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Cutting-Edge Hair News - 2019

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Let the record show: "Captain Marvel" wore a wig. Brie Larson's hair in the 2019 action movie was not completely hers. That disappointed us - along with the fact that the faux hair dropped in her eyes more than once in the movie. In real life, Larson's hair has tended to be medium-long. But she's slowly gone shorter with it since winning a 2015 Academy Award. And after the tour for Avengers: Endgame ended, she went all-out - cutting to a severe sideparted chin-length bob.

Does Brie's change please our Hair Fans? A one-week poll was close from beginning to end, and ended with 53 percent preferring the longer style (9-8). No one left a comment, so we'll say we agree with the majority. We prefer the softer approach that the long hair offered. But when you're a superhero like Larson has become, it may be all about getting tough, hair or no hair.

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California used to dominate the Miss USA contest. So did Texas. So it was stunning to see neither state in the top ten at the 2019 event at Reno, Nevada. Instead, another state showed its beauty strength - as Cheslie Kryst of North Carolina captured the crown after the Tar Heel State had the first runner-up a year ago. Kryst is an attorney, so she knows the importance of a proper presentation. She went for natural curls on the final night, which worked for Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough. But Kryst's videos reveal she also straightens her hair into long thick locks.

Kryst has several months to make a hair decision for the Miss Universe pageant. So what should she show there? Our voters were split over a week, but 57 percent came down on the straight side (4-3). "Natural is always better," wrote the only person to leave a comment. Well, maybe not in one way. Kryst's curls dropped in her right eye in the moments after she won the title.

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When she walked on stage near the end of Oscar Night 2019, we feared we had posted our hair poll too soon. Julia Roberts had a long sideparted style with a classic Hollywood swoop - a bit like Jessica Rabbit in that cartoon movie. The hair swooped into Roberts's eyes while she spoke, which technically disqualified from our ballot. But it was a reminder of the style icon she's been for decades. Celebrity styliust Serge Normant reportedly was backstage on that night - and weeks later adjusted Roberts again. Now she has waves barely touching the shoulders, in a beachy lob.

We asked Hair Fans which look makes Roberts more of a, you know, Pretty Woman. The long look was preferred by 78 percent of them (7-2). No one left a comment, and we fear both styles can fall in her eyes with little difficulty. so we'll point you to our personal favorite Roberts cut - the full polished waves of The Pelican Brief.

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Pop singer Meghan Trainor has lost her voice a time or two in recent years. But has she lost her touch with great-looking hair? Trainor spent six months on our Top Ten Tresses list for long blonde styles that she knew how to keep well-controlled. But she's played with those looks recently - first changing to a rich brunette, then appearing on the "Motown 60" music special with slightly-messy bangs across her forehead that we'd never seen before.

Is Trainor in training for a Super-Hair comeback? Eight out of ten voters thought so in our one-week poll. "More youthful looking," one declared. But another wrote, "Betting the bangs are fake.... although they do look great." Sadly, that bet may be a winner. Trainor has admitted putting on wigs at times because her scalp refuses to let her hair grow long. But the answer to the bang question is well hidden online - because a search for "Meghan Trainor bangs" kept bringing up her song Bang Dem Sticks.

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Some Hair Fans probably would buy this cover of People magazine simply for the photo. Lori Loughlin, a member of our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame, with her classic sidepart delicately placed at the edge of her left eye - staying there perfectly, somehow! They'd ignore the headlines alongside it. But those headlines are dominating the talk about Loughlin these days. She's pleaded not guilty to a criminal indictment, stemming from claims that she and her husband bribed University of Southern California officials to get their daughter admitted to college. It's quite a switch from clean-cut Aunt Becky of the Full House years on TV.

Loughlin was a lock for the Hall of Fame, winning admission in 2008 with 90-percent support. But no one in the Hall ever has been accused of this sort of criminal misconduct. So we wondered if some kind of "morality clause" should be part of Hall membership, similar to what Pete Rose has faced in baseball. Since it's your Hall, we asked if Loughlin should be removed if she's convicted and sent to prison. A week of voting ended with 64 percent saying "no, let her stay" (9-5). "What does all of this have to do with her hair?" one asked. "It's not like she was caught using extensions." If that was a red flag, at least one other Hall member would be in serious trouble. We'll let you figure out which one we mean....

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One woman is a veteran singer who's let her hair get wild and messy at big moments. The other is a young rising star who's finding ways to keep styles in line when you might not expect it. Put Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris together, and you had two of the performers at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards - women who shared the prize of our voters for the best hair of the night.

Lambert appeared with well-prepared mid-length hair that we knew would be very hard to muss. It weakened a bit under the lights of Las Vegas, but held. Morris went high-risk; her long center part reminded us of how exciting such a style can be in motion, even when it's behind the shoulders for protection. They wound up deadlocked with 33 percent of your votes - but with at least one voter suspicious. "Are we sure that none of these is wearing a wig, hair piece of extensions? I just saw Maren on another TV show and her hair was barely past her shoulders." In 2019, we're never really sure who's faking it. But it was long several days later at a music festival in Florida - long hair any Hair Fans would want to get behind (and pursue).

Third place in our poll went to newcomer Mickey Guyton with 17 percent - a last-minute addition, after she joined other women singing with Chrissy Metz. Then came host Reba McEntire with eight percent, tied with a mysterious "Other". (Be sure to name your "Other," as we might make a wrong guess.) While Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town didn't receive any votes, one voter gave her an "honorable mention" comment: "Karen tried to go old school big hair country, but I voted for Lambert."

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It could have been a huge 2018 for Merry Matthews. The meteorologist with WeatherNation was selected to represent the U.S. in Super-Hair World Cup V - but she was knocked out in the final week of group play. Then Matthews received a Crown Award nomination, only to be steamrolled (with every other contestant) by Kelly Cass. But we hope one big move by Matthews went well. She left the network, and now presents the forecast at KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs. But Matthews didn't stop there. In late March, she cut her long well-styled hair to a bit below shoulder-length.

"It's just hair," Matthews pondered on Twitter as she displayed the cut for spring. Not to our Hair Fans, it's not. And after a week of voting, eight out of ten wanted the long hair to grow back. "Are you sure that's even her?" one voter asked. "Looks like another person." Well, a lack of TV maeup could do that. Another suggested a consolation prize: "Merry for top ten." Hmmmm - we think we saw her hair drop at some point. But she probably wouldn't tell us when.

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She's one of the more unlikely members of our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. In fact, she couldn't believe it when she was nominated and inducted. But Jenny Anchondo has enchanted Hair Fans throughout the "teens" with her long hair, beginning when she won the 2011 Super-Hair Wars title. Anchondo worked in TV news in Indianapolis at the time. She went on to Dallas and worked on a couple of TV newscasts. But now she's a wife and mom, perhaps content to do podcasts and public events - so she announced in March: "So long, long hair!" With social media savvy, Anchondo let followers vote on which of three looks would be best for her.

Anchondo settled on Option 2 - a sidepart stopping a couple of inches below the shoulders. But would our Hair Fans vote for that? No, they wouldn't; 73 percent preferred the longer locks in a one-week poll (8-3). No one left a comment, perhaps reluctantly accepting the inevitable. But we're wondering if a shorter cut will be tougher for Anchondo to keep out of her eyes, She can't add as much weight to it, in terms of curl - and would a spray-down look too obvious?

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The 19th annual Crown Awards had only a couple of big winners. D'Arcy Carden took two awards - and Jameela Jamil's prize for Best Bangs made it a triple-Crown night for the TV comedy The Good Place. But when the series began, Hair Fans probably had their attention focused on someone else. Kristen Bell has a history of attractively close-to-danger hair dating from her Veronica Mars years. It's been a few inches longer on the NBC series than it was in the earlier show. But Bell made a change in March 2019, chopping her hair to a tough-looking chin-scraping bob.

Bell wrote her children on Instagram with the "new" picture: "Your mom got a haircut and she is FEELING IT." But our feeling was that she'd have a problem winning over our Hair Fans. And we were right - as seven out of ten want Bell to bring back the longer look (7-3). "Neither is anything to write home about," one wrote us, "but the new look is more boring and really limp." We suppose it could have been "watered down", and she was heading home from the salon. But we agree - if her goal is to have Crown-winning hair like Carden and Jamil, this isn't going to do it. But then again, doesn't Bell play a character who does not belong in Paradise?

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If you think the Kardashians are the only ones who change hairstyles faster than some people change radio stations, think again. Other celebrities have been "regulars" in this section over the years, for their hair adjustments. We didn't realize until writing this that actress Mila Kunis has become one of them. In 2017, she cut her long hair to a lob. Most of our voters said no to that. In 2018, Kunis seemed to add bangs to that cut. Most of our voters said no again. In early 2019, Kunis may be trying to show she got the message - growing out her hair below shoulder-length, and displaying no bangs at all during an appearance on Ellen in February.

Is Kunis on the right track this time? Maybe so - because our one-week poll found two-thirds of the voters like the latest look (8-4). "The old look lacked style," one explained. "I would say the bangs bring out her eyes, but all of that make-up negates it." Kunis still is not back to the original length of early in the decade - but if she adds some wave to it, we think the style strength of years ago can make a comeback.

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While some people went to the Academy Awards hoping to win an Oscar, other past winners went to be part of the program. And a few of them may have shown up simply to make a scene. Actress Charlize Theron carried out the last two. She helped present an award, and showed with her hair drastically different from the short blonde looks of recent years. Theron went brunette for the first time in about a decade. InStyle noted she also trimmed her bob a few inches - but let's face it, that's not what most people were noticing.

We don't know if Theron changed colors for an upcoming movie. But our Hair Fans say this change never should have happened. Eight out of ten preferred blonde, in our one-week poll. One voter who acually noticed the trim wrote, "She rocks as a blonde." We think so, too - and she had to rock her head a time or two to keep the cut from falling in her eye, both on-stage and off.

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When Tina Fey and Amy Poehler walked on stage with Maya Rudolph at the 2019 Academy Awards, some viewers may have had a Golden Globes flashback. In fact, some people asked on Twitter why those three didn't serve as emcees. The Oscars chose to go without an official host, but Fey and Poehler are renowned for their past emcee work at the Globes. And Fey is renowned for how great her hair looks at shows like this. A rather daring flip never dropped on camera, and that won her the vote for the ourstanding hairstyle of Oscar night.

The conspiracy theorists might say Poehler and Rudolph wore lesser styles to frame Fey well. Whatever the explanation, it worked - as Fey ran away with 58 percent of the vote. An Oscar winner placed second with 25 percent, but Jaime Ray Newman was one of our most unusual contenders. She won for producing and directing a "live action short" with her husband, yet she has an acting background.

Perennial hair star Amy Adams was third with 17 percent - and if you saw her two sisters during the red carpet warm-up, you could conclude great hair genetics runs in that family. TCM host Alicia Malone's stunningly perfect red hair disappointed us, by receiving no votes at all. Nor did Oscar-winning actress Regina King - although we agree with her that "God is good, all the time."

Thanks to all of you who take part in our polls! And we welcome any news tips you have on changing celebrity styles. Contact us at: SuperHair@Gmail.com .

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Is it Keeping Up With the Kardashians... or "Keeping Up With the Copycats?" Some skeptics say the first family of reality TV tends to imitate each other, instead of having diverse originality. That includes their hairstyles, of course. Kim and Khloe received matching bob cuts in 2018. And in early 2019, Kim Kardashian West's display of bangs on Instagram was followed by half-sister Kendall Jenner posting her own bang cut on Instagram in February. Some followers quickly called Kendall a Kim lookalike.

We assumed Jenner was talking hair when she asked: "Yes? No? Maybe so?" We posted that exact question in a week-long poll, and it wound up in a dead heat - 45 percent yes, 45 percent no and nine percent maybe (5-5-1). One of those skeptics showed up to comment: "For all we know, the Kardashians and Jenners are totally bald and wear wigs and extensions every day.... Kendall was on a late-night talk show this past week without bangs." The comment concluded: "Does anyone care about them anymore?" Considering Jenner has about 104 million Instagram followers.... maybe so.

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She's never been known for singing, or playing a musical instrument. In fact, the 2019 Grammy Award for "Best Spoken Word Album" went to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter; Barack Obama wasn't even nominated. But Michelle Obama joined other women in the first segment of the Grammys - and her loose wavy sidepart impressed our voters in a way that her various White House styles never did. It impressed enough that the former first lady won first place, in our contest for the best hair of the show.

There was no real consensus among the five candidates on our ballot. Obama won with 33 percent of the week-long vote. Then came a three-way tie at 17 percent among Karen Fairchild of "Little Big Town", Meghan Trainor (whose fierce long blonde mane had to be seen from the back to be truly appreciated) and "Other." One Hair Fan's write-in choice was newcomer H.E.R. her long natural curls were stunning - but we were not sure what to make of the diamond pin along her part line. Did that mean she had a wig? We decided: when in doubt, leave her out.

The bottom of our ballot was a tie at eight percent between Kelsea Ballerini and Kirstin Maldonado of "Pentatonix." Were they the ones which provoked a comment about "extensions.... strong in some"? Ballerini admittedly has that reputation. We don't know about Maldonado - but this admittedly was the first time we'd seen her outside a Christmas show.

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A year somehow isn't complete anymore without a hair change by Kim Kardashian West. After all, what other reason would Hair Fans have to "keep up with" her? In 2018, she joined sister Khloe in getting long hair cut to a bob. But Kim started wearing wigs to hide it almost immediately. She decided not to wait long in 2019 - posting a picture with bangs on Instagram in late January, as she introduced a beauty collection.

We realize Kardashian West could be pulling a wig stunt again. But should the bangs become a permanent addition? Our voters liked them by a 71-percent margin (5-2) - although one comment in our week-long poll wrote, "Not sure why anyone cares. Any look she has is fake." Well, hold on - it could be that Kardashian West is persuading close companions to follow her lead. Stay tuned....

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Can you name today's highest-paid movie actress? It's not "Julia" or "Meryl" - but Emma, as in Stone. Forbes estimates she's worth $26 million a year. She tends to stay Stone-quiet about such things, but awards season can reveal a lot about a star. Stone has been spotted with a boyfriend, who writes for Saturday Night Live. And in an even bigger surprise, Stone has appeared on the red carpet without her trademark red hair. It's been darkened to what one magazine called "dark brown."

Did this color change send Hair Fans to La La Land? The answer came quickly - no. After one week, 75 percent of our voters called for the red to return. It was simple math for one: "Red hair and blue eyes > brown hair and blue eyes." Only 17 percent want Stone to stay on the dark side. And the eight percent (9-2-1) who voted for "other" may know Stone better than most people - as she revealed several years ago she's a natural blonde.

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For some of us, Naomi Campbell is the epitome of the "black supermodel." Tall, sleek - and in her prime, with long hair carefully prepared and positioned behind her shoulders. That led Campbell to a place in our Ultimate 50 in 2000. But time has taken its toll on Campbell - not to mention a fight or two. The start of 2019 found her displaying a short curly cut. In some appearances, it comes across as a 1970s-era Afro.

One pop culture website says Campbell now "looks like [a]... queen." As in Queen B-eyonce?! Maybe to some, but not to our Hair Fans. Two-thirds of them say she should keep the locks long and straight (6-3). "More natural is better," wrote one supporter of the change. But another sadly noted Campbell "destroyed her hair years ago - the result of using extensions throughout her career." Some online writers actually think the new look is fake as well. But if a wig is covering alopecia, at least this supermodel still looks presentable - and the hair remains interesting to watch.

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Her actions in a Netflix movie sparked various "Bird Box Challenges" - some of which were so stupid and dangerous that YouTube banned videos of them. But Sandra Bullock took actions without wearing a blindfold which caught our attention. The Crown Award-winning (and oh yes, Oscar-winning) actress cut her classic long hair in two phrases. First she trimmed it to a lob, then an all-out bob which scrapes the shoulders. Bullock explained to NBC the cut made her feel like a new person, and the length "was there to help me hide."

One pop culture website declared the Bullock bob "pretty... fab." Sorry, but our Hair Fans call it a flop. A one-week poll found 65 percent of voters want the long hair to grow back (11-6). "This one is a slam dunk," one wrote; "Her short hair does nothing for her." At least it brings Bullock out into the spotlight - even if she's seemingly enjoyed that for more than 20 years. But keeping her hair out of her eyes now seems even more challenging. That's where the blindfold could come in handy.

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If this was your "Mom," how happy would you be? In reality, Allison Janney of the TV comedy Mom is old enough to be a grandma. She turned 59 only weeks before the 2019 Golden Globe Awards. Yet this award-winning actress impresses voters with her hairstyles. A longer sidepart with bangs came in third in our online vote for best hair at the 2018 Golden Globes - and one year later, she reached the top as the night's best look.

Janney slowly built support in our weeklong poll, and wound up with 40 percent of the vote. The most stunning style of the night for us was teenage on-stage "Ambassador" Isan Elba, with almost-flawless long waves. She tied for second with Gina Rodriguez at 20 percent. Megan Mullally's surprising red head followed with ten percent. We're concluding she was trying to gain attention away from Will & Grace co-star Debra Messing - who was so conservative with long hair behind her ears and back that she didn't make our ballot at all. The mysterious "Other" was a surprise winner a year ago, but only scored ten percent this time.

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Right photo courtesy Vogue

As 2019 dawned, it still was unclear who would host the Academy Awards. One former host who seems to be forgotten is actress Anne Hathaway. We thought she did her Oscar duty well, while co-host James Franco seemed lost and confused. To be sure, Hathaway's hairstyle would attract Hair Fans to watch. She's a Crown Award winner, but not afraid to experiment and make changes - even making a famous cut in a movie. But New York paparazzi spotted Hathaway in late 2018 with long red hair, as opposed to her usual rich brunette.

The color change reportedly is for a movie involving Puerto Rico - but should Hathaway make this permanent? We thought Hair Fans might approve of this, but we were wrong; a massive 79 percent prefer brunette compared with 14 percent for red. "Brunette really brings out her big brown eyes," one commenter wrote. "Red, not too much." As for the seven percent (11-2-1) who suggested Hathaway try another color, she has a history of that. She tried a platinum blonde cut in 2013, and it fared even worse here.

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