Cutting-Edge Hair News, 2021
Right photo courtesy British Vogue
Jessica Alba still is acting these days, even though you might not be hearing much about it. The one-time "Dark Angel" appeared in a TV series called L.A.'s Finest in recent years. But since turning invisible in a Fantastic Four film, she's become better known as a chief executive of The Honest Company. It turns 10 in January - and maybe that prompted Alba to make a hairstyle change in December. Her honest-ly mid-length hair which looked glamorous for years was cut to a bob barely above the shoulders.
Alba isn't showing the bob on her Instagram account, as we post this - so she's not making a big deal of the change. Hair Fans weren't sure if it's a big deal or not; our one-week poll ended with an even split on the bob (4-4). We personally prefer Alba longer, even though those styles drop from time to time. They're more exciting and dramatic - especially compared to our right photo with an ultra-careful headband.
TV dancing shows have a history of displaying outstanding hairstyles. Rosemarie Ford was a pioneer of that in the 1990s, with Britain's Come Dancing. Then Samantha Harris showed remarkable long hair on the U.S. version of Dancing With the Stars. Now we've found Jennifer (Maguire) Zamparelli - a national radio host by day and co-host of Ireland's Stars show by night. As her 2022 TV season approaches, Zamparelli has decided to make her brunette hair easier to see after dark. She had a stylist turn her hair blonde over several weeks, writing on Instagram: "First time being so light!"
"Jen Zed" is not quite a Jen-Zero with this change, but our one-week question ended with 63% of you supporting her as a brunette (5-3). For one voter, it was about more than color: "Brunette with bangs!" That's another significant change here, even though it wasn't Zamparelli's focus. Clearly her hair can fall in her eyes easily with the bangs grown out. But consider what else she wrote to her styliston Instagram: "...thanks for talking me out of chopping it all off."
Our Top Ten Tresses list admittedly tends to lean toward women who have consistent styles - not simply in their appearance, but in their hold. Based on that, Malika Andrews may be one of the most challenging members we've ever had. Her natural curls from her coverage of pro basketball put her on the list. But now, the new host of ESPN's NBA Today seems to change her hair with every program. On one day in November, she even showed up with her curls straightened - putting some flow and flex into her walks around the set.
Should Andrews stay on the straight side with her styles? Our voters say no: 80% of them in a one-week poll prefer her with curls (4-1). "Natural is best," one voter wrote simply. And for some Hair Fans, they'd be a lot more interesting to touch. To us, the straight look seemed riskier for Andrews; it's not her usual approach, so we wonder if she'd know how to handle trouble with it. But the curls give Andrews the advantage of experience in dangerous situations - and an extra degree of hair control, because we can't imagine a test stretching those tight rings too far out of position.
Left photo courtesy Heavy
Charleston, South Carolina is known for old homes, high arching bridges (so ships can pass under them) - and, it appears, some attractive hairstyles that aren't always obvious. The Bravo reality series Southern Charm shows some of them, including mother-of-two entrepreneur Kathryn Dennis. The Bravo "bio" for Dennis shows her with mid-length red hair. Yet in some seasons, Dennis has been as blonde as stereotypical women on the Atlantic coast of Florida. So it was noteworthy 1 Dec when Dennis posted an outside photo on Instagram with red locks again and the comment: "We always end up returning to our roots."
Did Dennis do well to go red again? Our Hair Fans had no doubt. They were unanimous for red hair (8-0), with one voter commenting: "Blonde looks too fake." Very well - but as a TV viewer commented on Dennis's picture, going blonde seemingly gained her a boyfriend.
It started with our search for a "quote of the month" atop our home page. It led to an article that Emily Flamme wrote about "old wives' tales" for The Quinnipiac Chronicle. Then we realized that it's a student newspaper, at the local university. Flamme is the Managing Editor, and she seems to manage her long hair well (especially with hints of wave, which she might have added). So we made her a Best Mane on Campus - and now, you've selected her as the best BMOC of the 2021-22 season.
Our "Elite Eight Week" included outstanding styles from New England to the Rockies - but Flamme fired up voters the most, winning 43 percent of them. Then came a four-way tie for second: Avery Collins of Tennessee, Genevieve Crenshaw of Boise State, Ella Gardner from Fairfield (only 33 miles from Quinnipiac) and Regan LaVigna of Youngstown State. The biggest surprise here may have been Collins. A City League champion and Top Ten Tresses member may have been outnumbered here. Or could it be that journalists know something about hair that cheerleaders don't?
Her first single song is called Driver's License. And Olivia Rodrigo is becoming a driving force in pop culture - whether she's covering her face with shiny speckles for a music video or endorsing COVID-19 vaccines at the White House. Rodrigo made our Hot List in 2021 for enticing long hair. She added some soft waves to perform a soft song at the American Music Awards, and was rewarded with a firm victory in our poll for the best hairstyle of the night.
Our one-week contest ended with Rodrigo receiving 60% of your votes. Country singer Mickey Guyton and West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler tied for second at 20% each. But we're surprised that a write-in campaign didn't develop for BTS. Kpop singer Yoongi showed up with orange hair, which dominated the AMA hair discussion on Twitter. When Taylor Swift fans can barely get a word in, you know there's a new leader of the pop pack.
When we put Dove Cameron on our Hot List in September 2020, we admitted we were late to the TV series which made her famous. She played both title roles in the Disney comedy Liv and Maddie. Based on the pictures we've seen, you could tell them apart by their hairstyles. One was much looser, but both women were blonde. But now Cameron is offering a new distinction. She appeared in Hollywood in November with brunette hair, after claiming in 2020 that over-dying the blondeness was making strands fall out.
Is a darker shade more Dove-ly to you? Our six-day poll was close, but the blonde shade won 57 percent of your votes (4-3). While no one left a comment, we think the lighter look makes Cameron appear more dynamic - although we consider it strange that she has to dye the hair even to keep its natural color. That would drive us... well, a bit Mad-die.
Courtesy CMA Awards
If you thought awards shows in most of 2020 were strange due to COVID-19, consider the 2021 Country Music Association Awards. Do a Twitter search for "CMAAwards hair", and you won't find much. Mickey Guyton's song Love My Hair dominated, but hardly any other women were discussed. In fact, the "Pickens" were "Slim" (some of you may have to search for that, too) when we tried to find quality hairstyles for a ballot. In the end, the winner was a relative newcomer. Gabby Barrett ran away with your votes for the best style of the show.
A five-day poll which started after the telecast ended led to Barrett's long locks capturing 57 percent. Second place was a three-way tie between Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert and "Other" (be sure you leave a comment explaining who that person is). One voter wasn't thrilled by any of our five: "This isn't your grandmother's country music big haired women!" Well, hold on. Guyton's hair was big in her song - but that was clearly an Afro wig.
First of all, we owe Anne Hathaway an apology. For calling her "Anne." She told an interviewer she prefers "Annie," instead of her stage name. But we're not apologizing for posting her often here. That's because she's not afraid to change her hairstyle for a movie role. Bangs in The Devil Wears Prada earned Hathaway a Crown Award. And in the fall of 2021, Hathaway stepped out in public not with her traditional longer hair, but with short waves that stop at her collar. She did that for a movie role as well - the upcoming 1980s-era drama Armageddon Time.
Is Hathaway's new look the end of the world as we know it? Our voters might not go that far, but 73% of them want her style kept longer (8-3). Our eight-day poll brought comments on both sides. "From princess to plain," one wrote. "Short hair is great," said another. And one person was skeptical about the whole thing: "If it's not a wig, it looks like a wig in the photo." Fashion magazines aren't ruling that out, and Hathaway is mum about that as we post this. But remember - she once went through a head-shaving on film
For some people, life begins at 40. For others, it's the point of a midlife crisis. We're not sure if either cliche fits Christina Aguilera, who turns 41 in December. But the one-time teen pop star is trying hard to stay musically relevant in a world with Grandes and Rodrigos. A new project with Latin singing stars finds Aguilera making a major adjustment. The bright blonde hair which became part of her reputation turned dark red for a series of Instagram photos.
Is the singer of Pa Mis Muchachas better as a "roja"? Our voters X'ed it out like her Twitter handle, as 78 percent in an extended nine-day poll preferred Aguilera as a blonde. Only 11 percent like her red, while another 11 percent suggest she try another color (7-1-1). That color probably isn't brunette; Hair Fans rejected that almost 20 years ago. And the Instagram pictures show her hair so messy that it may be time for Aguilera to consider her 2006 album - Back to Basics.
We opened a new Crown Award category for Best Silver Hair in 2018 - and it suddenly seems like all kinds of women want to be in the running. Even hot models in their mid-30s are "going gray." Megan Fox traded her usual brunette shade for silver in October, as she shot the upcoming movie Johnny and Clyde. Fox said on Instagram about it: "This is what the devil's daughter looks like."
Instagram counted more than 3.2 million "likes" about Fox's new look. But we doubt many were from our voters. Only 14 percent in our weeklong poll think she's better with silver hair (1-6). No one left a comment, but we agree with the majority. Fox's mane can be lush when she doesn't wet it down, which for some reason she often does on the red carpet. Traditionalists would add that the only true "Silver Fox" was the late singer Charlie Rich.
It's a rare treat when two Top Ten Tresses members come together. But that happened in Helsinki 4 Oct 21, when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin. "Uber Ursula" brought her usual strong short cut. But Marin seemed to defer to her - as in the days before the meeting, the Prime Minister received a major trim in her medium-long hair. Marin appeared with a bouncy shoulder-length style, still protectively tucked behind her ears.
The mainstream media in Europe seemed curiously quiet about the change in what one German columnist has called Marin's "plausible hair." (If Donald Trump made a big hair change, we think things would be very different.) But we're not afraid to ask about such things - and our voters agreed with our opinion. Three-fourths of Hair Fans say Marin's mane is better with longer hair (6-2). No one left a comment, but the shorter cut strikes us as more youthful - almost too youthful for someone with her position. If Marin puts on a beret, she might pass for a student at a university in Paris. And she might need a beret outside in coming months, because the hair now seems more in danger of dropping in her eyes.
In professional wrestling, it's not about whether blondes have more fun. The question may be whether blondes win more title belts. Mandy Rose went up and down for years between WWE and the seemingly second-division NXT as a "Golden Goddess" blonde. But a Hair Fan pointed out to us a change by Rose in September 2021 - not to rose-red hair, but a brunette shade. Rose said in an interview: "I'm tired of everyone saying she's just a hot blonde.... I'm actually loving the dark hair, and I think I look even hotter."
That's typical wrestlers' boasting by Rose - but do viewers agree that she looks "edgier" and better? A majority said yes; our one-week poll ended with 63 percent preferring Rose as a brunette (5-3). "She generally had dark roots, which took away from her look," one supporter of the change wrote. That Hair Fan found it funny that the brunette Rose now is considered "a 'bad guy' in the wrestling federation." That's what happens when you turn to... (wait for it)... the dark side.
Even the most casual movie fan knows Reese Witherspoon is Legally Blonde - as in two movies with that title. She won an Academy Award and a Crown Award for other films, but they helped establish her reputation. So when Witherspoon went to work on Apple TV's drama The Morning Show, her fans must have been shocked. Witherspoon was on the anchor desk as a brown brunette - as if co-star Jennifer Aniston (who's a Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member, after all) laid down the law about whose style should dominate. It turns out Witherspoon put on a wig for that color change. She confirmed Season 2 of the series will display her as blonde, as part of the plot.
If a real morning show anchor made a color switch like this, we'd be all over it here. So it only seemed fair to ask you which Witherspoon look is better. The week-long vote went as we expected: blonde is more "legal" for 86 percent of you (6-1). Some Hair Fans probably can't wait to see how Aniston's character responds to this. Will there be a Super-Hair War in the dressing room - as in wrestling? Stay tuned....
When she hunted for UFO's on The X-Files in the 1990s, it sometimes seemed like Gillian Anderson's hair was as supernatural as the mysteries she pursued. her short styles could be shaken, but they didn't collapse that often. Anderson kept her hair short in recent years (even bald for an upcoming movie) - but it was flowingly below the shoulders when she accepted an Emmy Award for The Crown in September 2021. That look won the respect of Hair Fans, as she was voted the best style of the multi-city awards show.
Anderson pulled away during our week of voting, to end with 57 percent of the count. Second place went to a woman who didn't "glam up" her hair at all. Alyson Hannigan had flat-looking long locks for a support group sketch, but that still earned her 29 percent. Write-in Cecily Strong was third at 14 percent; we admittedly missed her because she only made the Emmy stage with the rest of the Saturday Night Live cast for a group award. Fellow comic Mindy Kaling struck out with our voters, as did MJ Rodriguez and surprise rapper Rita Wilson.
Margot Robbie is an actress with a wild side. For instance, she threw a birthday party based on the reality show Love Island - and appeared in movies such as Suicide Squad. But does her blonde hair need to be, well, dyed? The Hollywood paparazzi caught Robbie with red hair as she filmed an upcoming movie called Babylon. But it was blonde again when she went to movies in Los Angeles during mid-September.
Is a red Robbie a better Robbie? Our voters left no doubt about this. Everyone in our one-week poll preferred the actress as a redhead (7-0). No one left a comment about the color or her cut. They might be leaving that to Babylon star Brad Pitt - because the inevitable romance rumors have started, and Pitt's relationship with Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member Jennifer Aniston is legend.
It's not easy to win two Crown Awards in the same year. Only one woman did it in the voting for 2020 - a woman that people outside Colorado probably didn't know before. Sam Boik was a Denver Broncos cheerleader, then a TV traffic reporter. In both roles, she displayed a dramatic angle cut with hair sticking strongly at the brink of her left eye. That look made her a two-time winner for Best Short Hair. But now that Boik works at a mortgage firm, she's made a change. A Twitter photo in August showed her with the sidepart seemingly gone, and a bowl cut framing her face with bangs filling her forehead.
Do Boik's bangs have you bouyant? Our voters backed them strongly, with 78 percent supporting the change (7-2). One Hair Fan called it a "cuter look." It's certainly safer, in terms of keeping the hair out of Boik's face. But for those who want to see that hair in her eyes, it poses a challenge. How would you get it there - especially since we know Boik has ways of keeping even the riskiest styles perfectly in place? Women with Super-Hair know how to stay a step ahead of danger.
When Britain's Prince Charles and then-Diana Spencer became engaged in 1981, the first thing many people probably noticed about Spencer was her well-cut hairstyle. One modern writer described it as a "feathered shag." Short sideparts with occasionally sizzled-back bangs became iconic for her. So production crews telling the late Princess Diana's story on TV and in movies in 2021 have to have the hair right. Emma Corrin appeared first in season four of The Crown. Then came teasers of Kristen Stewart in the upcoming Spencer.
Which of these "Diana" would win a Super-Hair War? The outcome of our one-week poll stunned us, as Corrin shut Stewart out (6-0) - even though we expected complaints about the Corrin picture not showing the complete style. But here's something potentially more stunning: both women are wearing wigs in their roles! One member of The Crown production team said the actual cut on Corrin would hsve been "abject cruelty." Apparently she meant the color - although "the do's of Diana" which we examine in a Style Profile don't seem st first blush to be that hard to copy.
The history of TV game shows is filled with women displaying outstanding hairstyles. For instance, Vanna White is in your Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. But before she began turning letters on Wheel of Fortune, there was Carol Merrill on the Let's Make a Deal display floor. She hardly said a word, but her perfect hair often spoke volumes. The current version of that show features Tiffany Coyne, who has a microphone and even the title of co-host. And like Merrill, Coyne has displayed a range of hairstyles. We saw her on a summer day in 2021 with locks below her shoulders - but at other times, the style has been cut above her shoulders.
We asked you which "Coyne" is more on the money - and it was like choosing between a big box and a curtain. Hair Fans couldn't decide, with a one-week poll ending in a tie (6-6). One voter wrote that the longer look has "nicer color." But a last-minute comment said: "I love short hair because I love it." It's very hard to argue with logic like that - but to Coyne's credit, it's also hard to find a moment when any of her styles have collapsed.
Canada won our first Super-Hair World Cup in 2002. But only a couple of Canadians have a place in your Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. The first was singer Shania Twain, for her playful long brunette styles. But she's sometimes taken chances with her hair - adding shades of red, and even "blonde periods." The summer of 2021 has been another blonde time for Twain, although she hasn't made a big deal about it. Photos on Instagram brought a strong enough reaction that the change became online hair-watching news.
Is Twain on the right, uh, track by lightening "Up" her hair? Our one-week poll revealed most Hair Fans turn it down. Only 13 percent like the blonde color, while 50 percent prefer the original brunette and 38 percent called for another color (1-4-3). No one left a comment, so we're left to wonder what that "another color" might be. Should Twain go really Canadian, and add red maple leafs?
Both women are considered "beauties." One is a former Miss USA contestant - the other the current Miss Universe. Kristi Capel (left) and Andrea Meza both clearly have learned the secrets to marvelous hair. They're on display day after day - Capel on Cleveland television, Meza in public appearances and Mexican modeling. So when they joined in a contest for the best hairstyle in the world, Hair Fans couldn't decide between them. They tie for the top spot in our 2021 "Who's Number One Week" poll!
Our annual public vote to rank the Top Ten Tresses ended with Capel and Meza at matching 25-percent scores. A four-way tie for third place followed among our #1, Alyson Acklin, Adriana Diaz, Jennifer Morgan and Ursula von der Leyen. The other four members of the Top 10 received no votes - but a Hair Fan submitted email during the week to argue that one of those four should be removed from the list for a hair drop. As we write this, we're looking into that. But in the meantime, we're thankful that for once, no one left a comment grumbling about how we got it all wrong.
Right photo courtesy Wireimage/Page Six
Actress Andie MacDowell is in our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame for several reasons. Her history of long, flowing curls may be the main reason. But a rich brunette color only has played a role - so much so that L'Oreal made that the focus of MacDowell's ad campaigns. But at age 63, she's decided it's time for her hair to act its age. She appeared at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival with what she called "salt-and-papper" hair. MacDowell said she wanted to enjoy that color, before it went completely gray.
Which look is more advantageous for Andie - the old look or the "older" one? Our voters couldn't decide; a one-week poll ended with a 50-50 tie (6-6). "Natural is better!" said the only comment. MacDowell thanks that voter - because in her words, "I've never felt more powerful." Her children agree. But oh, what bold color on a head of Super-Hair can do for some Hair Fans....
So who ultimately won an ugly fight inside ESPN, between two women with beautiful hairstyles? To review: Rachel Nichols (left) was caught on tape making comments about Maria Taylor hosting 2021 NBA Finals coverage. Nichols said it was her role by contract, and speculated Taylor was boosted by ESPN's "record on diversity". Some took that as a racial slap. Nichols was removed from ESPN's sideline coverage of the Finals, reportedly at Taylor's request. But after the NBA title was settled, Taylor's ESPN contract expired and she signed a new deal with NBC Sports. Nichols apologized to Taylor and remained at ESPN, at least through the NBA Draft.
In all of this, no one has brought Nichols and Taylor together to settle the tension - and we realized that Nichols is a Crown Award winner with several nominations, while Taylor is a Top Ten Tresses member. Both women have shown outstanding hold in their hair, so we asked you which one would win a Super-Hair War. After one week, Nichols prevailed by a two-thirds margin (8-4). One commenter thinks she uses "fewer extensions and straightener" - but another added: "Her roots (and pettiness and possible bigotry) are showing."
If it was a real-life "one-fall" War, we're not truly sure who would win. We think it would be a great battle, as Nichols's waves look stronger, while Taylor's background tells us she's quite athletic. Apart from that, Taylor now may have more money - but will she have more sports to cover? Sports network NBCSN is scheduled to close at the end of 2021, and is surrendering pro hockey rights. So we won't be surprised if Taylor somehow winds up with her own reality show on Peacock.
There was a time when serving as a main Washington correspondent was the best goal for a TV reporter to have. But cable news/talk channels have changed that. Kasie Hunt covered the U.S. Congress for NBC News, then added a weekend talk show on MSNBC. She advanced (?) to a daily cable show in September 2020, but at 5:00 a.m. ET. Apparently that was Way Too Early for Hunt, so she left in July for a new role at CNN. Through it all, Hunt's hair hasn't received a lot of attention. But it's changed in recent years, from a rounded shoulder-length style to a wavier and longer look in her final weeks at MSNBC.
We Hunt-ed for your opinion on which style is better - and the outcome was like the U.S. Senate in 2021: a 50-50 split between longer and shorter (5-5). The only comment was a straddler as well: "I love.... Hunt and I'll miss her super early morning show. Thanks for recognizing her hair...." It seems silly for us to ask Vice President Kamala Harris to break the deadlock on this issue. So we suggest the CNN style team keep Hunt longer - because with the right spray, that look should be able to last through any filibuster.
Her grandfather was a nationally-known Pentecostal gospel preacher. But Jessica Schambach's work doesn't always have "good news." She's a longtime TV news anchor in Oklahoma City. Yet even when the news is bad, Hair Fans know her hairstyles frequently are good. She was voted the City League champion of her area in 2007, and remains unchallenged in 2021. Yet Schambach has experimented with her hair over the years - sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. And as summer heat arrived in Oklahoma, she dared to follow the blonde trend.... a little. A picture posed with a new co-worker in July showed highlights mixed with her usually-brunette mane.
Is Schambach on to something here? Not according to our voters; 63 percent of them said she should stick to the all-brunette look (5-3). But it wasn't completely about color: "Side part is a better look," one voter wrote. Schambach's latest style has the part closer to the center. That's the trendy approach, too - and if Schambach can keep it in place, Hair Fans watching KOCO still might go "cuckoo" with delight.
Right photo courtesy Vox Live
When she was simply Meghan Markle, the actress on the TV series Suits had hair which was nice but not outstanding. When she became the partner of Britain's Prince Harry, people seemed to pay more attention. Markle's edge-of-the-eye normal style picked up a Crown Award nomination, but lost a showdown here to "Princess Catherine" Middleton. Yet 2021 has brought "Princess Meghan" even more of a spotlight - not only with her controversial comments to Oprah Winfrey, but by having a baby girl. And hair-watchers noted Meghan grew out her hair during the pregnancy. It wound up below the bust line, longer than anyone can remember seeing it.
Has the Duchess of Sussex found success with this change? Our voters say yes, with eight out of ten preferring the longer look. "Not only is the length better, but the style is much better," one Hair Fan wrote - a reference to Meghan adding some curl. It's not the all-natural curl some people have wanted to see for years from her, but it's probably very tough for Harry to unbend and straighten in romantic moments. (That is something royals do, isn't it?)
There may be a lot of stunning styles in Scandinavia, but for some reason we don't hear much about them. Finland's Sanna Marin made history as a youthful Prime Minister. The women of ABBA (especially Ultimate 50 member Agnetha) became international stars. But what the royal families of northern Europe? Hair watchers were drawn during the 2021 "midsummer" celebration to Sweden's Princess Sofia [Hellqvist] - a woman who was a fashion model before she married into the castle. That background tells us she should know how to keep hair looking good. And Sofia made headlines with her medium-long hair by adding what one website called "subtle bangs" on each side - a variation on the "curtain bangs" that many women have tried.
Is a small change a big gain for the Duchess of Varmland? "Meh," one Hair Fan wrote during our weeklong poll; "there's not much difference." The bangs subtly won, by a 57-percent margin (4-3) But they're clearly not trimmed enough to win a battle for hold on a windy day. The bits of curl on either side would have to be steel-tough - and we hope the royal paparazzi will be ready to watch them.
The "summer blonde" trend is tempting some women that you might have never expected. Consider the Sister Sister twins of the 1990s TV comedy. Tia and older sister Tamera Mowry had similar long hairstyles, since looking alike was at times a part of the plot. But now they're in their 40s, living separate lives with sometimes different ideas. Tia (Hardict) cut her hair to what one website called a "pixie" look shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. in 2020. Now her hair is longer again, but much brighter. "You can call me blondie," she declared on Instagram in mid-June - even joining the "curtain bangs" trend, after declaring for her natural curls one year earlier.
We could have asked you a lot of questions about Tia's change. We settled on the most obvious one - and it may surprise you to learn three-fourths of our voters support Tia turning blonde (6-2). No one left a comment about the change. But perhaps that's obvious, too - that Hair Fans now have no problem telling the Mowry sisters apart.
Some countries have a constant flow of new outstanding hairstyles. But others have one woman who's become the style standard-bearer. In Colombia, that woman is the Latin rock star Shakira - an entry as far back as the first Cup of the Americas in 2003, and the third-place finisher in 2019. Shakira is best known for long, sometimes-wild blonde hair. But in early 2021, she suddenly went red - and not for the first time. Online reports show it also happened in 1999 and 2017. During one change, she simply wrote online: "Redheads have more fun."
We asked Hair Fans which color should be the color for Shakira. One week later, the blondes prevailed with 50 percent, compared with 30 percent for red and 20 percent for an unspecified alternative. For one, "cherry red" was too red - not "a natural color." Another supported Shakira in any shade, but wondered about our "before" picture: "Not sure why she would cut her hair.... long thick hair is her thing." That short cut was from 2011, so maybe the coach on The Voice learned a lesson from it.
One problem we face in preparing City League contests is that TV station websites don't always have current photos of their on-air staffs. While we rely on them, we realize that women can change their hairstyles from week to week. That may be the case with Julie Luck. She won the Greensboro, North Caroline City League title on her third try with a medium-long look. But as that tournament concluded, we noticed Luck had returned to a short style which is more customary for her. We added her to our Super-Hair Wars based on what we thought was a scintillating selfie - and it won Luck two matches, falling only a couple of voters short of a third.
Luck kept the longer approach as her Twitter icon after the cut - so we asked you which "Luck look" is more luscious. A one-week poll ended with the shorter style prevailing by a 62-percent margin (8-5). One voter suggested a mix: "Old color and new style would be the best... richer color and looks very silky." But we also received emails during the week indicating we didn't have a proper "new" short photo. One described seeing "a generic blob. No face. No hair." Either some mobile phone users need to widen their screens a bit more - or we prefer to call this a marvelous mass of a mane.
Right photo courtesy People
When some women talk about making a "big, crazy, loud change" in their look, Hair Fans hold their breaths. Could a flawless head of Super-Hair be on the verge of ruin - especially considering what 2020 brought? Thankfully, this quote came from Mandy Moore of This Is Us - a woman who doesn't have a reputation for going too wild. Her change for the U.S. summer was a switch from brunette hair to blonde (although she talked about shaving her head years ago).
Other celebrities who become "summer blondes" don't impress our voters (see Selena Gomez below) - but Moore is an exception. Our one-week poll found 57 percent prefer her as a blonde (4-3). One voter suggested Moore mix her manes: "Old color and new style would be the best." The "new" waves are something we hadn't considered - but Moore has shown her hair can be strong and attractive may different ways. After all, that is her.
Netflix has become such a dominant name in video that it's hard to keep track of what's new and who's involved with them. Bridgerton rose above the pack, perhaps its setting reminds people of Downton Abbey (only decades earlier). The headline stars include Britain's Phoebe Dynevor, whose mid-length hair is normally blonde instead of the royal red of the series. But in the wake of Season 1, Dynevor apparently decided to turn art into real life. A stylist turned her hair "copper," as some websites put it - and added bangs to boot.
High-risk "curtain bangs" are a trend in the middle of 2021. Even Jennifer Lopez has them, only much longer. But our voters seem to like the length of Dynevor. Her new look won unanimous support in our week-long poll (6-0). OK, we hear you - but we're disappointed by a couple of things here. The stylist could have taken a photo with all the hair on display. But maybe Dynevor is trying to be mysterious about the style - because when she stepped outside in London with the paparazzi waiting, she covered it with a ball cap.
Left photo courtesy Evoke
She may be Ireland's most famous name in modeling and fashion blogging. But Pippa O'Connor was born in Florida, and has stereotypical blonde hair to match. She's kept it at shoulder-length or a bit longer for a long time. But in mid-May, she wrote an Instagram message which proves she's picked up the British Isles lingo: "I fancied a fringe." In other words, O'Connor wanted bangs - and she gave credit to stylist Tracey Rafter of Peter Mark salons for "making me feel good again."
We don't know why "Pipsy Pie" was not feeling good. But this change brought mixed feelings from our Hair Fans. A one-week poll ended with 56 percent saying O'Connor is better without the fringe (5-4). While no one left a comment, we'd note the bangs are not cut very deeply. That means the risk of her dropping in her eyes might actually be higher now - although to her credit, pictures of a defeat are very hard to find.
The U.S. may be coming out of "COVID quarantine" (our sympathies to places still enduring it), but the celebrity hairstyle changes keep coming. In fact, Selena Gomez seems to do it on a regular basis. She's been long. She's been short - even as short as a bob. She's had bangs. She's had none. And there was no doubt that the actress-singer was a brunette when she won a Crown Award in 2007 - but Gomez has even changed that a couple of times. She appeared at the "Vax Live" concert in May looking like she's already spent days at the beach, because her hair clearly was blonde.
Has Gomez made a timely change for a California summer? Our voters don't think so. A week-long poll ended with 78 percent preferring her brunette (7-2). That's actually an improvement from 2017, when Gomez made a similar color change. Gomez also did better in our comments section - as no one wrote anything about the change, compared with the snarks of '17.
Every Academy Awards program includes honors for Best Actor and Best Actress. Sometimes performers even do short acting routines during the show. But how many do an acting job all the way from the salon, before going to the ceremony? One-time Best Actress and Crown Award winner Halle Berry did with her hair in 2021. She showed up on the restricted red carpet with a bowl/bob cut that reminded us a bit of Edna Mode in The Incredibles. We hesitated to talk about it on Twitter on Oscar night - and we wound up looking brilliant. After social media had its collective say, Berry revealed on Instagram four days later that her real hair was still long and the short cut was a wig.
Berry won her first Crown for a makeover to longer hair - and our voters' view on that hasn't changed. A one-week poll ended with 91 percent preferring the long look (10-1). Even though we clearly noted a wig was at work here, one voter found a deeper lesson for all women: "Never get drunk and cut your own hair with a pair of dull scissors."
It seemed at times like the 2021 Academy Awards show was more like the BET Movie Awards. Black performers and specialists appeared often and won several Oscars. The program even was rearranged, obviously on the theory that the late Chadwick Boseman would win the final prize - except he didn't. Our contest for the best hairstyle of the night was shaken up as well, due to Wi-Fi and web server headaches. But when all was said and done, actress Marlee Martin was your choice for the most outstanding hairdo.
The poll was shortened to 6.5 days due to our problems. But the long hair of Matlin was preferred by 56 percent of you. Laura Dern almost had a drop on camera, but we gave her the benefit of the doubt and that led her to second place at 22 percent. Third place was a tie at 11 percent between Sharon Choi, the translator for a South Korean director, and the long hair of Zendaya. Her fight against a red-carpet breeze was a mandatory retweet for us (albeit well-edited), and showed how a Super-style deals with potential disaster.
"Nashville is back," co-host Keith Urban declared at the start of the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards. Well, perhaps it was better to say that the ACMs were "back" in Nashville. The top competition for the CMAs landed in Tennessee for the first time last fall, after decades in places such as Beverly Hills and Las Vegas. The COVID-19 change probably allowed more country stars to participate in 2020 and 2021. And this year, that allowed veteran performer and presenter Martina McBride to be voted the best hairstyle of the show.
McBride received 31 percent of Hair Fan votes over an unexpectedly-extended eight days. One voter wondered if she was auditioning for a remake of the Jsne Fonda film Klute. Ashley McBryde (no relation) tied for second with big winner Maren Morris at 23 percent. They were followed by Carly Pearce with 15 percent and Cece Winans at eight percent. While "Other" received no votes, one commenter wanted to choose "none of the above" because the styles seemed dull.
"Where's the big hair country women are known for?" the Hsir Fan asked. It was there, depending on your definition of "big." Carrie Underwood and co-host Mickey Guyton had long extensions, but we knew what the response would be to that. Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman brought her usual wide curls to the show - but the group didn't appear until the final 10 minutes of the show, too late for us to change the ballot before closing time.
"Who?" a Hair Fan asked when we posted photos of Julia Barretto on our hone page. We'll answer that by quoting from a web site in the Philippines: "Julia Barretto is undeniably one of the most beautiful celebrities in the country." Her hair might not be beautiful enough to place her in our AAA Cup 2021, but the actress and vlogger has more than 10 million followers on Instagram. So when Barretto announced online that she cut her hair "for an upcoming series that I'm doing soon," her homeland paid attention. The style had been several inches below the shoulders; now it appears to stop at the shoulders.
Barretto's trim received more than 322,000 likes on Instagram. Among our Hair Fans, it received only one in a week - as only 20 percent of voters like the cut (1-4). The lack of votes either way may have been reflected in a different comment: "Meh... neither style is anything to brag about." So much for introducing you to a rising star.
Winning a City League title as the best hairstyle in a city is an honor. Winning two of them is downright rare. But Ann Keil has done it - first in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2010 (left), then again after moving to Orlando to advance her television news career. Now Keil has changed location again, along with her line of work. She's a married mom in Miami, calling herself on LinkedIn an "on-camera readiness coach and consultant, media trainer, speaker and brand strategist." And through it all, Keil has lengthened her hairstyle - these days showing mid-length waves, as opposed to the shorter cut of Tennessee days.
She's now known as Ann Keil Dux (we're tempted to spell it "deux" for two titles) - and Hair Fans think the longer look should be her claim to fame. It won a strong 88-percent majority in our week-long poll (14-2). "Ride the waves!" one voter rooted. Another suggested she "should have kept the sidepart/bangs." Maybe so, but we think Keil Dux has a 'do that seems ready to take on any south Florida breeze without budging.
How does someone become a "reality TV star", anyway? We're not sure which came first for Britain's Molly-Mae Hague - a fashion degree, a line of tanning products, an account on Instagram with five million followers or the series Love Island.. Whichever it was, Hague has become a familiar name among the london tabloids. Now she's using her fame to sell a new hair-straightening tool, but she's somehow showing off two hairstyles at the same time. Her styling product promotion has her hair very long, while her stylist showed off a trim to a shoulder-length bob during March.
We could go to The Hague for a ruling on which style is better. But we left it to Hair Fans, as we so often do - and two-thirds of them want Hague's hair to stay short (10-5). "Shorter has more style," one voter said; "long just hangs." Of course, that may be what straightened hair is intended to do. But a supporter of the long look said Hague is "worth following on Instagram." We hope this isn't heartbreaking news, but Hague revealed there in March that she wears extensions. Worn very well, apparently.
The role of "medical expert" on TV newscasts used to be authoritative. But COVID-19 changed many things, leaving even well-known doctors open to questions of scientific bias. Dr. Jennifer Ashton has endured through all of that - first at CBS News, and currently at ABC. Her hairstyles have endured as well, but she recently made a notable change in her look. Cuts that have been shoulder-length or longer for more than a decade became shorter - now barely reaching Ashton's shoulders.
Is this a more healthful look for the doctor? Our voters think Ashton should get a second opinion. The longer style was preferred by 89 percent of them in our one-week question (8-1). The "one" declared, "Short hair is best." But from the other side: "Looks like she thinned it out when she went shorter." We'd note there's a 12-year gap between our two photos, and Ashton now is over 50. But clearly there's a difference in hair quality between Jennifer Ashton and one-year-older Jennifer Aniston.
The Grammy Awards are open to all kinds of music and recordings. The awards show can be open to all sorts of celebrities and their hairstyles. Country singer Mickey Guyton (left) performed with a simple shoulder-length style. Soul performer H.E.R. (right) accepted an award with locks stretching nearly to her waist. Both are Black musicians from a wide range, yet both joined to tie in our poll for the best hair of Grammy night - but not without a little controversy.
"No extensions allowed!" one Hair Fan wrote right away. "Should be REAL hair only!" That apparently was aimed at H.E.R., who has been extra-long at the Grammys before. The Instagram account of her stylist actually had questions about buying her hair. While Nina Monique stayed silent about that, she indeed sells extentions.
Yet on a night filled with pinned and tied-back styles, we gave H.E.R. the benefit of the doubt - and she deadlocked with Guyton at 27 percent of the vote. Maren Morris was third at 18%. Then came rock drummer Danielle Haim, extra-large styled Beyonce and "Other" at nine percent. By the way, one supporter of H.E.R. suggested the letters should stand for, "Her Extensions Rock."
Right photo courtesy Soap Opera News
What looks like a great head of hair to one person can be an outright fraud to another. No one made that clearer during the 21st annual Crown Awards season than Kiara Barnes. A Hair Fan offered her for Best Hairstyle in a Soap Opera/Telenovela for The Bold and the Beautiful. We put her on the ballot. And another Hair Fan quickly objected, writing Barnes "wears the worst wigs in soap operas." But during the voting, Barnes unveiled a new style which was quite different from the long hair she displayed on Twitter and the program in late 2020. She called the short tight cut "a new side of me" on her Instagram feed.
With long hair, Barnes finished a strong second in her Crown category. With this change, Barnes finished second again. The longer look won the week-long poll of our votes by a narrow 54-percent margin (6-5). "Shorter is more real," one voter wrote. "The vast majority of her wigs have been subpar," said another; "fake-looking, if you know what I mean." So maybe not beautiful - but still somewhat bold?!
You know times are confusing for Hair Fans when the movie "Wonder Woman" displays a style touching her shoulders - and she gets praised online for wearing her hair down. That's what happened at the Golden Globe Awards when Gal Gadot took the stage. The show was moved back several weeks on the 2021 calendar due to COVID-19, but Gadot was in person with half-glamorous half-touchable waves in a sidepart. They impressed enough of you that "G.G." was voted the Golden Globes' best head of hair.
Gadot gathered 40 percent of the votes in our one-week poll, which began right after the telecast ended. Amanda Seyfried almost matched her, with long flowing waves winning 30% support. A three-way tie at 10% followed between Salma Hayek, an unknown "Other" (be sure to write a comment with which woman you mean) and co-host Amy Poehler.
Poehler may go down in history as the first woman to have her hair stroked by a fellow co-host. It was actually a stand-in for Tina Fey, who was in New York while Poehler was in Los Angeles. We think Fey's marvelous style drooped into an eye at one point in the show, disqualifying her from our ballot. But how many Hair Fans would want to be her "stunt double" at that moment?
Photos courtesy The Sun
Even hair-watchers can need vision checks at times. We clearly do, after calling a British glamour model "Kelly Price" for a week. No, that's the U.S. soul and gospel singer - or perhaps a TV sports reporter in Atlanta. The woman we posted was KATIE Price, after a tabloid showed her with a big hairstyle change. She gained fame in the U.K. for long hair and a (ahem) well-built body. But in the first weeks of 2021, Price said she was ready to be taken "more seriously" - and for her, that meant displaying a sideparted bob that didn't extend lower than the nape of the neck.
So we got the "Price" wrong - but did she get her hair right? Our voters leaned against it, with 57 percent of them preferring her hair longer (8-6). One voter asked of the short cut: "Is that a wax figure?" Nope, because The Sun has a video of Price talking about the change. But perhaps she got the hint from British Hair Fans, because her hair was long days later. Are extensions made with wax?
Oprah Winfrey's fame through the decades has been consistent and impressive. The story for her "best friend" Gayle King hasn't quite matched that. King had a daily talk show, but not for as long. But she resurfaced with success at CBS News, co-hosting the morning news and gaining several big interviews. Through it all, King has kept the same basic short hairstyle - and done it so well that we placed her highly in our Ultimate 50 in 2000. So any change in her look can be noteworthy. And we noticed it in February when her bangs disappeared; King appears to be growing them out with a sidesweep near one eye.
Is this change a King-sized success? Most of our voters think so; 71 percent of them prefer the no-bang style (5-2). But the voters who left comments were skeptical. "I gotta be honest, I don't like either one," wrote one person longing for a "none of the above" option. Another voter claimed King "wears a wig every day" - which we find hard to believe, considering there's photographic evidence of her best-known style wet after swimming.
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 - or via Twitter: @SuperHairNet.
There was a time when a woman with prematurely gray hair was a cause for concern. But in 2021, it's simply one of many shades for women to use in style experiments. One of the last people we expected to do that was Cari Champion - the former ESPN anchor who now co-hosts the provocative "Stick to Sports" talk show on Vice TV. Her long brunette hair is so invitingly strong-holding that we added her to the Top Ten Tresses list. Yet Champion's opinionated reputation is such that when she appeared on TV with silver strands in January, hardly anyone said a word about it. Only a few dared to comment on Twitter, with a couple comparing her to "Storm" in Marvel Comics.
We chose to be bold, and ask Hair Fans what they thought of Champion's color change. They were not impressed - as our one-week poll ended with 75 percent recommending a return to brunette. Only 13 percent like a "silver Champion", while 13 percent suggest she try another color (6-1-1). So if Champion made the change to qualify for one of our Crown Awards - yes, she can compete for "Best Silver Hair" of 2021, but she has no guarantee of success.
Left photo courtesy E! Online
Her name might make you think that she's focusing on her two lips. But Dua Lipa is giving honor to her parents from the former Yugoslavia - and she's become hotter than an old Yugo car, with several hit pop songs. What intrigues us most about her is what she calls her "chameleon" sense of style. Lipa's locks seem to change frequently, as if she's trying to outsmart all the Hair Fans plotting to figure them out and do them in. At the 2020 American Music Awards, she was perfectly conservative with long hair - behind the shoulders and ears, and even adding a mysterious hairpin. But in the February issue of Vogue Lips suddenly was different. The hair was blonde, not brunette - and tightly short, with a few bangs at the brink of her eyes.
Media reports say Lipa experimented with wigs in the magazine photo shoot. OK, but what should her hair really be? Our voters couldn't decide; a one-week poll ended in a 5-5 tie. "Shorter looks softer and thicker," one wrote. "Long style looks limp slicked down." While we lean "longer" in this debate, "Sup-a-Lipa" is enticing Hair Fans either way. Chase down that long hair on a Hollywood street? Shake up the short style in an active music video? To borrow from a new song that she announced during the poll, "We're Good" with either approach.
Right photo courtesy Yahoo Entertainment
Ben Affleck's name is familiar - a leading movie star. The names of his off-screen loves might be less so. His 13-year marriage to Jennifer Garner now seems a distant memory. But do you remember Affleck's engagement to Jennifer Lopez? Perhaps that was a prelude to a one-year relationship with acress Ana de Armas. That ended in January 2021 - and de Armas may have responded with a "breakup cut". She went to a stylist with a hot Latin look (shoulder-length sidepart), and came out with a currently-cool almost "China doll" bob.
We thank the Hair Fan who brought this change to our attention. But it certainly left our voters divided. A one-week poll ended with de Armas's shorter style preferred by 53 percent of them (7-6). "More youthful look," one said of the bangs. It's certainly easier to care for and keep in place. But we know many Hair Fans find de Armas more disarming with a style that's easy to flip down.
Right photo courtesy iSpot
She calls herself "Mint Milana" on Twitter. We don't know if Milana Vayntrub has "made a mint" by appearing in AT&T commercials. But she's certainly become a familiar face, and even a Hair Fan favorite. One of them alerted us on Twitter to s change in Vayntrub's style in early 2021:
@MintMilana has a new bob cut with bangs in the latest AT&T commercial. Still making my mind up about it. Looks great, but as great as previous cuts?
Our online search didn't find exactly that. We saw one with Vayntrub's hair stopping slightly above the shoulders. She's probably had bangs all along, but swept to one side in both cases. That change divided our voters over a week - with 53% opting for a longer look (9-8). "She has a mullet," one grumbled. "How can that be better?"
But this is the look that our Hair Fan really meant - a style that we noticed was pinned up a bit in the back. Vayntrub posted a portrait of that style on Twitter, only windblown and flying up. We knew we couldn't post that for a poll - but we'd like to see the rest of the photoshoot, to see if that cut is strong enough to keep from dropping in her eyes. We might even pay the phone company's "Mint", uh, 5-G's for it.
Right photo courtesy Hollywood Life
Jane Seymour was one of the first women from outside the U.S. to enter the Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. That was during her mid-50s. In February 2021, Seymour is turning 70 - and while some women try to hide the passing of time with hair color, Seymour may have decided to let it show. In 2019, she displayed gray mid-length hair in a Netflix production. Then in the summer of 2020, Seymour filmed a movie in Australia with silver shoulder-length hair. The change was so stunning that some people might not have recognized her.
What do you think of this color change? We indicated in our one-week poll that Seymour's natural color is "red," but auburn-brunette may be closer to it. That shade was the preference of 69 percent of you, while silver was supported by 19% and 13% called for a different color (11-3-2). "Brunette," one voter suggested; "go with her eyes." Another asked the obvious question: "Is the gray hair her own hair or a wig?" Online reports indicate it's a wig on Netflex, so it could be in the Australian film. Yet after one Hollywood website ranked it among the best hair changes of 2020, Seymour might surrender.
If you can name all the members of the old "Pussycat Dolls," you are far ahead of us. Our attention was drawn to lead singer Nicole Scherzinger in the early 2000s - which, if you believe Wikipedia, led to the group breaking up. It was the hair for us, of course; Scherzinger tossed her long locks around a lot, but they somehow didn't seem to collapse in her eyes very often. Scherzinger has gone on to serve as a judge in various TV contests, most recently The Masked Singer in the U.S. But she stunned her fans at a British Fashion Awards show when instead of a long hairstyle, Scherzinger showed up with a chin-length bob - seemingly following a celebrity trend.
We want to apologize for saying this bob came out in December 2020. That's how we understood what we saw - but numerous online reports indicate this was a 2019 Yet our one-week poll about it brought the biggest response in months. And 70 percent of Hair Fans want Scherzinger's long style to come back (14-6). No one left a comment about the change. But perhaps we now know that one way or another, Scherzinger has been faking out Hair Fans all along.
Left photo courtesy Hollywood Life
She may have been the "enemy" in the High School Musical movies. But Ashley Tisdale has become the most beloved of the women in that series, when it comes to hair. She's the only one to win a Crown Award for her style, along with nominations in other years. So when Tisdale makes a change, it gets attention. She did it again in late 2020, by lightening her formerly brunette hair. It became closer to her winning movie role - except Tisdale called it on social media "bronde": a mix of blonde and brunette. (She didn't create that word; a Twitter search found it in many places.)
Politicians might accuse Tisdale of straddling the fence with this color. Our voters didn't mind, as three-fourths of them in our one-week poll supported her as a "bronde" (6-2). It was quite a change from Tisdale's last change in early 2018. Yet she still had one critic who asked: "What happened.... She used to have such great hair. She's gotten lazy with it." That seems harsh to us. But here's the stunning plot twist - online reports indicate Tisdale is a natural brunette. Is she moving back toward a truly winning color?
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