The Food Network star’s wife of 24 years tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on newsstands now, that when the two first met in 1992 at a California restaurant Guy managed, he looked a whole lot different. “When I first met him, he had no goatee. He had dark hair. He wore a suit to work every day,” she says. “Now I look at him and I’m like, ‘Where’s that man I married with the whole clean look?'”
His now-iconic hairstyle was some what of an accident, says Guy, brought on by his hairdresser at the time and good friend, Christina Jones.
“I was just kind of having one of those moods one day, and said, ‘Just do whatever you want.’ She goes, ‘Whatever I want?’ ‘Whatever you want,'” he recalls. “I get done and I’m like, ‘You gonna wash that out, that shampoo?’ She goes, ‘No, that’s your hair color.’ I’m like, ‘My what!’ It was Friday night at like six o’clock. I had to be at the restaurant. I’m like, ‘No.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah.’ So I put a ball cap on and walked to the restaurant.”
Even after that though, the color was temporary. “It used to be seasonal. Because he used to do red-blonde in the summer for fun. He’d cut it and it was like, really fun,” says Lori, who has two kids with Guy, Hunter, 22, and Ryder, 13. “And then in the winter time, he’d go back to dark.”
“I always say, ‘When are you going to change your haircut?’ But it stuck and it’s him,” she adds. “I tease him every once in a while. And I do want a little change sometimes. But that’s like me changing my hair to black. I mean, I’m not going to do that for him, so.”
Kidding aside, Lori calls Guy a “fantastic person. At the end of the day, I look at him and I still genuinely like him. Starting from the time we wake up in the morning, he pretty much has me laughing.”
With the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host on the road so often, the pair cherishes their time together at home in Santa Rosa, California. Rarely, says Lori, will the two venture to a restaurant together.
“Our perfect nights are really barbecuing in the backyard and the kids swimming in the pool,” says Lori. “We just hunker down at home. That’s his happy place.”
For more on Fieri, including a closer look at his life on the road, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.