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The Daily Dish Backstory

Tom Sandoval's Childhood Photos Show How His Style Has Evolved

From six packs to spiky hair, this Vanderpump Rules cast member's photos are a trip back in time.

By Casey Suglia

Tom Sandoval joined the cast of Vanderpump Rules Season 1 in 2013 as a bartender at SUR, an aspiring triple threat, boyfriend to Kristen Doute, and best friend to Jax Taylor and Tom Schwartz.

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In the 10 seasons since then, all of Sandoval's highs and lows have been documented on camera — but, underneath it all, he's just a kid from Missouri with big dreams of becoming a star.

Get to know Sandoval and his inner child by looking at these photos from his childhood to his teenage years.

Tom Sandoval on the Beach

Tom Sandoval playing on the beach as a young child.

Tom was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, but he had big dreams of pursuing a career outside of the midwest.

RELATED: Who is Tom Sandoval? All About His Family, Career, and Personal Life

This photo shows that he had his eyes on the ocean, even as a very young boy.

Tom Sandoval Playing Guitar

Tom Sandoval as a small child holding a guitar.

Tom adopted a love of playing music from a young age. These days, he is the lead singer of his band, Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras, which has toured across the United States and mostly plays covers. Life on the road can be hard, but Tom has had a lot of fun performing for Vanderpump Rules fans. 

"My goal for Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras is for people to come out and listen to their favorite songs," he told in April 2022. "That's like one of my favorite things, for people to hear a song that maybe they haven't heard in a while."

Tom Sandoval's School Photo

Tom Sandoval as a child smiling on a ladder.

He might have been a student at one point in his life, but Tom has always been the happiest when he is on stage, performing.

RELATED: We Have a Big Update on Tom Sandoval's Career

"It's such a creative outlet for me," he told E! News in August 2022. "And with all the other stress I have going on in my life, it's such a nice release for me. And everybody who's been to our shows say, 'Tom, you just look so at home up there.' And I do feel so in my element."

Tom Sandoval on Santa's Lap

Tom Sandoval sits on Santa's lap as a young child.

It's unclear what Tom asked Santa for in this undated photo from his childhood. This season of VPR, however, Tom is wishing for things to calm down in the aftermath of Season 10.

Per his Season 11 cast bio: "In the aftermath of a scandal that changed his romantic relationships, dynamics within the group and the success of his businesses, Tom Sandoval is working to better himself. In a fragile state, he focuses on repairing the foundations of his friendships."

Tom Sandoval's Balancing Act

Tom Sandoval plays with a toy outside.

Between one's relationships, friendships, and career, adult life can often be a balancing act.

Tom had a little practice as a kid, thanks to his Pogo Bal, as seen in the photo above. This hit toy of the 80s was a bouncing ball wedged between a flat sphere, which allowed kids to balance and bounce at the same time.

Tom Sandoval Playing Baseball

A young Tom Sandoval wears a baseball uniform.

Although Tom's name might now be synonymous with his more creative endeavors, once upon a time, he also played sports. 

While not much is known about his sporting career, he did get to throw out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals game in 2014, making his hometown baseball team proud.

Tom Sandoval in Front of a Fireplace

Tom Sandoval crouched in front of the fireplace as a young kid.

Tom told Page Six in November 2021 that he never thought he would end up on reality TV, especially since he had set his sights on making it in the music or acting industries.

"When I first started out on Vanderpump Rules, I thought I might have ruined my chances of getting into music or even acting," he said. "I thought, 'People aren't going to take you seriously, you're just a reality person.' But what I have found is that the show is an amazing platform to do anything. Music is something I've always loved and have always come back to, like a mistress."

Tom Sandoval as a Teen

Tom Sandoval as a teenager posing against a wall.

Seriously, this man was made to be in front of the camera. Look at him giving his best Blue Steel.

Tom Sandoval's Ticket

Tom Sandoval sits and smiles as a teenager.

In this photo, Tom can be seen clutching a ticket for a show while smiling. Although it's unclear what the ticket is for, perhaps this predicted his future in working in entertainment.

Tom Sandoval in the 90s

Tom Sandoval sits and smiles as a teenager.

Tom has always had an interest in fashion and expressing himself through his clothes and his beauty routine. If this photo of him wearing a very 90's polo, hoop earrings, and gelled up hair isn't proof of that, just take his best friend, Tom Schwartz's word for it.

RELATED: Tom Sandoval's Hair Styles: From Short Spikes to Gray Streaks to His Blonde Wig

"He's a peacocker, he's a preener, he is someone who likes to make an entrance," Schwartz told GQ in June 2020.

Tom Sandoval Before a School Dance

Tom Sandoval wears a suit and tie as a teen before a school dance.

Whether he's relaxed in a polo shirt or all dressed up in a suit for a school dance, Tom's style is oh so adaptive and dynamic.

Tom Sandoval Shirtless

Tom Sandoval as a teenager posing.

Tom spent some time in the modeling industry (as seen on The Hills)which is how he met former VPR cast member, Jax Taylor. 

RELATED: Tom Schwartz Shares Where He Stands with Jax Taylor After Their Recent Reunion

Sandoval told Reality Wanted in 2013 that he had known Jax for 10 years before joining the cast of VPR, bouncing between New York and Miami. Their friendship was the start of the larger friend group as so many people have come to know it.

"Jax went out to LA and then I went out there," he said. "We stayed friends over the years. He introduced me to Kristen, who introduced him to Stassi, and Kristen also introduced Katie to Tom Schwartz."

Tom Sandoval in Cargo Pants

Tom Sandoval smiles in the corner of a room.

Tom attended high school in the '90's and this outfit proves it.

Between the cargo pants, layered pull over, over the collared shirt, over the white t-shirt, and the necklace, you know he would have been perfect as a background extra in a teen movie at the time.

Tom Sandoval with a Suitcase

Tom Sandoval holds a suitcase while wearing a white t-shirt.

VPR viewers have seen the cast go on a healthy amount of trips over the past 11 seasons. But this photo shows that Tom has always been ready to get away.

Tom Sandoval with Frosted Hair

Tom Sandoval stares into space.

Tom isn't afraid to cry on camera and is in touch with his sensitive side. This could be because he was born in July, which makes him a Cancer.

Cancers are known for being emotional, loyal, and creative.

Tom Sandoval with Long Hair

Tom Sandoval with long hair.

Tom has been known his extensive beauty routines after he was seen in the first ever episode of VPR shaving his forehead, putting on concealer, and straightening his hair.

He has rocked a number of looks over the years and takes pride in his routines.

In a 2019 interview with Pop Sugar, he talked in depth about his regimen, including his thoughts on bad eyebrows. "I can deal with a bad haircut," he said. "But if somebody overdid my eyebrows, I couldn't forgive him."

"I do that myself," he said of his brows. "I just trim a little bit. I kind of push them upward, just trim any ones that are really long. Then I pluck just a little bit in the middle, in between, just maintain a little bit."

Tom Sandoval at Graduation

Tom Sandoval wears a graduation cap and gown at his high school graduation.

When Tom graduated from high school, he looked oh-so-fashionable while wearing his cap and gown. 

Tom Sandoval with Cornrows, Skydiving

Tom Sandoval smiles while sky diving

Tom has always had a thing for thrill seeking — whether he's dressing up in a blonde Sia-style wig for a bachelor party or pushing himself to his limits by joining the cast of Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.

RELATED: Tom Sandoval Shares An Update on His Dating Life

This photo shows that his thing for thrill seeking isn't anything new.

Tom Sandoval Shirtless by a Highway

Tom Sandoval poses in front of a bridge shirtless.

Tom loves a good party, as evidenced in the past 10 seasons of VPR. 

You could say that a young Tom was always bringing a six pack to the party.

Tom Sandoval on a Tropical Beach

Tom Sandoval posing on a beach.

After all that he's been through, Tom Sandoval has a reason to give life a thumbs up, especially since he told Page Six in 2021 that he never thought that he would get himself to this point when he was a young boy.

"It's crazy," he said. "I never gave up, but I don't know if that kid would have believed we would eventually get here with the music. It's a full-circle moment, for sure."

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