Cutting-Edge Hair News - 2019
When she came to fame as Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel, we wrote Hilary Duff's hair was "tough" - as in strong-holding, even when it flies around a bit. Can you believe that was around 15 years ago?! Since then, Duff has tried a lot of different colors - with brunette splitting Hair Fans 50-50, and gray hair getting rejected. Duff even cut her hair to shoulder-length in 2014, only to grow it back. At the end of 2019, Duff apparently has decided to have a "second time around" period - marrying her second husband, and bringing shorter hair back before that.
Is Duff's short cut better as a "rerun"? Our photo might have been unfair, because it was from the start of an Instagram makeup tutorial with the hair slicked back. (That's why one voter called it "limp and lifeless".) But the answer from our voters was yes... sort of. The short style won 40-percent support in our one-week poll (4-6). That's better than 2014, when only 18 percent preferred Duff shorter. Yet most of the comments were negative about the change. "So disappointing," one called it. The long look certainly gives us more hair drama. But to borrow from one of Duff's movies, we've "raised our voice" before....
Of all our Crown Award winners for "Newcomer of the Year", few have gone on to achieve the fame that Selena Gomez has. She went from Disney Channel to pop singing star, went in and out of love with Justin Bieber - and also went back and forth with her hairstyles. Gomez had long locks when she won the 2007 Crown. In late 2019, she went for a center-parted bob. It had added crimped wave when she sang the opening number of the American Music Awards. Then in December, she appeared in London with bangs almost covering her forehead.
Gomez has gone "bobbing" before, and Hair Fans weren't thrilled about it. She's also done bangs before, only with long hair. Our voters really liked that - and they like Gomez with short bangs as well. They won 89-percent support in our week-long poll (8-1). But one voter wrote, "The center part oily look and bangs, I'll go bangs." OK, but they strike us as thin - certainly not as thick and lush as we'd expect from Gomez, given her hair history.
Right photo courtesy Insider
For some people, country singer Kacey Musgraves "jumped the shark" in a hair sense when she showed up at an award show with a BumpIt. It looked old-fashioned country - but also came across as fake. Musgraves thankfully dropped that in recent years, but she's kept her brunette styles long as she's risen to the top of music surveys. That length has won her plenty of admirers. But after the Country Music Association Awards in mid-November, Musgraves tried something new - with split bangs that almost cover the forehead, yet seem layered.
To borrow from one of her songs, did Musgraves "follow her arrow" in the right direction? Our voters think she did. The bangs won 63-percent support in a one-week poll (7-4). "Bangs are a more youthful look," one wrote. Yet still, skeptics remain; one wrote, "Nothing on her head is real." Well.... at least we don't think the bangs will really keep Musgraves's hair out of her eyes.
We marked the start of our 20th anniversary month by bringing together several hairstyles that may not have existed at all when Super-Hair began. Our annual "Elite Eight Week" for members of the Best Manes on Campus included one City League champion named Wolfe, and a second "Wolfe" who could have been had she not transferred away from a college. The second one wound up on top - as redshirt tennis player Madison Wolfe of Northern Colorado (via Akron and maybe Wright State) led the week-long vote.
Madison received 43 percent support, followed by Logan Reed of Montana Tech at 29 percent. Third place was a 14-percent tie between Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris (representing Southern Connecticut State) and Kaylee Frazier of North Carolina State. While one voter called them "good choices," a couple of others openly voted for "nothing." They were not impressed, even though Hair Fans offered half of the eight entries. All we can say to that is: find someone better, and let us know about her.
Her appearance on stage didn't last long - only a few moments to introduce a classic hit by Toni Braxton. But Paula Abdul appeared long enough to get our attention, during the 2019 American Music Awards. She had well-developed bangs and sideswept long hair which put the left side in the spotlight. That side was enough to win your vote for the best hairstyle of the show.
Despite one scoffer who wrote, "If that's Paula's real hair, I'm the king of Spain," Abdul received 40 percent of the votes in our week-long poll. (We appreciate the king's multilingual writing skill.) Surprise presenter Cobie Smulders, promoting her ABC series Stumptown had a thick mane which claimed second with 30 percent. Then came the clear star of the evening, "Artist of the Decade" Taylor Swift at 20 percent. Show opener Selena Gomez's bob didn't thrill many Hair Fans, as she settled for 10 percent.
It's the TV series that's put two women (so far) in the Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. It's inspired a couple of hit movies, too. But has the Charlie's Angels format passed its prime? The hype for the 2019 film seemed to ignore the attempt to revive the TV series years earlier on ABC, which lasted only about six weeks (but gave some Hair Fans a crush on Minka Kelly). And the latest movie had disappointing ticket sales in its first week, even though it has arguably a big star in Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame.
Since the original Angels were a 1970s Hair Fan's dream come true, we asked you whose style is superior this time around. The long-haired ladies made it a two-way race - and after five days, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott were tied at the wire with 45 percent each. Stewart gained one lone late vote for nine percent. That may show after 40-plus years, Hair Fans aren't ready for a short-cut angel.
At some award shows, finding five candidates with great hair for our ballot can be an all-night challenge. At the 2019 Country Music Association Awards, it was quite the opposite. A night focused on women brought out enough great styles in the opening medley to fill a ballot - and then the cuts kept on coming. Our voters even had problems singling out one singer as the best. We wind up with co-champions: Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town and emcee Carrie Underwood.
The poll was posted in the final minutes of the show - and six days later, Fairchild and Underwood were tied at 29 percent. That may surprise one voter who lobbied for "anyone but Carrie" because "her hair is filled with extensions." Third place was also a tie at 14 percent, between two surprising entries: pop singer Halsey with a short style borrowing from classic Hollywood, and ABC morning co-host Lara Spencer who pouffed her style extraordinarily wide. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum settled for seven percent, along with a mysterious "other" (no, we didn't dare check that curious domain name someone left as a comment).
Before there wss a streaming service called Disney-Plus, working for a Disney product was a "plus-sign" for building an acting career - whether it was in TV or movies. Sabrina Carpenter got in the door by starring in Girl Meets World alongside Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member Danielle Fishel. She's advanced from there to record several pop albums. And Carpenter's done it all with blonde hair.... well, so far. Mid-October 2019 brought a subtle shade shift by Sabrina. In fact, she penned a partial poem about it on social media: "Roses are red, violets are blue, my hair is red."
We asked you not only about Carpenter's color change, but a good way to finish her poem. Our eight-day poll ended with 82 percent rooting for blonde hair (9-2).... but sadly, no poets. At least the blonde backers will be thrilled to know Carpenter only went red for an upcoming movie called Clouds. It appears the sunshine blonde could be back before long.
In the mid-1970s, ABC gave 60 Minutes a ratings body-blow on Sunday evenings by putting on a teen mystery series. The "Hardy Boys" drew the big crowd, because of heartthrob Shaun Cassidy. Alternate-week "Nancy Drew" was an afterthought to some - but that was what Hair Fans quietly wanted to see. Could Pamela Sue Martin's hair stay in place through tense moments? (And truthfully, some of us thought sidekick "George" had the stronger style which she refused to let drop.) When the CW Network decided to bring back Nancy Drew in the fall of 2019, on her own without the guys, we wondered what took them so long. Maybe they needed to find the right head of hair - and newcomer Kennedy McMann tries to fill that, with mid-length locks that possess a good deal of thickness and seem ready for action.
We put old and new Drews together in an eight-day contest, and Martin solved the puzzle quickly. She mastered McMann with 79 percent of the vote (11-3). The only question seemed to be our original photo of McMann. It came from the CW website, but apparently was an artist's drawing. It fooled us - but the replacement vidcap (above) didn't help her at all. While Martin's mane dropped often during her series, this is another case of how the 70s was an amazing decade for top-quality Super-Hair.
Right photo courtesy Daily Mail
When we first read online that Savannah Chrisley had made a hairstyle change, we asked a simple question: Savannah who? We admittedly had never taken time to see if Chrisley Knows Best, the USA Network reality show about a real estate mogul in suburban Atlanta and his family. We didn't know Savannah and her brother had their own spinoff show, searching for America. All we really knew was that Savannah had well-styled short hair - a little spiky, but strong-holding. And in mid-October, Chrisley stunned her fans by going even shorter. Her new pixie cut reminded one of our voters of Ellen DeGeneres - and reportedly "concerned" her dad.
Should we all be concerned about this change? An expanded eight-day poll found 69 percent of you want the old Savannah to come back (11-5). "Short hair is better," wrote one voter. OK, but both styles seem short to us. A better analysis was this: "When that show first aired, she had an incredible head of long hair. When she had it hacked off, I stopped watching. As for now, good Lord." Well, her middle name is Faith. But as Chrisley wrote on Instagram: "Ladies... do what YOU want to do." And to be honest, hardly any woman has ever asked for our opinion in advance of a style change.
The ABC comedy Modern Family made Sofia Vergara a star - and made her long hair a product endorsement superstar. The other regulars in the cast don't really have standout styles by comparison. Julie Bowen and Sarah Hyland could have good episodes and bad episodes. Ariel Winter was a nerdy pre-teen with careful long hair when the series started in 2009. Now Winter has taken what she calls the "awkward" TV transition to adulthood, so she apparently decided it was time for a major hair change. She went from basic brunette to bright red in the middle of 2019, perhaps for a guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. (Our apologies for thinking she changed in October.)
Winter went back to brunette several weeks later. But which color is the right one for her? Our voters said brunette by a 78-percent margin over one week (7-2). "Brunette brings out her eyes," one voter wrote. But brace yourself for a surprise - as our online check found Winter isn't a natural brunette, either. She's really blonde! Why her color doesn't match her TV mom, we have no idea.
Morning shows on U.S. network television are in a constant fight for first place. And perhaps, that includes a fight for the best morning hair as well. ABC has Good Morning America, with three-time Crown Award "Best Short Hair" winner Amy Robach. NBC's Today has the mid-length Savannah Guthrie. Guthrie took a step toward imitating Robach in October- not in length, but color. New York stylist Rita Hazan turned Guthrie from brunette into what she called on Instagram a "major blondie."
Is this a major improvement? Our one-week poll admittedly surprised us, as two-thirds of Hair Fans want Guthrie to remain a brunette (6-3). And truth be told, several think she changed the wrong thing. "Her hair is so limp and lifeless, it doesn't matter," one wrote. "She needs to add some body." (Our photo from a fill-in role on NBC Nightly News probably didn't help her.) "Longer and fluffier," another recommended. Perhaps a consultation with Hoda Kotb would help with the "fluffy" part?!
Remember when Katy Tur was a rising TV reporter, best known as the love interest of Keith Olbermann? That was a couple of U.S. Presidential terms ago, and now all has changed for the MSNBC journalist. Now she has her own afternoon hour, a husband who co-hosts CBS This Morning - and in April 2019, Tur gave birth to a boy. As with Weijia Jiang, something else changed then. As she returned to the air, Tur noted in an 11 Sep Twitter reply:
OK, she did. But should she have? Our one-week vote found Hair Fans at split ends, but coming down against the bangs by a 53-percent margin (8-7). One supporter said, "The bangs give her a more youthful look." But mostly, the comments went after our "silly, silly rule" about hair falling in a woman's eyes. That actually happened for Tur before the bangs were cut in - but with careful brushing and trimming, it doesn't have to happen as often now.
If you became caught up in U.S. pro football (especially in New York, where Fox showed a late afternoon game), you missed a dream hair moment. Actress Mandy Moore was interviewed outside the 2019 Emmy Awards, with a breeze blowing through thick wavy medium-short hair. It flowed magnificently, yet blew the hair back so it didn't fall toward her eyes. At least one person on Twitter claimed Moore had a handler with a fan - but the whole approach worked. Moore had Hair Fans voting This Is Us, to overwhelmingly vote her the best style of the night.
It appeared for several days (even after we restarted the poll due to our coding error) that Moore would get a rare unanimous vote. Combining our two parts, she wound up with only 88 percent. Due to late votes for Naomi Watts and Zendaya (6 percent each). The triumph even had Hair Fans singing, which we will interpret for those who may not understand:
"Oh, Mandy, you came and you gave us great style," (Barry Manilow)
"In the midnight hour, we want Moore! Moore! Moore!" (Billy Idol - quite a contrast)
Frank Sinatra sang about New York, "If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere." Diana Williams lived up to that tune - spending about 29 years with the WABC-TV news team. She was an anchor for most of that time, and she appeared with anchor-perfect hair night after night. Williams's pageboy impressed us so much that she made the first Top Ten Tresses list in December 1999 and stayed there for nine months. But we were surprised that her hair went blonder with age - from warm brunette at the turn of the millennium to almost golden in her final years on the air.
We asked you which Williams color was better for her - and after one week, six out of ten chose brunette. "The layers of color are nicer," one explained, "and the blonde washes her out." As we bid Williams a happy retirement, wondering if we gave out on her too soon. We can't recall ever seeing her hair in her eyes - ever! How many Platinum Awards could that have been?
U.S. President Trump has been called a lot of things over the years. One label on which we think everyone can agree is that he's unpredictable. But his children have tended to be steadier. Daughter Ivanka is a Presidential adviser who's written books and designed fashions. And her hair had been fairly steady for years - medium-long and blonde (although she had a brown period for awhile). But Mrs. Kushner stunned White House watchers in early September, by cutting her to a bouncy bob stopping at her throat.
When we saw this cut, we admittedly thought our voters would laugh it out of the room - but our one-week poll was surprising. They preferred the longer Ivanka, but by only a 58-percent margin (7-5). Yet our comments offered suggestions for improvement. "She looks much better with a side part than the center part," wrote one - and we agree with that; Ivanka used to style her hair that way. Another was more blunt: "Dye your roots, Ivanka." Hmm - could she be part of the reason why the President opposes energy-efficient lightbulbs?
When it comes to the Super-Hair Ultimate 50, few women have put themselves in more perilous situations than Maria Elvira Salazar. She's been a reporter at hot spots across Latin America, standing out in the elements - and yet her hairstyles have found a way to avoid defeat, even when they're blown around. It happened again as Hurricane Dorian approached the U.S. Salazar recorded public service videos outside in some rain, guarding her hair from south Florida breezes with her ears. And that's when we realized how long Salazar's hair had become. It's stopped above the shoulders often in her career, rarely going below them. Now it's at least two inches below the shoulders.
Should Salazar keep her hair at this longer, riskier stage? Our Hair Fans left no doubt. A one-week poll backed the change by a 77-percent margin (10-3). No one left a comment, but we think the use of her ears indicates Salazar's not used to this length. The wrong moment could bring a serious drop in her hair. And since Salazar already has announced a second run for Congress in 2020 (she lost in 2018), other candidates might be more than ready to put pictures of that drop in attack ads.
Left photo courtesy Wireimage
We must begin this by offering our sympathies to Bella Hadid. Her "Queen Angel" grandmother died of cancer in the final days of our one-week question about something far less significant. The 2016 "Model of the Year" caused online buzz throughout the summer of 2019 by switching her long hair from brunette to completely blonde. It's apparently Bella's natural color - but when she appeared with older sister Gigi at the MTV Video Music Awards, some fashion websites considered them twins.
Bella reportedly went brunette to look different from Gigi - so is this switch-back a good idea? Our voters say yes, but that's not saying much. Only three out of five approved the blonde shade, and one wrote: "I abstain. Doesn't really matter." In terms of Super-Hair, that's probably true - and an online image search proves that hair has dropped more than once. For us, Bella Hadid is no Bella Shaw.
A TV reporter's career can have highs and lows. Take Jasmine Minor for an example. An image search will reveal she once was arrested in southwest Florida for cocaine possession. We don't know how that case was resolved. But Minor has recovered from it, to become a member of a news team in Cincinnati and an occasional sideline commentator for ESPN. Through it all, the length of her well-placed hair has remained the same: mid-length with a bit of wave. But in mid-August, Minor seemed to make a change - appearing in live reports with the hair stopping around the shoulder.
Is Minor making a major move toward even better beauty? Our voters strongly said no, with nine out of ten preferring the longer look - and while no one left a comment, we strongly agree with them. She's used a variety of neat tricks to keep her hair firmly in place, from teasing to round-brushing. If the short cut really is her new look, we fear the tricks won't work as effectively.
If you turn on TV to find the best Super-Hair in the world, maybe you should look in other places as well. Strong attractive hairstyles exist in the business world as well. For instance, Kim Burch sells real estate in west Georgia. Krystie Gonzales manages a television station in Austin, Texas. Both of them wound up tied in our 2019 "Who's Number One?" contest.
With all current members of the Top Ten Tresses list put together in a one-week race, Burch and Gonzales wound up tied with 30 percent of the vote. Third place was a four-way tie at ten percent, and our top three of the moment were all there. Stephanie White, Kaleigh Garris and Alyson Acklin were joined by Julia Chatterley. But four out of the ten received no votes at all, and one voter commented several unnamed people have "bland and pedestrian" styles. We thank someone for offering replacement candidates - but we'd note Danielle van de Donk was dropped in a hurry from Top Ten Tresses, when someone discovered a hair drop on Instagram.
When a woman has a baby, a lot of things change. The sleeping schedule becomes different. The time preparing meals can expand. But should a woman's hairstyle change after a baby comes? We've seen plenty of celebrities do it over the years. And it appears you can add Weijia Jiang to that list. The CBS News correspondent became a mom for the first time in January 2019. She seemed to return from maternity leave with the same long hairstyle and protective bangs that she had before. But during the summer, a cut became noticeable - with Jiang's hair now stopping around the shoulders.
Jiang still has bangs, but is the length any better? Our voters say no. Our one-week poll found 79 percent preferring the longer look (11-3). "She should have gone even longer," one complained. "A very unflattering look for her...." Jiang spent three months on our Top Ten Treses list with the long version, and we marveled at the hold it displayed. So perhaps this is a move toward making potential Super-Hair better. Since she covers a White House where the President has called Jiang "obnoxious," he's bound to mention this change sooner or later.
So you think you've had a topsy-turvy 2019? Consider what Megan Gustafson has gone through. She began the year as a senior basketball player at Iowa. In March, the Hawkeyes reached the national regional finals. In April, she won national awards as the best in the U.S. Then she was drafted by the WNBA Dallas Wings - only to be dropped in the final cut. After weeks of waiting where Gustafson started a religious website and planned to join men in "The Tournament," the Wings brought her back to their regular rotation. Through all of that, Gustafson kept long brunette hair which impressed Hair Fans. She raced to three wins in Super-Hair Wars, and climbed high in our Top Ten Tresses list. But in June, Gustafson dropped a big surprise about that on Twitter....
Okay people Iím really having a dilemma here, should I chop my hair or keep it long?
More than 1,800 people voted on Twitter, and the margin was 60-40 against a cut. Yet Gustafson did it anyway, asking, "Will Twitter ever forgive me?" The early returns from our voters indicate the answer is no. The longer look received 71-percent support in our one-week poll (12-5). No one left a comment, but we'd think the longer hair would be easier to keep in place. Gustafson stands six-foot-three, so her height and wide shoulders can protect a lot. A shorter cut makes that more difficult - but she's already shown she can handle a lot of change.
Right photo courtesy InStyle
If time has taught us anything about fashion models, they're not as "real-life" as they used to be. Hair extensiuons and outright wigs make it difficult to tell which of their looks is real, and which is fake. Take Chrissy Teigen, for example. The wife of singer John Legend has displayed long brunette hair for years. But it's blonder in her current work as a "judge" on the comedy contest Bring the Funny. And in mid-July, Teigen showed off what fashion magazines called a "summer makeover" - a blonde bob, which she credited to Beverly Hills stylist Tracie Cunningham.
Are Teigen's tresses more tempting now? We decided to make her color the question, and 63 percent of our voters like her lighter (5-3). But one voter commented it was "not so much the color, but the whole package: the bangs, the bigger looking eyes, etc." We're not sure whether to trust that package or not. Teigen's hair was long again in an Instagram video, as our week-long poll concluded. But at least she's keeping things blonde - perhaps finally trying to match long-time friend Erin Andrews.
Her last name may be "Bullock," but actress Sandra's career has included plenty of birds. She won an Oscar and a Crown Award for her role in The Blind Side, mentoring a young man who eventually played for U.S. football's Baltimore Ravens. Then in 2018, Bullock produced and starred in the thriller Bird Box on Netflix. July 2019 found Bullock back in the world of sports bird nicknames, presenting the "Best Team" award at the ESPYs. The short Bird Box look was gone, replaced by shoulder-length "lob" waves which were in one way elegant and in another way beachy.
Bullock's current look is certainly shorter than in the 2000s, but should it stay that way? Our voters said no; six out of ten prefer the long hair of Oscar nights gone by. One voter explained it's "because the center part sucks." Another didn't buy into the fashion magazine gushing, writing: "Both hairstyles are terrible." At least Bullock improved her score from January; we'd forgotten we'd asked about her lob the last time magazines gushed about it at the Golden Globe Awards.
You know you're a leading U.S. TV news reporter when you're assigned the White House beat. Over the years, many of those reporters have displayed leading hairstyles as well. Norah O'Donnell was there, before becoming CBS Evening News anchor. She and current CBS colleague Weijia Jiang became Top Ten Tresses stars. NBC gave us O'Donnell, then the amazingly strong hair of Hallie Jackson. But you may have overlooked Kristen Welker, whose styles tend to stay well in line on-camera. They've tended to be cut around the shoulders. But the middle of 2019 has shown Welker growing out her hair; it was near the bust line when she anchored the evening news on Independence Day.
Is Welker doing well by going longer? Our Hair Fans absolutely agree. Unanimous votes are as rare here as they are in 2019 Washington politics - but Welker received one in our week-long poll (7-0). What looks like a mix of curl and tucking-back on the right side has a strong chance of holding outside the White House, although we think we've seen wind do her hair in at some point. Let's send her outside and investigate, shall we?
In the middle of the 2010s, Alison Brie was a rising star in the world of Super-Hair. She won five [corrected] Crown Awards, primarily for her role on the TV comedy Community. Her medium-long styles had Hair Fans longing to sit right behind her in a classroom. But when that series went away, her fame here faded. A few years later, Brie could make a comeback thanks to GLOW, the story of a one-time women's wrestling troupe. The hair is shoulder-length now, but still is adjustable. Brie made a big adjustment in late June, by adding long bangs - although she emphasized something else on Instagram: "Baby was brunette again."
Do bangs make Brie's hair tastier? Our voters don't think so; 75 percent perfer her without them (6-2). That surprised us, because we think the bangs look playful and fit Brie's on-screen personality. In fact, Brie went for thicker bangs a few years ago. We didn't ask about them then - but they would have been great for a TV wrestling match.
The last week of June 2019 may become the most memorable week of Ida Tedesco's life. She already had amazing moments as a TV reporter in Toledo, Ohio - as a City League champion, Top Ten Tresses member and Super-Hair Wars playoff entry. Now as a morning news anchor in Lansing, Michigan, she had two HUGE events in six days...
She became engaged to a Detroit TV reporter. AND her move to grow her curl-loving mid-length hair toward the middle of her back became the topic of a week-long poll on our home page!
OK, we think we know which event Tedesco will remember more. For one thing, the proposal came on her birthday. For another thing, the vote on the style change was rather close. It ended with six out of ten Hair Fans liking the longer locks. "Shorter has more body!" wrote one critic. We agree with that - as if the power in her hair is more compact, to accentuate her waves. The waviness is still there, only looser and riskier. But Tedesco seems to know how to take great care of her hair, and we marvel at that. Based on that ring photo, we may not be the only ones.
Photo courtesy Just Jared
Like mother, like daughter - right?! Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member Cindy Crawford has brought up a daughter who's an emerging model. When they walk around New York together, the paparazzi have twice the fun.
Kaia Gerber even has shown great hair genetics at age 17, with long thick locks that could make any Hair Fan tremble along a runway. But "baby Gerber" did something in June that we're not sure her mother would dare to do....
She cut the long hair to a bob that's above the shoulders, and sometimes may not have any product at all. We're not sure our choice of an Instagram picture showed the cut well. But it's good enough for our voters, who prefer the shorter style by a 58-percent margin (7-5).
No one commented on Gerber's change, but someone asked a side question about our Top Ten Tresses list. We'll answer it this way: we've never paid anyone for interviews or inclusion on our site. No woman ever has paid us for inclusion, either. Sometimes we wish they did, but....
One of our more embarrassing website moments came when we asked to do an interview with Kim Zolciak-Biermann of Real Housewives of Atlanta about her hairstyles. Her handlers disclosed she wears wigs - apparently so well that we didn't realize it. But so far, that does not seem to be true with her children. Thanks to the Bravo spinoff reality series Don't Be Tardy, viewers have learned about 17-year-old Ariana. She has a stereotypical teenage attitude (check her Twitter feed) and long hair that would delight young Hair Fans. But for the summer of 2019, Ariana trimmed it a bit - from well below the bust line to a bit above it, with some "beach waves" thrown in.
Did Ariana make a cut in the right direction? Our Hair Fans don't think so - but the vote in our one-week poll was close, with six out of ten saying "longer". No one left a comment, perhaps this change was rather subtle. Either way, we think Biermann doesn't care whether or not the hair falls in her eyes - and she doesn't follow mom's example in that.
Right photo courtesy InStyle
Some celebrities develop one signature hairstyle, and strive to keep it outstanding for years. Natalie Portman is among the actresses who have not done that. Since she focuses on feature films, she's willing to adjust her hair to the part she's playing - from midlength and messy in Mars Attacks! to super-short in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Portman apparently has gone short again for Lucy in the Sky, a movie about an infatuated astronaut. The style might be called "space helmet hair" - short enough to fit inside one, without any bother.
Is Portman's latest look a winner with Hair Fans? We seldom get a strikeout in our polls, but she got one here - as every voter preferred the long approach (10-0). One commented, "She's one step away from a Jane Fonda Klute mullet!" Some of us actually would consider that a compliment, as that cut was exciting to watch in the movie. Portman's hair is slightly longer on the right side - if she's not wearing a wig, and that's possible with her - but still loose enough to drop, even without zero gravity.
The first time we heard about Game of Thrones, we speculated it might be about chess. But no - it was a lot more than that. It was an HBO phenomenon on the order of Sex and the City, only with nine dressed-up families instead of four fashionable single women. The fantasy series made England's Maisie Williams a star, as she played Arya Stark from start to finish. Her hair looked worn-out and mussed-up often in battle scenes, so that wasn't our issue. Yet style-watching websites found it interesting that Williams changed her color after the final season - moving from rich brunette (with the bangs reminding us a bit of Jenna Rosenstein at her best) to a near-blonde shade.
Which color is more amazing for Maisie? Considering all the buzz Game of Thrones received, the response from Hair Fans was lackluster. Only five votes over one week came down for the brunette color by 3-2. One person commented it was "simply because she didn't dye her roots." We noted that, too - and considering Williams also has shown pink and purple shades, maybe she was in a hurry to meet a photo shoot deadline.
Some women can wear their hair the "usual" everyday way on a red carpet, and still attract plenty of attention. We think actress Jessica Chastain is one of those women. Her usual color is red (we'll explain that picture on the left), which helps. And when she adds some curls to her medium-long locks, she becomes quite enticing. So it was surprising in May 2019 to see Chastain make a double switch - cutting her hair to a shoulder length, and adding bangs which might remind some people of a shaggy "bowl cut" from the 1970s.
Chastain is 42 - so is this a "middle-aged" good change? We asked specifically about the bangs, and found our Hair Fans like them. They gained 64-percent support in our week-long poll (9-5). Yet there was this comment: "Mostly for the new color." Alas, we feared that kind of confusion might happen when we chose to post her Crown Award-winning look. Chastain went one-time brunette in Molly's Game, while red is her regular shade. In any case, Chastain's cut may be a step to keep her hair out of her face without much care - and since she's displayed good care all these years, that may be a great thing to watch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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."
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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