December 2002: Shannon Oliver of "The Bachelor"
When we post women's hairstyles on our web site, we notify them as time permits and we're able. But sometimes we cannot, because we lack a phone number or e-mail address. So Super-Hair honors can sit online like a surprise, simply waiting to be discovered. For a few women, the discovery can be quite a shock.
SHANNON OLIVER is a great example of this. We saw her on "The Bachelor" in the first half of 2002, and were impressed enough by her shoulder-length hair to put her on our Hot List. Then in November, the woman who operated Shannon's web site decided to hunt around for her on the Internet. That woman found our site, notified Shannon -- and then Shannon wrote us a thank-you message that said: "I almost fell out of my chair when I saw.... myself!"
From that e-mail developed this interview, which we did by phone with Shannon at her residence (no, it's not a millionaire's mansion) in north Texas:
SUPER-HAIR: How would you describe your hair and your style?
SHANNON OLIVER: It's naturally curly, so I blow-dry it straight every single day.
S-H: How long does that take?
SO: It takes about 30 minutes -- so needless to say, I have a fan everywhere I stand because it gets so hot!
S-H: Have you ever worn your hair curly?
SO: I wore it curly when I was younger, 'til like 11th grade. Then I started straightening it more often, for something different. I play with my hair a lot, and run my fingers through it. You can't do that with curls. It turns into a 'Fro by the end of the day!
S-H: So how long have you had your hair in this current style?
SO: For the last year.
S-H: And what did you do before then?
SO: It was to my butt in college -- my waist, I should say. Then I cut 12-14 inches, so it went from the middle of the back to shoulder-length through college. Now I've let it grow back to the middle of my back again.
S-H: Is it more difficult to have long hair?
SO: It's kind of easier, actually. The weight pulls it out, so it's less curly.
S-H: What else do you like about it?
SO: It's pretty low maintenance....
S-H: Even with half-hours a day?
SO: Yeah, because I need no touch-ups for the rest of the day.... I wash it every day, because blow-drying it apparently gets it so greasy.
S-H: And how long does that style last? Say, till ten p.m.?
SO: Yeah, all night.
S-H: Is there anything you dislike about your style?
SO: It's kind of boring. I see so many people with huge short do's. I don't look good with hair that short.
S-H: We ask a question on the web site: "She has to spray it, doesn't she?" Well....?
SO: Actually I don't, because if I do, by force of habit, I run my hands through it all day long.... so it gets tangled. It doesn't end up lasting, so I don't bother.
S-H: What's the biggest problem you face keeping your hair in place?
SO: Humidity is a huge problem for me. It gets real frizzy and starts to curl up again if it gets humid.
S-H: Now the Dallas area doesn't tend to have a lot of humidity....
SO: Yeah, but like college, in South Texas. We get our fair share of humidity here in the summer, so humidity is not my friend.
S-H: On "The Bachelor" there were so many women sharing a mansion. I forget how many....
S-H: So how difficult was it getting ready for dates?
SO: Some rooms would be better for getting ready than others. One had four women sharing a bathroom, and they had taken all the lighting out of the room for big TV lights. That made it so hot...
S-H: It wasn't air conditioned or anything?
SO: It had ceiling fans, but the air conditioner wasn't on.... Fortunately Amanda and me were in a room with huge floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
S-H: Did you ever have to make a schedule for preparing yourselves?
SO: Amanda and I never went on dates on the same day. She could have complete control of the bedroom....
S-H: We read you hosted a TV show at one point.
SO: Yeah, I've started volunteering for them again.
S-H: What sort of TV show is it?
SO: It's local cable access TV for the city of Plano.
S-H: Were you a host or....
SO: I had an anchor position, then was a correspondent, interviewing people on local TV.
Did you have to make any adjustments in getting your hair ready for TV?
SO: Yes, I have a lot of breakage and flyaways, so I definitely had pomade with me to keep everything under control.
S-H: I'm going to ask you a stereotype question. Texas has gained a reputation for women with "big hair." Do you think that's deserved?
SO: I go out in Texas, in Dallas a lot, and yeah, I see a lot of that stereotype. It's not so much big anymore, as it is a focus.... People care a lot about their hair.
S-H: Why do you think that is?
SO: I don't know. I've met people from other states, and they say it's more true across the South, than just Texas.
S-H: When was the last time your hair fell into your eyes in public?
SO: If it's windy outside, then it's all over the place, so I tuck it behind the ears. But since I don't spray it, the wind is not my friend either. So any natural occurrence....
S-H: Do you use any specific treatments to keep the hair in place?
SO: I use a lot of pomade for the flyaways, and also the ends to prevent separation.... I don't like the feathered look at all; I prefer it chunky.
S-H: Chunky?! That's one we haven't heard before....
SO: Yeah. Thankfully, I found a hair stylist who understands my language.
S-H: And who's she? We'll give her a free plug.
SO: Inga! I love Inga.
S-H: And she's in Dallas?
SO: In Dallas.
S-H: Is there anything else special you use?
SO: I also use hair serum, like an oil you put on the tips of your hair.
S-H: What's the name of it?
SO: Biosilk makes it - you'd know better than me.... (laughs)
S-H: That's why we're asking you.
SO: It's called "Recovery Complex"....
S-H: And you blow-dry it, of course....
SO: Also I love straightening irons and curling irons. To make my hair straight, the blow-drying makes it pouffy and fluffy, then a straightening iron finished it off.... the serum makes it shinier, too.
S-H: We've also noticed sometimes you have a little curl in the hair....
SO: I curl it under in the ends for something different.
S-H: And that would help the flyaway problem, too....
SO: Yes, it gives control at the ends.
S-H: What advice would you give someone who wanted to develop Super-Hair?
SO: The biggest thing I've learned is that just because it looks great in a magazine, it's not necessarily for me. You have to choose what's best for you and your face shape.
S-H: Who would you consider to have the best head of hair you've ever seen?
SO: This is tough. I'm very envious of Debra Messing, because she can wear her hair either curly or straight and pull it off. I only wish my hair would look that good curly, with less maintenance.
S-H: Who would you say had the best hair in "The Bachelor" house?
SO: That's a tough question. I'd say Kim. She could wear it curly, she could crimp it with a curling iron -- wear it straight, curly, wear it in braids, a lot of different styles.
S-H: Is there anything you'd like to add about your hair we haven't asked about?
SO: I dye it a lot. I'm a natural brunette, but it's kind of like a muddy brown. I like to make mine darker to give it some kind of depth.
SUMMARY: Are you as amazed as we are by how much effort Shannon puts into her style? We're impressed by the results - and more impressed by how long the straight hair can stand up on a typical day. Even though the style can fall, we appreciate anyone who puts this much work into it.
Shannon expects her web site will be "fading away," as the bachelorettes move on with their lives. We think she's being modest - and we don't think you've seen the last of this woman. (For one thing, we found a resume page posted online, so she apparently has an agent.) May she find success, that "Mr. Right" - and the secret to making humidity and wind her friends.
Super-Hair Q&A Archive:
October 2002 - Carolyn Hughes
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 "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: email@example.com .
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