July 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM ET
Denise Williams' Ambush Makeover transformation on Thursday was so dramatic, she didn't even recognize herself in the mirror, leading to one of the best reactions of all time.
Makeover pros Louis Licari and Jill Martin introduced the segment by saying they'd plucked two women from the plaza "who had no idea how pretty they were."
Kristen Delarosa, a mom from Houston, Texas, said she rarely wears makeup and had never colored her hair before. After growing out her hair for Locks of Love, Kristen shed 12 inches and came out with a chic, cropped bob, lightened up for a summery look.
"Oh my goodness, I don't look like myself!" Kristen said.
Meanwhile, Denise Williams, a big fan of TODAY who stopped by with her church group, called her mom for permission to get the makeover after she was picked.
"I just can't believe this," she said. "It's going to be great."
After receiving her family's stamp of approval, Denise unveiled her new look: a stylish, cropped 'do, darkened from her previous silvery shade. The makeover was so striking, her friends didn't seem to recognize her — and she did a dramatic double take when she saw herself in the mirror.
"That's not me!" a shocked Denise exclaimed in disbelief when she saw her new look.
"She looks 15 years younger!" Hoda said. "Honestly."
Her teary-eyed church group agreed: "She looks beautiful."