June 2003: Jacksonville's Deborah Gianoulis
When the cable channel ESPN Classic prepared a "SportsCentury" tribute to Dorothy Hamill a couple of years ago, a staff member sent us e-mail out of the blue. He wanted to know some famous examples of women who imitated the Hamill wedge in its prime. We knew right away one woman to suggest....
DEBORAH GIANOULIS may not be a national name, but she's famous to television viewers in Jacksonville, Florida. She spent 24 years with a top-rated newscast, but decided to leave the anchor desk in May for other projects. When she made that decision, a strange synergy occurred. We decided to ask her for an "exit interview" - but before we did, Gianoulis's station presented an on-air tribute mentioning her appearance on our Hot List early in 2002!
Put all that together, and Gianoulis was only too happy to tell us about her years with top-quality short styles. We communicated with her through e-mail exchanges:
SUPER-HAIR: Let's start with the present. How would you describe your hair and your current style?
DEBORAH GIANOULIS: Short and hi-lighted with a loose sidepart and "piece" bangs. While it is cut around the ears, I have "piece" sideburns and the back is long enough to flip along my neck. Very easy maintenance which recovers well on a windy day!
S-H: How long have you had your hair in this current style?
DG: My hair is always evolving. It's been short and hi-lighted for a couple of years, but my stylist is always modifying. The flips on the sides are new in the past few months.... I love it!
S-H: Do you use any specific treatments to keep the hair in place? How do you get it ready each day -- say, for a newscast?
DG: I wash it most everyday and use some styling gel to blow dry, and then spray. That's it. Occasionally I will use a pick for some light teasing if I have been running around and my hair gets a little flat. If I am not going to be on air, I can dampen my hair and blow dry in 10 minutes.
S-H: You have a history of great short styles. Did you ever wear your hair longer? Have you tried longer styles on the air?
DG: My face is small and narrow, and short works best. I also love to report and need hair that literally goes anywhere. (Navy ships and planes, for example.)
S-H: From what we've seen, your styles always seem to be in great position. What's the biggest problem you face keeping your hair in place?
DG: No problems really. A great cut every four weeks like clockwork is my recipe for success.
S-H: When was the last time your hair fell into your eyes in public? How did it happen?
DG: It just doesn't happen.
S-H: In the early eighties, you seemed to be a master of the wedge. Were you inspired by Dorothy Hamill to have that look, as many women were - or was there more to it than that?
DG: Oh, I'm sure the Dorothy Hamill influence was there. It just really suited my face and hair and was quite fashionable at the time.
S-H: Please share for us the story of the "bowl cut" from the late eighties. Was that for a military assignment?
DG: You know, I remember some publication dubbed me "helmet head," and all we could figure is that my hair was so dark and shiny and the cut was so precise, it appeared to never move. As I tried to explain at the time, we are not exactly in a wind tunnel in the studio. Surely my hair responded like anyone else's in the wind and rain!
S-H: Then in the early 90's, there was a change to what looked like a more sizzled-back look. Was that more difficult or time-consuming to get ready each day?
DG: You lost me on "sizzled back." I did for a while wear my hair off my face except for light bangs, and I don't remember it being any harder to maintain.
S-H: Of all the styles you've shown viewers over the years, is there one you consider a favorite?
DG: Nostalgia takes me to two styles -- the original "Dorothy Hamill," and in the late 80's and 1990 the modified pageboy. I had lost the perm and the "big hair," and remember enjoying a simpler look and style.
Seriously, my favorite style is my current one. I love the blond hi-lights! I always wondered if blondes have more fun, and now I know it's true.
S-H: Someone wrote on a message board you once had your TV station's graphics department create different styles, to see what might work on you. Is there any truth to that?
DG: Actually, I didn't do that; my general manager, Steve Wasserman, did. I wanted to go short (after that simple pageboy) for even easier maintenance, and station management was worried about changing my look, so we scanned hairstyles out of a book and put my face in them -- what a riot!!
S-H: What advice would you give someone who wanted to develop Super-Hair?
DG: Find a good stylist and make and keep regular appointments.
S-H: Who would you consider to have the best head of hair you've ever seen? In Jacksonville, and in general?
DG: Gosh, can't say I am a big a enough hair fan to have paid attention! As a kid, I sure do remember the Farrah Fawcett look.
SUMMARY: Deborah would want us to give special recognition to her longtime "hairdresser," Donna Zimmerman -- "the person I credit with my hair success." Successful, it certainly has been. But give Deborah credit for being careful not to let her hair grow too long and loose. We've heard of women getting six-week trims - but four-week is extra cautious. (It's also her channel number in Jacksonville. Coincidence?!)
Styles that are built to hold, but refuse to fall to defeat even when forced out of position -- to us, this is the epitome of Super-Hair. To borrow from alpine skiing, Deborah "Super G" has it. We wish her well in her new duties, doing special productions - and may she continue to set a tremendous example for women to follow, and all Hair Fans to admire.
(Special thanks to "Jacksonville Today" magazine and the Jacksonville University library. As we post this, we're waiting for permission from the web site "News4Jax" to post better historical pictures. We'll add them once permission is obtained.)
Super-Hair Q&A Archive:
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 2001-02
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: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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