September 2004: Jamie Colby's Industrial Flip

It's amazing how many times we have not needed to go after interviews for this section - because the interview literally comes to us. This one is another example, based on a woman who discovered we'd praised her hair in our Style Profile section.

JAMIE COLBY was posted as one of our favorite examples of "hair with a flare." She has years of experience as first a lawyer, then a TV reporter. Currently she travels the U.S. pursuing stories for Fox News Channel. But the pursuit turned around when she e-mailed us to thank us for the online mention -- even though we showed what she calls her "industrial flip" getting messed up.

We wanted to know all about a style Jamie admittedly loves. But before we spoke with her by phone at her New York office, she directed us to another tough test her style recently faced. A male pilot tackled her on camera! We won't tip off how it turned out, but we invite you to check the Fox News web site to watch. What we saw only encouraged us to interview Jamie more:

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

JAMIE COLBY: Hip and fun, and like I said, industrial -- in the sense that it works well under any condition.....

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

JC: I'm gonna say six years, six to seven years -- and it was a big change for me. I was a helmet head previously....

S-H: I was going to ask what sort of style you had before....

JC: BIG! I owned a teasing comb, let's just say.

S-H: You told us you went to the flip in 1998. Who was the stylist who suggested the change?

JC: His name is John Barrett. He is a New York stylist from London, in the salon at the Bergdorf-Goodman store. I actually did a story with him, and he took a look at my big hair and said, "No, we can do better."

S-H: It's nice to get a news story, and a new style to go with it....

JC: Actually, I didn't take him up on it right away. I said, "Thank you, I'll think about it" -- and then you have a bad hair day, and you decide to have to do something different, so I made an appointment. I'd had the same hair for so many years, and I couldn't believe the difference. It was liberating.

S-H: How many years did you have that big hair?

JC: That would give away too much. I was a lawyer for years, and it was perfect for my life. Then in the '80s , all the anchors wore turned-under big hair.... but this is a much more on-the-go style. The wind is my friend -- and it's much lower maintanence, even though it looks higher.

S-H: The wind is your friend. We like that quote....

JC: Yeah, if you sleep on it, it gets better1 It's not symmetrical, not perfect, a little bit more carefree -- and my work is NOT carefree, so the last thing I need to worry about is my hair.

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

JC: This is a flattering, yet professional style. Ir's great for work, but it's also great for after work. And then there's the saving in hair accessories, since you can't really do much else with it.

S-H: You really can't tie it back, I guess....

JC: There'd be plenty if I grow it longer; we'll see. But it's fun, and it lifted my spirits when John cut it. It started a whole new chapter for me, and I credited him with that. It gave me a new way of thinking and feeling, yet maintaining a professional look

S-H: Is there anything you dislike about it?

JC: Not really. The only thing that's hard about is that our hair goes through so many styling sessions that it takes a beating, so you have to be attentive to conditioning.

S-H: How many styling sessions are we talking about -- say, in a week?

JC: It could be every day. It could be several times a day. Then there's the wind, there's the rain, there's a snowstorm -- it's gotta hold up.... and that can be difficult sometimes.

S-H: What routine do you go through to prepare your hair for a telecast?

JC: Often a clarifying shampoo to remove product, then a great conditioner. I really like John Barrett's products, which are available. He has products like "Behave" and "Behold" and "Be Big...."

S-H: Be Big! Ha!

JC: Those are the name of the products. They really condition your hair, understand the stresses that TV hair is under. I could be in a desert one day, and a snowstorm the next, and his products keep my hair looking healthy. I just got lucky.

S-H: The first time we saw you, you were on CBS News "Up to the Minute" filling in for Melissa McDermott....

JC: You do your own hair and makeup on that shift.

S-H: Really?!

JC: Yeah. You come in at 9:00 [p.m.], go home around 5:00 [a.m.], so you do your own. That's often the case for the field, like Kobe Bryant -- you're writing a script, you're doing everything at a location....

Melissa does a great job, too. You have to learn the lighting, what you need for that situation -- so you need to be pretty savvy.

S-H: It seemed to us you both looked alike. A little bit, at least.

JC: We're both blonde! Most people probably didn't notice the difference. But everybody should try the flip. I didn't think I could, but the right cut gets you there and it's fun.

S-H: Do you use any specific treatments or products on your hair?

JC: Never use hotel shampoo! You never know what you're gonna get -- and you can't take a chance on a product that might dry out your hair, and then you have to go to work..

S-H: So how do you put the flip in your hair?

JC: You have to brush it -- I let my hair dry almost naturally -- then take a round brush, I'd guess about one-and-a-half inches in diameter, one with natural bristles, not wire. I use a medium heat, I go under, then flip up.

S-H: So once your flip is in place, how long can it stay in that position? As we say, it looks like it can last a good while.

JC: You can get two to three days out of this hair, depending on the conditions where you are. Like if there's no humidity, you'd need to wash it every day. But if there's some moisture in the air, two days definitely. It's definitely easier than it looks.

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

JC: Well, the wind, like you picked up -- because you're so focused on reporting the story, and you usually have in you hands like a pad, a pen, a microphone. You can't really push the hair off your face -- so you have to just keep going. And it's not a style you can pull into a ponytail.

S-H: We've especially interested in the hair next to the right eye. You don't appear to flip that....

JC: I curl it under, and let it follow the lines against my face -- and it does stay. I sometimes have bangs. That gets dicey; you never know if they're going to go in the right direction -- so off to the side is the way to go.

S-H: Let's talk about that tackle you faced from the pilot. I take it you were expecting that -- but did you expect your hair to hold up through that?

JC: That was the first time I ever saw my hair from back in a long time, and it was cut well. Very chunky layers....

S-H: When do you have it trimmed? How often?

JC: Four times a year. You have to! But I didn't really expect to go down to the floor. But after he did it to me, I did it to him, and it was really funny.

S-H: Yet your flip held up well....

JC: It did - and that was one of the windiest days I'd ever seen. We were in the middle of the desert, in New Mexico. We did lots of things outdoors, and the last thing we did was a stand-up in the cockpit. They allowed not a lot of time aboard the plane, and I didn't have a brush with me. So I was surprised after being thrown around, then blown around in a million directions -- I used my fingers to fluff it up and it looked great.

S-H: Did you use any spray, in those conditions?

JC: That day I did not spray.

S-H: Do you use it at other times?

JC: I have an arsenal of sprays, from light to heavy-duty. If you're against a blue screen, for example, one hair sticking up will really be magnified.

S-H: Do you have a favorite brand?

JC: I use this on my fingers, then place it on some of the chunky layers -- it's C Spray. It has vitamin C -- Vitamin C styling spray. That's like the medium, between the light and heavy-duty.

S-H: When was the last time that your hair fell into your eyes in public? Do you recall how did it happened?

JC: I did this story with the Army Special Forces [courtesy TV] -- and being in the pool, you come up out of the water and you have no idea what you're going to get. It probably was not as styled as I would like. We did a quick descend, quick ascend dive -- it was very difficult to breathe, and my hair was everywhere, and I was a little disoriented. But the story is first, and the hair is definitely like ninth or tenth.

S-H: We documented the live report from Colorado last fall [October 2003] where a wind got the best of your style. Do you remember anything about that, and what happened?

JC: I remember the windstorm howling. A light fell down during one of my shots, but things were blowing around -- but once you're reporting, you're really not aware; you're so focused on details. I don't recall it during that live shot, being a "hair moment," so it really surprised me when I saw the pictures that everything was really blowing around that much..

S-H: What advice would you give someone who wanted to develop "anchor hair?" If that's a proper term for it.

JC: I think it's not so much anchor hair; it's finding the most low-maintenance style that's most flattering for you. What I do, and what I recommend people do is -- especially people I'm mentoring, coming up in the ranks, and they want to look professional yet stylish -- is go to the magazines and find the styles you think would look best for you. Then pick the very best stylist in the area. It helps if they do editorial work, like with magazines, because he knows it takes eight hours and ten products to do the look from magazines.

S-H: So how long does it take to get YOUR look together?

JC: Twenty minutes to half-an-hour -- if it's really got to be camera-ready. On weekends, if I'm not working, I'll wake up, fluff it with my hands and go. It's a messy look that isn't messy.

S-H: We like to ask women who you consider to have the best head of hair you've seen....

JC: Would you consider Meg Ryan? She kind of started the flip. I admire older women that can pull off long hair. Also, I'm not saying she's older, but Catherine Zeta-Jones -- gorgeous! She has beautiful hair. And someone like Sharon Stone -- with very, very, very cropped hair. It's glamorous and chic, and probably low maintenance.

SUMMARY: "Be kind," Jamie asked as our interview ended -- but honestly, how could we not be? A hairstyle so close to the eyes, which battles and fights hard to stay in precise position, can only have our utmost respect.

While Jamie calls it "industrial," but that means to us she has one strong head of hair -- and a combination of strength and beauty like this will get a Hair Fan's attention anytime. On most days, we think this flip could give any of our top Super-styles a tough tussle to remain unbeaten. Any takers?


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

July 2004 - Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Adrianna Butler

April 2004 - Susan McGinnis Goes Longer

March 2004 -- Bonnie Behrend

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

December 2003 -- Bonnie Bernstein, Crown Award Record-Breaker

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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