October 2002: Carolyn Hughes

We've received many nominations of women's hairstyles since the Super-Hair site began. Most of them are good. Some are downright great. And a few prove to be phenomenal - because once they're posted, their popularity soars. For instance....

CAROLYN HUGHES was suggested to us early in 2001 -- and as we later wrote the nominator, she "hit the jackpot." Carolyn was a relatively unknown morning newscaster in El Paso, Texas. But she took off once she entered Super-Hair Wars, receiving the highest vote counts of the year and winning by an average margin of eight to one. Although she lost the finals, Carolyn's style was impressive enough to sit solidly in our Top Ten list - until her TV station stopped cybercasting.

We talked with Carolyn by phone in her El Paso newsroom in May 2002 -- but were surprised to learn she'd changed her style. Then a few weeks later, she moved on to Fox Sports Southern California in Los Angeles -- and we never received the photo of the new look that we wanted. Now we're thrilled to post a current picture of her....

....because without it, we felt our interview would make no sense. After seeing this photo, we're still not sure it does -- but here goes:

SUPER-HAIR: How would you describe your style?

CAROLYN HUGHES: It's shorter, a bob at this point. It's pretty straight and pretty boring, but a little easier.

S-H: How long have you had your hair like that?

CH: I've had it since about Thanksgiving [2001], I think.

S-H: What sort of daily routine do you go through to prepare it?

CH: I get up at 2:30 a.m. We do our own makeup and hair here, so all I do is wash and blow dry it. It takes a little while.... usually about 15 to 20 minutes.

S-H: Tell me about the style you had before the change.... How long did you have your hair that way?

CH: The style before, I had about two years. It was shoulder-length, slightly layered, tapered on the side, so it framed my face....

S-H: So why did you make the change?

CH: I changed it to make it easier. Besides, you know women. Two years is too long for one hairstyle. I felt a need for a change.

S-H: What do you like about your new look?

CH: The easiness of it.

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

CH: With longer hair, you can pull it back and do a ponytail. When it's shorter, you have no choice but to wear it the same way almost every day. So you don't have as many options.

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

CH: Here in El Paso it's real dry. But if it's humid, it gets curly -- like if I go on vacation....

S-H: Was that a problem with your old style?

CH: My hair could be real finicky. If it was good, it was a great hair day. But a bad hair day would be a bad hair day. It's especially hard to prepare it at 2:30 in the morning.

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

CH: I've never had that problem. It's cut to where -- when you're doing TV journalism, you can't always have a style you're always running your hands through. We can't have that, because we appear one-dimensional all the time. It'd be great to look like Jennifer Aniston, to have it tousled all the time -- but we have to go a different way....

S-H: Is there a favorite product you use, in terms of hairspray?

CH: No, not really.

S-H: Do you have to use any special treatment with the shorter look, to keep the hair in place?

CH: I do, because I'm on the set most of the time. If I'm going out, I'll blow-dry it and spray it....

S-H: So can the shorter style get in the eyes?

CH: It can, but it doesn't. I can tuck it behind the ears, but I take a round-brush to it so it doesn't fall down.... I want something that's not all over the place....

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

CH: The hardest thing is to find a style that works for you. A lot of women want to follow trends and movie stars. It's very hard to do it. It's a matter of trial and error, I've found.

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

CH: I think Kelly Ripa has great hair. It always looks nice.

S-H: We understand you were named Miss El Paso a year or two ago [2000].... Did you learn anything from that experience about keeping your hair looking good?

CH: I did. You're around stylists and beauty people, teaching you to keep your hair straight. They even had some women use beer in their hair....

S-H: Beer?!

CH: Yeah. You use beer in your hair to give it body. And you take velcro rollers and set 'em with beer for some incredible volume.

S-H: Did you do that with your hair?

CH: I've never tried it. I've never used rollers, really. I've always worn straight hair.

SUMMARY: Considering how well Carolyn keeps longer hair under control, we imagine a bob would be a "no-brainer" for her to keep precise. But we're glad she's apparently returned to the old look at Fox Sports.

Scroll back up and consider it a moment: the use of teasing and rounding to keep her hair off the face, with some strands subtly pulled behind the ears for extra protection. The curled tips are an attractive distraction, but might also add a bit of weight to prevent flyaway strands. Add a coat of spray, and the result is a great combination of risky beauty and strong control.

We're rooting for Carolyn to do well, in an area where there's tough competition these days. (Fox Sports alone has Elsa Guerrero and Nancy Newman.) But lest you doubt the staying power of this woman and her hair, consider this: Carolyn's run half-marathons in a bit more than two hours. Now that we'd like to see without a ponytail.

(Special thanks to Brook Hefner at Fox, for supplying our updated photo!)


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

August 2002 - Lynne Russell

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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