Style Profile

December 2002: Long, Yet Strong

In our last addition to this section, we showed how women can securely tuck long hair behind their ears -- and how some can keep it their flawlessly through almost anything. Now we'd like to show some other secrets we've seen women use to keep long hair in line. Some are obvious, but some may not be.

Ananda Lewis impressed us so much with her never-treated long hair that she made our Top Ten list for almost six months. This photo, from the web site of her now-cancelled talk show, presents several control techniques we can analyze:

1) THE SHOULDERS. Along with the ears, they're your body's most natural means of defense for long hair. Ananda faces a slight problem here, because her hair is not that long -- so it can come forward in front of the shoulders rather easily. The longer the strands, the more difficult this becomes.

The best long hair experts know the right moves for throwing hair back behind the shoulders, without having to touch it. (If we ever stage a real-life Super-Hair Wars, it will have a "no hands on your own hair" rule.) They can throw a shoulder back, turn the head and neck a bit, and even tilt the head straight back for downward force. We showed a dramatic example of this with the "Sweeping Sidepart."

2) TEASING AT THE TOP. Hair is combed back from the roots on, especially the strands closest to the front of the part. We think it looks best if the teasing is spread subtly around the head, as Ananda does it here, instead of pulled back in strips. (Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez have done that recently with pins, and Aniston especially did not impress us.)

Here's another top teaser, Cecilia Bartoli of our Ultimate 50 list. The comb-back seems to extend almost completely around the forehead. We suspect the longer the hair, the more extensive the amount of teasing needs to be.

The teased hair can be supported in a couple of ways, besides pins. The most natural-looking way is with a spray or light mousse. We'll mention the other way, as we explain....


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Is there a particular hairstyle you'd like us to examine? Your suggestions are always welcome. Simply e-mail us at this address:

Style Profile archives:

May 2002: The Ears Have It

December 2001: In Defense of Helmet Hair

May 2001: Wonder of the Wedge

July 2000: Turn of the Pageboy

February 2000: Sweeping Side-part

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