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.”
Of course, Cathy is not the only person to have had a dramatic haircut. When Laura Farr decided it was time for her locks to face the scissors, she filmed every snip and cut. But for Farr, it wasn’t about impressing on the big day like it was for Cathy. No, there was a very different explanation behind Farr’s choice to get the chop. And it wasn’t until the very end of her video that Farr let viewers in on her secret.
The man who gave the New Yorker her new style, moreover, is Jerome Lordet, a U.S.-based hairstylist originally from France. He began cutting hair at the tender age of 16 when he was living in Paris, then continued to do so after he moved to New York City at 18. It was in the Big Apple, however, that his career really took off.
Indeed, while Lordet worked at various hair salons in the city, his talents became widely recognized. Before long, in fact, the French-born maestro started cutting hair for fashion magazine shoots, movies and music videos. And, in the process, he even picked up a list of famous clientele.
Bianca Jagger, Sandra Bullock and Jessica Biel all became clients of Lordet’s, for example, and these celebrity customers only raised his profile as a competent and talented hairstylist. In February 2016, though, Lordet cut the hair of someone who wasn’t famous at all. Still, that didn’t stop the video of the process going viral.
That client’s name was Laura Farr, a photographer based in Long Island, New York. And being an adventurous and creative woman, Farr was at ease with radically revamping her hairdo. So, to that end, she called on Lordet to chop off her flowing brown locks.
What’s more, the whole process was filmed from start to finish and uploaded to YouTube in February 2016. That video starts with Farr strolling into the salon with her long and luscious hair swishing behind her. The next thing we see, however, is Farr sitting in the hairstylist’s chair.
And it’s from that point on that the drama starts. Lordet is seen approaching Farr with a pair of scissors – and he doesn’t hold back. He takes a chunk of her hair in one hand and starts cutting with the other: in just a few seconds, in fact, he chops off a huge amount of Farr’s locks.
Then he does the same on the other side of her head. Lordet also cuts a sharp, straight line through Farr’s hair which, when she had first arrived, rested down her back. At this juncture, however, it doesn’t even cover her ears.
Then, once Lordet had dramatically shortened all of Farr’s hair, he starts putting layers in it to give it some shape. Working quickly, he is seen taking small sections of her locks and cutting them neatly along the comb line so that each layer falls straight.
But despite the significant change to her hair, Farr is seen sitting comfortably and smiling during the cut. Lordet, meanwhile, appears to remain completely focused throughout, taking the job very seriously. And as well he might, as the task at hand wasn’t completed yet. Next, it was time to shape Farr’s bangs – a delicate part of any haircut.
So, the stylist gently cuts the front part of Farr’s hair, leaving it falling diagonally across her face. Then, a few more finishing touches later, Lordet moves onto blow-drying Farr’s new ’do into shape. He grabs a round brush and begins moving it slowly through his client’s hair.
And after it is dry, Farr’s hair looks voluminous, shiny and healthy. But Lordet was not quite finished with her yet. Indeed, in the video he is seen reaching for the scissors once more and starting to trim here and there to make sure that his client looks the best that she can.
Next, Lordet spends a while tousling Farr’s hair and seeing what it looks like pushed forward onto her face in different ways. Then he applies some product to her locks and combs them all back, before blow-drying the hair once again to achieve the finished style.
And, at this point, although it looks as if Farr’s experience is over, that isn’t quite the case. Seemingly out of nowhere, a makeup artist appears and begins touching up Farr’s face with an eyebrow pencil and lipstick. This was clearly not just any old haircut — this was a full makeover.
Then, finally, after all the preening, it was time for Farr to show off her new look in front of the camera. The end of the video showcases a montage of shots of Farr smiling into the camera and tousling her new hairstyle. She looks confident and radiant – and many of those who have watched the video have commented as much.
“Laura, you are so beautiful,” one YouTube user wrote underneath the video. Another person felt that the short haircut suited Farr, commenting, “The exposed face is sexy, the face is more exposed, lighted, beautiful and the look is very modern!” Farr, too, looked delighted with the outcome.
In fact, the video has to date received in excess of 5,000 comments. Many of these, in fact, are highly complimentary of Farr’s beauty and Lordet’s skills as a hairstylist. But other messages addressed the final few seconds of the clip, which revealed something about Farr’s reason for the extreme haircut.
Specifically, the twist at the end informed viewers that Farr had chosen to chop off her hair ahead of starting chemotherapy. She was due to start treatment for lymphoma, a kind of blood cancer. And as a result, people online assumed that she might have wanted to cut her hair shorter so that the loss of it during chemo wouldn’t be as traumatic.
Furthermore, this news also broke the hearts of people online. “How very sad to hear that your beautiful client is seriously ill,” and “She is beautiful, God Bless her and I hope she is okay” were just two of the heartfelt comments written by strangers. And, as it turned out, just two weeks after her time with Lordet, Farr sadly did lose her locks.
But now, less than two years after the video of her haircut went viral, Farr is happy and healthy again. Fortunately, she won her battle with cancer, and her hair has also since grown back. And, heartwarmingly, since the end of her time in chemo, the photographer has welcomed a brand new baby boy into the world.