Shannon Foster was browsing the Internet for a new recipe that would pique her daughter's interest in vegetables. She left a comment on one of Rachael Ray's recipes and received a quick response. But it wasn't about vegetables.
The Rachael Ray Show made contact regarding her 33-inches of brunette hair. The show invited her to Manhattan to be featured in a makeover segment with Rachael Ray and stylist Kyan Douglas from the TV shows Queer Eye and 10 Years Younger.
CBS studios put the 42-year-old on a plane headed to New York City, after a 10-month, ongoing scheduling conflict. Foster said the timing finally worked out. The Rachael Ray episode featuring Foster was taped in early April and aired last Friday.
She spent two-and-a-half days in New York City. It was Foster's first time being in the Big Apple. She said it was very different than being down here. The cityscape was so much larger and bigger than imaginable. When it came time for the show and the actual makeover, Foster says she was glad to be there.
"I was very excited," Foster said. "I really wanted to do something with my hair. When they actually cut the hair, I felt the difference in weight," Foster said. "I like it."
She says others like her new look as well. The comments keep streaming in from those close to her. "Out of all the compliments, I love the 'you look so much younger,'" Foster said with a bit of joy in her voice.
Foster has had long hair since she was seven years old. She says she's kept it long over the years for personal reasons. In 2003, Foster gave birth to a son, four months prematurely. The doctors told her that he would never be able to do "normal things." As he grew older and began to walk, he would always hold on to his mother's long, ponytail to stabilize his posture. "He passed away when he was three," Foster said, with a sullen tone. "I could never bring myself to doing anything." Her long locks were a way for Foster to grieve and deal with pain along the years.
"Instead of smoking or drinking, I relied on God and growing my hair," Foster said. "I couldn't get past certain things."
She says she was ready for the life-changing event of cutting her hair. It was a way of moving on emotionally from the rough times she had faced.
Two weeks ago, Foster suffered another loss in her with the loss of her father-in-law, Floyd Foster, Jr. He did get the opportunity to see his daughter-in-laws updated, new look before passing. Shannon said he gave his zealous approval, remarking:
"That's my bowl of sassy," he said. "I like it."