An Unexpected Makeover for a Long-Haired Husband
Some people carefully plot out their appearance. They wash their face, fix their hair, and pick their clothes in a very conscious way. Other people, however, prefer to just roll out of bed, throw on a shirt, and call it a day.
Jeffrey Schultz was in the latter group. Then, one day he began to question why. That simple question led to a huge transformation.
A TV Makeover
Neither husband nor wife had any idea of what they were about to get into. They felt the butterflies that seem to get caught in people’s stomachs whenever they get nervous. It was bound to be a big day.
The others, however, knew something the husband and wife didn’t. Namely, they knew they had full creative control and license to do as they pleased. That’s because they were trying to fix nearly two decades of neglected grooming habits. When the husband saw the audience’s eyes, he knew it was drastic.
Long Gray Hair
Jeffrey Schultz was a man who kept himself unkempt. That’s what he preferred. He wasn’t fussed about upkeep, so he just let his hair and beard grow as long and gray as they wanted. It was stylish and easy to maintain.
However, it was also a style that hid nearly his entire face. His chin was nowhere to be seen, and his jaw was completely covered. Plus, eating was always a messy affair. Although he liked it, someone else felt the complete opposite.
Love Birds in Their 20s
Jeffrey met Lori when they were both a few years out of high school. He was busy working at his father’s business, while Lori was studying away at school. They immediately hit it off, and after two short years of dating, they decided to tie the knot and get hitched.
At the time, Jeff was a clean-shaven twenty-something with stylish wavy hair. As the years went by (30 to be exact), his beard grew in, his hair grew long, and he gave up shaving and haircuts.
Acceptance But Wanting Change
As you can imagine, staying married for 30 years means something worked well. For them, it was their mutual love. Jeffrey was the love of Lori’s life, and Lori felt exactly the same. That love was deep, overlooking small things like appearances.
Lori never gave Jeffrey a hard time about his long hair and beard or the unkempt way he liked to dress. However, he picked up that something was wrong because she always looked sad whenever they went on a date night somewhere fancy.
Little to No Effort
A big part of that look of sadness was the mismatch between their styles. Lori spent many hours each day trying to look the best she could for Jeffrey – fixing her hair, applying makeup, picking out the right clothes, and much more.
Although Jeffrey appreciated it, he certainly didn’t return the favor. He was more of a roll-out-of-bed-and-throw-on-a-T-shirt type. After many years of that, his laissez-faire approach to dressing became a bad habit – a bad habit that was starting to bug Lori.
Not Sure What to Do
So, Jeffrey felt in his bones (and hair) that he needed to change. However, after twenty-some-odd years of grabbing the nearest T-shirt and letting your hair grow out as it wanted, this was a bit scary. He didn’t know if he was ready for anything drastic.
Furthermore, he didn’t know if he was the one who could properly decide what his new look should be. If he chose wrong, it might upset Lori. At the end of the day, all he wanted to do was make Lori feel great.
Jeffrey’s look fit his job as perfectly as a hand in a glove. He was a mechanic. Working all day alongside greasy machines, exhaust fumes, and a whole range of smelly, dusty, or dirty chemicals made a rugged appearance pretty much required.
He accepted that and embraced his unkempt look – overalls with a dark shirt, scruffy beard, long hair, and a trucker hat. What was the point of being clean-shaven every morning only to have it ruined a half-hour into work?
Although Jeffrey was clean-shaven in his early twenties, long years working as a mechanic surrounded by oils, grease, and fumes lead him to take on a more scruffy look. It was an entirely practical choice, one that plenty of other mechanics take as well.
However, that practical choice had a deeper meaning. The long gray hair hiding his face became a deeper part of Jeffrey’s identity. Although he put on a blase face for the outside, his insides were feeling a bit different.
Scared of Change
If you saw Jeffrey on the street or walked into his mechanic’s shop, you’d probably assume that he was totally unconcerned with superficial things such as fashion and appearance. He was a practical man who didn’t waste time on that.
That was true to a certain extent, but that’s not the whole story. In fact, the scruffy mechanic look that Jeffrey mastered over the years was so important to his sense of self that he was terrified of changing it at all.
Jeffrey told Lori that the reason he dressed the way he did was that he was afraid of change. It was a touching confession that made Lori cry. She had no idea that Jeffrey had this bottled-up fear inside.
Furthermore, it made no sense to her – Jeffrey was the best man in the world in her eyes. However, she respected what he said and knew that he wouldn’t change his looks alone. He needed help. More specifically, the help of a television star.
That star was Rachael Ray, the chef, businesswoman, author, and host of the popular Rachael Ray Show. Lori wrote up an email describing her husband’s dilemma and then sent off the email to the producers of the show.
Later on, Jeffrey called the email a “dirty trick,” but said so with a smile on his face. In reality, Jeffrey knew all about the Rachael Ray Show – it was one of his favorite shows on the air! Furthermore, his interest in it went beyond the cooking segments.
Jeffrey’s Favorite Show
The multi-award-winning Rachael Ray Show is best known for its cooking segments featuring celebrities, politicians, and media personalities. However, millions of viewers also tune in to see the amazing makeover transformations. Jeffrey was one of those viewers.
One episode, in particular, struck him like a ton of bricks. It featured a camo-clad couple from Concord, New Carolina undergoing a so-called “southern fried makeover.”Jeffrey sat at home eagerly watching the episode. He loved it because he saw a lot of himself and his identity in them.
The Style of No Style
The “southern fried makeover” show featured Stacey Collins and Brandon Helms. This couple had a very relaxed attitude toward fashion. Whatever was comfortable, they wore. Usually, that meant blue jeans, camouflage jackets, and plain color hoodies.
However, one day, their relaxed wear-what’s-comfortable approach to fashion began to bug Stacey. She hadn’t always looked this way. Years ago, she used to enjoy dressing up – and now she wanted to rekindle that joy. So, just like Lori, she decided to contact the producers of the Rachael Ray Show.
A Wife’s Encouragement
Jeffrey nearly fell onto the floor because he was so close to the edge of his seat while watching the episode. Kyan Douglas, the styling guru of Queer Eye fame, set about considering what to do with Brandon Helms’ look.
A shave was necessary, but it took a lot of convincing. At first, Brandon was very against it because his beard was such a deep part of his personality. However, after some encouraging words from his wife Stacey, he decided to give it a go. Jeffrey looked at Lori.
Although the wife’s encouragement was gentle – “I don’t love the beard, but I don’t hate it either” – it was clear she was being overly nice to the camera. In reality, she definitely wanted Brandon to shave his beard. Brandon sensed that and felt the same.
When Jeffrey looked at his wife Lori, he knew that she also felt the same about him. She was much too kind to demand that he shave his 20-year-old beard, but he knew that deep inside, she really wanted it.
A Complete Transformation
So, with Brandon’s consent and Stacey’s admiration, the couple put their looks (and hopes) in the hands of the show’s style gurus. After a quick commercial break, Rachael Ray came back for the big unveiling. The camo-clad couple walked out on stage.
The applause from the in-studio (and at home) audience was thunderous. When the couple saw each other after their makeover transformations, they were shocked and overjoyed. Sitting in his chair at home, Jeffrey let out a huge smile of admiration.
Flying to New York
Not too long after that smile faded, Lori heard back from the Rachael Ray producers she sent the email to. They were interested in featuring Lori and Jeffrey on the show. So, they flew out to New York City to tell their story in front of a live studio audience.
To ensure that the makeover was as transformative as possible, Rachael Ray brought in the best team of stylists she could find. Lori and Jeffrey were ready and full of excitement – they wanted real change.
Big Names Work Together
Considering the fact that Jeffrey hadn’t changed his look for decades, this complete makeover was a big change – and big changes require big names. So, Rachael Ray brought in Kyan Douglas from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
In addition to Douglas’ expertise, Rachael Ray also brought in another expert: the owner of Miami’s best male salon. The two of them working would surely be able to transform Jeffrey’s unkempt hair into something clean, slick, and absolutely amazing. Unsurprisingly, Jeffrey was incredibly excited.
The Show Begins
There were so many things to be excited about. Alongside the upcoming transformation by two of America’s best hair stylists, Jeffrey also got to fly to New York City, meet Rachael Ray, and see what the show was like behind the scenes. It was a dream come true.
That being said, he was also nervous. As someone not used to standing in front of cameras, it was ]overwhelming to be in front of a live audience with tons of cameras. But the look in Lori’s eyes made him feel better.
Soon after Jeffrey came on stage, he sat down for a little chat. Rachael and the stylists began asking him about his looks, his marriage, and what he hoped to change. Jeffrey’s answer was iconic. Thinking of Lori, he said that she married him “with nothing on my face, so I’m willing to go that far.”
The audience applauded and the stylists took note. Then, the hair gurus went to work combing, measuring, cutting, and shaping Jeffrey’s hair. Lori and the audience waited in anticipation.
After tackling Jeffrey’s long hair and gray beard, the stylists turned their attention to his clothing. He came in with the same denim overalls he wore to work and nearly everywhere else. They decided to ditch the overalls for something more stylish.
So stylish, in fact, that it would fit perfectly on the cover of a national magazine. Although the outfit was out of his price range in regular life, it felt incredible to wear in this brief detour from regular life.
Lori’s First Reaction
During the entire process of having his hair styled and his clothes picked out, Jeffrey wasn’t allowed to see himself. Mirrors, phones, and other reflective surfaces were completely banned – and for good reason. His first inkling of how well the makeover went would come from his wife’s reaction.
So, as soon as the curtains parted, he walked out on stage to see his wife Lori. She was absolutely stunned by his look. Her eyes widened and tears of joy streamed down her face.
Jeffrey Sees Himself
Seeing Lori’s reaction, Jeffrey knew that the style gurus did an amazing job. Then, he turned around and saw for himself. Talk about transformative! The gurus re-shaped his hair into the wavy look he had in his early 20s.
On top of that, they trimmed his long-gray beard until they could see the contours of his jaw. Then, they carefully shaved off the rest. Jeffrey was absolutely stunned at his clean-shaven, short-haired look. He felt like a new person. Lori felt the same.
Lori could hardly contain her excitement – “That’s not my husband,” she gasped, “He looks like a model!” Not just any model, either. She continued, “He looks like a brother of John Wayne!!!” After he heard Lori call him a “handsome devil,” Jeffrey blushed in embarrassed excitement.
Then, he took her hand and gave it a nice squeeze. They both loved it. Rachael Ray, her team of stylists, and the live studio audience all added to their excitement with cheers and claps and smiles.
Nothing to Hide
For many years, Jeffrey hid behind his long beard and even longer hair. His jaw hadn’t seen the light of day since the turn of the 21st century! Now, with the help of talented stylists and Rachael Ray, things changed for the better.
As he looked into the mirror longer, Jeffrey began to question why he felt the need to hide his face for all those years. Was it really necessary? Luckily, his wonderful wife had helped convince him that it wasn’t.