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Cutting-Edge Hair News - 2018

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We've never seen a revolving door at the U.S. White House. But sometimes we wonder if there should be one, because staff members come and go so often. That's especially been true in the Trump administration. We put White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on the Crown Awards ballot in January - but by the time she won a Crown in mid-March, she had resigned. Hicks reportedly told Congressional investigators she told "white lies" to protect the President. But we doubt any of them had the nerve (especially in 2018) to ask Hicks about a different color. Her brunette hair was considerably lighter as she arrived at the Capitol for questioining.

We called the change "blonde" when we asked Hair Fans about it in a one-week poll. Perhaps that wasn't the best word for it. "Blonette," a voter suggested, describing Hicks's hair as highlighted. Either way, our voters rejected it by a tough 79-percent margin (11-3). "Honestly love her with the highlights and the waves," that voter in the minority continued. Indeed, Hicks fit the profile of many people who have crossed the President's path - a woman he'd like to get behind closed doors for a meeting. We'll simply leave it there....

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Cable TV can be confusing these days. First there was Pretty Little Liars, on the same channel where Shailene Woodley starred in another series. Then Woodley joined HBO in a series called Big Little Lies - and people like Lucy Hale were nowhere in sight. As production began on Season 2 of Woodley's drama in 2018, she unveiled her latest hsir change. Bangs now are part of the long hair which came to fame in The Secret Life of an American Teenager.

When Woodley cut her hair for a movie role about a cancer patient in 2014, Hair Fans voted the change down. This time, things were very different - as 69 percent of our voters support the bangs (11-5). "Bangs really bring out her eyes!" one voter exclaimed. That's good for Woodley, since many times her hair has dropped in her eyes. Perhaps this will add to the TV drama.

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She's known these days for asking, "What's in your wallet?" But when we saw Jennifer Garner on an Academy Awards red carpet, we asked on Twitter: "What's in your hair?" Thankfully, none of the confetti that fell from the roof during the ceremony. Garner's long hair looked every bit as thick and awe-striking on Oscar night as it does in her CapitalOne commercials - and that made her the overwhelming choice of our voters for the best style of the show.

Jennifer, well, garnered 79 percent of the votes in our one-week poll. She accomplished that even though she had plenty of good competition. Allison Williams (the actress, not the ESPN courtside reporter) was second at 21 percent. Surprisingly to us, no one else received any support - not Laura Dern's high-risk waves, Taraji P. Henson's bob nor Ashley Judd's sweeping look.

The only comment we received about the night asked, "Did you see Sandra Bullock?" Yes, we did; it looked so bone-straight that some thought she was imitating Cher. (No one voted "Other" to include her, which you're always welcome to do.) That comment added, "Hey, you could have waited untl the show was over!" We posted our poll after nearly three hours, which was the time limit listed on the TV Guide website. If more winners had gone after Jimmy Kimmel's JetSki, the awards might have ended on time.

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When she appeared on the ice at the 2018 Winter Olympics, some people thought she was a long-lost Kardashian sister. But Canadian sports fans knew better. Gabrielle Daleman is a two-time female figure skating champion there. While she helped Canada win the team gold medal in South Korea, Daleman disappointed in the individual competition. But with her long hair unpinned, she won our contest for the best style of the games.

We found four good candidates for our week-long ballot (admittedly helped by an "Olympic hottie" montage or two online). Daleman dominated, gaining 63 percent of your votes. Second place went to Russian-but-not-allowed-to-compete-as-Russian curler Anastasia Bryzgalova with 18 percent. She brought a cynical comment: "Was Anastasia tested for hair-enhancing drugs?" - a reference to her husband getting accused of doping. U.S. contenders Aja Evans and Lindsey Vonn wound up tied for third at nine percent. They would share a bronze medal, if we had the budget to award any.

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The Dancing With the Stars series has done more than give pseudo-celebrities some extra TV time. It's also turned several obscure dancers into stars themselves. Julianne Hough is one of the leading U.S. examples. She's dabbled in country music, hosted TV specials and even had a romantic fling with Ryan Seacrest. Now Hough has crossed the dance divide to become a judge, but she still makes news in other ways. Hair watchers noticed in early 2018 whe Hough turned her trademark blonde hair red.

"I have always felt like a red head my whole life," Hough wrote on Instagram. She added the change came after six years of thought. But our voters want her to think again; 62 percent of them preferred the blonde look in our one-week poll (8-5). No one left a comment, and we admit color changes aren't always a big concern with us. But the Instagram pictures showing messy hair all over her face are another matter. Fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba should mark her down for that.

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Right photo courtesy Elle UK

Blake Lively grew a following as a TV Gossip Girl - and young adults watched her sense of style closly, including her ways with long blonde hair. Now that she's 30 and a mother of two, Lively's acting roles are more adult. And her hairstyles are much more surprising. The upcoming movie Rhythm Section reportedly is set in the 1920s and 1930s, and the hairdos (as they were call then) reflect that. Paparazzi captured Lively on the streets of New York, shooting a scene with very short bangs. Style-watching sites called them "baby bangs" or "microbangs", and even declared it a 2018 trend - even though Lively was wearing a wig.

Is this a change Lively should do in real life? "This better be unanimous," one Hair Fan wrote about our week-long poll - and it was: unanimously against it (12-0). "Went out... with swing music," another commented. Yet our voters might shudder at another style Lively may display - a flapper wig, not even reaching the shoulders. We apparently will be left guessing about that until 2019, as production was suspended due to a Lively injury. May she (and her hair) get well soon.

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When she's at her best, Zooey Deschanel has a head of hair that leaves others dropping their jaws. The bangs, of course, are legendary; we root for them to fill her forehead. But she often has tremendous natural thickness - and when soft curl is added, the New Girl seems to have it all. Hair Fans have agreed, by voting Deschanel the winner of five Crown Awards. But with her TV series approaching its final season, Deschanel surprised some followers in January 2018. She debuted a collar-length bob on Instagram, which she called "big time" - and style-watchers called perhaps her shortest look ever.

Stylist Mara Roszak called her work a "sixties" look - but most of our voters scored Zooey a zero. The longer style was preferred by 69 percent of them (9-4). The comments expressed our own view, with one writing the cut "took all the fizz out of her hair. It's only a shell of its former self." Another called it "flat and lifeless. Did she thin it out, too?" One website called the change "the nail in the coffin" for Deschanel's TV character. We hope it's also not the end of her Super-Hair career, with a move to "Mommy hair."

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She was barely into her teens when she received an Oscar nomination. She's recorded music with Florida-Georgia Line, and sung in Pitch Perfect films. But Hailee Steinfeld has a hidden blot on her record - as she received ZERO votes when she was nominated for a Crown Award in 2013. Bangs put her on the ballot then. They're gone now. And that's apparently better for Steinfeld - as she was voted the outstanding style of the 2018 Grammy Awards.

On a night when critics said the Grammys were too male-centric, we again had only women on the ballot (sorry, Chris Stapleton). Steinfeld led the one-week poll with 60 percent of your votes. Pitch Perfect partner followed with 20 percent.

Rihanna tied for third with ten percent, but sparked the most debate for her "Caribbean wave" look that some compared to Donna Summer in her prime. "Call it a wig call them extensions; Rihanna's hair rocked," one voter wrote. "It was not HER hair!" another exclaimed in response. Rihanna's stylist indicated it was - but overlooked in the debate was the other woman who tied for third: New York music teacher Melissa Salguero, who was honored with the Grammy Music Educator Award. Another teacher's tresses outdid many of the "celebrities."

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Right photo courtesy Daily Mail

Considering all the money he has and all the power he wields, it's surprising U.S. President Donald Trump has never opened a chain of hair salons. His hair, of course, is legendary. First Lady Melania's mane is often flawless. Daughter Ivanka has to keep her style in line, due to White House-related activities. But whatever happened to daughter Tiffany Trump, who had her public debut at the 2016 Republican convention? She's now attending Georgetown Law School, and displaying a very different look. A trip to Los Angeles during her semester break found her with long bangs, as opposed to the flipped waves of Cleveland.

We wondered if a poll on this change would spark a political debate. It didn't - and the week-long question ended with a tie on whether Trump made an improvement (6-6). "She looked striking without bangs and kind of like a doofus with bangs," one voter wrote. Another suggested Trump might have worn extensions in Cleveland. Let's all hope they were not hacked by Russian agents.

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Her book is called "Pretty Powerful" - and talk show host Eboni K. Williams has hair that fits that description. At its best, it's drop-dead perfect and beautiful in appearances on Fox News and other places. What are her Super-Hair secrets? Williams may have revealed one in Aa New York Post interview - admitting she wears extensions for Monday-to-Friday appearances, apparently including Fox News Specialists. Williams explained she does that to protect her hair from burns with flat-irons.

When we read this interview, we lowered Williams on our Top Ten Tresses list. We had done the same thing after a similar admission by Tracey Anthony. But one Hair Fan threw a red flag, arguing women with extensions should not be in our Top Ten at all. We asked voters over a full week, and there was mass agreement; 88 percent say extensions should mean exclusion, while only six percent disagreed and six percent said "it depends" (14-1-1). We'll accept this, but with some sadness - because Williams's Super-Hair is so, well, pretty and powerful. She hides the extensions well. Now we wonder how many other women have, without revealing it.

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The Golden Globes have broken the award show mold several times. Remember 2008, when winning names were read at a news conference due to a writers' strike? Ten years later, performers organized what some considered a Golden Globe protest statement - with almost every woman wearing black, while men wore "Time's Up" pins. That made well-prepared hairstyles stand out even more - and that led to a first for us. The leader in our vote for outstanding style of the show was "Other," at 42 percent.

So which "other" did we miss, in our list of five? There was no agreement on that. Viola Davis and her loose Afro, pictured, was mentioned first on Twitter (not counted as a vote), and it seemed to be the most-praised look on social media. "Penelope Cruz, Jessica Chastain or Debra Messing all had better hair," one voter commented. Another recommended Connie Britton. We'll admit a lot of great styles appeared on TV, and trimming the field to five was a difficult task - fun, but difficult.

As for the women on our ballot (and we'd note to Natalie Portman that no men were listed), Sarah Jessica Parker led with 33 percent. Globe-winning Allison Janney followed with 17 percent. Oprah Winfrey was third with eight percent. While her speech sparked calls for a presidential campaign, one skeptical voter wrote: "If that's Oprah's real hair, I'm in line for the throne of Scotland." We didn't know "Princess Kate" visited our site, but we're honored by that.

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"I needed a change," Serena Williams wrote on Instagram in mid-December 2017. Many people probably responded by saying, "Really?" The tennis star had made two major life changes in the previous four months - having a baby girl in September, then marrying the co-founder of Reddit in mid-November. Compared to that, a picture of Williams with "honey blonde" long hair was a drop shot across the net. She decided to lighten her natural brunette locks.

The "after" picture of Williams received more than 363,000 likes on Instagram. That makes our Hair Fans look tougher than Simona Halep in a major tournament. The blonde look received only half-hearted support, as the final vote in a week-long poll gave "brunette" a 56-percent edge (5-4). One voter clearly was unimpressed, writing, "Wake me when it's actually HER hair." That answer could take a while, as Williams plans to skip the Australian Open.

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