Ambush Makeover: What I learned during my time in the chair

/ Source: TODAY

As a longtime TODAY staffer, I've watched hundreds of Ambush Makeovers — but all from the comfort of my desk.

On Thursday, I found myself on the other side of the camera. Here's what I learned from my very own Ambush Makeover.

A handful of my co-workers came for the big reveal.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

My co-workers care

I'll admit it — I wasn't too pleased when I heard that a co-worker had suggested I take part in the segment. (How would you have felt hearing the news?) I couldn't help but think: "Do my co-workers think I need a makeover? Do they think I dress like a slob?"

Ultimately it didn't matter. Missing a morning of work to get my hair, makeup, and clothes done was more than worth it. Learning that my co-workers care made it even more more special. A lucky few were there for the big reveal.

I didn't need to freak out

I was very nervous before the taping. I thought I'd get cold feet and pull a "Runaway Bride," but I was around other women also getting makeovers, and it helped settle me. Our puppy-with-a-purpose, Wrangler, even showed up to give me some doggie-support.

Wrangler posing for a photo with me, pre-makeover.TODAY

The makeover team is incredibly talented and fast

Louis Licari (hair) and Jill Martin (clothes) were unbelievable. After being handed some Spanx, Jill initially picked out a dress, but then settled on something more to my taste. The process of picking out an outfit took minutes.

Lots to choose from.Mish Whalen / TODAY

Licari, who came with an entourage, was very hands-on and friendly. I'd never had my my hair colored before and I wasn't allowed to see what he was doing, but he made me feel at ease and the time flew by.

Seriously wondering what's under the foil.TODAY

Never pass up an opportunity to try something new

The most important thing I learned was that even thoughI was terrified of the "after," everything worked out fine. I had my hair colored for the first time, got a great haircut, a cool leather jacket and even had the chance to spend some time with Hoda, Jenna Bush and Wrangler!

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush-Hager after the show.TODAY

Mish Whalen is a senior multimedia editor for TODAY Digital. Follow her on Twitter here.