"When I was growing up, my hair was always long. It was always brushed into beautiful ponytails or braids," Anona says. "When I was 8, I went into the salon for a trim. The lady was specifically told to trim my hair. I went with my two sisters and the lady asked me, â€˜How do you want your hair cut?' I said, â€˜Like my sister.' She looks at my sister, Cindy, grabs my ponytail and cuts it off. That haircut affected everything about my life. I went from being a pretty little girl to a little boy. One year for Halloween, my brother and I decided to swap costumes. I was a cheerleader, and he was a football player. I wore his football jersey to school and nobody realized it was me. They thought I was my brother."
Anona won't step foot in a salon. She says her hair is her security blanket. "If I'm feeling insecure about my body, I can always take my hair and put it in front, and they can't see any of my imperfections. My long hair is me. I am the girl with the long hair. That's my identity. If I don't have the long hair, what's going to be pretty about me?"
"So, you're obsessed with this hair, right?" Dr. Phil asks Anona.
"Dr. Phil, I am so obsessed with my hair. Let me show you what I have," says Anona, who lets her hair down from its bun.
"Oh, wow," Dr. Phil comments.
Anona says that her traumatic childhood haircut started her obsession. She hated looking like a little boy.
"The truth is obsessions do serve a purpose," Dr. Phil says. "It gives people this idea that they are in control."
Anona says she lost that control after that bad haircut. "My mom would not let me grow my hair out. Once it was short, she saw how easy it was to take care of. She said it wasn't until I'd be old enough to take care of it that I could grow it back out," she says.
It's been 17 years since Anona has cut her hair, but she says she's ready for a change. Dr. Phil introduces Vivica A. Fox and celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch. They're part of a new show on VH1 called Glam God where they search for the next great celebrity stylist.
Upon seeing Anona, Vivica says, "Oh, baby, you need some style gods to come in and rescue you, girlfriend."
Dr. Phil is handed a pair of scissors. "What my producers want me to do is make the first cut," he says, placing the scissors really high up on Anona's head. When Vivica directs Dr. Phil where to make the cut " further down " he says, "Here's the deal. I don't cut hair. And I'm not going to cut your hair. But if you want to make the first cut, you can," he says, handing her the shears.
"I'm ready," she says, cutting off a portion of her hair.
Vivica and Phillip take Anona backstage to get to work.
Anona's husband, Jeremy, is sitting in the audience. He says all he's known is Anona's signature look: long hair, t-shirt and jeans. He's very excited about his wife's new look.
At the end of the show, a "before" shot of Anona is shown. Dr. Phil says, "Come on out, Anona!"
Anona struts onto the stage, flipping her hair, which has been cut into a shoulder-length glamorous â€˜do. She's also wearing a beautiful royal blue dress and heels.
"Oh, wow!" Dr. Phil exclaims. "Good job!" he tells Phillip.
"That is awesome, Dr. Phil, thank you," Jeremy says upon seeing his wife.
Anona says she didn't get a good look at it backstage, so she takes the time to look at her image on the big screens. "Oh, wow. So pretty and healthy," she says.
"And this is so easy for you to maintain," Vivica tells her. "The only thing you have to do is put giant hot rollers in it. Take it out, run your fingers through it. You're ready to go."
"She's telling you the truth because that's what I do," Dr. Phil jokes.
Anona's style team also gave her some tricks of the trade: fake eyelashes, breast enhancers called "chicken cutlets" and a tummy flattener.