Cutting-Edge Hair News, 2007
Our web site has been honored to make a new friend in recent weeks -- and one with eye-catching hair besides. Katrina Szish moved from Hollywood reporting in 2007 to the role of "Style Spy" for InStyle magazine. She was thrilled to be ranked among our Top Ten Tresses during the year, and wrote us to reveal: "I just cut my hair again.... inspired by model Anja Rubik. Loved her look in the Chloe ads and at New York Fashion Week.... Would love to hear what Super Hair thinks."
The new look is a bit shorter, with a pronounced angle on her right side which seems impossible to tuck behind her ear for protection (although we think we've seen her do it somehow). Hair Fans proved quite divided about this change, with 48 percent backing the Szish switch (13-14). One supporter called the shorter cut "sexy and definitely suits her.... Great move, you go girl!" But another thought the change "seems too short." It's long enough to get in her eyes, though; she's posted a picture or two on her blog where it happened. We still consider her a friend, though!
Courtesy Reporter Caps
Brianna Keilar has come from seemingly nowhere, to impress CNN viewers. Some like her on-air presence and reporting. We've quietly admired her strong control with shoulder-length medium-long hair -- staying undefeated even through windy conditions at Virginia Tech in April. So we were stunned in early December, to see Keilar's hair cut to a chin-length bob -- not to mention a bit darker, though that could have been due to lighting.
Is Keilar's cut captivating to you? Hair Fans were split in our week-long poll, with 52 percent supporting the change (14-13). One voter said the change makes Keilar "look like a college coed cutie!" But others said the longer look appears fuller. One preferred "more attractive and more friendly" longer hair over "more arrogant and less attractive." We wouldn't go quite <EM>that</EM> far, but we prefer the longer approach as well -- hair we want to see in action, outside in the elements.
Courtesy Reporter Caps
Cable news anchor Linda Stouffer was the subject of a successful Hair Watch during 2006, as she displayed a variety of solid mid-length styles. But sometime around September, she did something that many Hair Fans considered was one step too far. The risky long hair closest to Stouffer's eyes was trimmed into safe bangs, which she can scatter across the forehead as she wishes.
Trouble is, Hair Fans did <EM>not</EM> wish for this change to happen. Our one-week poll found 69 percent of voters against it (22-10), but at least it produced the liveliest discussion this section has had in months. "Her decision to go with bangs is regrettable.... she had never looked better," one critic said. Another called the change "a big accident." A third even suggested we start a version of the "Razzy Awards" for it. But others stood up for Stouffer: "I like bangs, personally, and like the new look!" said one supporter. Another noted a weekend appearance where the bangs were swept to either side, and said "it looked really good." Maybe Stouffer was checking our comments section?!
Before the TV series DirtySexyMoney premiered, we had never heard of actress Zoe McLellan. But then a Hair Fan suggested her for our Hot List, calling her short cut to play a mother "an absolute knockout." It certainly was a switch from the long flowing look she'd shown in other roles -- and it was an intriguing style, in terms of how the bangs are cut.
We were so struck by the change that we wondered what other Hair Fans thought of it. Our one-week poll brought the strongest response in months, ut returns which were very split: 51 percent like the shorter approach, while 49 percent say McLellan should have stayed longer (19-18). "This shorter style gives her more umph!" wrote one voter who called the change an upgrade. "That long hair just laid there looking like it was lost and didn't know where to go." That's the side we tend to take in this one, as McLellan's new look is certainly daringly forward and risky. But others guessed she'd really "changed from using a stylist to using a barber." And one dismissed McLellan as a "Mariska Hargitay wannabe" -- but isn't that still a good standard to strive for?
When actresses appear on Oprah Winfrey's talk show, it's usually to promote a new movie or tell a personal sob story. But Hilary Swank's visit 2 November was very different. She showed up with hair reaching to around the bust line....
....but then Winfrey pulled out a pair of scissors! Swank explained she'd been growing er style out for months, so Winfrey could cut it for a Pantene hair donation project.
With only a few cuts, Winfrey chopped about seven inches from Swank's hair.
And this was the result - a style trimmed to a fraction above he shoulders.
We aren't faulting Swank's good intentions, but is this a good cut for her? Our week-long poll found Hair Fans divided, but 54 percent saying no (13-11). "Neither style has much body," one voter grumbled. "The longer style, however, makes her face appear less broad, which is good given her extra-wide mouth." But others said the shorter look is better - and one commenter even suggested long-time Super-Hair favorite Bonnie Bernstein should do the same thing. (We'd certainly want to see that moment on Oprah!)
She currently stars in a TV comedy called Samantha Who? But some people might have asked "Christina Who?" when they saw Christina Applegate on stage at the 2007 American Music Awards. She certainly wasn't the "wild card" presenter of recent years (emphasis wild) - and her ever-changing hair was a tame but tempting flat-ironed neck-length cut. A shift toward elegance impressed our voters, who decided she had the best style of the show.
Applegate received 57 percent of the votes in our week-long poll, in a mild upset over High School Musical's Ashley Tisdale's 29 percent. (To make it more surprising, Tisdale was tearing through Super-Hair Wars opponents when this poll was taken.) Beyonce's long bouncy rolls of curls tied for third with Miley Cyrus, at seven percent. One voter praised the "excellent control and form" of Beyonce and Tisdale, while calling the leader "boring."
Yet another voter belittled Beyonce, suggesting her thinking was: "Fire your stylist and do it yourself the easy and lazy way?" We think that stylist would be Ms. Knowles's mother, thank you - as she's handled Beyonce's hair for years. And sometimes although not often), an easy way can be a stunningly effective way; she certainly wowed us on this night.
Jennifer Nettles made history at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards. She was part of Sugarland, which ended a long run by Brooks and Dunn as Vocal Duo of the Year. But Nettles had a hair milestone of sorts as well -- as the long waves she's worn for years were cut to shoulder-length. That actually helped her make our C.M.A. "Best of Show" ballot, as the hair stayed under control on stage.
But Hair Fans might as well have sung one of Sugarland's hit songs -- they're looking for something more, as 65 percent voted over five days for Nettles to keep her hair long (13-7). "The short cut looks like she plopped a long, blonde mop on her head," one voter complained. But that cut held much better -- so what should she do? If Nettles's hair is naturally wavy, should she sizzle it straight and lock it down with spray? Very few country musicians have dared to do that.
Compared with the year before, the 2007 Country Music Association Awards should have been a snap for Sara Evans. No dancing contest, no ugly divorce fight, not even any songs to sing - simply a 30-minute stint as emcee. She passed that assignment well, and a wavy shoulder-length style passed its test very well. Evans was able to go backstage and pick up her gift bag -- and days later claim the prize of Hair Fans as the best look at the CMA's.
Evans gained 44 percent of the votes in our six-day poll. But we must note she may have helped by the women who did not make the field. Carrie Underwood wore pins all night. Taylor Swift's hair fell during her, oops, "Our Song." Faith Hill was -- well, where was she, anyway? The runner-up spot with 30 percent went to Sheryl Crow, who wowed us with a salon-perfect spread of curls. (Then a voter went and spoiled it, by suggesting Crow wore extensions.)
Alison Krauss, Jennifer Nettles and LeAnn Rimes followed with a three-way seven-percent tie. But Nettles was handed a complaint from a voter, that her last name fit her "messy hair." And one Hair Fan declared a vote for "no winner," claiming all the hair in Nashville was unimpressive.
Courtesy China Daily
It's quickly becoming clear that Victoria Beckham is the bigger story in Los Angeles than her soccer-playing husband -- or did you even notice that the Los Angeles Galaxy missed the MLS playoffs? When "Posh" went to a salon and came out looking brunette, some speculated it was a wig. But others thought she'd really made a color change, for the upcoming Spice Girls reunion tour.
Compared with the picture we posted earlier in the year, should Beckham remain a brunette? Our eight-day poll found 57 percent of you think so (13-10). One voter thought Beckham should go longer with her look -- and wrote the old silvery style looked like "her head got caught in a bleach filled blender." It was either that, or the bright lights from all those paparazzi flashbulbs.
If Liz Marlantes is an unfamiliar name, you might not watch television news on weekends. She seems to appear on ABC only on Saturdays and Sundays -- so when she made a style change recently, it was plain for us to see. Hair which normally is shoulder-length and well-secured behind the ears seemed to be trimmed a couple of inches, with added layers -- and as a voter in our poll on this change noted, has color seems different as well.
So is this a better look for Marlantes? Our eight-day poll found 65 percent of Hair Fans think so (11-6). We think the new look certainly has more shape, but the design close to the face probably would take Marlantes a little "getting used to." She probably has to rely on spray for hold now, as opposed to her ears. Considering we saw the old look fall in her face in a studio once, we'd want to watch how the new look lasts on the air.
Is it because she just had a baby in real-life? Is it because her character is in a romance at the crime lab? Or is it because the woman known as "Montana" on CSI:NY finally decided to look big-city stylish, instead of a free-flowing woman from the mountains? Whatever the reason, crime drama star Anna Belknap caught our CBS eyeball as the new season in New York began -- as hair which reached the shoulders or below for years was trimmed to a bouncy neck-length short cut.
Do Hair Fans think this change warrants closer investigation? We're close to a hung jury on this one - as eight days of polling ended with 55 percent supporting the new look, while 45 percent don't (16-13). One voter declared the shorter 'do "looks good on her!" But another called it "rather cute, but a touch too short." Belknap's longer look actually fell in her face shortly after she joined the CSI:NY cast, as she searched for evidence in a dumpster. The bob is more eye-catching to us, although just as dangerous for dropping in her eyes. She's almost distracting us away from focusing on Melina Kanakaredes's curls.
Left photo courtesy The Women We Love
Lara Spencer conceivably could have been the next co-host of Good Morning America -- but she went in a different direction, and now hosts two different TV programs. It doesn't seem fair to call the shorter style of a few years back an Antiques Roadshow. But she's grown out her always-edgy sidepart from chin-length to the shoulders for The Insider-- and it looked downright glamorous in a "transformation" picture a Hair Fan sent us.
So which length is best for Lara? Our voters left little doubt, giving 84-percent backing to the current look (16-3). One voter wrote, "Longer makes her look younger and prettier. It's a cuter style and not so boring as the short style." In fact, we're not sure she even sprays the longer locks for hold these days. That gave her shorter style a bit of drama for Hair Fans in terms of control.
The Hair Fan who called this transformation to our attention actually included this 2005 picture. It didn't seem like a big enough contrast to show in our poll. Yet for us, this is the most electrifying look of all -- with bangs at the very brink of dropping in her right eye, and one small strip seemingly trying to reach down the last eighth of an inch to defeat. While Spencer's hair falls in her eyes frequently, this shows why Hair Fans delight in watching it anyway.
Right photo courtesy Strictly Cheryl
One of these days, the TV entertainment shows will admit what we already know. Cheryl Burke won the U.S. Dancing with the Stars contest twice in a row because people voted for her every bit as much as her dance partners. Her sideparted helmet style bounced like crazy during routines, yet didn't fall into her eyes very often and seemed quite difficult to wear out. Burke earned four Crown Award nominations for it. But the start of the fall U.S. season revealed a switch -- as Burke has transitioned to a shoulder-length style with added curls.
Burke has admitted online she prefers to dance with longer hair. Hair Fans prefer to see it that way as well, as our two-week vacation-time poll found 63-percent support for the change (20-12). "Not even close," one voter wrote; "longer is sexier, flirtier, and more feminine." Yes - but can this hair hold as well? If there's mousse on the waves to give them extra strength, it just might happen. And notice careful bangs remain across Burke's forehead, to keep the face clear.
Courtesy Yahoo TV
She's a newlywed, and her look could be described as romantic. She was at the Emmy Awards, and her look could be described as elegant. Compared with the start of Desperate Housewives, her look certainly is several inches shorter. Put it all together, and you have Eva Longoria -- named by Hair Fans as the woman with the best hair at the 2007 Emmys.
On an evening when windy conditions gave plenty of styles fits on the red carpet, Longoria's well-sculpted waves held firmly through all the interviews. (Then it tried to loosen a bit during the show, as if television lights were more of a challenge.) She held the lead throughout our one-week poll as well, capturing 44 percent of the votes. Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock dodged the breezy bullet well with medium-long hair, and came in second at 25 percent. Julia Louis-Dreyfus impressed us with a mix of straightness and curvy ends; she gained 13 percent, for a tie with fellow sit-com star Patricia Heaton.
There also was one vote for the "Other" option -- perhaps from the person who asked why Edie Falco and Jennifer Love Hewitt didn't make the ballot. Falco's layered short look seemed to fall to the breeze during the Emmy "pre-show." Hewitt simply had long hair tossed back behind a shoulder on stage. She's a Hair Fan's Hall of Famer, of course, but we were looking for something a bit more "showy" and spectacular than that.
As Oprah Winfrey once declared on her talk show: "The flat hair intervention on me was successful." Members of her staff apparently advised her to keep curled, after years with a variety of straighter styles. So when Winfrey interviewed former President Clinton 4 September about his latest book, her hair was surprisingly straight again. Don't ask us why - but it led us to ask: should she?
Our one-week poll found the curls in command, with 73 percent of your votes (11-4). One commenter said they look more natural, and we absolutely agree with that. They also give a nice contrast with good friend Gayle King's Ultimate 50-quality short straight look
Her character is named "Sharpay" in High School Musical - and some Hair Fans would tell you she has sharp hair to match. The TV-movies require strong styles, if they're going to stay in place through all the fast dance maneuvers required of the cast. We threw four of the best together in a showdown, and Tisdale's tresses topped them all.
Tisdale led our one-week "classic" with 61 percent of the vote. Voters especially marveled, at what one called "super-thick" hair. Another actually estimated its weight at 15 pounds - and who wouldn't want to get it on a scale to check?! Meanwhile, Vanessa Hudgens has shown up often in our search engine reports -- but she was second here with 33 percent. (She may have been hurt by someone posting alleged nude photos of her.) Then came male Corbin Bleu, with six percent for hair that some web sites have described his hair as gravity-defying. But Monique Coleman, who took her hair to Dancing With the Stars with good control, received no votes at all.
Her abs are tough and her body is buff in the August Shape magazine - but that didn't prevent Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova from being eliminated in the third round of the 2007 U.S. Open. Could a change in her hair be the reason for her early Grand Slam exits recently? It appears Sharapova has trimmed a few inches from the long center-parted look which made her a Crown Awards nominee for 2004, and almost advanced Russia to the semifinals of the EuroCap that year.
Is a shorter look better for Sharapova? Our one-week poll found 65 percent of Hair Fans think so (17-9), but a fascinating debate erupted in our comments section. One side argued her "fine straight hair.... looked much better longer." That side supported a layered style, to give the hair more motion. The other side contended in Sharapova's case, "thin straight hair just lies flat when it's too long." That view even hinted Sharapova might want to try bangs for variety. And for the voter who admitted being distracted by Sharapova's long lanky legs -- we can understand that.
Courtesy Reporter Caps
Sometimes your eyes can deceive you when it comes to hairstyles. A look which seems all-new might really be the same head of hair, combed in a slightly different way. So when we posted two pictures of Fox News reporter Molly Henneberg, we thought we'd spotted a trimmed-down look. At least one voter in our poll didn't see much difference - but perhaps others did, because a large number of Hair Fans approved of the change.
Henneberg may have merely cut her ends a bit, and brushed the hair in toward her jaw as opposed to going straight down. But that was enough to do the job in our one-week poll, as two-thirds of you liked it (14-7). One wrote Henneberg's hair "loses body with the added length weighing it down." It may also lose some measure of control as well, although she's done well for several years in keeping her hair solidly positioned around the right eye.
Courtesy TV Heads, Reporter Caps
They're women who don't mind having hair with a bit of "flare." They're also not afraid to place that hair very close to their eyes, risking collapse if something wrong happens. But nothing wrong ever seems to happen to Alexandra Steele of the Weather Channel (left) or Martha MacCallum of Fox News Channel -- which may explain why they tied for first, in our 2007 opportunity by Hair Fans to rank the Top Ten Tresses.
MacCallum jumped out quickly, then Steele (our #1 when the poll began) came on with the power of a Super-Hair veteran. But MacCallum matched her at the wire, as both received 27 percent of the vote for #1 in the world. If the comments section was a tie-breaker, MacCallum would win -- as one voter declared Steele's style pretty "but.... so outdated. She needs to modernize." Perhaps the updated picture posted above is the answer to that?!
We figured newcomer Olivia Palermo would draw a strong reaction - and sure enough, the young New York model finished a close third with 23 percent. Then came a surprise to us, as the short style of Katrina Szish was fourth with 12 percent. Kelly Tilghman had her worst showing ever in this ranking - but fifth place with eight percent still isn't bad. Kerry Washington followed with four percent. Four women received no votes at all -- but soap star Alicia Minshew came close, missing out because one voter disapproves of her "butt cut" part down the middle. (Some Hair Fans can be sopicky.)
Right photo courtesy Wireimage
Remember when TV networks were embarrassed by stars changing hairstyles? (Example: Keri Russell.) CBS apparently isn't thinking that way these days. A promotional magazine for its upcoming season displays CSI: Miami star Emily Procter on the cover - with what's billed as a "classic Hollywood" look. The hair is certainly shorter than the long straight approach she's taken in the crime lab over the last couple of years.
A Hair Fan pointed out the shorter look to us during our live 15 July chat, and people there seemed disappointed by the news. But our one-week poll found 58 percent of the voters think Procter took a good gamble (15-11). "Her hair is too thin and fine to be super long like she had it," one voter wrote. But another argued fine is quite fine, if you know what we mean: "....much better longer, giving it more sway and longer stares by others."
Then there was the voter who suggested Procter cut all the way to "a bob." That brought disagreement from someone who said Procter's "big facial features are best accented by a longer hair style."
We lean toward the newer look, for a reason no one really stated. The added curl gives Procter's hair more muscle, to overcome its natural thinness. If she keeps those curls, her style will have some bounce and better control around the eyes - two things the longer approach seriously lacks.
They're pretty clever at NBC's Poker After Dark. Lure Hair Fans in with a great style, and eventually they might start caring about check-raises and drawing dead. Hostess Shana Hiatt certainly displayed such a style when the late-night program began early in 2007 - with waves which held securely in line, even through the longest bluffs. But the start of "Season 2" (which must not have lasted long, because reruns quickly returned) showed Hiatt's hair substantially different: straight all-around, with bangs hitting the forehead.
You can't win every hand at a poker table, of course -- so has Hiatt missed it with this change? Hair Fans in our seven-day poll said she should fold the new look, by a large 80-percent margin (20-5). This survey actually was interrupted after two days for the "BREAKING NEWS" of Lindsey Lohan's arrest - and the voting was even more lopsided against the change after it returned. One voter called it "too flat and limp," and we agree with that assessment. (The waves took Hiatt onto our Top Ten Tresses list for a while.) Another said the straighter style would work better without bangs.
But a couple of comments suggested Hiatt mix the looks, for both waves and bangs - with one comparing that to the approach of Jennifer Love Hewitt.
When the paparazzi caught Lindsey Lohan, uh, "sleeping" in a car, we actually were thrilled by what we saw. Her long hair had bangs, placed all around her right eye -- but not in it. When she was arrested in Santa Monica, California 24 July, this police "mugshot" was a letdown. The style looked practically worn-out -- like someone had chased her across town, instead of the other way around. (Of course, some Hair Fans might just find that fun!) But it offered us a golden opportunity to compare Hollywood stars quite out of their element, without specially-prepared looks for a red carpet event. Whose hair is really better, in an ordinary environment?
For the first time, we interrupted a poll to bring you a matchup between Lohan and Paris Hilton (her jail mugshot is below) -- and Lohan trashed Hilton over seven days by a 70-percent margin (16-7). Comparing the pictures, one voter noted Hilton "was sober and had time to prepare." Other voters debated Lohan's liking of changing colors. One suggested if she kept her hair red, "maybe she wouldn't be having such blonde moments!"
So much for that comment below that Victoria Beckham's current hairstyle is "horrible." The Hair Fans have voted, in our first-ever Spice Girl reunion showdown - and a week of voting ended with the wife of soccer star David Beckham gave the other members of the group a firm kick in the shins.
Posh pushed past the pack in our poll, piling up 79 percent of the vote. Yet Beckham again was bashed in the comment section, as one voter said she "looks like she soaked her head in bleach, then stuck it in a blender." (If you saw the documentary which aired on U.S. television during the poll, you probably noticed the hair fell in Beckham's eyes quite a bit.) Sporty "Mel C" (second from left, in the group picture below) came in second with 11 percent, and a medium-long look with bangs which one voter called the "cutest." Baby and Scary tied with five percent - and the waves in the middle of Geri "Ginger" Halliwell gained no support at all.
They're baa-ack - and we have to admit, we weren't ready for them. When we found out the Spice Girls were reuniting for a world tour, we had to go online to remember which Spice was which (only one is nicknamed after a real spice, you know). And when we saw this picture from a news conference announcing the reunion, we had to ask: have the British singers improved their hair from a decade ago - before one of them married David Beckham and moved to Beverly Hills, while another claimed to have Eddie Murphy's baby?
Our one-week poll found a large number of you like your Spices fresh - as 90 percent prefer the group's current styles (18-2). It was not a 5-0 unanimous decision among people leaving comments; one wrote of Posh Spice (far left): "Her hair now is horrible." Another said Baby and Scary (the two at far right) now "look much more polished...."
....but that commenter went 3-2 for the 1997 Spice Girls (left, courtesy Washington Post), saying the other three members of the group now "look fried and downgraded." (In the old days, the only woman who seemed to have true stay-out-of-the-eyes Super-Hair was Scary in the middle -- daring us with hard-fighting permed curls.)
Right photo courtesy Inside Edition
We'll give Paris Hilton credit for one thing: her jail "mug shots" look a whole lot better than most celebrities'. She looked attractive and sharp (left) when she began her time inside a Los Angeles County jail -- with her hair pulled around and nicely displayed. Once her time ended for violating probation, Hilton tried in vain to escape the paparazzi. Even putting on a brunette wig and a hat to catch a flight to Hawaii didn't keep her from getting snapped.
But that disguise raised a question for us: should Hilton try brunette hair all the time? Most Hair Fans don't think so; our week-long poll ended with 73 percent preferring her blonde (11-4). One voter said brunette is fine for sister Nikki, and the separate colors aren't a bad thing. Another suggested Hilton try a strawberry blonde shade "with subtle highlights." That might make things a bit darker -- but still probably would make Hilton easy to spot on a Beverly Hills sidewalk.
When Janine Turner co-starred in the TV series Northern Exposure, she slowly built up the interest of Hair Fans by growing out a tight short head of hair. While it looked a bit messy at times, we don't think it ever fell during the run of the series. (It sadly has since then, as she let the style go longer.) But what surprised us recently was how Turner turned her brunette hair cherry-red, for a new infomercial -- and with bangs temptingly long above the eyes.
The cut is great, but is the color change right for her? Our week-long poll said no; 59 percent want Turner to stick to her natural brunette shade (13-9). We tend to agree with that - but either way, this is one short style we've longed to get our hands on and loosen up for a long time.
As our City League arrived in Shreveport, Louisiana, actress Katie Holmes was completing a movie shoot there. We'd say she was in a mood to "let her hair down" when she returned to Hollywood and stepped out for an evening -- except she'd made a noticeable cut in her mid-length hair, and it was very messily down in her eyes.
We certainly don't recommend the "plop-down" look here -- but what about Holmes losing about three inches of hair? A nine-day poll ended with the old longer look winning a 56-percent majority (24-19). One voter wondered if Holmes had followed the lead of Selma Blair's asymmetrical cut (posted elsewhere on our site), calling it "not a good look." Another granted Holmes now appears "a bit younger," but still considered it a cross of "soccer mom meets emo kid." And someone went deep into the dictionary (deeper than ours admittedly go) to call the new style "very holmes-ly, meaning very man like with that cut." It was not meant as a compliment, as the voter added: "She is truly falling off the deep end."
When Hair Fans want to see great styles put to a holding and bouncing test, Dancing With the Stars is a great TV show to watch. But it can be deceptive, as contestants frequently put on wigs to "act out" their routines. Even co-host Samantha Harris pulled a surprise on us in May - as she appeared one night with a style which appeared to have been chopped to neck-length. We're not sure how Harris did that, but the long style we've come to know (and rank in our Top Ten) returned the next week.
If this was an experiment, should Harris go through with a big cut? Our eight-day poll found 71 percent of Hair Fans say no (12-5) -- and we tend to agree with the voter who wrote: "She is one of the classic beauties with long hair that looks good curly or straight." Her hair tends to hold well either way, and a longer look enhances that while giving her the opportunity for a wider range of styles.
When most women grow out their bangs, it's a bit of a styling challenge - but otherwise it's no big deal. If Jennifer Love Hewitt does it, it potentially is a big deal. After all, she's won back-to-back Crown Awards for Best Bangs. So when we saw a clean forehead with no bangs at all in the Season 2 finale of Ghost Whisperer, it was a noteworthy change -- much like the chop to a short style she made a year earlier.
Is Hewitt's hair better with bangs or without? Our eight-day poll found Hair Fans want the bangs to come back by a 59-percent margin (19-13) -- and it sparked a discussion about forehead-covering bangs in general. "Short forehead = no bangs" was one commenter's conclusion. Another argued Hewitt's bangs "make her face look like it is swallowed up by her hair." But still another voter suggested, "It depends on how they're worn and cut" -- and went on to say Hewitt's bangs accentuate her "deep brown eyes."
(But keeping in the mind the short style Hewitt had about a year ago, the thought occurs -- has she been wearing a wig on her TV series lately? We wouldn't put it past her to do that.)
Courtesy AOL Music
Some singing stars seem to change their approach to hair not every couple of years, but every couple of weeks. Jessica Simpson has been a "by-and-large blonde" during this decade. But a Hair Fan alerted us to a recent interview, where Simpson admitted she's really a brunette. Should she go back to her (ahem) roots, or keep the color fans have come to know?
Our eight-day poll found voters prefer blondes -- or at least 68 percent do in Simpson's case. Only 25 percent wanted a brunette look, while seven percent took our third option and suggested she try a red shade (19-7-2). The brunette picture we posted may not have helped Simpson, as one voter noted it lacked richness of color. "Normally, I'd say go with what God gave you," another voter wrote. "But Jessica is the epitome of blonde." Now hold on here -- is that a reference to Simpson's occasional comments on Newlyweds?
It was a night for living dangerously, when the 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards were presented in mid-May. Two women on our "best hair" ballot showed styles at the literal precipice of collapse, yet somehow kept them out of their eyes. And Carrie Underwood came dangerously close to missing the ballot, because she wore a pin on the right side of her long hair when she sang. But the pin was gone as she presented and won awards - which was enough to let her in, with Hair Fans then moving her to the top of the list for the night.
Our one-week poll ended with Underwood ahead at 46 percent of the votes. But this wasn't the runaway of some recent award shows, as Faith Hill's high-risk curl on the forehead made her a solid second with 27 percent. (One voter actually wanted to give them a tie for the top.) Taylor Swift had a nice "coming-out" party, gaining third place with 12 percent thanks to mid-length curls which seemed to take an amazing 90-degree angle around her left eye. Then came Kelly Clarkson with eight percent, and one voter wishing she wouldn't be a "mold" - followed by presenter and CBS morning host Hannah Storm with four percent.
For a woman who once had a Super-Hair Wars Champion Hairstyle of the Year, it was quite a blow. New York news anchor Liz Cho New York City League title became vacant -- but Cho's updated look didn't even last to the second week of a ten-way contest. She was eliminated, without receiving a single vote!
What went wrong here? We held an eight-day poll comparing Cho's two styles to find out -- and sure enough, two-thirds of the voters prefer the 2003 approach (14-7). But it was the comments section we really were watching. Several voters said the new look really isn't bad. But one said it lacks "silky sheen," and warned the sizzled and sprayed strands on Cho's right side "look like they're about to plop in her eye." That's interesting, because the current style comes across as being more solid and secure. Another voter said Cho's current style looks too much like Thea Andrews. (At least Andrews was in the Top Ten when we posted this.)
Some women adjust their hair twice a year, for summer and winter. Maybe that's what Kristin Dodd of The Weather Channel does - because she returned to the question box for the second time in five months, after a Hair Fan noticed an adjustment. The long sizzled-straight hair along her left side now is showing bangs, and it appears the ends have been trimmed a couple of inches.
Hair Fans liked Dodd's 'do when she made the change at left -- but this change they're not quite buying. Our eight-day poll found 53 percent of you want her to keep the longer look (17-15). One voter said the newer approach was "more age-appropriate." We don't know how old Dodd is, but we lean toward that view. Her hair now seems tougher to defeat, with longer hair farther off the face. Not that Hair Fans wouldn't want it tested, of course....
Why does it seem that in six years of American Idol, we've heard more about the hair of the male singers than the females? Carrie Underwood's styles took off into the Super-Hair stratosphere only after she won the 2005 title. But the men's hair had people talking during the competition itself - and it happened again in 2007, with "Sanjaya" showing a variety of 'dos (including a wig or two, which reminded us of David Beckham).
We put Sanjaya up against two talked-about male styles of past years, to see which one you considered the best. Underwood's runner-up Bo Bice (left) wound up leading our week-long poll, at 55 percent. Bice appeared to be heading for a runaway, but than Sanjaya fans apparently discovered our poll and tried to come to his rescue. He wound up with 36 percent, while 2002 finalist Justin Guarini was left a castaway (the story of his career?!)at nine percent (6-4-1).
Whether she wears it pixie short, full-curl long or something in between, Halle Berry seems to know how to handle her hair. She wears numerous styles well, and has won two Crown Awards. Berry's latest adjustment came as she went on tour for her latest movie - a film where her hair is long and sleek as at left. But in TV appearances, she often has shown bangs across her forehead.
Has this actress made another "Berry good" change? In our one-week poll, 56 percent of the voters said yes (15-12). "Bangs add style," one voter wrote, calling the alternative "long and limp." But others called the bangs "lifeless," complaining they "cover her beautiful forehead" and make her look less elegant. We personally lean toward the bangs, if only because it makes Berry's style tougher to muss.
We had heard of entertainers changing hair colors for a movie role (such as Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line) -- but a color change for a new record album?! That seemed unusual. Yet that's exactly what British blues singer Joss Stone did for her 2007 Introducing album -- switching from the blonde look of her earlier CD (which almost beat Shania Twain for a Crown Award in 2004) to long red curls.
We could chalk up Stone's change as a common trend among young celebrities (she turned 20 in the week of our poll), but we wanted to know if going red is really better for her. Hair Fans weren't quite sure in our week-long poll. They split 43 percent for blonde, 43 percent for redhead - with another 13 percent taking a third option, suggesting she try a brunette look (10-10-3). The only voter to leave a comment said the red approach is "too fake" - and even if you hadn't seen Stone before, we would tend to agree. From a strict Super-Hair point of view, we'd only say Stone clearly cares more about hair color than hair control.
Right photo courtesy Detroit Free Press
The 2007 World Figure Skating Championships were held in Tokyo, so you may have overlooked them -- and you might not have heard about a noticeable change by one of the top U.S. skaters. Ice dancer Tanith Belbin showed up in Japan with a dark brunette shade to her hair, instead of the mostly-blonde look which has made her famous. According to a post on our message board, Belbin did this because brunette is her natural color -- and reflects more seriousness, along with "a little more intensity."
We love women who are intense, when it comes to hair. But did Belbin stumble and blunder by changing colors? Most Hair Fans in our one-week poll said no; 62.5 percent of them liked the brunette look (10-6). One commented brunette is better as a "survival of the fittest." (As if being blonde makes her hair weaker?!) The change didn't seem to matter much to the ice dancing judges, as Belbin and Ben Agosto finished third. It doesn't really matter to us, either; our concern is more whether that bit of curve outside the left eye is strong enough to keep hair from falling in her face during routines.
She's a dancer from the Detroit area who's known only as "Melissa S." (since there's also a Melissa R.) She's the contestant in the TV search for The Next Pussycat Doll who has barely escaped elimination twice. But if Hair Fans had a say in the matter, her long hair could bounce and move face-to-face with Nicole Scherzinger from now on - because they consider her the woman with the best hair in the cast.
Melissa S.'s hair originally was a bit grayer than this post-makeover photo shows - and she can take the hair off her ears, by using some kind of mysterious "lift" above the right eye to keep the style in position. But this look wowed voters in our one-week poll, racking up 76 percent of the support. Then came New York "Knick City dancer" Asia with 14 percent. The envelope-pushing extra-large natural curls of Anastacia, which personally impress us, settled for only five percent - tied with Florida native Mariela, whose tight curls somehow added a foot or so in length when they were blown out. All in all, though, we give this show credit for giving Hair Fans a lot to watch and admire.
The left-side picture of Bonnie Bernstein is real. The picture at right is NOT. It's a "Photoshop makeover" submitted by a Hair Fan, suggesting a possible style change for the woman whose long locks have won 17 Crown Awards in five years. The comments sections during the 2006 Crown voting were dominated by whether it was time for Bernstein to make a cut.
We turned that debate into a poll question here - and her current long look prevailed among voters by a 57-percent margin (21-16). Yet the comments in this survey were filled with appeals for a shorter style. One wrote of the makeover picture: "When I first saw it I got excited because I thought she cut it for real!" Another suggested an above-the-shoulder bob, along the lines of Katie Couric. Then there were the voters suggesting stylists to do the deed - from Frederic Fekkai (because long hair "is dragging her looks down") to Luke O'Connor (to "add some waves and body").
But one person stuck up for the long hair Bernstein has preferred for years. "Perfection in every way.... The less hair look makes her look like a librarian, or even forgettable." We don't know if we'd go quite that far, but Bernstein's shown so much skill with keeping long hair under control (such as the 2007 Rose Bowl, at left) that we consider it more interesting to watch - and even a bit more dramatic, when she's not wearing hats or pins.
Sometimes we make great new hair discoveries, and can't wait to post them here. But sometimes what we consider "great," other people consider no better than average. That's what happened when Lizzy Caplan showed up as a sarcastic, punchline-filled member of the new TV series The Class. We put her strong short style in the Top Ten for a while, but it was quickly panned on our message board. So when Caplan grew out her hair a bit late in Season 1, we wondered if Hair Fans considered it an improvement.
Our week-long poll found the answer was a begrudging yes. The longer locks won 79 percent of the vote (15-4) - but several people were underwhelmed by both pictures. "New is the lesser of two evils," wrote one of the more polite voters. "Both looks are hideous," wrote a less polite one. We prefer the "Caplan cap" she originally had, which barely budged in frantic scenes and refused to fall in her eyes. The new look drooped noticeably on camera in a couple of episodes. We'll see if the series returns for Season 2, to allow Caplan to keep trying.
Remember the car company which declared, "Wider is better?" Theories like that can come and go -- not only in cars and trucks, but hair designs. Betsy Stark earned a high position in our Ultimate 50 for a well-rounded, yet solidly holding short style. But early in 2007, Stark has streamlined her look a bit - going a bit shorter, but certainly tighter and kept well back from the jaw.
So to borrow from an old soul tune, is Stark right in doing the "Tighten Up?" Our one-week poll found most Hair Fans don't think so. A 62-percent majority want the old style to come back (8-5). One voter found irony, in that the "new look makes her look older." We agree with the majority, but for a different reason. The rounded style appears riskier and more inviting, even though the new look probably is more precise and even harder to muss.
The Academy Awards in late February taught us several new things about Nicole Kidman. For instance, she was not born in Australia - but is a native of Honolulu. (Don't ask us to explain the accent.) And when she wishes, Kidman can wear her long hair super-sleek straight just as well as she can with playful curls. The straight approach wowed Hair Fans, who voted her the star style of Oscar night.
Kidman's 39 percent of the vote crushed our personal favorite, as Celine Dion settled for second with 26 percent. (The gap was much wider until the last couple of days.) "Nicole for her taste," one voter wrote; "always a lady." After the top two came Naomi Watts with 13 percent, Sherry Lansing and Jennifer Lopez with nine percent, and four percent for an "Other" who apparently was Reese Witherspoon. "Long, flowing, simple yet seductive," the Witherspoon backer wrote. We'll take the blame for forgetting she was yet to come, as we prepared our ballot.
Believe it or not, we first heard about something happening with Britney Spears at a church service. A speaker mentioned her in passing, but didn't say what had happened. Then we came to our home computer, to find a Hair Fan had sent a picture of what had happened - Spears walking into a Los Angeles salon, and starting to shave her head. She wound up shaving off all her hair, reportedly saying she was tired of having things "plugged" into it. But at the same time, Spears went in and out of a rehabilitation clinic.
We'll take the advice of talk-show host Craig Ferguson, and not make fun here of what Spears did. If you wish to do that, several "Photoshop" ideas of a new style are posted at our message board. But we wanted suggestions about what Spears's next real style should be. The one-week vote was tight, but ended with 42 percent preferring the long hair which first made her famous.
A shorter hair-style, such as Spears showed during our poll when she stepped out in public wearing a wig, received 32 percent of the votes. And amazingly, 26 percent called on Spears to keep her hair shaved. One voter's comment probably summed up the feelings of many people about the whole situation: "What a freak!"
Courtesy Yahoo Music/Wireimage
When it comes to top-notch hair at a big event, the question for Carrie Underwood clearly is not, "Can she have it?" The real issue is, "Does she want it?" - and at the 2007 Grammy Awards, she clearly did. This look from the red carpet (we were unable to monitor throughout the telecast) was the Hair Fans' runaway choice for this year's best style of the show, giving Underwood three such wins here in nine months.
A daringly-placed mix of combed-back wave and flowing curls brought Underwood 66 percent of the vote. But an interesting discussion developed about whether Underwood's young face is a factor in this style's success. "Put Carrie's hair on another woman's head and it is boring," one voter wrote. "I would like to see how she looks 5-10 from now with that hairstyle." That thought brought a reply praising Underwood for body, waves and softness: "How can anyone not love that head of hair regardless of what face goes with it?" We would dare to add something no one brought up: comparing Underwood's length to award shows she won last May and November - was she wearing extensions at this show?
The real contest in this poll was for second place. That went to Christina Aguilera and her "retro" curls which admittedly leave us in awe. She received 21 percent, followed by Nelly Furtado with seven percent and a three-percent tie between Natalie Maines and Corinne Bailey Rae. One voter suggested Shakira for the runner-up spot -- and while her curls were jaw-dropping, she missed the ballot because they fell in her face during her performance. Sometimes hair doesn't lie, too.
She's a cheerleader, so she knows a bit about athletics. She's a local pageant winner in east Alabama, so she knows a good bit about getting hair to look its best in public. Put those two points together, and you may have the reason why Auburn University's Krista Klumpp finished first in our annual "Elite Eight" poll among the Best Manes on Campus.
After six-and-a-half days of voting, Klumpp led seven other good styles with 43 percent of the vote. Double Crown Award nominee Megan Willis of Texas tied for second at 21 percent, with a woman who surprised us - Lauren Amundson from the small Christian Brothers University of Tennessee.
(In fact, one commenter ranked Amundson above Willis as a personal favorite.) The only other woman to gain votes among the candidates was Duke's Ashley Salvino, with 14 percent.
Right photo courtesy TV Heads
When Meredith Hoenes became the champion of the "Kansas City League" in 2005, she was a morning TV traffic reporter. When we interviewed her for Super-Hair Q&A, she was an occasional news anchor. But now Hoenes has become the co-host of a local morning talk show - and her approach to hair may have changed with the job. She's grown out a shoulder-length style to below the armpit, and even seems to have added some bangs.
To borrow from a Kansas City weekly paper, did she add Meredith Hotness with this change? Our week-long poll found 74 percent of you apparently think so, and support the longer style (14-5). One commenter said the difference in Hoenes's hair is "subtle." But we've found it's also significant, because her style is very risky now -- and we believe we have a vid-cap of her hair falling in an eye, during an interview.
Courtesy Reporter Caps
We've noted here more than once that when it comes to Super-Hair, even one inch can make a big difference. For instance, it can determine whether bangs clear the eyes or plop in them. And when a woman takes an already-short style an inch or two longer, it can be noticeable. A Hair Fan noticed CNN anchor Heidi Collins doing that -- with longer locks in the back and covering the ear. The Hair Fan alerted us, suspecting she's growing out her traditional look.
The longer approach won the backing of 55-percent of the voters in our week-long poll (16-13). But length was not what people were commenting about here. "Can that color be any more fake?" one complained about Collins's more pronounced red shade - and that was one of the gentler reactions to it. Another suggested if Collins wants to add to her style, she should have "more of her hair down around her neck and shoulders than all on top of her head." And to the voter who cynically asked if Collins owns a brush - well, at least you could see her eyes in our photo.
Courtesy Yahoo TV
OK, we'll admit it: the 2007 Golden Globe Awards snuck up on us. We knew they were coming, but we really didn't know who the top contenders were. So when we came across a "red carpet" photo of Sheryl Crow, we didn't quite understand why she was there. It turns out she was a nominee in a music category -- and while Crow was swept away by Dreamgirls fever, she still won your support for the best hair of the show.
Crow's curls were nicely prepared for softness, then tossed together a bit for a mix of "naturalism" and hold. They earned her 44 percent of the vote in our six-and-a-half-day poll -- but we think she gained a note of criticism from one voter, who asked: "Why do women with great hair get lazy and part it down the middle?" (We smell another question coming on that issue.)
Second place with 24 percent went to a new name for us, Ali Larter. Then came Ugly Betty executive/beauty Salma Hayek with 16 percent, and Rosanna Arquette with eight percent. (Her sister Patricia was not on the ballot, yet still was panned by one commenter.) Tracie Edmonds only gained four percent, yet still looked nice enough to make our poll.
There was a time on our web site when Ana Maria Canseco of Univision's Despierta America was Susan McGinnis's toughest rival. Canseco led the first week of 2003 Crown Awards voting for Best Bangs, and seemed to have the two-time champion on the ropes. But McGinnis fought back to win the Crown - and while Canseco was a Top Ten Tresses member for several months, an extremely close call with her short style led us to move her aside. So we were quite surprised when TV Heads.com posted new vid-caps showing Canseco with shoulder-length hair. It's sometimes curled and sometimes flared, but still with high-risk bangs which look like they should fall in her eyes at any second.
Is Canseco making a good change by going longer? Hair Fans were quite divided. An eight-day poll ended with 53 percent in favor of the change (19-17). One voter's comment reflected the conflict, saying the short cut "always looked cute" but a longer style "would look fabulous on her." Another person was more blunt, declaring Canseco's short look made her appear "like she is 12 years old." That Hair Fan calls the longer approach sophisticated, and says a longer layered style "would be exciting to see." We say: if that style stays out of her face (perhaps with her favorite holding trick, flared ends) -- absolutely exciting.
Linda Dano has appeared in daytime dramas for decades - perhaps going all the way back to when they were only called "soap operas." Her looks over the years have been predominantly short. So when this 60-plus star decided to grow her hair out to shoulder-length, she may have been a bit uncertain about it. In fact, Dano asked subscribers to her online newsletter what they thought of the change.
A Hair Fan brought that newsletter to our attention, so we decided to ask <EM>you</EM> about the new look. After nine days, a 64-percent majority said it was time to get out the scissors and go short again (18-10). But the only comment we received suggested neither look really works for Dano. We're not sure what that voter would suggest, but we lean toward a slightly shorter style than the one at left - trimming the bangs a bit to give the appearance that they could hit the eyes, without really doing it. We suspect the bangs in the left photo can fall with ease.
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