Cutting-Edge Hair News
Sarah Richardson might be the Canadian version of the TV series Trading Spaces - except she does almost all the trading herself. She's made a career out of in-home makeovers, with an endless string of ideas for making kitchens and game rooms new-looking and improved. We found some of Richardson's early work on the new U.S. TV channel DABL, and discovered she's changed personal hair designs more than once. In the early 2000s, the cuts were short with bangs that could extend at times. In 2020, Richardson's website shows her style medium-long with an occasionally swooping side.
To borrow from one of her shows, which Richardson look has Real Potential? Our voters left little dohbt (oops, that's how they say it in Canada) - as the long look piled up 92 percent of the count over a week (12-1). A classic argument developed in our comments: "Short hair is best" vs. "longer has more body." We think both lengths are equally likely to drop in Richardson's eyes - but the longer style would be more dramatic to watch.
Left photo courtesy Daily Mail
MTV in the United States gave us Jersey Shore. In the United Kingdom, it came up with Geordie Shore - people with a wide range of personalities living in the same house and trying to get along. That was the breakout moment for Chloe Ferry, who walked in with a buxom build and became a partying misfit. But now Ferry is trying to monetize that fame in a different way. She's developed a cosmetic line, and has been using COVID-19 home confinement to try out different looks on Instagram. In mere weeks, Ferry switched from blonde to brunette and redhead - but apparently not Lauren Alaina blue (below).
Without revealing her natural shade, we asked you which color is better for Ferry. The final score after a week: 50 percent brunette, 33 percent blonde and 17 percent red (3-2-1). So the big reveal for those who didn't check online is.... Ferry is a natural blonde! The other shades were wigs. We think natural is best for her - and if she keeps her wavy to keep it out of her eyes (which seems to happen often), we'll want to invite her into our house to stay a while.
Right photo courtesy Taste of Country
Remember when a "blue-haired lady" referred to someone at least 70 years old? That's all changed in the 21st century. First pop stars such as Katy Perry went for curious color changes. Now the COVID-19 pandemic has led all sorts of celebrities to do some experimenting. Country singer Lauren Alaina borrowed a bit from a classic Crystal Gayle tune, and turned her blonde hair blue in mid-March! But she explained it was "just a shampoo" and would "wash out in, like, a week."
Alaina admitted to People that because of this change, "everyone's going to freak out." We're not sure if our voters reacted that way, but 88 percent of them preferred the blonde color in our one-week poll (7-1). To be honest, we think Alaina's blue is more stunning. But one voter probably spoke for the majority: "People have too much time on their hands these days." At least Alaina did other things to freak out her fans in April - becoming engaged and breaking two toes.
Some people take great pains to have great-looking Super-Hair - and it shows. We refer to them as "championship level." And Kansas TV news anchor Alyson Acklin has proven she's there. She emailed us with gratitude when we put her perfect short styles on the Top Ten Tresses list. She took a wavy variation to the Miss Kansas USA contest, and finished second. Now as Acklin prepares for a summer 2020 wedding, she's quietly become daring. Hair that once was tight at the ear was about an inch below the shoulders in early April.
Is Acklin doing the right thing by going longer? Our Hair Fans tend to like longer looks, but not in this case. Six out of ten preferred Acklin's short cut in our one-week poll. "Shorter had better color," one wrote. We think that depends on where she sits or stands under TV lights. But this much we know: Acklin has taken high-risk hair and increased the risk - so far successfully. When it comes to unconquerable hold, we'll borrow from one station in her chain: her styles are no KUPK-akes.
Right photo courtesy Parade
The first year of Super-Hair Wars had four undefeated champions - and Sarah Jessica Parker was one of them. The star of Sex and the City had sexy (to some) waves which topped supermodel Gisele Bundchen - but lost in the playoffs to eventual Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member Jessica Simpson. Parker kept the mid-length or longer look throughout the HBO series. But that was close to 20 years ago - and these days Parker is taking things shorter. We were surprised by a newspaper photo in March 2020 showing her in the arms of husband Matthew Broderick with a shoulder-length bob and bangs.
Has Parker properly changed with the times? While our voters tend to lean toward longer looks, 75 percent of them in our week-long poll liked Parker better with short hair (9-3). Yet the only comments were from a critic: "I don't think the new style suits her." We'd have to see it more to really know for sure - but the short cut seems easier to keep controlled. Some late-2019 photos of Parker had longer hair, but sometimes - uh - as flat as some Manhattan apartments.
Right photo courtesy Essence
If the name "Fiona" makes you think of a hippopotamus in Cincinnati, you're clearly not listening to soul music. A singer from Toronto known as Melanie Fiona has won a couple of Grammy Awards, and caught the attention of Hair Fans by growing out her locks for years. Unlike some singing stars, the hair was all hers. But in mid-March, the seemingly inevitable happened. Fiona visited stylist Kiyah Wright and cut an estimated 14 inches off. Fiona posted the dramatic "hard" moment on Instagram, writing she did it for "empowerment, breaking cycles, energetic release and rebirth."
All that sounds impressive, but is Fiona's new look stopping a bit below the shoulders an improvement? Our voters said, with six out of 10 preferring her hair longer. "A boring downgrade," concluded one voter who thinks the cut actually was longer than 14 inches. But from the other side: "Long just hangs," with the new cut more stylish. We'd want to pursue Fiona's hair either way, as long as she keeps it in line - but sadly, that doesn't always happen. Good "song styling" sometimes can ruin good hairstyling, you know.
2020 will be remembered for what one ministry has called, "The New March Madness." A month with no basketball tournaments. No hockey tournaments. Only one round of Australian men's football. That's what COVID-19 did around the world. But at least we at Super-Hair tried. We decided to give colleges an online, virus-free competition - extending our year-end "Elite Eight" by having a separate "Terrific Ten" contest with Best Manes on Campus from the winter season, battling to see whose style is best.
Sadly, our week-long contest didn't gain much interest - with the vote count off 43 percent from the Elite Eight in December. But Kayla Erickson of Beloit Colege in Wisconsin prevailed, with half the votes. Abbey Meyers of Chicago Loyola and Briana Niedermeier of Cleveland State tied for second at 25 percent. Seven women gained no support at all - but should take comfort in knowing they were noticed and were in the running.
Two decades ago, Super-Hair in Brazil meant a supermodel named Gisele. Other women had great styles, but little publicity. That led South Amerrica's biggest country into a hair drought on our site during much of the 2010s. But at the end of the decade, much changed. Three Crown Awards for Brazilians in 2017 were followed by two in 2019, with Instagram model Pamella Azeredo winning a top prize of Best Long Hair. Her styles stretch well below the waist. But during the Brazilian summer, we thought Azeredo spent a lot of time in the Rio de Janeiro sun - because her dark brunette color looked lighter in March. We called it "blonde," but perhaps it was more a gray shade.
Should Azeredo consider a permanent color change? Our voters say no. A one-week poll ended with 56 percent calling for her to say brunette, while 33 percent the lighter look and 11 percent called for some other color (5-3-1). But for some voters, the question was a different kind of puzzle. "I don't see that much difference," one said. "None at all," wrote another. OK, maybe we were seeing things. Azeredo likes to play tempting hair games with her Instagram followers - even reaching once in a while for scissors, only to put them away.
The Crown Awards have introduced us to some amazing heads of hair from all parts of the world, including some we'd never seen before. The rise of Instagram allowed an "AM" (account manager, we think) in Armenia named Gohar Shahnazaryan to become famous. With hair stretching to her ankles, she won three Crowns in 2017 including Best Long Hair. She was nominated again in 2019 - but during the voting, Shahnazaryan shocked her 55,000-plus followers by displaying a new style that stopped a bit below her shoulders. Some Hair Fans were so stunned that they called for her removal from the ballot. But that ballot honored 2019 hair, and she apparently made the change in 2020.
We're told Shahnazaryan sold all that trimmed hair for money - so was she penny-wise and pound foolish? Our week-long vote was closer than you might think. The long look won, but by only 55 percent (6-5). "Great haircut," said one. "A waste of a gift from God," wrote another. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" commented a third. To the critics, we note: maybe Shahnazaryan will grow it back out. To all sides, we'd point out that her hair still is "long" under Crown Awards standards. If it stays below the shoulders, she could contend in that category next year.
Style surprises are not simply for young stars. Even members of our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame are capable of them. At about the same time that Eva Mendes made a big cut, Marie Osmond of The Talk went to stylist Cody Rinegar with classic brunette hair and came out a blonde. People magazine called it "caramel blonde" - and she displayed a chin-length bob with bangs as well.
Osmond has varied her hair length for decades. But going blonde is something else for her. She declared on Instagram, "I think blondes DO have more fun!" But our voters said brunette is better for her by a 73-percent margin (8-3). No one left a comment, but we think a brighter color will allow us to admire the strength of her hair that much more.
As of March 2020, only one Hispanic woman was a member of our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. Eva Mendes also is a three-time Crown Award winner, thanks to thick brown hair that's probably best known for being long and tempting. But Mendes has displayed short styles at time. And early this year, she's doing it again - switching at the end of January to what she called on Instagram a "first-ever" bob. Stylist "Giannandrea" made it shoulder-length, with Mendes using a headband for control (allowed under our Super-Hair definition).
One of Mendes's co-workers at N.Y. and Company called the short cut "cute." Our Hair Fans didn't write any descriptions in our week-long poll, but perhaps they were disappointed. Longer hair was preferred by 69 percent of them (9-4). Mendes's mane tends to fall in her eyes either way. But consider that headband for a moment. How many Hair Fans would want to get their hands on it for a souvenir, and even take a bite out of it - especially with it on her head?
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 .
When the subject of a home-page poll makes news, we want it to be about her hair. But it's not always that way, and it's not always good. That sadly was the case when we asked you about a short haircut by actress Hayden Panettiere. As the poll began, her boyfriend Brian Hickerson was charged with domestic battery in Wyoming. It's his second arrest along those lines in a year; the first case was dismissed. We truly hope it wasn't about Panettiere's 5 February cut from mid-length soft hair to a chin-length, almost punky bob.
Panettiere wrote on Twitter that Naomi Szloboda gave her a "bomb" hair cut. Our Hair Fans might use that word differently, as in a failed movie. While one voter said, "I love short haircut," 80 percent of the voters prefer Panettiere longer (16-4). We agree with that view, but the new cut looks tough. May her attempts to keep it in place be peaceful and playful.
If you went to the kitchen for a snack at the wrong moment, you missed her. If you changed the channel when people started singing something other than English, you missed her. Hey, we almost missed Gam Wichayanee - as her part of a song from the movie Frozen 2 in Thai didn't last long at the 2020 Academy Awards. But her long hair impressed, compared to other performers that evening. The well-polished look became a runaway winner of our poll for the best style of Oscar night.
Because our camera wasn't ready for Wichayanee's bit, we went to a red carpet photo of her on Twitter. That apparently settled it, as the woman known as "Gam the Star" in Asia collected 60 percent of the votes in a week. On what turned out to be an international night, Penelope Cruz of Spain was second at 20 percent. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Margot Robbie (representing the U.S.) tied for third at 10 percent. And the only woman of our five to win an Oscar, Laura Dern, received no votes at all - which is stunning, because she used to have a loyal following in contests like this. Have they, well, let it go?
Right photo courtesy Parade/Spry Living
From One Day at a Time to Hot in Cleveland, Valerie Bertinelli has been known for eye-catching brunette hair. It was long and tucked behind the ears as a teenager. Then the bangs came out, and made her styles even better. Bertinelli has become a member of our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame - but she's not through with the hair changes, even beyond age 55. Bertinelli has turned it blonde in recent months, as she hosts a cooking show on cable TV.
Does this late change make Bertinelli even better? Our voters said no. A one-week poll ended with 78 percent of Hair Fans prefering her hair darker (7-2). No one left a comment, but we can understand the support of traditionalism. Could Bertinelli be going lighter on the way to gray? You know - one shade at a time?
If any current musical artist displays the scope of the Grammy Awards, it's Bebe Rexha. She's helped write songs for Eminem and Selena Gomez. But she was nominated for a 2020 country Grammy, for a song with the duo Florida-Georgia Line. Rexha didn't sing during the CBS telecast; she merely presented an award. But her shoulder-length combed-over blonde hair was strong and stylish enough to win our poll for the best look of the show.
One website called Rexha's overall look "boss babe." And she ruled the week of voting, piling up 64 percent of them. Gwen Stefani played it safe with long hair behind her shoulders, and that gained her second place at 18 percent. Brandi Carlisle tied for third with nine percent - joined by "Other," who we think came from this comment: "So happy to see Ariana Grande in the mix." She wasn't on our ballot, though, because her usual ponytail doesn't meet our "no-pin" rule for these shows.
Lizzo and Issa Rae struck out, with one Hair Fan writing: "Does anyone think that's Lizzo's real hair?" We thought so, based on other performances; perhaps the voters said no by their silence.
When she was a Gossip Girl, Blake Lively had plenty of competition for the best hairstyle. Since the show ended, her medium-long hair has impressed often. In fact, she called it a personal "safety net" in 2014. But Lively is starting 2020 far outside that net. In her latest movie The Rhythm Section, she displays a 1940s-era Hollywood 'do - but also shows a short cut with bangs taht apparently gets mussed more than once.
We wondered if Lively would look better with short hair - and Hair Fans quickly said no. Our seven-day poll found 91 percent of you want Lively's hair kept longer (10-1). One called the short look "deadly." Considering Lively's character loses her family in a plane crash, that statement is either ironic or sadly prophetic.
Before Michael Bloomberg became a U.S. presidential candidate,or even New York Mayor, he dared to found business news channels on radio and TV. His channels have introduced Hair Fans to some women with marvelous styles. Anchor/reporter Carol Massar was the first one to crack our Top Ten Tresses list in 2010, for short hair which seemingly can't crack under fire. But in the last year or two, Massar has grown out that look - reaching below the shoulders at the end of 2019.
As they might say on Wall Street, are you "sold long" on Massar's new idea? Most of our voters are. A one-week poll found 71 percent of them support the longer hair (10-4). "What a nice improvement!" one wrote. But another said, "I had to think about this one. I could go either way." Massar's showing she can as well - but we fear she's asking for collapsing trouble with the longer style on windy days.
Ricky Gervais set quite a tone for the 2020 Golden Globe Awards - so much that hair-watchers seemed to adapt it on social media. As often happens on Twitter, some people grumbled about every style in the ballroom. In fact, one voter in our week-long poll said "no one" had the best hair. But we found several women who impressed us - such as Ultimate 50 member Salma Hayek. The Mexican actress came out with thick waves which rivaled her first roles in action movies in the 1990s. And to borrow from her new movie, Hayek wore them "Like a Boss", winning our award night contest.
Hayek held off the competition to gain 40 percent of the votes. Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Kerry Washington tied for second with 20 percent. (If you want to take on Washington's short cut, check the video of her on our Twitter feed.) Comic Kate McKinnon followed with 10 percent. Sofia Vergara surprisingly was left with no votes - perhaps overwhelmed by what fellow Latina Hayek did.
First there was Jessica Simpson, a member of the Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. Then came her sister Ashlee, whose hair and styles were quite different. Now there's Emily Simpson... and OK, she's not related to them. But she seems to be the Simpson in the spotlight, thanks to Real Housewives of Orange County. And her long hair impressed some viewers, especially for someone who works as an attorney. It turns out she's worn extensions from time to time. But in December 2019, she showed a layered blown-out shoulder-length look on social media.
Is this Simpson's best look for the start of 2020? Our voters say yes, with the shorter style gaining 73 percent support in a week-long poll (8-3). One praised Simpson for "waves and more volume." And let's face it - shouldn't a hairstyle in Orange County, California have some waves close by?
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