August 2002: Lynne Russell

When some women learn they're posted at this web site, they laugh it off almost as a joke. Others take it politely as a compliment. But we talked to one woman recently who not only was delighted by what we posted, she found the entire Super-Hair site a treat.

LYNNE RUSSELL walked away from television in the summer of 2001 after becoming one of cable's most-recognized newscasters. She spent nearly 20 years at CNN and Headline News -- and gained a reputation not only for her professionalism, but her looks. Lynne had hair solid attractive enough to place in our Top Ten list for almost a year in 2000, and rank #36 among our Ultimate 50 styles.

Lynne not only has strong hair, but strong opinions about it. In fact, when we talked with her by phone from her Georgia home, she started things off - by offering her own Super-Hair definition:

LYNNE RUSSELL: Hair should have movement to it, but still be required to stay in the same position for five hours a time on the set.

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

LR: I just wear it. I don't control it. It's a little longer than shoulder-length, it's still red -- and it still does what it wants....

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

LR: Since a long, long, long time ago. I'm not one of those "every hair in its place" people anyway - because sometimes it's better before I combed it! There are days when I've run my fingers through it, and never combed it....

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

LR: I remember ironing with a real iron in college, and a board to make it really straight. I have really curly hair, and have grown to like it. No matter where I am, even a black-tie event, I can go to the bathroom and wet my hands, or play with a spray or gel. It really works....

S-H: You've worn your hair both long and short at Headline News. Which one do you prefer?

LR: I'm just a long-hair person. My mother liked it shorter.... I took out thinning scissors about a year ago and cut it....

My ex-husband did me a favor. He put a two-inch chain on my scissors, so I couldn't cut my hair at 2:00 a.m. anymore. He said, "Dear, one of the two of us is going to have to stop cutting your hair. You'll have to finish it yourself."

S-H: How important is beauty in TV journalism? I wonder what you thought of that CNN promo with Paula Zahn, which called her "just a little sexy...."

LR: You can look really good, and not be sexy? That's a joke! But you know, I came out of the trenches. I was a reporter in local markets for years, and carried both mosquito and hair spray in my purse. I'd have very, very little time for makeup and hair. I'd fly from the courthouse to the anchor desk with very little time in between....

I've been gone a year now, and it seems just like three minutes. Watching [TV news] would be just like being at work. But I would've just blown it off, if it had been me.

S-H: You're selling a line of lipstick at your web site now. How is that going?

LR: It's going well. I've had 18 years of experience wearing different shades of red. I could count on one hand the times I went to CNN makeup before going on the air. I did makeup in my rear-view mirror.... because of the afternoon traffic in Atlanta....

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

LR: At Headline News, it's an hour that replays several times with updates. You shouldn't notice it as a viewer, so it's very important that hair look about the same.... I'd say the biggest problem is having a natural hairdo, but one that still would not change noticeably over hours. That's why a lot of women wear their hair short. It's easier to control.

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

LR: I sometimes would use an umbrella on windy workdays, to run interference -- and people scattered all around me! I think it was when I had the top down on the car a few days ago. But it's good to be away from the daily grind.

S-H: What do you do to keep busy these days?

LR: I'm still making speeches, to groups with a real sense of humor, who want to have a good time. I'm writing another book. It was going to be a follow-up to "How to Win Friends, Kick Ass and Influence People" - but now it may be more a book about men and women. Maybe a book on the history of lingerie! The men on my web site are getting carried away with some of their comments....

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

LR: I love Aveda brilliant forming gel. It's wonderful. Just fabulous. It's not like I feel like I'm putting something really bad on it. I spray it, and then play with it....

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

LR: Aussie Scrunch spray, firm hold. It's good when you travel. I carry one in a small size, and use it for setting. I use the gel on hot rollers.

S-H: Let me name you some fellow CNN anchors, and let you tell me what you think of their hair. Natalie Allen....

LR: I thought her hair was great. It's thick and easy to control. She had a very flattering hairstyle.

S-H: Judy Fortin.

LR: She's one of the few who can cut it for convenience sake and look good....

S-H: Bella Shaw.

LR: She had the guts to wear it long. You know, hair is supposed to make you feel good. If I had a consultant, the first thing to ask anchors would be, "How do you feel the best?" and then work with that? She felt best with long hair.

S-H: Christiane Amanpour.

LR: It doesn't require maintenance at all.... It was like what I had in Catholic school....

S-H: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to develop Super-Hair?

LR: You've got to find a way around all the heat setting and the blow drying. I'd say choose a hairstyle that doesn't require constant abuse from heat setters, hot rollers and blow dryers. Soemthing you can style with a little water and a minimum of teasing. And if your hair's health starts to suffer, change what you're doing. Don't let anybody talk you into keeping on doing it....

S-H: Who would you consider to have the best head of hair you've ever seen?

LR: Farrah Fawcett! In fact, there's a waitress at a restaurant down the street with that style. She washes it, and lets it dry by itself. It's healthy, strong, shiny and beautiful.

SUMMARY: Lynne's praises of great hair didn't stop there. One of her adult sons (please don't label her a "grandmother") has what she calls "great curly hair" down past his shoulders -- and she likes the styling of her sheepdog, too!

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but Lynne says we have a great web site - and thinks we must have a lot of fun doing it. We certainly do, especially when we can talk with a woman with a wonderful style. Maybe someday we'll have a chance to ride with her and watch that hair whip around. Until then, she can't make her TV drama debut soon enough.


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

June 2002 -- Eva Chavela, Rock Singer

April 2002 - Susan McGinnis, "Best Bangs" 2001

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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