July 2015: Eliana Padron, Student Body President
Super-Hair can come in all sorts of lengths. We think it's more challenging to keep “super” when it's long – yet some women take the time and trouble to develop it. But you might be surprised to learn what aspects of a long Super-style get emphasized, more than others....
ELIANA NOHEMI PADRON is an unapologetic long-hair lover. She's a 2015 graduate of Coastal Carolina University, who served as Student Government President in her senior year. We added her to our Best Manes on Campus list after we became acquainted with her on Twitter and studied her long locks. In fact, she was enamored with us first – which we admit doesn't happen that often. Our connections led to a conversation with Eliana on a weekend evening along the Atlantic Coast.
SUPER-HAIR: How did you find out about us?
ELIANA NOHEMI PADRON: I think it was Miss Universe, a Miss Universe pageant that was airing, and I was live-tweeting it. And I immediately noticed Kathy Ireland's hair, and I was, “Oooh, her hair's on point tonight!” And I tweeted about it, and then y'all favorited it. And I was, “Oh my God, they know great hair!” And then I followed y'all back, and I was getting your feed, and I was, “What a cool Twitter page!”
S-H: Thank you very much. Now you just graduated from Coastal, right?... What was your major, and what are you planning to do from here?
EP: I graduated in May with a major in communication, and then I also minored with graphic design. And now I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks (laughs)....
S-H: You're celebrating. I understand that. (Laughs)
EP: Celebrating, relaxing, because once I get back into the grind, there's no going back, you know?...
S-H: So let's talk hair here. How would you describe your hair, which we think is great hair – and the style you have right now?
EP: To describe my hair, I think I would go with the words: long, it's thick, it's flowy, it's shiny.... For the most part, I like styling my hair like old Hollywood, like waves and glamorous. I like looking glamorous.
S-H: Is your hair naturally wavy? Or is it straight, naturally?
EP: No, it's straight. When I blow-dry it, it's straight. There are a couple of kinks in the front.... they're baby hairs, and those I'll straighten out. But the rest of my hair's straight.
S-H: What's the longest you've ever had your hair? Is it what you have now, or at some time in the past?
EP: I've never had it past my butt. But it's been right at my waist.
S-H: And how long is it right now, as we do this interview?
EP: Right now it's at my waist. It's pretty long. I let it grow out in the summer. I don't really have to cut my hair very many times.
S-H: How often do you do it, when you do it?
EP: Maybe three times a year.
S-H: That's not a lot.... There are some women who do trims every five weeks or so, but they tend to have bangs or shorter hair.
EP: The way my hair is cut, I don't have that many layers in it – maybe a couple in the back. And then I have some angling in the front, like a couple of pieces here and there, but... you can't really tell.
S-H: Have you ever tried to have a short style? And how short have you gone, over the years?
EP: The shortest.... I was five years old, and I got it cut right before graduation. It was a bob, and I hated it. I cried and cried and cried and cried, and I was, “Never again.”
S-H: Five-year-old bob stories. Wow. (laughs)
EP: Umm-hmm. I was, like, nope!... I also had bangs for awhile when was younger. (laughs)
S-H: You didn't stick with those, apparently.
EP: No.... I think sixth grade was the last time I had any bangs and ponytails. I still had ponytails in sixth grade, but they didn't last very long.
S-H: So you don't tie your hair back very much, apparently, if you're not a ponytail fan.
EP: I'll put it in a ponytail, maybe two or three times. But I have so much hair. I have a lot of hair. Me and my mom both have a lot of hair. I get a headache from having it up!
S-H: What do you like most about your hair? And is there anything you dislike about your hair, being as long as it is?
EP: I think maybe that it's so heavy. That's probably it. It's heavy, but... sometimes in the humidity, it's not easy to run my hands through it. And sometimes, it'll be kind of flat in the back. But I think it's also because I have a flat head in the back. But I tease it sometimes.
S-H: So the heaviness is a good thing or a bad thing, as far as you're concerned?
EP: I don't know. (laughs) I mean, I get in the back of my head that I'm subconscious about it, sometimes.
S-H: We loved your tweet when you were in Orlando, a few months ago, when you tweeted: “It better not rain, because my hair is on point.”
EP: Yeah! Because I had just curled it, we were about to go out to Downtown Disney, we would go out to have fun. And all of a sudden I felt a couple of raindrops. I said, “It had better not rain after all the stuff I went through to curl my hair just now!” Because what happened, the outlets weren't, like, good outlets. And so every time that I would curl my hair in a certain spot, it would come out the outlet. So I was annoyed.
S-H: So what does “on point” mean for you, in terms of hair? Does it mean having that curl in the right spot – or how would you define it?
EP: Yeah! I guess it has to do with also the swoop... In the front, I don't want to say I have bangs, but I have a shorter piece of hair, and the way I curl it is, it swoops. It swoops away from my face. And so when it swoops perfectly out of my face, it's in the right spot, and everything it's on point. You know?
S-H: Absolutely. Do you use any special products to get it on point? To keep your hair looking strong?
EP: To be honest, I don't really use much hair products at all to style it. Say for one of my formals, I'll use hairspray just to keep it staying in the right, because I don't really need it, 'cause it stays pretty well as long as I curl it for 30 seconds. But if I want to unroll a soft wave, I'll do like 10-20 seconds. But if I want it to stay, all I have to do is curl it for 30 seconds and it'll stay. I don't need hairspray or anything like that.
S-H: How long does it stay when you do that? All day?
EP: All day. One time I went to Carolina Cuts [Conway, SC, we think]– and this is an all day thing; you get up at 5:30 and you're at the buses by 6:00, that kind of thing. And I curl it for 30 seconds, and everyone else has really bad hair. And when I got off the bus, I was, “Well, my hair still looks perfect.” And it was! It was so fine.
S-H: How may hours - a 12-hour day, or how long did that perfection last?
EP: Since we got off the buses at 6:00, and we left around 6:00 again... yeah, it was a 12-hour day. It was still fine, despite the craziness that went on.
S-H: I know you were the student government president... Do you think great hair and beauty matters in a vote like that, on a college campus today? Or are there more pressing things...
EP: I don't know. I think it all depends on what a person's hobbies are. I know a lot of great women who have great hair, and they're really amazing.... Look at Ivanka Trump. She's amazing. She loves fashion, but she's also CEO of Trump Industries and stuff like that. So it just depends on what a woman cares about.... It's possible to have both, true?
S-H: Sure, sure. Now what is the biggest challenge you face, keeping your hair on point and in place in the course of the day?
EP: Outlets are my biggest issue. I have been in places where my hair dryer blows out the outlet. (laughs) That's not fun. I hate that. Or like when I was in Orlando, and my curling iron wouldn't stay in the outlet because the outlet was not tight enough. It was just annoying.... Outlets are my biggest problem.
S-H: I saw your Donut Day tweet today....
EP: Oh yeah!
S-H: It looked like your hair dropped a bit there a little bit, into one of your eyes. Is that a rarity for you? Does that happen very often? Or are you able to keep it out of your eyes pretty well?
EP: Normally I like to keep it out of my eyes. But yeah, it did fall into my eyes. But I was having trouble getting the right angle with the donut and the lighting – it wasn't my favorite selfie, but I was tweeting out to Dunkin because you could win $100 for sending out a selfie.
S-H: Now Coastal is right near the ocean, isn't it? If I remember right, you're not too far from the ocean...
EP: Yeah, we live right by the beach. Like, 15 minutes away.
S-H: Are ocean breezes a problem you face – sea breezes with your hair?
EP: Not really. I guess sometimes, it gets in your face. But most of the time it's nice, because it keeps the humidity down to a low to minimum.
S-H: Do you have any secret in dodging the wind, in terms of hair on point when the wind picks up a little bit?
EP: I just move to a different direction. (laughs)
S-H: You know the art of dodging with your head. That's what impresses – some women know how to lean and they know how to tilt to make those adjustments. (Laughs) What advice would you give someone who wanted to develop great long hair like you have? Especially for teenagers who might be ready to go to college, and have it on display?
EP: I think it all has to do with your fundamentals. If you have a great shampoo and a great conditioner – but I don't use that many products. I may style it, but I do have a great shampoo and I do have a great conditioner, you know?
S-H: What are those products? We want to give them a plug.
EP: I use Suave Professional. I like the Moroccan/argan oil one. And I like the Keratin one. The Keratin one makes my hair look really shiny. But the Moroccan argan one, that one keeps my hair really moisturized. And then if I want a lot of volume, or I feel like my hair has been.... has a lot of product in it, maybe product build-up from formal or something... I think the Suave Sleek & Smooth. That one's really great for getting out all the ingredients in my hair.
If I have.... stress, I like the Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength, because the regular kind doesn't do anything for me. But the Clinical Strength works really, really well. It's a lot more expensive than the other one, but the Clinical Strength works really well. I like that a lot. But I really love Suave Professional conditioner. It's my fave.
S-H: We like to ask the women we interview who do you consider to have the best head of hair out there right now. Maybe on your campus.... celebrity wise, any which way.
EP: Celebrity-wise, I think Sofia Vergara has great hair. I love it. What do you think of her hair?
S-H: It's very good when it's on point. Like you say, on point matters.... [Coastal BMOC discussion]
EP: I've always wanted to go blonde. But I don't think I could go blonde, because my hair's dark, and naturally really, really dark....
CONCLUSION: We come away impressed by both Eliana and her hair. She offers proof some women work diligently on “the swoop,” and delight in both getting and keeping it right. And she almost dares other women to match the curl strength her long hair has. Eliana was looking for post-graduation work when we talked with her – and then she tweeted a comment about dealing with customers: “Go ahead, I won't crack.” We'd like to think when the pressure's on, her hair won't, either.
Read more than 40 additional interviews, in the Super-Hair Q&A Archive!
Do you know a woman who's willing to share her secrets of hair success? Is there a particular woman you'd like us to interview? Do you have a question we should ask? Simply e-mail us: SuperHair@Gmail.com .
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