Tamra Judge's hair stylist divulges the secret to creating her edgy new look

Tamra Judge has taken the plunge.

The Real Housewives of Orange County star, 50, debuted a new hairdo on Instagram Monday, cutting of her trademark long blonde locks for an edgier look.

Judge and her hair stylist Julius Michael spoke to PEOPLE before the reality star appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in New York City.

“Basically, what [Michael] did was, ‘You need to cut that hair, we need to go shorter,'” says Judge. “[I said] ‘I just cut it to the mid-length, you need to let me have baby steps!'”

Despite her initial reluctance, Judge was convinced to let go of her long hair.

“[He said], ‘No, we’re going to give a statement tonight,’ so I just let him do it,” Judge says. “He took me away from the mirror.”

Michael, who owns Julius Michael Salon in New York City, shared a photo of Judge on his Instagram page, writing, “This time it’s for real @tamrajudge I did a #chopchop #haircut moments before she went on #wwhl tonight.”

The Housewife also shared her own Instagram posts, writing, “I’m scared @juliusmichaelsalon just scalped me and he won’t let me see until he’s done.”

Michael, who has been Judge’s hair stylist for seven years, tells PEOPLE he knew it was time to give Judge a bob at his wedding on Saturday but he did not get a chance to work his magic until Monday.

“She was leaning all the way back… and the hair was away from her face and that was it,” he says. “Originally, I was going to do pink tips. And when I saw the hair back, I thought, ‘We’re cutting it.'”

“It was time,” he continues. “It’s fresh and hot, and Tamra’s had long hair, I think, every season she’s been on [RHOC] and now she has to rock a whole new look.”

Judge previously rocked a fake bob in July, in which Michael gave her extensions that he later cut.

The stylist used Root Lifter by L’Oréal, Next Day Hair Dry Finishing Spray by L’Oréal for texture, Platinum Texturizing Taffy 13 by Kenra Professionals to create the messy ends and Oribe Soft Hold Hairspray.

Judge was the first housewife Michael has styled, but he’s gained a clientele in fellow Bravo stars Kyle Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Melissa Gorga and Lisa Rinna.

  • with reporting by DAVE QUINN