With his long hair and enormous, bushy beard, Lori Schultz’s husband didn’t look like the man she had married three decades ago. Jeff Schultz had grown so comfy with his look, in fact, that he hadn’t shaved his face in 20 years. But when Lori finally decided that it was time for Jeff’s style to change, she could never have expected the dramatic transformation that would take place.
And it was some old family photos that had originally convinced Lori to take action. In 2016 she told the Springfield News-Leader that the story of Jeff’s makeover had begun when Lori’s mom was clearing out her loft. Among the mementos she dug out, you see, were pictures of Lori and Jeff back when the couple had first started seeing each other.
Then, Jeff experienced some difficulty in his life, and it was at this point that he started growing his hair and beard. But he was willing to change, and when his wife suggested that they should apply to the Rachael Ray show for a makeover, he eventually agreed. Lori told the Springfield News-Leader that her husband had been a fan of the TV host for years, stretching back to when Ray had starred on the Food Network.
So, Lori decided to send the show a recent photo of Jeff along with one of the old pictures that her mom had found when tidying up the attic. And accompanying the snaps, she wrote, “Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband inside out. Just help me with the outside.”
The show subsequently wrote back to invite the couple to New York – although, as Lori told the Springfield News-Leader, her husband agreed to participate “just ’cause it was Rachael Ray.” The couple were also told that they’d be appearing on an episode with Kyan Douglas. As fans may know, Douglas had been one of the original stars of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy when it first aired back in 2003.
Specifically, Douglas had been the show’s “grooming guru” and so had helped men with their hair, makeup and personal hygiene. And while Queer Eye for the Straight Guy ultimately ended in 2007, the stylist went on to carry out makeovers on Rachael Ray. In 2018 he told BuzzFeed that he enjoys helping others change their appearances because of the “wonderful synergy between physical transformation and an internal transformation.”
Douglas also enlisted the help of Elena Linares, who runs the Razzle Dazzle Barbershop in Miami, to work her magic on Jeff. Originally from the Bronx, Linares moved to Miami in the 1980s. Then, in 1989, she opened up her first salon in South Beach, with Razzle Dazzle following in 2008.
But Razzle Dazzle is a barbershop with a difference: it’s a burlesque-themed establishment complete with racy outfits. In 2013 the salon owner told BlogTalkRadio, “The idea behind Razzle Dazzle is to pamper men in a flirty but wholesome, professional manner.”
Linares has gone on to open a further two Razzle Dazzle outlets in Surfside and Coral Gables, and she’s since been featured on TV series The American Barber. “When I started Razzle Dazzle, the barbering niche hadn’t even begun,” she explained in a 2016 press release. “I knew that I was going to be dominant in the industry.”
Given their collective experience, then, Douglas and Linares probably wouldn’t have been daunted by the prospect of making over Jeff. And when Ray asked Jeff how much of his facial hair he’d be willing to lose, he seemed similarly unafraid, replying, “[Lori] married me with nothing on my face, so I’m willing to go that far.”
All in all, Jeff and Lori spent four days in New York filming their appearance on the show. And while Lori wasn’t allowed to see her husband during the makeover process, his dramatic transformation may have made that period of enforced separation worthwhile.
In fact, when Jeff stepped onto the stage with his new haircut and a clean-shaven face, Lori barely recognized him – even though the two had only been apart for less than 96 hours. She also exclaimed, “That’s not my husband!” And not only had Jeff’s hair been cut, but he’d also been given a sleek new outfit to replace his tatty old overalls.
Fortunately, Jeff seemed to be delighted with the results. When he turned to face himself on the big screen, he became emotional, with tears starting to fill his eyes. “I feel amazing,” he confessed on camera.
Later, Lori reemphasized the enormous change that had been made to Jeff’s appearance. “He looked totally different,” she told the Springfield News-Leader. “His skin hasn’t seen fresh air for 20 years.”
And it seems that Ray herself was a huge fan of the transformation. “You look so handsome,” she said to Jeff after his makeover was revealed. Some viewers appeared impressed, too. When Madwood Studios uploaded a video of Jeff’s makeover to YouTube, one commenter wrote in response, “He looks at least ten years younger.”
But most importantly, it was clear that Lori and Jeff were delighted with the results of his revamp. And as an excited Lori hugged her husband on Rachael Ray, Jeff said that he felt great. “I’ve been razzle-dazzled!” he added.
Later, Lori revealed to the Springfield News-Leader that she and Jeff had even spent some time with Ray off set. Yes, although the host hadn’t had much time to spare, she had still taken a few minutes out 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, apparently, Jeff’s dramatic new appearance even came close to causing a problem as he and Lori attempted to fly home. Security staff at the airport were apparently skeptical at first that the Missouri man was really the same person depicted in his driver’s license photo.
But perhaps most heartwarmingly of all, Jeff’s excess hair was later 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 own tresses as a result of medical conditions. Many of them suffer from alopecia, meaning they are often also missing 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, but he also did something great to help others, too.
But the Rachael Ray show has worked its magic on many shaggy-haired men over the years. Take Ian Cook, for instance, whose grizzled and overgrown gray locks were embarrassing not only his ex-wife, but his teenage sons, too. And after the family sought the help of the program’s incredible makeover team, they were left stunned at the dramatic transformation that followed.
In late 2015 a life-size photograph on the set of Rachael Ray drew gasps from its New York audience. In the shot stood Connecticut man Ian Cook with his long gray locks spilling over his shoulders. With his unkempt beard, he appeared for all the world like a modern-day Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. However, Ian’s long-suffering family thought his appearance fell far short of magical. Clearly, they all felt something had to change…
So a makeover was a long time coming for the then 54-year-old who lived in Stamford, CT, and worked in utilities. Indeed, Ian cheerfully admitted to the eponymous TV lifestyle magazine show host that his last hair cut had been four years prior. In fact, in the episode broadcast in December 2015, Rachael revealed that Ian’s appointment with some scissors was so long overdue that it had been requested by his ex-wife!
Strangely, then, the driving force behind Ian’s “man-over” on the popular daytime show was the utility man’s one-time spouse, Karen. Yes, Rachael excitedly pointed out that it was the first time ever that a former partner had ever nominated anyone for anything on the program. Whatever the motivating factor for the makeover was, though, it was clearly serious. Indeed, Karen evidently thought the situation was somewhat hairy – in both senses of the word.
It turned out that the former couple shared 16-year-old twin sons, Benjamin and Cameron, who lived with their mom in Milford, CT. This town was close to where their dad lived, but his appearance was beginning to put some emotional distance between Ian and his boys. So Karen was worried that the twins had got to an age where their shaggy-haired father was beginning to seriously cramp their style.
Benjamin, Cameron and Karen were therefore sat in the front row of the TV audience when Rachael introduced the show’s style expert Kyan Douglas. The professional groomer explained Ian’s motivation, saying, “He’s doing this for his sons. Because they get a little embarrassed sometimes when they bring the ladies home, and they’ve got the Gandalf guy in the living room.” The twins understandably squirmed in their seats, clearly uncomfortable with the situation.
It also seemed unlikely that these were the kind of lads who could ever confront their dad about his crazy coiffure. So it was obvious that someone else had been needed to bring the crisis to a head. And that person – somewhat unconventionally – turned out to be Ian’s ex-wife. Karen explained to the host, “The boys are getting older now and things have been said, and I think I have to be the go-between.”
“You’re trying to broker the deal,” Rachael suggested to the former partner with a front-row seat for the proceedings. But her style expert colleague had a different explanation. “I think the boys are trying to be sweet, and Karen is like, ‘Get out there!’” Kyan quipped, making a kicking action. While Ian laughed good-naturedly, there was obviously a serious intent behind it all.
For the loving father had made his mind up about the makeover and was more than ready for an image overhaul. In fact, Ian was perhaps keener than anyone not to be the subject of ridicule any longer for the sake of his teenage sons. “I want them to be as proud of me as I am of them,” he touchingly explained when questioned.
A montage of photos assembled by The Rachael Ray Show revealed that while the general unkemptness and grayness may have been more recent developments, Ian had always had very special hair. A picture of him taken on his wedding day, for instance, showed the younger Ian with lustrous, bouffant dark locks and a matching handlebar mustache.
“So you went into this kind of knowing what you were getting, by the by,” Rachael joked to Karen about the relationship. Another picture showed Ian sporting a similar man cradling his twin babies. A further photograph displayed him showing off a shorter and blonder beehive-like creation.
As the audience giggled good-naturedly at the embarrassing old pictures, Rachael jokingly chastised them. She gestured to Ian, saying, “We have to knock it off. He’s right here!” The host then excused the incriminating photographs, adding, “He’s a perfectly lovely man inside.” And given the amount of teasing Ian was prepared to put up with for the sake of his family, that statement certainly appeared to be true.
How, then, had things got so bad stylistically speaking? After all, the presenters agreed that underneath all those gray tresses, Ian was still a bit of a catch. “Well, obviously, the hair is a situation. [But] he’s a handsome guy,” Kyan said. “I love his eyes. He’s got a strong cheekbone.” And show stalwart Rachael was very quick to wholeheartedly concur.
The trouble was one that is common to many middle-aged men. Somewhere down the years, Ian had stopped making much of an effort over his appearance. Kyan the image guru added, “He’s super furry, and when I look at him I see a guy who’s gotten comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable, like we all do from time to time… I just want to do a version of him that’s better.”
So with that motivation in mind, the team whisked Ian away for his much-needed spruce up. Disappearing behind the screens for a time, The Rachael Ray Show’s man-over team worked their magic. In no time at all, thanks to the televisual trick of editing, Ian was ready to present his new look. And when he stepped out from behind the screen, it is fair to say that his ex-wife and twin sons were blown away.
Gone were the neglected tresses and in their place was a trendy combed-back but still comparatively long style. The beard and handlebar mustache had been tastefully trimmed and tidied. Standing in front of the audience was the sleek silver fox that had evidently always been trying to get out. A proud Ian seemed thoroughly delighted with his new image.
The subject of the so-called man-over looked so much better than his former self that Rachael teased Karen. The host said, “I think she’s rethinking that whole ‘ex’ thing!” Even though the former flames obviously still got on well, Ian was having none of it, however. “Oh nooo!” he jokingly exaggerated, shaking his head from side to side. This was his most effusive statement of the show so far.
And while Ian and Karen’s twin boys were both lost for words, his ex-wife only had one thing to say. “When he came around the corner, he looked like someone on TV,” she exclaimed. “I don’t know who, but I was like, ‘Who is that?’” Clearly impressed by her former husband’s fresh take, she added, “I’ve never seen him look like that.”
Rachael was quick to point out that, in her opinion, this was the best Ian had ever looked. She turned to the audience and asked, “You saw their wedding pictures, right? He didn’t even look like this on their wedding day!” Later, the host said she was particularly impressed by his hair. Speaking directly to Ian, Rachael ran a hand through his locks and said, “It’s very hot for women. Just long enough to push behind your ear is super-sexy, man.”
Of course, doting dad Ian had put himself through the whole televised experience for his boys. The shy teens were awkward and unsurprisingly lost for words in front of the cameras on nationwide TV. But later on, after filming had finished, Benjamin and Cameron found their voices and let Ian know that they were possibly the biggest fans of his man-over.
Later in December 2015, Karen spoke to local newspaper The Milford Mirror about the foursome’s journey back to Connecticut after the show had wrapped. She recalled, “The boys could not take their eyes off of Ian on the train ride home and kept saying how great he looks.” Hopefully, ever since, there has been no need for awkwardness – and no more thoughts of Gandalf when the twins bring their girlfriends home.