept going, knowing it would be for the best. His first step was to try and get rid of all the bleached and damaged ends at the bottom of her hair.
It was almost two feet of hair that was being cut off at once, so it makes sense that Holly was pretty stressed about it and scared to take that step.
Then Put It in a Ponytail and Chop It All off
Although it is probably not the most conventional way to cut someone's hair, Jeremy had to take drastic steps to get the process moving along. Instead of going through and trimming the hair shorter and shorter as he got to the top, he decided to just put all of the hair in a ponytail and do one big chop all at once. It was shocking, but it was exactly what needed to be done.
Holly was nervous, as you can see in her face, but the rest of the team was excited and cheering Jeremy on as he started to make some progress. However, it was only a few hours later that everyone would see the fruits of his labor.
After the Initial Cut Comes the Styling
The first cut may have been the scariest, but you could see the transformation as Jeremy continued with his styling work. With the blond and bleached pieces of hair gone, Holly already looked like an entirely different person. And as Jeremy continued to style her hair, it got even better and more beautiful as time passed. She went from having over two feet of hair to having almost a bob cut.
Although Holly was scared in the beginning, she was starting to see the light and getting excited as the results were coming into place. The next step is the hair dying.
Time to Dye the Hair
Jeremy's job was pretty much over once he finished the styling of Holly's hair and cutting it to perfection, but that didn't mean that the makeover was complete. The next step was coloring, and that is where Sara Pestella stepped up to the plate. She prepared and mixed the colors to perfection to suit Holly's face and look and got to work. It was time-consuming, but the results would be worth it.
As she started the process of dying and waited for things to finish up, she realized that something was a bit off. There was a small mistake that was made.
The Color Did Not Come Out Right
Dying hair can be quite a challenge at times. Every person's hair looks a little bit different with all of the colors, and you can never really know how the color will turn out in the end. Sara did her best to get the exact color that everyone had envisioned; however, the end result was not what she had been looking for. There were too many red undertones that were interfering with the colors, and she was a little concerned that she wouldn't be able to fix it.
However, she remained calm, and it was only a short amount of time before she was able to fix her mistake, and the hair looked perfect.
Onto the Makeup Transformation
It was exciting to see that things were starting to come together for Holly. First, they cut her hair, and the style was looking very nice. And then they dyed her hair, and that, too, came out perfect in the end. The next step was to work on her makeup. It would only be a short amount of time before they would be able to see the before and after photos.
The team at the salon had full creative freedom when it came to the makeup, and they were able to do whatever they thought would look best. Holly would be totally surprised by the results.
It All Started With Lipstick
Getting the perfect makeup for each person can prove to be quite a challenge. It is not always easy to get the right combination of colors and shades. You have to be a real artist in order to get it to look perfect. Sara was not concerned for a moment that she wouldn't find the right combination. She started by looking for the right lipstick to accentuate one of Holly's best features: her lips.
She chose a light and gently pink lip gloss. This made her lips pop while also ensuring that there wasn't too much of a focus in that area at the same time.
A Work That Was Done Overnight
Most of the people involved in Holly's makeover weren't really expecting it to take as long as it did. Of course, they knew that there was a lot of work to be done, but they never thought that it would take over seven hours to do it all. And the funniest part was that they did all of the work overnight, starting the job at 7 p.m. and finishing at 2 a.m.
Everyone was so excited to see what Holly's reaction would be to the end result. Would she like it and be happy or regret leaving her old look behind?
What Did Holly Think of the End Result?
Perhaps the most exciting moment of this entire event was seeing what Holly's reaction would be to the end result. And luckily, the reaction was great. Holly couldn't have been happier with how the makeover turned out. It was better than even in her wildest dreams. She realized that long hair was not the only way to feel beautiful, and she began embracing her new look with very open arms and a big heart.
Holly herself admitted that she almost felt like she looked like an entirely new person. It was hard to recognize herself in the mirror (in all the best ways).
Free Hair Styling for One Whole Year
One of the reasons that Holly's hair got to the state that it was in was due to the fact that she didn't quite know how to handle her hair. She didn't have the energy to take care of it properly, and so, as a result, she ended up allowing it to get to the untamable state that it was in. That is why the team at Avant-Garde Salon wanted to give her a little wedding present.
They gave her the gift of free hair styling for one whole year. She wouldn't have to worry about maintaining her hair for the whole year following her wedding.
When the Makeover Goes Viral
It's probably no surprise that in this day and age, with the prevalence of social media, that a makeover like Holly's would not go unnoticed. Avant-Garde Salon posted photos of Holly before and after their work, captioning it, "Teamwork makes the dream work." The post quickly went viral, and people all around the world raved about Holly's makeover and her new look. They couldn't be happier for the bride-to-be.
After all, you can see that Holly was happy with the look as well, so how could people not react positively and be excited that they had such a successful transformation?
Endless Praise for the Transformation
Although some people online wanted to stress the fact that Holly was beautiful even before the makeover and that they felt she didn't really even need a makeover, most of the comments were just happy for Holly and the stylist team for pulling off such a feat. Of course, she was beautiful before and after, but Holly was happy with the end result and felt more confident and beautiful for her wedding day. And that was the most important.
The comments that people were posting online just didn't cease to amaze. People were saying the nicest things, and they had the best feedback. But the best was still yet to come.
They Were All Nominated for an Award
The best part of this transformation story was that the team and their hard work were rewarded at the end, even beyond the excitement of completing a successful project. The team of Avant-Garde Salon was nominated for the EC Top Salon award at the OneShot Hair Awards in 2017. That is a pretty big deal, and they were endlessly excited for the event where they would see if they won.
Since it was a team effort, the entire team got together for the photos. Along with Holly, they went to the awards ceremony and were ready for one of the best nights of their lives.
The Face Behind the Nomination for EC Top Salon
Winning the title of EC Top Salon would be so exciting for Avant-Garde Salon, and they wanted to make sure that everything was in line and ready to go when the big day came around (the event for the nomination and not Holly's wedding this time). Holly was the nomination, and they showed this before photo, sharing it on their social media accounts to get people excited to vote for the end result.
The sweetest thing was their caption: “The biggest thing Holly looks forward to with this event is being able to show her daughter that not only can a woman be strong, but also beautiful inside and out.”
The Competition Was High When It Came to Makeovers
Although everyone can agree that Holly had the makeover of a lifetime, there were still quite a few other people in the competition who were giving them a run for their money. It was hard to say who the winner would be, considering so many women had some really incredible transformations. However, everyone was hopeful that Holly would be the winner despite it all. She had high chances at the end of the day!
You can see one of the other women who participated in the competition in the photo. She looks like she had a great transformation as well.
So Excited Just to Be Partaking
It was no surprise that the Avant-Garde Salon team really wanted to win this competition. They were so happy and satisfied with the results, and that was already compensation enough, but it would be extra satisfying to win an award for their work as well. It would make their salon appear even better to others in the long term and show people what quality work they do for all of their clients.
Jeremy Hartfield, the senior stylist and the one who was in charge of cutting Holly's hair in the beginning, attended the event and was so excited to see his prodigy in the running.
Starting off With a Heartfelt Speech
Although there were many other contestants who also had some amazing transformations, not all of them had a story like Holly's. After all, there is something special about a bride-to-be getting everything ready just before her big day and making such a drastic change before the wedding. Sara Pestella started things off with the speech and told Holly's story to the crowd. Some people were even moved to tears.
After hearing her story, all the audience wanted was to see what Holly looked like in the end. How was the overall transformation? They only had a few moments before she would reveal it all.
And the Final Results Are... Unrecognizable
Sometimes, people think that unrecognizable is not a good thing; however, in Holly's case, it is the best possible thing. That is exactly what she was going for with her transformation, and that is exactly what she got. Her haircut, styling, and makeup were completely different, but also her attitude changed for the better. She was more confident and happy with herself, and people could see it and feel it.
No one can deny that that is the transformation of a lifetime! It would be a shock if the team did not win the prize at the One Shot Awards.
It Was Time to Strut Her Stuff
Holly probably never would have thought that the day would come when she would be strutting down a catwalk in front of a whole event of people. However, that is exactly what happened, and she couldn't have been more excited for this moment. She was so happy with her new appearance and so excited to show all the work that the team at Avant-Garde Studios had done for her in such a time.
And who can blame them all for their excitement? She looked great, and it was so amazing to see such a transformation.
Waiting to See if They Won
Even though the team was on such a high just from the excitement of this whole event, the nomination, and Holly's transformation, they still would have loved to top that all off with a win. They were so much looking forward to seeing if they won the award. Either way, they were mentally prepared and excited for whatever the outcome would be. They were waiting all together to see.
They shared on their social media platforms that "We are absolutely blown away by the support we received last night!" but they were still waiting for the final results to share with everyone, whether or not they won.
And They Won the Final Award
As if it wasn't already exciting enough to see the amazing work that they did and the transformation of Holly, both physically and mentally, they were also rewarded by winning the award! They won EC Top Salon of 2017, and they couldn't be happier. They all posed for a photo together to commemorate this moment, one that they wouldn't be forgetting any time soon. If there was ever a well-deserved prize, this was it!
The entire team at Avant-Garde was thrilled that they won the award, and Holly couldn't have been happier for them! And now that she had a year of free hair styling, they could commemorate this moment for a long time.
The Man Who Let His Beard Grow Longer Than Anyone Expected
There was a time when men would never be caught outside their house with a beard. It was a sign of not being well kept, and they were pressured to shave every day, and even sometimes twice a day, to make sure no hair could be seen. However, those days are not to be found anymore, and most men are growing out their beards to very long lengths, the opposite as in the past.
Lance, a husband and father from Boone, North Carolina, decided that he would go years without shaving his beard or cutting the hair on his head. And the results over the years were shocking.
Lance Became Unrecognizable
Lance was a married man, and although his wife loved him very much, he quickly became almost unrecognizable. After all, he went from being short bearded to having long facial and head hair in a pretty short period of time. He started to look like a mountaineer or even Santa Claus, as some close friends and family started to call him. It was crazy to see the quick transformation after 24 years of marriage.
Although Nicole, Lance's wife, claimed that she couldn't really recognize him with his new hairstyle, she also agreed that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just shocking.
Time for a Little Makeover
Luckily for Nicole and also for Lance, he eventually realized that it was time to put the mountain man look behind him and come back to civilization. Maybe it was the fact that people were starting to confuse him for his children's grandfather or that they were thinking he was his wife's father. You couldn't blame them, though; the long white beard did make him look much older than he was.
They were both excited at the chance to appear on Rachel Ray's show and for Lance to get the makeover and transformation of a lifetime.
Shedding a Few Years off His Age
With a dedicated team of stylists, hairdressers, and others, they were able to totally transform Lance's look in a pretty short amount of time. However, Nicole was only allowed to see the end result. That is why she was ready to be totally shocked when he walked out in front of her and appeared to be an entirely new man. She couldn't wait or hold in her excitement.
You can see just how shocked and excited she was by her husband's new look. And once you see the final result, you'll understand precisely why.
She Said It Almost Felt Like Cheating
Lance's transformation was so intense that Nicole almost didn't know how to respond. She said that she almost felt like she was cheating as her husband looked so different, and she was not accustomed to seeing him this way. It was hard for her brain to comprehend that it was the same person. This may be the only time where having the feeling of cheating would actually be a good thing!
Lance's transformation was pretty intense (in a good way), so it's no surprise that his wife felt that way when she first saw him.