Cutting-Edge Hair News, 2013
We've never revealed this before, but Kristen Wiig once stood on the cusp of a Super-Hair first. She could have been the first Saturday Night Live cast member to enter our Top Ten Tresses list. Her thick long hair showed good control in a variety of comedy roles. The drop to defeat eventually occurred (although we admittedly don't remember how or when), but Wiig still displays quality hairstyles often. Her most noteworthy change may have in late 2013, while on tour promoting the movie Mitty. Wiig turned her brunette hair a different shade, explaining: "I've always wanted to go red."
Is red a better Wiig color? Our voters said no, preferring brunette in a one-week poll by 64 to 29 percent, with another seven percent suggesting a different color was in order (9-4-1). We personally side with the "reds" on this one, because the brighter look makes Wiig's hair more interesting to study; darker tones sometimes can hide Super-Hair secrets.
Sometimes great heads of hair turn up in unexpected places. Turn away from the TV screen for a commercial, and you might miss an attractive style. We found this young woman promoting Academy Sports and Outdoors stores, mostly in the U.S. South. We don't know her name (look carefully at the right photo, and you'll see her name tag is blank) -- but she caught our attention during Father's Day week in June with a perfectly brushed-back shoulder-length cut. Yet she must have grown out the style in the second half of 2013, because year-end ads show the hair down almost to the bust line.
We asked you if this spokesmodel made a good change - and the overwhelming answer was yes. Our one-week poll found 76 percent in favor of the longer style (16-5). No one left comments either way, so we'll put our thoughts this way: the short style was so flawless, we'd be more inclined to plot a sports event to mess it up. But the longer look is more challenging to keep in place, so the holding pressure is more "in her court" right now. Either way, we want to see more of her.
Heather Cox once played volleyball at University of the Pacific. And like a good player at the net, Cox has gone "up the ladder" during her years at ESPN - becoming a top-level sideline reporter in football and basketball, Cox climbed up our rankings as well, taking beautifully-styled bouncy yet strong-holding hair all the way to #1 in the world. But the 2013 college football season has brought a bit of a change for Cox. She's grown her hair out from "medium" to downright long, and in the process seems to rely on bangs in high-pressure "save situations."
We wondered if Cox's cut of earlier times was better. But Hair Fans like the change, supporting the longer style in a one-week poll by a 65-percent margin (15-8). While some voters admitted they didn't see much of a difference, one voter who did called Cox's hair "awesome! The longer, the better!! It's so thick and gorgeous!!" We certainly can't argue with that view. But we wonder if this woman who's only had one surprising on-camera hair drop is asking for trouble, by keeping the longer look unpinned.
Our City League section has crowned dozens of local hair champions over the years. But we confess we aren't able to travel to every city we profile, and don't always make return visits to check on our winners. So when we took a recent road trip to the Oklahoma City area, we were surprised by the change Jessica Schambach had made. Since winning our All-Star Challenge in late 2008, the TV news anchor's hair had become a good bit longer and a bit "wider" in terms of waves -- yet still maintained impressively tenacious hold on camera.
We asked Hair Fans if Schambach made a good move. The answer came quickly, as voters in our one-week poll liked her longer. But then came a complication - because when we mentioned the poll on Twitter, Schambach revealed....
"Actually I just chopped it again - long bob... It's shorter and lighter." We thank her for sending us the proof, which had us wondering if we should restart the poll. But we settled on a notice in the comments section -- and the trend didn't really change. The supporters of Schambach going long prevailed with 69 percent of the vote (18-8). We know from history she's able to grow it back out -- but we suspect the new look will be easier for her to keep in place.
Maybe it's time to stop referring to Taylor Swift as a "country" music artist. She had a far better night at the American Music Awards than she did a few weeks earlier at the Country Music Awards. Swift was voted Artist of the Year, and won three other prizes -- two admittedly for country, but one as a "pop/rock" artist. Swift certainly has displayed popular hairstyles in recent years. On AMA Night she went for a slightly wavy look with graduated bangs. While some Twitter critics wondered if Swift overslept, enough Hair Fans liked it to make her the overwhelming choice for best hairstyle of the show.
Swift almost missed the ballots, because bangs almost dropped into her right eye while accepting one award. But she shook off the threat in the nick of time, and sailed from there to 56 percent of your votes. Second place was a tie at 22 percent between model Paulina Gretzky (the daughter of Wayne, you know) and Glee star Naya Rivera. One voter used the opportunity to suggest Rivera for several Crown Awards. We prefer e-mailed candidates, but we jotted those down - and wondered if Glee has produced yet another great hair contender.
Right photo courtesy NBC/Today Show
Perhaps all our years of style-watching is starting to spread to big-time media. CNN issued a "breaking news" alert during November, when Jennifer Lawrence appeared in public with much shorter hair. The Oscar-winning actress joined what we've dubbed the "pixie parade" of late-2013 super-short cuts, while promoting her latest Hunger Games movie in Europe. But unlike Pamela Anderson, Lawrence showed the pixie can be turned into a variety of looks over several days. We selected our preference: a moussed-back style which creates some Hair Fan drama. Can that hair be mussed up and brought down? If so, how -- and what would be the result if it happened? Could it fall into Lawrence's eyes, dropping to Super-Hair defeat?
Lawrence is openly skeptical of such media attention -- and told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show she could not believe CNN actually sent out an alert on her change. We waited a few days before asking online about it, mainly because other "hair news" was in line ahead of her. Our six-day poll ended with 58 percent of Hair Fans longing for Lawrence's locks to stay long (11-8). The pixie plague strikes again," one voter sighed. "She's a VERY beautiful young woman, but her face is too round and soft for a pixie." Do you agree with this Hair Fan that a pixie requires "sharp angular features"? Offer your thoughts on our message board.
Right photo courtesy New York Daily News
She may not be on the level of a Jennifer Aniston, but Pamela Anderson has been a "hair icon" of sorts during her career. Big lush blonde locks have dominated her look since the days of Baywatch, even though they could get very messy at times. So it was quite a shock in Hollywood when Anderson decided in October 2013 on not simply a trim, but an all-out cut of her hair - going short enough to be called "pixie" by style-watchers. The reason involved more than simply her commitment to run the New York City Marathon. Anderson told talk show host (and perhaps hairstyle tutor) Ellen DeGeneres her long hair "had had a life.... I kind of wanted to put that behind me and start fresh."
But is Anderson's fresh start a good start? Our voters were divided on that. A six-day race ended with the longer locks prevailing by a narrow 56-percent majority (10-8). The only Hair Fan to leave a comment moaned, "There's a pixie plague in Hollywood!" While the issue of Anderson's hair being defeated was resolved long ago, we can understand the concern. Super-short cuts may officially be Super-Hair, but there's little drama for Hair Fans to savor.
The 2013 Country Music Association Awards (our apologies for calling it something else for several weeks) had a lot of music, a little bit of comedy - and if Hair Fans watched carefully, one moment of style drama. It involved Kimberly Perry from "The Band Perry" (as opposed, we suppose, to Katy) - who's gained fame for unruly, often wild waves. It appeared early in her song that history would repeat itself, and hair would drop in her right eye. But on this night, Perry's mane was on point. A strip fell, but barely wide of the eye. It stayed there through the end of the song, as Perry didn't move around very much. That qualified Perry for our ballot of best hair at the CMA's - and she wound up a runaway winner.
Our six-day poll ended with Perry procuring 59 percent of the votes. Fellow "big curl" artist Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town tied for second at 18 percent with New Artist of the Year Kacey Musgraves. Then came Kellie Pickler, whose short cut stood out as different but only gained six percent. Hillary Scott of "Lady A" scored an F with our voters, winning no support at all.
Photos courtesy Daily Mail
Natalie Portman is an Oscar-winning actress who's played a wide range of roles. And she's not afraid to change her hair for the part. After winning an Oscar as a "bun-head" for The Black Swan, casual movie fans may have been surprised to see Portman with a "big" head of long hair. But she made another change while touring Europe for the action film Thor - trimming her locks to around shoulder-length, and going sleek-straight.
Is this the sort of change Portman should keep? Our eight-day poll ended with a narrow loss, as 55 percent of our voters like her longer (11-9). "The lob is just uninteresting," one Hair Fan wrote. "The longer hair is more flattering and versatile." Based on our pictures, we'd agree - but we've seen long bobs (a.k.a. lobs) with plenty of shape and bounce. Keep searching; it's worth it.
People in New York City supposedly can get anything they want, 24 hours a day. On one September day, it appeared MSNBC news anchor Alex Witt had stopped by a stylist on a Sunday morning. Early in the day, Witt sat at the anchor desk with a familiar look for her - medium-long, with thick waves. At midday, Witt returned with the same outfit but a different style: shorter-looking, brushed in instead of out.
A visitor at a Super-Hair chat called this to our attention, so we asked Hair Fans what they think of the change. After eight days, the vote was divided: 50 percent for the longer style, 50 percent shorter (15-15) -- and some wondered if Witt really had made a change in length at all. "Looks like just a brush out," one said; "Like the after more than before." But another concluded it was a change, and not for the best: "The extra layering does her no good." We lean toward the longer look as well, but for a different reason. The waves and outward brushing (off the face) probably would hold up better in a Manhattan skyscraper-fed breeze.
When a court judge has Super-Hair, you have to treat it with the utmost respect. Give it too much attention or look at it the wrong way, and you could be found in contempt. Jeanine Pirro may be an exception to that rule, as she doesn't even oversee a daytime TV court show anymore. The former judge and prosecutor now focuses on a Fox News Channel weekend talk show. Pirro has shortened her style while on cable TV. Hair which once scraped the shoulders in a daring sidepart now is trimmed to stop around her ears.
We asked if Hair Fans had any objection to this change - and lots of them did. Our eight-day poll found 92 percent of voters want Pirro's style grown back out (23-2). One called it a "total downgrade.... it looks even goofier on TV." Another said Pirro's new cut "looks like it was cut by a blind stylist with dull scissors." Justice is supposed to be blind, of course - and the style on the left apparently has drooped into Pirro's right eye a time or two on camera. But with Pirro now well past age 60, dreams of her long style making a comeback may be moot.
Right photo courtesy Handbag
Before pixie cuts became cool in 2013, British actress and model Carey Mulligan had one -- a version long enough to drop into her eyes in tough situations (and sadly, it sometimes did). Now that pixies have become cool again, Mulligan has moved on. As if she's trying to set trends for others to follow, Mulligan turned off the blonde hair to become a brunette -- and her hair is much longer these days, reaching several inches below her shoulders.
It may all be a movie switch, of course. But we asked if Mulligan's hair should stay longer. Hair Fans were split in our one-week poll, with a narrow 3-percent majority preferring the short cut (8-7). No one left a comment either way (not even about the color change). But Mulligan certainly can have more style variety with longer hair - and with several new films in the pipeline, that might be the best career move for her right now.
Right photo courtesy People Stylewatch
"The love of my life" is how actor Bobby Cannavale described actress Rose Byrne during the 2013 Emmy Awards. Some Hair Fans might say they loved the looks of Byrne first -- as her mid-length waves won the 2011 Crown Award for Best Hairstyle in a Movie. Byrne cut the hair down to a bob for the Oscars, at about the time we awarded her the Crown. That distressed some Hair Fans, but we had a feeling they would be relieved by what Byrne displayed on Emmy night 2013. Style-watchers noted the hair was a bit longer, in what's become known as a "lob" - and Byrne was blonde, as opposed to a brunette.
We asked specifically about Byrne's color change, and found a massive 82 percent of Hair Fans like her blonde (14-3). But one voter admitted in a comment: "The vote is for the hair style more than the color, in my opinion. The darker hair should be much longer with less bangs. Otherwise it looks like a little girl and hangs lifeless." The new style isn't that far away from the Crown-winner, which was preferred by a wide margin in a 2012 poll. If Byrne keeps it looking that strong at all times, she could be bound for the ballot again.
Some people prefer NASCAR over other car racing tours because the races are more competitive. Passes happen regularly and contests are closer - not to mention the occasional wild wrecks and temper tantrums. But how many realize Sprint Cup racing even has a "team" of spokesmodels at tracks? They take turns in victory lane and at public events - and they must work as a team, because they're all blonde to match their outfits.
Since Danica Patrick has had a dismal 2013 season, we decided it's time to put the other women of NASCAR in a race involving their attractive hairstyles. Just in time for the year-end "Chase for the Cup," we went three-wide with these ladies over a two-week autumn break -- and it proved to be as competitive as a Saturday night at Richmond. When we threw the checkered flag, Kim Coon (right) outraced Brooke Werner (center) by the length of her waves -- winning 40 to 35 percent, with Jaclyn Roney (left) a fighting third at 25 percent (8-7-5).
The only comment came from an apparent Roney rooter, who said Coon's cut was "too short" and Coon "needs to dye her roots." Coon actually has a measure of TV experience, as she once was a contestant on The Bachelor. But we personally would be drawn to chase Roney first as well, as her hair looks more perfect and polished - a bit like Jeff Gordon in the 1990s.
Right photo courtesy E! Online
Isn't it amazing how fantasized hair ideas sometimes become reality? Take Kim Kardashian, for example. In 2009 she tried on a blonde wig, and a picture of it surfaced on The View which required Kardashian to explain it. But in 2013, she's not doing any explaining. She's simply doing. Kardashian appeared in New York with her normally brunette hair much blonder -- although not completely, for some reason.
Perhaps Kardashian is adapting the "multi-shade" approach many other women have. But is it the right color for her? In 2009 our voters said no by a wide margin. In 2013 the margin was a bit narrower - but 79 percent still said no. Only 16 percent like Kardashian blonde, with five percent suggesting an unspecified other color (15-3-1). "I really like the blonde on her," one voter wrote -- but, "wish it did not have the eight-month grown-out look with the roots." Another Hair Fan was more blunt: "Brunette, and the longer the better." It's probably long enough for Kanye West right now.
Right photo courtesy USA Today
When we first saw Hayden Panettiere on the fantasy drama Heroes, we saw Super-Hair potential. She was a high school cheerleader with superpowers, after all. But sadly for us, her long hair was not used in the plot as a superpower. Even though Panettiere could display it with thick luxurious control on programs such as The View (left) which earned her a Hair Pressure spotlight, the long locks weakened and fell in her face several times during the series. In her latest role on Nashville, Panettiere's hair has been outclassed by music rival and Crown Award-winning Connie Britton. But she's trying to fight back, unveiling a solid-looking set of bangs in time for Season 2.
The bangs reduce the risk of Panettiere's hair collapsing -- but is it a better style for her? Our Hair Fans said no, voting down the change by a 65-percent margin over one week (13-7). "Normally, I like bangs," one critic commented, "but this is not a good job. She shouldn't have straightened her hair. It looks more like a wig than her natural hair." We'll have to see how well the bangs hold when Panettiere sings on stage, to see if she has "Nashville hair" on the same level with a Taylor Swift -- much less coming close to Britton's Hall of Fame status.
To borrow from British soccer, it might be easy to lose Danielle Nottingham in the forest of TV news reporters. She's a correspondent for CBS News, who primarily has prepared reports for local stations. But recently Nottingham has appeared on the CBS Evening News -- and in the process has been showing a shorter style than in recent years. Her hair was a little below the shoulders in Pittsburgh, then grown longer in her first months at CBS. Now it's a well-rounded neck-length cut with a hint of soft curls.
Has Nottingham improved her hair, to get more national TV time? Our Hair Fans think so, as 63 percent supported the change in our one-week poll (10-6). Yet the only comment came from a nay-sayer: "Nothing flattering about it short." We're not so sure about that. With teasing around the top, this style may last long and hold better than basic long hair -- especially in windy Chicago, where our right photo was taken.
Right photo courtesy Daily Mail
Was it due to the electric fan moment -- that concert where her long hair became stuck for several dramatic seconds? That was our thought when we heard about what Beyonce (apparently no longer Knowles) had done. After years with a wide range of much-admired long styles, she posted an Instagram picture of a pixie cut. For style-watchers, it was confirmation that the "pixie" trend was more than a passing fad. But then....
....Knowles appeared in public looking like an old photo of Nicole Richie. Her hair suddenly reached to her chin, as a bob.
What is a Hair Fan to make of it all? We offered all three lengths to them, asking which works better for Knowles. The answer after one week was strong: stay long. That's what 86 percent said, while 14 percent preferred the short cut (12-2) - with none choosing Ms. In-Between. One voter wondered about big haircuts in general: "Do they want to see how bad they can look, or is it just a meltdown or tired of being hot." We'll let the women answer that, and we'd expect several different answers. Another suggested Knowles "go more natural with curls, like she had in Gold Member."
Yet another voter probably spoke for many by writing, "You'll have to do a lot to convince me her hair hasn't always been short and she's always used extensions." The reports that she packed several wigs in a trunk for a concert tour of Europe won't put down those suspicions.
Hot young talent gets embraced by the music business, TV and movies - so why not Hair Fans as well? It seems to happen in our polls every so often. And Gabrielle Senn of Nickelodeon's Nick Studio 10 is the latest example. An undefeated run in Super-Hair Wars and a seemingly flawless head of long hair persuaded her to add her to our Top Ten Tresses list. And now the Senn-sational streak continues, as she's been placed atop the Top Ten list in our annual online vote of Hair Fans.
The one-week contest turned out to be a two-woman race, and defending champion Ashley Morrison led for a while. But Senn passed the business anchor late in the week, and wound up leading by 42 to 32 percent of the vote. Fox Business Network's Lori Rothman proved worthy of the high ranking we'd given her, finishing third with 16 percent. Fourth place was a tie between Kate Beirness and Sue Bird with five percent each. The noteworthy thing about that is that Bird received a vote, despite the criticism her hair often gets in our comments section -- while fellow WNBA star Elena Delle Donne received none.
Right photo courtesy Splash News/Daily Mail
You might consider Kelly Ripa a typical mom-next-door - but she's apparently more of a style-maker than we realized. Having a daily TV talk show (currently with Michael Strahan) allows her to wear top designer outfits, which are detailed every day on the show's website. And when Ripa gets her hair cut, the paparazzi notices. So when she stepped into a salon in late July and came out with her normally long hair cut to a bouncy and breezy shoulder-length bob, the cameras were ready.
So was Ripa right to move away from the long locks she's held for years? The co-host of Live might as well have been dead, as 68 percent of Hair Fans turned it down in our one-week poll (15-7). "Longer is always better," one declared, "and best when it's blonde." Another called Ripa's long look "youthful," and compared the short cut to her being "electrocuted every day." One voter even was reminded of "The Brady Bunch circa 1971." Really now - Florence Henderson's hair on that show was shorter than that.
Right photo courtesy People Stylewatch
Few women in our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame have a style as famous as Jennifer Aniston's. Her mid-length cut from the Friends era remains legendary. But few women in the Hall also are as willing to change their looks as Aniston -- even to the point of wearing a wig. That's what Aniston is doing in the right photo; she put on a shorter cut with bangs while filming a comedy called Squirrels to the Nuts. In fact, the wig even looks a bit more windblown and messy than Aniston tries to show at other times.
So should Aniston make this short experiment permanent? Hair Fans clearly were not "nuts" about it, as 85 percent turned it down in our one-week poll (17-3). While no one left a comment, we'll say the wig doesn't do Aniston any favors. The bangs lengthen so close to her eyes that the style is bound to fall with ease, unless she uses spray or other preventive steps. But Aniston's long hair also can drop rather easily, so we might watch a little bit for confirmation.
Right photo courtesy Yoga Frog Caps
Others can have Katie, Robin and Ann. For some people, the queen of morning TV talk has been Ana Maria Canseco - especially if they're talking in Spanish. Canseco was a co-host of Univision's Despierta America for more than a decade. And she displayed short flared hair which outlasted many others - holding well enough to make our Top Ten Tresses list and make a Crown Awards ballot. Canseco moved to a new Univision assignment a few years ago, which some took as a firing. But she also moved to radio. And in 2013, she's reemerged on rival network Telemundo's morning show - and with longer hair which appears permed.
We asked whether Canseco is corecto to change her style as she seemingly changes channels. The result of our one-week poll was a rare tie: half like her hair short, half long (7-7). No one left a comment to push the margin one way or another - but we'd say clearly Canseco is taking a big risk here. Without the backup bangs of the shorter look, the odds of her great hair dropping has increased. And some pictures she's posted show dangerously weak looks.
Right photo courtesy Celebuzz
Before anyone asks, we checked - and yes, actress January Jones was born in January. But she makes hairstyle changes in July. So when a star of cable TV's Mad Men made a cut from shoulder-length to above-the-jaw, it caught people's attention. A head of hair which could be shaped by the right hands into steamy looks of the 1960s suddenly is tighter, and perhaps more challenging.
We asked if Jones made a good move -- and Hair Fans indicated they were, well, mad about it. But not in a good way, as 73 percent of voters prefer her hair longer (11-4). Yet Jones's short style snapped at a public appearance is daring and high-risk in its own way. If the curl and spray above her left eye wears down, some real-life hair-holding drama will be on.
Left photo courtesy Business Insider
CNBC will mark 25 years of business news coverage in 2014 (along with the occasional talk show and hockey playoff game). The staff has witnessed a lot of ups and downs - not only in the stock market, but in hairstyles. A Hair Fan posted a link at our message board to a "then and now" pictorial review of CNBC reporters. One of the sharpest changes has been in corporation-watcher Kayla Tausche. In only three years, she changed from long straight hair to a short and likely well-sprayed bob -- perhaps better fitting board room stereotypes.
Have Tausche's tresses transformed successfully? The answer from Hair Fans was an overwhelming yes; our one-week poll gave the short style 83-percent support (19-4). One called it "cuter but more professional.... at the same time." But another voter said the short cut "looks like her hair is swallowing up her face. Very distracting and unflattering...." Of course, some Hair Fans don't mind that kind of dramatic distraction -- because that's what following Super-Hair is all about.
Does she or doesn't she? That question used to apply to women using hair coloring - but these days, it's probably more fitting to ask concerning extensions. TV host Giuliana Rancic undoubtedly has faced that question, as she's shown varying lengths of hair in her years on cable channels such as E! and HSN. Usually she's been on the long side, but she surprised viewers at the June 2013 Miss U.S.A. pageant with a style which stopped at her shoulders. (In fact, only one pageant contestant wore her hair any shorter.)
We asked if Rancic's hair should stay at the shorter length all the time. Our one-week poll found 56 percent of Hair Fans thought so (9-7). "I just love shorter hair," one commenter wrote. Others opened a side issue -- or better put, a sidepart issue. "Love the center part with no bangs," one said; "she needs to lose the center part," maintained another. There was a second side issue, too -- but matters of skinniness are not our issue here.
Jaime Pressly is an Emmy-award winning actress. Does that surprise you? We admittedly forgot she won an award for playing a quirky blonde with an attitude on My Name is Earl. Pressly has appeared in a few scattered roles since then, while modeling and appearing in commercials. But in 2013, she's made her Twitter account the forum for showing a series of hairstyle changes. She praised her stylist for both the looks we posted above - first an old-time Hollywood "glamour shot" of her hair, then a surprising cut to a bob with bangs.
Which look works better for Pressley? It was close for days, but our voters decided to prefer the short look by a 57-percent margin (13-10). Perhaps spurred on by this, she cut her hair even shorter during our one-week poll - so perhaps we should end the poll before it's gone completely.
Right photo courtesy Huffington Post
Jennifer Connelly has been rather selective with her career path, since winning an Academy Award. She's appeared in several movies, but not a lot of them -- perhaps because she's busy as a mother of three. Yet Connelly often is listed among the most beautiful women in the world, and we're convinced her long hair plays a part in that. So it startled some people when Connelly walked through a New York park in June with a much shorter style, chopped to a chin-length bob.
The issue for Hair Fans was not Connelly's hair dropping into her face; that probably was expected from either look. It was the drastic change in length -- and they voted it down in our one-week poll by a 79-percent margin (15-4). "Worst makeover of the year," one person declared. "It's like asking a music icon to play the kazoo." Or maybe like an Oscar winner appearing in a movie like Hulk -- and Connelly has done that.
We like to say Super-Hair can hide anywhere -- and sometimes you have to seek it out. Some Hair Fans discovered singer Linda Eder, not on a pop-driven awards show such as the Grammys, but in cabaret and orchestral concerts. Eder's background is in Broadway, but she seems to have moved away from that area. That's probably better for her "hair resume," because a lack of wigs and pins on stage lets her loose styles show better. Eder has impressed enough to win two Crown Awards - but in a 2013 Facebook video she posted, she surprised people by appearing as a blonde instead of brunette.
Perhaps Eder was trying to match singing partner Mary-Chapin Carpenter, or look brighter for a sunny scene. But our voters turned away from it in droves; 88 percent perferred Eder stay brunette (14-2). "Brunette with new style would be best," one voter specified - and indeed, Eder displayed lengthy bangs in the video. Yet apparently the message of our Hair Fans was sent even long before our week-long poll. Research shows that clip was from a 2006 Animal Planet special -- long before Eder began winning Crowns.
Our Style Profile section notes several women who are masters of mid-length hair - able to keep it in perfect position and looking attractive, even under challenging conditions. In recent years, NBC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo qualified for that title. Precise sweeping turns and solid curls (perhaps reinforced with light spray) produced soft yet seemingly indestructible styles. As a result, Schiavocampo became a Top Ten Tresses fixture - then the anchor of Early Today. But as soon as we vaulted Schiavocampo to #1 in the world, she stunned us by getting her amazing hair cut! She switched to a summertime bob - chin-length, but still with that sweep away from the left eye.
We asked you if Schiavocampo had made a mistake, and she encouraged people on Twitter to vote on her change. After a week of back-and-forth action, the new look gained a narrow 52 percent majority (11-10). "Looks much older with short hair," one Hair Fan wrote. "Not a great move long term!" Yet we've concluded the new style is even more dramatically high-risk for Schiavocampo - sitting closer to her eye than ever, and even more reliant on spray on keep in position. We've noticed a close call or two on-camera already. But if anyone has the skills and smarts to keep it perfect, Schiavocampo does.
Left photo courtesy HLN
U.S. cable news channels sometimes become so fixated on a story that they refuse to let it go, and even milk it for every extra viewer they can gain. The former CNN Headline News has done that with criminal trials involving women. In 2012 it was "Tot Mom" Casey Anthony, and in 2013 it's Jodi Arias of Arizona. A jury found her guilty of murdering her former boyfriend -- and in the process, every detail of Arias's life seemed to be under a microscope. Some reporters even noted Arias changed her hair color for trial, perhaps switching from blonde to brunette to seem less offensive.
The jury didn't seem to care what color Arias has, as she was convicted. And our online jury of Hair Fans wound up deadlocked: 50 percent prefer her blonde, 36 prefer brunette and 14 percent long for another color (7-5-2). The only voter to leave a comment suggested the next two questions in the process: "Bangs or no bangs? The question after that: Life in prison or the death penalty?" Sorry, we're going to steer clear of both of those - much less Arias's plea for mercy to the jury, based on three donations to Locks of Love.
Can a little "fringe" make a big difference, when it comes to the appeal of a woman's style with Hair Fans? It did with at least one voter, when we entered comic actress Ellie Kemper in Super-Hair Wars. The voter declared support for singer Tori Kelly, because Kemper had grown out the bangs she'd displayed in recent years. Perhaps others agreed, because Kelly won the round by a comfortable margin.
Kemper apparently displayed both styles as a receptionist on the U.S. version of The Office -- and since that series was ending, there was no better time to ask which look really was better. A poll extended to nine days confirmed the Kemper complaint; 69 percent want the bangs back (11-5). "Bangs always beat the boring, unimaginative center part and are more youthful looking," one voter commented. But another suggested that was the very problem: "The bangs make her look like a teenager and detract from her beautiful eyes."
We personally lean against the bangs; it presents Kemper a more challenging style to keep in place, and she's shown she can keep it in line well. But NBC may agree with our voters, as the network passed on giving Kemper her own new series for fall 2013.
She used to be very reliable when it comes to hairstyles. But Anne Hathaway has become as wide-ranging with her looks as the roles she plays in movies. Added bangs with her traditional long hair won her a Crown Award for the movie The Devil Wears Prada. Getting that hair cut while a camera rolled helped Hathaway win an Academy Award for Les Miserables. And perhaps that golden guy named Oscar inspired Hathaway to make another major change. She showed up at New York's annual Met Gala still with short locks, but now platinum-gold.
Is Hathaway still a winner with Hair Fans? Not this time, she's not. We were able to shorten our poll to five days, with 90 percent preferring she return to brunette hair. Five percent like her blonde, while another five percent suggested trying a different color (19-1-1). The only commenter pointed out, "Platinum blonde hair and brunette eyebrows don't mix." But this made us scroll down the page a bit - and we don't think that combination has hindered Faith Hill over the years.
Left photo courtesy Zimbio
Some women get haircuts simply for a change of pace, or to try something new. These days, others do it for a charitable cause. And then there are the women who get a haircut of anger or spite, in the wake of life-changing events. Some reports indicate that's what Ann Curry did in April 2013. Several years after a celebrated cut for Locks of Love, she cut her Crown Award-winning hair from shoulder-length to collar-length - and reportedly did it in violation of NBC News rules that managers be notified in advance.
The policy issue is something we've addressed in the past, and might be a good future topic. But we simply wanted to know if Curry's cut made her hair look better. Our one-week poll was close, but ended with the longer style claiming 55-percent support (6-5). The only person who left a comment was unimpressed by both looks, and longed for the long locks of years gone by. "To this day," the skeptical Hair Fan wrote, "I believe it was a TV stunt meant for ratings and to improve Ann's TV reputation." Inside NBC, that reputation now may be scarred forever -- as Curry is showing her new style in far-off places such as Ecuador and Turkey.
Right photo courtesy People Stylewatch
Are Hair Fans a bit mad? Would they have gone mad in the era depicted in the TV series Mad Men? Hairstyles were different during the 1960's, and Christina Hendricks's character displays medium-long hair with a lot of pins -- the sort of look some men undoubtedly would dream of undoing. But there's no mystery away from cable TV. Hendricks wears her hair down a lot, and displayed added waves which made our ballot for the top style at the 2012 Emmy Awards. But the spring of 2013 brought a trim, with Hendricks's hair stopping at the collarbone.
Has Hendricks made a good change? Our voters said no, preferring the longer locks by a 61-percent margin in our one-week poll (11-7). No one left a comment either way, but we consider the longer style more intriguing - harder to keep in place, but more dramatic to watch if it holds. But we wonder: will a shorter style mean Hendricks won't need pins on Mad Men anymore?
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the main woman in the cast on Seinfeld -- and the woman who broke the "Seinfeld curse" of cast members failing to have successful follow-up shows. The New Adventures of Old Christine lasted on CBS for several years. And now Louis-Dreyfus is in her second season (or maybe "term") playing the Vice President of the U.S. on Home Box Office's Veep. But apparently Vice Presidents cannot have long hair, because her style on HBO stops at the nape of the neck. It's quite shorter than Elaine's "wall of hair" which made our Ultimate 50 list, and still is shown on the cover of the April 2013 More magazine.
We asked you if Louis-Dreyfus should keep her hair short - and in a surprise to us, 61 percent of Hair Fans agreed in our nine-day poll (11-7). "She is way overdue for a new look," one person commented; "would love to see her try a pixie!" Louis-Dreyfus seemed to reject that in an interview with HBO, in which she admits her character on Veep wears a wig. So with apologies to backers of President Ronald Reagan, she will not "tear down this wall."
She's a country music veteran, and a member of our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. Yet some might consider Faith Hill to be over the.... well, you know. She shares the stage in a new Las Vegas show with husband Tim McGraw. And during our poll on the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards, Hill was sacked as the lead singer of NBC's Sunday Night Football. But plenty of Hair Fans still appreciate her -- enough to make her the winner of our poll for best style on ACM night.
Our poll was extended to 12 days, because of a move on our part. Yet almost half our voters were moved to support Hill. She won 48 percent of the selections, topping fellow Hall of Fame member Shania Twain's 29 percent. (Twain did well, despite a vidcap we feared might hide her hair too much.) Perhaps the woman to watch from this vote is singer/songwriter Tori Kelly, whose thick waves put her third at 14 percent. Jana Kramer and big award winner Miranda Lambert settled for five percent each.
(The only comment we received was an "other" for Kimberly Perry. If you like an "Other" at an awards show, be sure to vote for that option.)
Courtesy KatharineMcPhee.com, Huffington Post
The career paths of American Idol performers can go in many directions. We found one former contestant singing at a diner in Missouri last year (really). Katharine McPhee's track has taken her beyond CD's to television acting, especially on NBC. She had a guest role in Community in 2010 -- and in 2013, she's part of the star-studded cast of Smash. But McPhee's roles have included a wide range of hair changes. She became a short sleek blonde in 2010, and now has surprised fans by cutting her hair again from medium-long to a short bob.
We're not sure if McPhee made the cut for her TV series or not. But Hair Fans responded to this change the same way they did in 2010 -- with resounding rejection. Our one-week poll ended with 92 percent still preferring McPhee with longer hair (22-2). "Horrendous" was one voter's one-word response. Another wondered if McPhee made the chop herself as an "early April fool's prank." Sorry -- we found nothing to indicate that's a wig.
Right photo courtesy Fairfield (CT) Sun
CNBC may be the most trusted name in TV business news. But it faces serious competition when it comes to hosts with outstanding hairstyles. Fox Business Network has gained Hair Fan support thanks to Gerri Willis and Lori Rothman (both Top Ten Tresses members). Then there's veteran Liz Claman, who first was suggested on our message board in 2004. She moved her down-arrow red hair from CNBC to FBN several years ago, but has kept it almost perfectly ever since. But a viewer noted Claman cut her thick style recently, from shoulder-length-plus to a rounded bob.
There are times when adjusting your investments can be wise. But what about Claman's switch? Our voters consider it a net loss -- as 71 percent of voters in our one-week poll supported the longer look (12-5). One admitted Claman has "still gorgeous hair, but.... makes her look older." A close check shows the "highest risk" part of the style is about the same length - next to her right eye. Without a lot of longer hair around it for support, is it now more likely to drop in her face? This is the drama Hair Fans delight to watch around the Closing Bell.
Right photo courtesy Gold Derby
The television "soap opera" (more politely known as "daytime drama") may be on its deathbed. But soap stars have enjoyed some success in our Crown Awards in recent years. Laura Wright and Rebeka Montoya of General Hospital won Crowns in 2010-11. Arianne Zucker of Days of Our Lives had an opportunity to join them in 2012, when she was nominated for Best Bangs. But she failed to receive a single vote (which is why she's not listed in our results) - and on top of that, a Hair Fan commented during the voting that Zucker's bangs were gone. NBC's current promotional photo shows her with a blunt-cut bob, and former bangs swept far off her face.
But here's the amazing thing: Zucker's change might have gained her more Crown Awards votes in a different category. Our one-week poll found a large 79 percent of voters prefer Zucker without bangs (11-3). No one left a comment explaining why - but we think the style at right is more dynamic, even if it's more likely to drop in her face. It also makes Zucker look years younger. But then, for all we know that picture may have been taken when she was years younger.
Right photo courtesy Yahoo Movies
Jennifer Lawrence may be the biggest "shooting star" to reach the movie industry since Anne Hathaway. Except Lawrence won an Oscar even earlier in her career, at age 22 -- and that was on her second nomination. We first noticed her on the red carpet at the 2011 Oscars, the first time she was nominated. Her long soft layers actually topped Hathaway that night, winning our poll for the best hairstyle. But Lawrence hasn't been afraid to change her color for a movie role; a Hair Fan pointed us to her exit from a salon one day after the 2013 Oscars with a much darker shade.
That change reportedly is for a sequel to The Hunger Games - a movie which gained Lawrence a 2012 Crown Award nomination. But which color is best for her? Our one-week poll found 55 percent prefer Lawrence keep her layers lighter, while 36 percent prefer brunette and nine percent suggest going red (6-4-1). That's a much closer margin from the last time we asked about Lawrence's look, in the summer of 2011. And a small number of voters may reflect what one person wrote: "I don't think she can go wrong" - with any color.
Laura Wright has become well-known on daytime TV for her stormy relationship with "Sonny" the mobster on General Hospital. She's become known among Hair Fans for a thick, sometimes-messy mane of mostly-blonde hair, with highlights in assorted colors. Wright won the 2010 Crown Award for Best Hairstyle on Television, and she led the 2012 voting for Best Blonde after Week 1. But then she made adjustments which may have changed everything. Wright cut her hair in two stages -- the second cut leaving her with an angled bob, stopping at her chin.
Wright says she loves the new look. But our voters think she should take it to the Emergency Room in Port Charles, because they rejected it in a one-week poll by an 89-percent margin (24-3). "I wish I had never nominated her," wrote Wright's biggest Crown Award backer. Indeed, she fell off in later voting and lost the Best Blonde award to Anna Gilligan. Another voter cynically claimed she "went to a stylist who was so drunk she/he couldn't see two inches in front of her face." Well, Wright's family does have a winery on the side.
Both are considered movie "darlings." Both have won Crown Awards for the Best Hairstyle in a Movie. But the styles of Anne Hathaway and Reese Witherspoon could not have been more different at the 2013 Academy Awards. Hathaway still was growing out the shaved cut which was part of the movie Les Miserables (for which she won an Oscar). Witherspoon presented awards with long romantic curls and waves. Yet both looks impressed our voters equally well, so they share our prize for the best hair of Oscar night.
Witherspoon jumped out to a big lead in our one-week poll, which opened before that final song for the "losers." One fan declared, "Can't get more perfect than that!" But Hathaway surprised us by rallying to catch Witherspoon, at 30 percent each. "Other" placed an intriguing third at 22 percent; the only name mentioned in a comment outside our list was Jessica Chastain. She almost made our ballot, but we concluded her long waves thrown behind the shoulders were hard to see and perhaps "too safe."
Catherine Zeta-Jones made a nice return to the awards stage with long waves, scoring nine percent. Then came a tie at four percent between Jennifer Hudson ("so pretty" to one voter) and Adele, who brought a plea for disqualificaiton by one Hair Fan "for the horrendous style she had on the red carpet!" (At least she changed it by the time she sang during the show.)
Photos courtesy WPIX-TV, Instagram
It's not enough these days for female professional wrestlers simply to wrestle (and yes, even act a little). That sort of woman can go fight in a UFC cage. Women in pro wrestling must look like sex symbols - or as WWE calls them, "Divas." Eve Torres became a three-time Divas champion from a background of dancing for basketball's Los Angeles Clippers. But 2013 began with Torres leaving "Titan Tower" to promote female self-defense - and as she did, she displayed a big cut in her hair. Torres's tresses went from long and wavy to shoulder-length and bouncy.
We know many wrestling fans didn't want Torres to leave the ring. But what do they think about the new hairstyle, which she unveiled after she appeared on our Hot List and was nominated for a 2012 Crown Award? Our one-week poll found Hair Fans want lumberjack rules applied -- as 68 percent desire to throw those long locks back in the ring and back on her head (17-8). One voter recalled Torres's WWE entrance music and wrote: "'She looks better to me' with longer hair." We personally think so, too. The shorter cut ironically looks easier to flip into her eyes - although if you tried to do it, she'd probably flip you over on your back.
She's played the "hottie" in not one TV comedy, but two. Yet in the eyes of Hair Fans, Kaley Cuoco has been a bridesmaid more than a bride. Younger sister Amy Davidson made our Top Ten Tresses list during the years of Eight Simple Rules. And Melissa Rauch won a Crown Award for hair on The Big Bang Theory without Cuoco even receiving a nomination. So Cuoco may have overdue for a breakthrough -- and it came at probably the most unlikely place. Her hairstyle was voted the best at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Cuoco was a presenter, not a performer -- but her usual long blonde hair with waves for control dominated our one-week contest. She gained 50 percent of the vote and praise from one commenter: "Love Kaley's style and LOVED the center part!!! She rocked it beautifully!" Taylor Swift's relatively safe straight strands with bangs opened the show, but closed our poll in second at 20 percent. New Zealand native and Grammy winner Kimbra tied for third at ten percent with Katy Perry. Perry's hair may have been the biggest surprise of the night, as long straight brunette-black locks were called "stunning" by one voter. Kelly Clarkson also won a Grammy, but settled for fifth place here at five percent.
Actress Kerry Washington holds an unusual place in Super-Hair history. She became the 100th member of our Top Ten Tresses, when we added her in 2007. Washington stayed on the list almost a year, as she became a hair chameleon - changing her styles for every role she played. She still did that in early 2013; her starring role in the TV series Scandal often displays a professional-looking curled flip, while appearances on talk shows and award stages (such as the Golden Globes in our right photo) have emphasized straight strands with bangs.
We wondered if Washington's life should imitate her art, when it comes to hair. Our one-week poll proved otherwise, as 71 percent of Hair Fans prefer her off-screen straight style (10-4). No one left an explanation either way, but we personally lean toward the Scandal style. It looks stronger, and more interesting to muss - although doing that might spark a White House scandal of a different kind.
Photos courtesy Yahoo! OMG
Donald Trump's hair is legendary, to say the least. It's been the target of jokes for years, and even gained an "Honorable Mention" in our Top Ten Tresses list. Yet jaw-dropping hairstyles fill the stage at the beauty pageants Trump manages, such as Miss Universe. So do Trump's children have strong styles to match? The question came up when a Hair Fan alerted us to a change by daughter Ivanka. After years as a blonde (perhaps following the example of mother Ivana), the boardroom "judge" on The Apprentice is now a basic brunette.
Ivanka may be going longer with her hair as well, but the big news for style watchers was the new color. Our voters think she made a mistake, as 55 percent in our one-week poll want her to return to blondeness. The new color was supported by 40 percent, while five percent suggested going red (11-8-1). We agree the blonde color is more eye-catching - and when waves are added, as in our left photo from a red carpet, there's even Super-Hair potential. Being a Trump, of course, she has the money to adjust her hair often to get that exactly right.
Countless women change their hairstyles for a big event or special occasion. But very few women have the special occasion Michelle Obama has enjoyed twice -- watching your husband take the oath of office as U.S. President. Mrs. Obama showed some hair variety during her husband's first term. But when she launched a Twitter account days before the 2013 inauguration, she sparked a style storm by adding bangs to her basic neck-length look. The change was noted on every national evening newscast, lauded by style bloggers -- and even daytime talk show hosts felt compelled to copy it (with mixed results).
Are Hair Fans on the "bang-wagon" when it comes to the U.S. First Lady, the way they were for Britain's Princess Catherine? Our six-day "inaugural special" poll had a shocking outcome -- as 62 percent of our voters prefer Mrs. Obama without bangs (8-5). No one left a comment explaining why. But this continues a trend of Mrs. Obama losing in our polls. A shorter bob in 2010 was rejected by an even larger margin. Then Ann Romney's hair topped hers, in a fall 2012 campaign clash. But at least the bangs have one key endorsement -- from her husband, the President. In the end, that probably is all that really matters.
One is a familiar face of TV comedy, the other more famous for movies. One has a hair product endorsement deal, while the other doesn't. One had her style looking unusually thick and full at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, while the other's approach was unusually sleek. Hair Fans apparently couldn't decide who had the more beautiful 'do -- so Tina Fey and Kate Hudson will share our prize for the top style of the show.
A dead computer prevented us from posting a poll until two days after the ceremony. Once we did, Fey raced to a big lead -- probably helped by the fact that she was a co-host. But Hudson came hustling as our six-day poll ended, and they wound up deadlocked at 35 percent apiece. Amanda Seyfried was third at 20 percent, while the often eye-catching Megan Fox fell to fourth at 10 percent. We could have added many more attractive styles to our list of candidates. But that would have surprised one voter, who commented photos from the show showed "a LOT of bad hair."
If you don't follow The Mentalist very closely, the characters might be confusing. There's a "Jane" in a leading role -- but it's played by a man named Simon Baker. Robin Tunney's character is named "Lisbon," but she's actually in California. And viewers who only glance at the screen once in a while might have thought Tunney was replaced for the current season. The bangs she's displayed for several seasons have been grown out, leaving a hairstyle long enough to drop in her face during chase scenes.
Did Tunney's tresses take a turn for the better, with the bangs removed? A poll extended to nine days by computer problems found Hair Fans uninspired; 55 percent want the bangs back (11-9). One long-time viewer admitted being "disappointed" by the change, but another voter argued the bangs "make her look worn-down and drab." Whichever side you're on, keep in mind things could have been worse. Tunney's Wikipedia page reveals she once shaved her head for a part.
Right photo courtesy TV Heads
No one has ever won both top-level Crown Awards categories. Only a few winners of Best Short Hair or Best Long Hair have dared to cross the boundary line drastically. But ESPN's Suzy Kolber may become one of the few. A Hair Fan noticed Kolber "went long" during the 2012 National Football League season, with wavy strands below the shoulders. It's a far cry from the cut which won Best Short Hair for 2003 and 2007 -- and may be due to Kolber leaving the sidelines, to anchor the studio show NFL 32.
Does Kolber's new look go too far? Our one-week poll found most Hair Fans don't think so; 66 percent support the longer style (19-10). One voter called it "rockin'.... Without a doubt, a much better look." Another encouraged Kolber: "I hope she continues to let it grow!" But one opponent who admires her for "great body and thickness" argued the longer locks are a "bit too unkempt." It certainly appears much easier to muss now; the short style showed dramatic hold during windblown games when perfectly cut.
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