November 2001: Onnie Willis

Gymnastics is a sport filled with quick turns, flips, runs and jumps. It's no wonder female athletes tie or pin back their hair when they compete. Yet every once in awhile, a style comes along that's a fabulous exception to the rule.

Onnie Willis is currently a junior at UCLA; her home is in Washington state. She tied for the NCAA All-Around Gymnastics Championship in 2001. We marveled at both Willis's gymnastics skills and solid short hairstyle. It was good enough to make our Hot List. So when we received the opportunity to interview her by phone, we were the ones doing the jumping. Here's a rough transcript of the conversation:

SUPER-HAIR: How would you describe your style?

ONNIE WILLIS: I'd say it's cut short, and flipped out in the back.

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

OW: It's been that way since my senior year of high school, in 1999.

S-H: Would do you like about it?

OW: It's easy. All I have to do is curl it, and it keeps that style real well. It's not cut that often, so it does not need a lot of upkeep.

S-H: How often do you get it cut?

OW: I really only get it cut about four or five times a year. My Dad does the cutting. He used to be a professional barber....

S-H: Is there anything you dislike about your style?

OW: One thing I don't really like is I have to curl it, or do something to it every day. I can't really wear it flat.

S-H: What's the closest call you've had with your style falling into your eyes, or out of place?

OW: It's never really out of control.... Most girls have ponytails, because that's the easiest style for them.

S-H: Which gymnastics routine would you consider the most challenging for your hair?

OW: Maybe the vault. I always have to fix it, because [in terms of speed] it's so fast.

S-H: We understand you have a sister who went to the Miss America pageant as Miss Washington. Do you ever trade tips and ideas with her?

OW: She's really into the fluff, so - and her hair's longer....

S-H: We also understand you have a near four-point grade average. Do you think the brightest women have the strongest hairstyles?

OW: That could be true. I really have no idea.

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

OW: I don't watch TV very often. I typically like short cuts, perhaps because mine's so short.

(For more great pictures of Onnie's hair in action, click here. The photographer wouldn't let us post his photos here, but they're too good to ignore.)

SUMMARY: Onnie's modest about her success - and from what we've seen, her short style is quite successful. We found a picture or two where she wears bobbie pins, but we doubt they're needed that often.

This hair is the most impressive we've seen in gymnastics since Kerri Strug of 1996 Olympic fame. We even think it tops the legendary Mary Lou Retton -- as it's flexible, yet incredibly well-controlled. Dad, you've done well!


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

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

Is there a particular woman you'd like us to interview? Do you have a question we should ask? Do you know a woman who's willing to share her secrets of hair success? Simply e-mail us:

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