April 2002: Susan McGinnis

We've long believed if you're looking for great hairstyles, television news is a great place to start. "Anchor hair" is a bit of a cliché in the business. In fact, several women consider it a slap -- since they'd prefer to be known for their journalism, not beauty points. But some TV reporters combine the two successfully, with both solid information and solid styles.

SUSAN MCGINNIS is one of the best current examples we've seen of this. She presents business reports each morning for the "CBS Early Show" and WCBS-TV in New York. When we first posted her for the 2001 Crown Awards, she won the "Best Bangs" prize with a majority of the vote. But it turned out the photo we had was a bit outdated. We're happy now to update that photo -- and share some of Susan's methods for keeping her hair in great shape. We talked with her by phone at her New Jersey home:

SUPER-HAIR: How would you describe your style?

SUSAN McGINNIS: I don't really have a name for it. I have a spectacular stylist named Paul Ferraro. He calls it "crashing layers," but that doesn't have much to do with the bangs. He's a creator. He does a lot of work at CBS for a lot of talent there.

S-H: Why does he call it "crashing layers?"

SM: From the different length of layers, around the shoulders. It's sort of a free look, but without being messy -- a very high look.

S-H: How long have you had your hair in this current style?

SM: About a year or so.

S-H: What did you have before that?

SM: It was similar, but not as contemporary, not as modern, a little more conservative. It was shorter, but over the ears; one length, but less modern-looking.

S-H: What do you like most about your style?

SM: It's pretty easy to manage.... I get up at 2:00 in the morning, and go in at 4:00 a.m. in New York City. I wash it and do a quick blow-dry. The way he's cut it, it tends to keep well, so it's easy to manage in a short amount of time.... I do most of it myself, then they give it the once-over.

S-H: What's your typical day like? Your schedule?

SM: I do business news reports on TV for the local station, WCBS, then the Early Show, then more reports during the day....

S-H: What's the biggest problem you face keeping your hair in place?

SM: My hair is very straight -- I don't think it's thin -- and on days like today, [rainy] it's not good for the hair. It gets straight, very difficult to manage. It holds a curl if I spray it really well, but if you reach a "point of no return" then you're in trouble.

S-H: What would be a point of no return?

SM: I used to have a younger look with a flip -- and it went in different directions....

S-H: When was the last time your hair fell in your eyes in public? Or does it?

SM: It doesn't, really. If it gets too long, I sweep it to the side.

S-H: How often do you trim your bangs?

SM: It can be pricey, so sometimes I'll trim my bangs myself. (Don't tell Paul that!)

S-H: How often would you do that?

SM: Maybe one in between. He trims them every six weeks.

S-H: And how do you do it?

SM: I point the scissors up and down, and make cuts into that....

S-H: What was the closest call you've had -- where it didn't look quite right?

SM: There was a day when a different hair artist did my hair. It's not that it was bad -- but it wasn't me. She didn't know me. It was very conservative, very matronly, but when she turned me around, it was right with no time to go on the air.

S-H: Do you use any specific items to keep your hair in place?

SM: Nothing before the stylist. Else my hair gets too big, and less is better these days.... I might do some subtle quick work with a curling iron, then spray it.

S-H: What sort of spray do you use?

SM: Suave.... I dry my hair here in New Jersey, then drive an hour to New York City, so it has to last.

S-H: How long does it last?

SM: It goes for the whole day, with touch-ups just before appearances. Also, I condition it every day....

S-H: What advice would you give someone who wanted to develop great hair?

SM: I'd put them in touch with Paul.... I have a simple haircut. I'd ask questions of a stylist. Maybe cut out pictures of similar styles, and show it to the pros. They know what they're doing.... He cuts into it with a razor type of thing. I was a bit nervous at first....

S-H: We like to ask women who they think has the best hairstyle they've seen lately....

SM: I really like Julie Chen. Jane Clayson has a very, very cute haircut that's very versatile. They're haircuts to emulate. They're very young looking.

SUMMARY: At the shorter length, Susan's hair had enticing precision. Now it's a bit longer and looser -- and we could argue it's even better. The style looks riskier, even if it really isn't. And her award-winning bangs remain very much in the spotlight.

Susan admitted to us she'd never talked so much about her hair. We're glad she did - because it appears many Hair Fans find much to like about it.

(Special thanks to Roger Wallace of CBS Marketwatch for helping provide our photo!)


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

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

May 2000 - Shania Twain

March 2000 - Jessica Simpson

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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