April 2004: Susan McGinnis Goes Longer

What IS the thing about women who win the "Best Short Hair" title at our annual Crown Awards? Most of the winners seem to grow their hair out within months of our honor. Martina McBride and McKenzie Westmore both did it, only to go shorter again. And now, in a big surprise to us....

SUSAN McGINNIS is following in their footsteps. The CBS Morning News and Marketwatch Weekend anchor was voted "Best Short Hair" for 2002, to go with her unprecedented three Crowns in a row for "Best Bangs." Some Hair Fans suggested to us early in 2004 McGinnis might be going longer with her style -- and then amazingly, without our asking, she wrote us to alert us to the change, as documented in this photo from TWWL: The Women We Love.

We interviewed McGinnis in 2002 about her top-quality, unbeaten short style -- so naturally, we wanted to know what's going on here. After she alerted us to the new look, which she says was suggested by the stylist for the CBS Early Show where she appears occasionally, we exchanged a set of e-mail questions and answers:

SUPER-HAIR: What is the name of the stylist who suggested you grow your hair out?

SUSAN McGINNIS: Christine Healy is the hair stylist who recommended I grow out my hair. As soon as I started doing so, I started receiving compliments on the new look. Christine does hair for the CBS Morning News as well as The Early Show, for anchors including Julie Chen and others.

S-H: How long has it been since you tried this, or had long hair at all? What's the longest look you've ever had?

SM: I have not had hair this long in many years, although I would argue that longer hair for TV anchors and reporters has not typically been the style for some time. It seems never before has there been a more casual and free look for on air folks.

The longest it's been? Well, as a teenager I had poker straight hair, one length, all the way down to my waist!

S-H: How is the preparation of your hair changing, with longer hair? Are you curling or spraying it more?

SM: The preparation has changed a bit, as Christine has advised me on some different products to use. The drying takes just a bit longer, and I try to work a little more volume into it as I dry, as per Christine's instructions. Of course, it never looks the same as when Christine does it, or Kim Serratore, who also styles my hair and others on the Early Show. Both are pros, and my hair just isn't the same on the weekends!!

I'd have to say I'm spraying it more than ever. My hair is extremely straight, and now that it's longer, I need more products to keep it "up."

S-H: What's going to happen to those "Triple Crown" Award-winning bangs? Are you growing those all the way out, too?

SM: Never! The bangs are a permanent part of my look. I have an unusually high forehead.... because of my hairline, and therefore my look isn't quite right without bangs. So no matter how long the rest of my hair gets, the bangs are here to stay.

S-H: We've heard of TV newsrooms where the current trend is going in the other direction -- and women are being told to shorten their styles. Do you think short hair is more "professional" on the air than a longer style?

SM: I'd have to say the shorter styles are more conservative and professional-looking. I tend to be behind the curve when it comes to the latest trends. It takes me a year or two to catch onto the latest hair and clothing styles! I think people on-air and off should wear what looks best on them, rather than what's in style.

S-H: People are asking us for the names of specific products women with Super-Hair use. What do you recommend?

SM: For the most part, I would recommend others save their money. I use shampoos, conditioners, and styling products by Suave or other lower end brand and think they work well. I do, though, use an occasional deep conditioner as well. That said, on the days when most people see my hair, it is being done by professionals who are using professional products.

SUMMARY: We asked Hair Fans what they thought of McGinnis's decision to "go longer" - and a week-long Cutting-Edge Hair News poll found strong support for it. We wish her well with this change, but her extra preparation shows the longer look is riskier in terms of her hair staying in place. Given her success rate, McGinnis is definitely worth getting up early to check how she's doing.

While researching this interview, we found two ironic articles at the CBS News web site. In one, McGinnis checked whether several "long-lasting lipsticks" can "last all day," and can have "staying power" for ten hours at a time. The other article was about the benefits of bangs for various face shapes - only the person interviewed was the Early Show's style specialist. Shouldn't these stories have been combined, with a three-time champion explaining how to have ten-hour-long lasting bangs?

Perhaps without realizing it, the woman we've come to call "Super-Susan" has thrown down a challenge here. Her bangs aren't going anywhere -- and she has the best in the known universe until dethroned.


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

March 2004 -- Bonnie Behrend

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, 2002 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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