When Michelle Duggar’s kids planned a birthday treat that included a makeover for their mom’s 46th, the reality star was super-sized surprised!
“I enjoyed the fact that my whole family and my girls came up with this amazing way of showing how much they loved me with a 24-hour birthday surprise,” she tells PEOPLE, adding that she hadn’t changed her hairstyle in 40 (!!) years.
Her new look, a sleek, straight blowout, does away with those staid trademark curls and fluffy bangs. “Going from curly to totally straight was a shock for me,” Duggar admits, “but I am loving it and I have been doing both styles, curly and straight, since the cut.”
When her lifelong pal Cindy suggested the shorter style, Duggar let go and let the inches come off without trepidation, she shares.
“I can trust Cindy,” she says. “But my back was to the mirror and I didn’t know how much I got taken off. It was too funny when I realized how much was gone! And it felt so light.”
So what does husband Jim Bob think of his wife’s new ‘do?
“I know Jim Bob likes it long and I am trying to impress him — what he likes is what I want,” she says. “I think he was a little shocked at first, it was so straight and so different. But he does like it. I think I shocked everyone at the [birthday] party. They were very surprised.”
The different style is taking Duggar a little while to master — and a little while for her youngest, 2-year-old Josie, to get used to as well.
“Little Josie kept touching my hand and saying, ‘Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?'” Duggar says. “She wanted to make sure I was still me.” But despite the big change, “I definitely like the new look,” Duggar insists. “It has been fun.”
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s lives are featured on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. Tell us: Have you ever been nervous to chop off your hair?