At 63 years old, Joan Irvine has been wearing her impressive hair in a French twist style for over 37 years.
While appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show, her two daughters listed Irvine’s hair as a key feature of who she is.
Christine and Cindy, while speaking on the show, also told a story about their mother postponing an entire family vacation out of fear that her hairpins could trigger metal detectors at the airport.
While the family lived for years near Lake Adirondack in New York, Joan often avoided swimming as well. Her daughters explained that their mother did not want to take out her signature look to get into the water.
The pair begged their host, Oprah, to convince their mother to change her hair.
Cindy and Christine explained that their mother’s hair should have been left behind in the 1950’s where it belongs. They felt that Joan appeared older than her 63 years with the old-school style.
While Joan agreed to take Oprah’s help, she first requested that the host and audience see how much work she puts into her routine.
Once a week, she would wake up at 5:30 in the morning to take out the previous week’s hairpins. After cleaning her hair, she would put it into curlers and sit in front of a hairdryer for up to an hour.
Finally, with the help of endless pins and hairspray, the 63-year-old woman would shape her hair into the perfect French twist.
The entire process would take four entire hours!
To help Joan to update her appearance and routine, Oprah employed the help of Ken Pavés, Rita Hazan, and Cathy Highland. The three of them comprised a team of some of the top hair, makeup, and clothing stylists in the country.
After the makeover, Irvine walked out, looking like a completely different person. Her daughters embraced her in disbelief while Oprah looked on in amazement.
The stylists had lightened the woman’s hair to a fetching blonde and had cut it short and stylish. They even gave her face-flattering bangs!
13 years after filming Joan’s wonderful makeover, Oprah and her show returned to interview the woman once again. She reminisced about her decades-long relationship with the French twist and reflected on how the makeover affected her life.
“It was just a part of me, people just didn’t know me when I came back from the show because it seemed to be like a trademark,” she recalled.
Despite her fears, Joan certainly embraced her new look and confidence!