March 2004: Bonnie Behrend

As times change, career paths can change -- and of course, hairstyles can as well. People who work in television probably know this better than any group. Yet some people can make the adjustments, and keep looking good throughout.

BONNIE BEHREND probably can tell you all about it. Over the years she's hosted TV talk shows in Aspen, presented business updates on cable channels such as Bloomberg and CNBC, hosted a radio talk show in Philadelphia and filled in as a news anchor on CBS's "Up to the Minute." Her latest project allows her to celebrate one of her personal loves - believe it or not, for motorcycles. In February she contributed a segment to a magazine show called "Wheel Women" on the New York-area sports cable network YES.

Bonnie was a 2002 Crown Award nominee, and was delighted to talk with us about her hair and her projects, so we arranged an Instant Message chat one evening -- which was, you might say, free-Wheel-ing:

SUPER-HAIR: How would you describe your hair and your current style?

BONNIE BEHREND: My hair right now is shoulder length ... blonde with bangs. Some very recent photos on my website will show it. But I'm getting it cut tomorrow.

S-H: How big a cut? Not too drastic, I suspect....

BB: I love changing my hair. I can never decide which style I like best.

S-H: How long have you had it at shoulder-length?

BB: Went back to it a couple months ago. Had been growing it out ... with layers ... until the fall.

S-H: Did you like the layers? Was it your first time with that approach?

BB: I think layers are very flattering. Or maybe I'm just tired of the straight all one length thing.

S-H: We first saw you on TV when you filled in on CBS News "Up to the Minute." That wasn't the layered look?!

BB: No it was that straight-all-one-length thing.

S-H: Tucked behind the ears to boot, as I recall.

BB: I posted some photos from CNBC on my website. I'd like to know what you and your friends think is the best look.

S-H: I reviewed some of them. The one that struck me most, to be honest, was from "Today in Aspen." Much longer....

BB: That seems to be what people like the most.

S-H: What made you decide to make the cut from a longer style?

BB: I thought I had to... to adopt a more business-like appearance for business news. It used to be almost required for women news anchors. But thanks to a lot of great women ... like Lynne Russell and Bella Shaw and now Liz Cho and Serena Atschul (sp) ... longer hair is absolutely acceptable in news.

S-H: Bella Shaw WAS quite a pioneer of that at CNN.

BB: Yes and it's great to see her back on the air in some of her recent projects.

S-H: Of course, she's now the executive assistant. to Carlton Sheets.... not exactly news.

BB: That's OK. She's out there and I applaud her for that.

S-H: We hear a lot about "anchor hair" for newscasters. Is there a pattern or mold TV journalists are expected to follow -- and is that fair?

BB: You know ... there used to be. We all had ear 'scoops'. So dumb. I don't know if we all watched a few pioneering women and emulated them ... or if we just felt somehow stifled in our creativity.

S-H: I know exactly what you mean. Trends come and go, don't they?

BB: There is definitely guidance from news elders ... that our looks were not supposed to be distracting. However, I think there are so many women in TV news who are distractingly beautiful ... and more power to them.

S-H: You mentioned Liz Cho -- a GREAT example of that!

BB: Yes I agree.

S-H: New York's gain is the USA's loss, with her move to ABC7.

BB: She'll be around awhile. She'll be visible nationally again soon I'm sure.

S-H: So as for the style you're about to have cut: what do you like most about it? And is there anything you dislike about it?

BB: I look forward to layering again. The dislike's not long enough.

S-H: Do you think shoulder-length is your best length? Or is there a "best?"

BB: It seems the shoulder length is best for me even though I prefer it long and layered.

I think you have to take your entire body silhouette into consideration when choosing length and cut.... Don't you agree?

S-H: Never really thought of it quite that way -- but I think I see what you're saying. I tend to think more front-view of a style.

BB: I think most viewers do.

S-H: It's what we're used to seeing, after all.

BB: Yes ... frontal face view.

S-H: One thing we admire at Super-Hair is women who can keep their hair looking good in the long run. What's the biggest problem you face keeping your hair in place?

BB: I'm lucky. I don't try to keep it in place. I like hair with natural movement.

S-H: For some women, it's more of an issue, isn't it?

BB: I do use a texturizer and volumizer and round brush. I must have 10 round brushes. I keep one in my car, in every suitcase, every make up bag. Keeps volume and swing. Yes .. I think my version of hair spray is the texturizer. It works to keep it styled.

S-H: Any particular brands you recommend?

BB: I use a lot of over the counter products that my hair seems to like. Finesse. And my texturizer is ...

S-H: (drumroll............)

BB: either Bumble Bumble or ... I'm blanking .. I can see the bottle... white .. with black lettering... sorry. Can't remember at the moment.

S-H: What routine do you go through (if you have one) to prepare your hair for a telecast? Say for your current project?

BB: My current project is outside on the motorcycle. But whether I'm outside or in the studio, I go crazy if I don't wash it every day. No second day hair here! Add texturizer ... and blow dry with round brush.

S-H: Yeah, let's talk about motorcycle riding. I take it you're helmetless throughout? Do you have a helmet rule where you live, or can you ride with your hair out in the open?

BB: The gal who has been cutting my hair for a million years .. Agnus at Joseph Martin Salon on Madison Avenue ... lets me blow dry it myself.

S-H: Gets you involved! And you keep part of the tip?

BB: Ha! I love Agnus. I give her everything I can. I ride in this project with a helmet on. I observe helmet laws and feel safer when I wear my full-face.

S-H: I wondered what the helmet rules were in NY-NJ.

BB: And ... then put a cap ... or foldable cowboy hat on when I get off the bike.... Helmet laws are in effect in NY NJ.

S-H: Does the cap/hat help prevent the dreaded "helmet hair?" Or is that a problem for you?

BB: There is no preventing dreaded helmet hair. Everyone has a trick to dealing with hit. Whether you put a bandana on.. and leave it on. Or a baseball cap on turned around under the helmet. I see grown men pulling brushes out of their saddlebags when they get off their motorcycles.

S-H: Funny!! Hadn't heard of the baseball cap idea before. Hmmm -- Yankees or Mets?

BB: My baseball cap says "Ajax" on the front ... the locals' name for Aspen Mountain. On the back of the cap "Go Fast Take Chances."

S-H: Ooooooooo. Like that.

BB: Yankees.

S-H: Your show is on YES, after all.

BB: Yes.. YES. But I was a Yankee fan long before I came into contact with the good folks at YES.... My website has some photos.... I liked my hair in some of those shots... but helmet hair hadn't set in that day.

S-H: Only a couple more questions. What advice would you give someone who wanted to develop great hair? Since you've displayed it on TV....

BB: Pick a style that works for you ... your face and body type ... not what works on other people or what you see in a magazine. Wear lipstick! And embrace beauty ... it's fun!

S-H: You and Lynne Russell (we interviewed her a couple of years ago) have a LOT in common!

BB: Hahaha! I see that she is also a ...Wheel Woman .. (tm).

S-H: Indeed. (Uh-oh. You trademarked that. Gulp!)

BB: Uh oh?

S-H: I think I used those words in the [Super-Hair] Wars page, introducing you as the current challenger.

BB: That's OK.

S-H: We also like to ask people we interview: who would you consider to have the best head of hair you've ever seen?

BB: I love your site. It's very fun... what got you started on it?

S-H: Off the record: It goes WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY back....

BB: Let's see ... Jon Bon Jovi .. is a contender

S-H: HA HA HA.... Sometimes I think the web site is too TV journalist overloaded.... But there are SO MANY great styles on reporters -- consistently good ones.

BB: Yes I think newswomen really ... get it ... now. Hair counts.

S-H: Indeed. So is Jon Bon Jovi your final answer?

BB: Speaking of final answers .. Kelly Ripa has a nice head of hair.

S-H: Yes, she does.

BB: She might have to be a finalist .. in this chat, anyway.... Thank you for the time. Love to you and all your web site visitors. Keep up the good work!


Bonnie Behrend wound up losing in Super-Hair Wars to Sumi Das. But after we mentioned there an interview would be posted, a Hair Fan sent us a couple of extra questions -- which Bonnie was gracious enough to answer by e-mail.

S-H: What's the longest and shortest you've ever had your hair, and when?

BB: The longest I've had my hair is seen on my web site under the page "Today in Aspen". The shortest is a pixie cut that is not currently on the web site but I will scan and add.

S-H: What do you do for so much body?

BB: As for body, I'm lucky - I have a lot of hair - it's thin, but plentiful. To add to the blessing, I use an over-the-counter product called L'Oreal Studio Line Anti-Sticky Invisi-Gel Mega-Body. It really helps.

SUMMARY: We felt blessed to chat with Bonnie, and are grateful for her nice comments about the web site. We're also grateful that TV journalists like her take the time and care to have great-looking styles on camera.

If Bonnie's naturally-moving style has collapsed in her eyes, we haven't seen it happen. If you happen to see her out on a motorcycling trip with other "Wheel Women (tm)," send our regards - and admire a women who keeps plenty of hair in good shape.


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

February 2004 -- Debra Messing's Stylist, Luke O'Connor

December 2003 -- Bonnie Bernstein

November 2003 -- Kienji's colossal curls

September 2003 -- Aimee Myer, Aspiring Teen Model

June 2003 -- Deborah Gianoulis, Jacksonville Journalist

May 2003 -- Allison Curran, Best Hairstyle in Athletics

February 2003 -- Danae DeMasi, 2001 Newcomer of the Year

December 2002 -- Shannon Oliver of "The Bachelor"

October 2002 - Carolyn Hughes

August 2002 - Lynne Russell

June 2002 -- Eva Chavela, Rock Singer

April 2002 - Susan McGinnis, Best Bangs/Best Short Hair 2002

December 2001 - Rachael Nama and the "Locklear Look"

November 2001 - Onnie Willis, Gymnastics Champion

August 2001 - Yolanda Davis and The Flip

July 2001 - Miss Georgia 2001, Emily Foster

April 2001 - Cindy Hernandez's Cut of Controversy

November 2000 - Gina Tognoni and the Swing*

July 2000 - Britney Spears "FAQ's"

May 2000 - Shania Twain*

March 2000 - Jessica Simpson*

* Interviews with expert stylists about the woman's hair.

Do you know a woman who's willing to share her secrets of hair success? Is there a particular woman you'd like us to interview? Do you have a question we should ask? Simply e-mail us: .

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