Cutting-Edge Hair News, 2002
Who said politics would become more civilized with women campaigning? The U.S. Senate runoff in Louisiana hasn't sounded that way. Democrat Mary Landrieu (left) and Republican Suzanne Terrell made tough accusations toward each other. One reportedly even told her opponent after a New Orleans debate, "This will be your last campaign."
With tough talk like that, these women were perfect candidates for a Super-Hair Wars showdown. They went head-to-head for a week -- and unlike the opinion polls, the result was remarkably lopsided. Incumbent Landrieu trampled state Election Commissioner Terrell with a 90-percent majority. (35-4)
The comments by voters were more like "attack ads" than anything else. "Suzanne needs a hand," wrote a Landrieu backer. But in reply: "The style on the left stinks."
Long-time Hair Fans will recall Landrieu was in our Wars before -- losing late in 2000 to Katherine Harris. With this vote, the count on our web site stands at one win for Democrats, one for Republicans in head-on clashes. Maybe great hair knows no party affiliation.
Courtesy Entertainment Weekly; Cosmopolitan
Halle Berry has much to savor about 2002. She won an Academy Award for "Monster's Ball." She won some glowing reviews for her villainous role in the movie "Die Another Day." And she won support from dozens of Hair Fans, for letting her short locks grow a little longer.
We noticed a few extra inches on top for Berry at the premieres of her latest film. The December issue of Cosmopolitan shows the change especially well, reflecting a great deal of risk. But was this the right hair move? Nearly 190 of you voted in our busiest "Edge" poll since Amy Grant several months ago -- and after seven days, 58 percent of you said it was a good change. (110-79)
"Halle's longer cut properly fills out her beautiful face, as good hair should," summed up the lengthy comment of one voter. (What did you have against Marin County, by the way?) "It's much cuter now," wrote another. But others argued older was better: "Long hair on Halle Berry is an all out joke." And several wrote a valid truth about this award-winning actress: "She is beautiful either way."
In 2000 she faced a wide range of pressure as Florida's Secretary of State - and Katherine Harris's hairstyle sometimes appeared just as wide. Now she's an incoming member of the U.S. House, and her hair looks like it's seen a Republican budget cut. It's slimmer, trimmed and seemingly safer.
Which style do Hair Fans think is more "Super?" We took your votes for almost a week, to guard against long lines - and the final results are beyond a court challenge. A strong 69-percent majority choose change - the 2002 style on the right. (35-16)
Few people commented in this poll, but we assume the majority agreed with this statement: "Great hair style for a brave lady." (Please remember, though, be sure you specify which style you're talking about when you leave a comment.)
Rudi Bakhtiar may have accomplished what Andrea Thompson did not - becoming the CNN Headline News "female star" to replace Lynne Russell. She has several online fan clubs, and cruised to five easy wins in our Super-Hair Wars. But which of her hairstyles should represent her here?
We left the answer to you with a six-day poll - and the results may prove how unpredictable Hair Fans are. Unlike the woman below, a 69-percent majority want Rudi's locks wavy instead of straight. (76-34) "It gives her more personality," one voter wrote, "and makes her look more vibrant." But from the other side came this: "It looks way better straight 'cause when it's wavy, her face looks like an egg."
(We also heard from a couple of you, pointing out Bakhtiar has a longer style hitting the shoulders these days. We promise to look into that.)
To read our review of Bakhtiar's hair and which style we preferred, check The Hot List from May 2002.
Jill Hennessy had a smashing success with "Crossing Jordan" last TV season -- and not only on the tube. She became Canada's entry in our first Super-Hair World Cup, and won the championship without losing a round. But season two has brought a big difference - as the waves in her hair are gone, replaced with straight lines which she has naturally.
Was Hennessy right to go straight? We asked for your opinions for six days - and were a bit surprised to find most of you like the change. A 58-percent majority prefer the straight look. (48-35)
"Straight hair is always a good, simple look," one voter wrote. Some of you noted the straight style is also longer, and urged Hennessy to let her hair keep growing. Others declared it a matter of looking younger, as opposed to older. And one Hair Fan even suggested Hennessy make another change - and move her part to the side.
(So why were we surprised by the outcome of this vote? Because to look at recent TV ratings on Monday night, Kim Delaney and her curls are crushing Hennessy's straight hair, as "CSI Miami" and "Crossing Jordan" go head-to-head. Hmmmm.... maybe there's a future "war" there.)
Photos courtesy WRAL, ABC News
Was it the way her sidepart sticks tightly in position? Was it a show of sympathy? Or was it the possibility that somewhere in North Carolina, there might be topless photos of her?
Whatever the reason, Hair Fans have chosen their own winner of the "Miss North Carolina 2002" pageant - and it's Rebekah Revels (right) over Misty Clymer (left). We brought them together for a special "Super-Hair Wars" showdown because Revels resigned her crown, then sued in court to get it back. It all stems from supposedly topless pictures shot by a former boyfriend, which could have been used to blackmail her.
Our six-day survey turned out just like the state pageant. Clymer is the first runner-up, as Revels rolled her over with an enormous 76-percent majority. (16-5) No one left any comments this time, but we personally agree with the voters. The Revels look seems more professional, and better able to stay in place under pageant pressure.
Photo courtesy Entertainment Weekly
They tried for weeks to out-sing each other. But which of the two "American Idol" finalists would outlast the other in terms of hair? Justin Guarini's springy, seemingly well-trimmed curls - or Kelly Clarkson's loose, dangerously down layers?
Clarkson says if they met in a "Celebrity Deathmatch," she would "SO win." And somewhat to our surprise, Hair Fans agree. This contest marked the first time we matched a man against a woman on our web site - and we asked who would win a Super-Hair Wars showdown between the two. he performer from Texas ran away with our six-day "final round" poll, grabbing 74 percent support. (81-28)
Clarkson obviously had more fans among the voters who left comments. "Go Kelly. Sing your heart out, and Justin, shave that head," one wrote. "Kelly should win because it looks soft, shiny and very flowy," said another. "I love Kelly's always new do. She always has something different."
The voters seemed to agree with our initial impression, that Guarini's curls were out a bit too far. "Your hair is out of style," wrote one. "Justin needs a trim," another suggested.
(After thinking about it a while, we added Guarini's locks to the men's section of our Top Ten list. But we can't give Clarkson that honor, because her hair fell in her eyes several times during performances - sometimes styled that way on purpose.)
Can hair improve with the passing of time? When it comes to former figure skating champion Linda Fratianne, the answer from Hair Fans is a resounding yes. She's let her style grow to shoulder length from the short, tight hair of the 1980 Winter Olympics. Our week-long poll found the longer look gaining 76-percent support. (56-18)
"Your hair's awesome long; don't cut it," wrote a member of the majority. "A real good looking lady needs to (have) long hair," said a Hair Fan from overseas.
The classic look for skating also had backers: "I think Linda should get short hair because it makes hr look beautiful." Another noted Fratianne's face has a diamond shape, writing, "I think her beautiful faceshape should not be hidden with long hair." But someone scoffed about such opinions: "Only old people like short hair." (Personally, we disagree with that one.)
"Why, why, why - did it go this way?" Some Amy Grant fans may have borrowed a line from one of her Christian songs, when they saw her latest album cover. A woman known for curly long locks now has a straight style which barely reaches the shoulders. But which "Legacy" do Hair Fans prefer - the CD cover, or her historic hairdo?
We asked for your opinion of Grant's new look -- and the one-week poll had a sudden, strange ending. The majority preferred her hair longer until the final day or so. Then a wave of more than 200 votes suddenly came (we're not sure yet from where) -- and the shorter look had it with a huge 91-percent majority. (278-29) It wound up as one of our busiest polls ever!
"Shorter hair compliments her face and eyes," one voter wrote. "As a new mother and wife the shorter cut is elegant." Another said: "She looks still tousled and naturally beautiful. No distractions from too much hair." But another commented: "I think Amy looks much better with hair just below the shoulders. The shorter style isn't bad but I prefer the longer style."
Martina McBride has taken Hair Fans on an unusual "ride" the last couple of years. The country singer was nominated for our first set of Crown Awards in 2000, and won the "Best Short Hair" prize in a runaway. But then she ran away from that look, and let her hair grow. When she won at the Academy of Country Music Awards in May, the change seemed complete - with a style a bit below the shoulders.
We've found many country music fans are Hair Fans, too, so we asked what you thought of McBride's change. Dozens of people let us know in a one-week poll -- and 62 percent said she looks better with the longer look. (40-24)
"I think she looks much younger and softer with long hair," one voter wrote in our comments section. But another said, "With longer hair, Martina's face looks kinda lost. Short hair emphasizes her incredible eyes!"
Several Hair Fans tried to offer a third option -- that McBride looks beautiful both ways. Perhaps this comment summed it up: "She could be bald -- with an incredible voice like that, who'd ever notice?"
Photos courtesy Fox
On the left: a young up-and-comer. On the right: a long-undefeated veteran. Actresses Brittany Daniel and Morgan Fairchild squared off 7 May 2 on "That 80's Show" - staging a short wrestling match which put their superb blonde styles in danger.
We asked for your thoughts about which actress had the stronger hair, and was more likely to win. Our week-long poll gave the edge to Fairchild's seemingly more natural look, with a 58-percent margin. (14-10)
"I think her hair looks stiff!" one voter apparently said of Daniel's historical high hair. "It is strong but looks too strange and I hate it!"
In case you missed the show, the battle of these sideparts unfolded in a corporate executive office. Fairchild's long right-side hair (sadly, you can't see it from the photo) was round-brushed under and back at the ear, with layers that looked soft and natural as opposed to sprayed. Daniel's "high hair" tease was a touch tighter to the head than our picture from another episode shows -- but still a firm, solidly-sprayed right-side wall.
Daniel was the aggressor throughout, pushing Fairchild a couple of times to start. Fairchild's hair bounced forward somewhat, but the front layer seemingly closest to the eyes stayed in line. It was clear some sort of hairspray had kicked in.
The women then clenched each other's hands -- with Daniel eventually twisting Fairchild around and shoving her back-first onto an office couch. A top layer of Fairchild's hair became a bit frizzy and loose at face level, but the turned part stuck strongly at the bottom. Daniel was then sprawled on top, with a narrow strip of strands loose and sitting straight down near the right eye.
At this point, a male executive walked into the office and came upon this fight. Daniel KISSED Fairchild and let her go -- and a stunned Fairchild spun to her right off the couch, falling to the floor head-down on her knees. When Fairchild looked up to face the man, the top-level layer was loose and frizzed -- but still OFF the right eye by about an inch. Fairchild came up with a hand up to brush away the strands -- but while the hair was out of position, it was still out of her face even before she touched and shook it.
From a purely physical standpoint, Daniel won the wrestling match easily. But this Super-Hair judge gave Fairchild the style decision. Her mane bounced, frazzled and even cracked a little, but refused to drop in her eyes or lose the overall shape. Daniel's hair stayed out as well -- but by comparison, the strip that fell had nowhere else to go. It sat there precariously undone, while Fairchild's really was not.
SUMMARY: Both women left the set with unbeaten Super-Hair. It takes more than a few shakes to beat an Ultimate 50 style such as Fairchild has. And we wish Daniel's "period piece" was this way all the time - but since her show's been cancelled, it probably won't be.
Katie Couric has become a long-time fixture on "The Today Show" - and recently her hair's grown longer to match. A style that once stopped around the ears now can fall on her shoulders.
Is that what hair fans want? Our one-week survey brought more than 80 responses, the largest number yet for this section of the web site -- and the voters were divided for quite awhile. The "shorter" look finally won, by a margin of 56 percent (47-37).
"Longer is ugly," one voter complained. Another said the shorter style worked better with Couric's face shape. "Longer weighs her down and can tend to make her look tired."
But the majority supported Couric trying something new. "LOVE it long!" one declared. "Always looks great, but long is the best!" said another.
(For those of you who left comments about Faith Hill's hair: did we miss something here -- like a discussion in our chat room?)
The "Naturally Curly" web site used to have a wonderful fantasy story of Keri Russell's hair appearing on a talk show. Not her, just the hair. The host tried to send her curls off the program through a trap door - but the curls kept bouncing back, refusing to give up and go away.
These days, though, such Super-curls may be a thing of the past. As "Felicity" fades into the TV sunset, Russell's showing a much straighter style (right photo courtesy Seventeen, April 2002). And a bit to our surprise, most hair fans like it that way. They endorsed the curl-less Keri in our week-long survey by a 77-percent margin.
"Curled = gross!" wrote one who obviously prefers Russell straight. "She looks fake with straight hair," said the opposite side.
Photos courtesy Drudge Report
Eyelift? WHAT eyelift? Some of us noticed another difference about Greta Van Susteren when she switched networks. The medium-long locks that seemed stuck behind her shoulders at CNN turned into a shoulder-scraping style for her Fox News premiere February 4.
We asked what you thought of the change -- and it wasn't close, as 81 percent in our five-day poll said Van Susteren looks better with shorter hair. The change brought out the creative side of those who left comments:
"Looking betta, Greta."
"She's a FOX. Ha ha."
"She is beautiful either way."
Sarah Jessica Parker's well-known curls are practically gone. The right photo shows the new short look, which she displayed during the Golden Globe Awards January 20.
Hair Fans are markedly divided on which style they prefer. Our six-day poll found 57 percent support for the long look, compared with 43 percent for the shorter approach. Few voters left comments this time, but one suggested Parker's "pixie" cut could do without the "cutesy bow" pinned above her right ear (our photo barely shows it). "She looks hideous," another complained.
On January 8, Sarah Michelle Geller may have become the earliest contender on record for "controversial cut of the year." She got out scissors and chopped her own hair on "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" - then went to a salon to have it done more professionally.
We asked for your opinion of the change - and in less than a week received dozens of votes in our "Cutting Edge" instant poll. We were a bit surprised to learn 77 percent prefer Buffy with the shorter look, while 23 percent like it longer. (57-17 margin)
"I think it looks so cute short!" one voter wrote in our comment section. "She should go shorter, like a wedge," another suggested. "Looks great, makes her look older and more sophisticated," argued a third. "She looks better with long," one in the minority wrote.
Here's some of what People Magazine wrote online about the change in late December - along with our own added comments:
Ready, set, snip. On the episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" set to air Jan. 8, the show's star, Sarah Michelle Geller, is doing the unthinkable: She's having her hair cut. The long blonde locks will be gone. The title of the episode? "Gone."
> Talk about a title with multiple meanings! Moments after the cut, a ray gun made her invisible for the bulk of the hour. Even her big finishing fight scene was invisible. Too bad, because we wanted to see how well the shorter style held under pressure.
But will that produce some sort of Samson-and-Delilah effect on the currently strong ratings for "Buffy"? (When Delilah cut Samson's hair, there went his power.)
> Wouldn't this be a great plot twist -- to have Buffy lose her strength after the haircut? It could inspire some great follow-up episodes. Imagine the tension if an "Edward Scissorhands" style character took her on. (Is "Dark Angel" paying attention?)
Interestingly, one of the men in Buffy's life seemed ready to do this earlier in the episode. Spike pinned her against a door, knife in hand, talking about how he loved the way her long hair bounced. Buffy pushed him away, though, before things became too serious.
Well, the New York Post, citing the 30 percent ratings drop in 1999 when "Felicity" star Keri Russell lopped off her curls, suggests that producers of the UPN show forced Gellar, 24, to try out the new do as a wig -- just in case. Yet it appears that she did lose a couple of inches of hair -- which have grown back in the two months since the show was shot.
> We love her hair longer - even though it falls frequently that way. We agree with Spike about the great bounce it has, especially when it's curled at the ends as the left picture above shows. But the shorter style actually could be more perfect and controlled if prepared properly.
"I think it looks like it was done with a weed-whacker," the Post quotes one Internet news group's reaction to Gellar's photo with the shorter style.
> It's not as flared as some styles we've seen - and in fact looks better and more modest that way.
Silly as all this may sound, the reaction to Russell's loss of curls prompted her network, the WB, to announce a prohibition on haircuts for their actors without express permission from the company chiefs, says the Post. And, sure enough, the ratings for "Felicity" grew back as Russell's hair did.
> We told you there were Hair Fans out there!!!!
We thank everyone who participates in our polls! We welcome your comments, and especially any news tips you have on celebrity styles and changes. Reach us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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