December 2003: Bonnie Bernstein

When any new sport or league begins from scratch, star performers eventually emerge. That's even true of the Internet - since how many people had heard of Yahoo or Google ten years ago? So when we went to the Internet with a web site seeking the greatest celebrity hairstyles, it was probably inevitable that one woman would rise to the top. In this case, she happened to come from sports television....

BONNIE BERNSTEIN debuted on Super-Hair in 2000 as #13 in our Ultimate 50. Once her fans noticed the CBS Sports reporter here, the floodgates seemingly opened. In a 12-month period, Bernstein was voted as the first inductee in the Hair Fans' Hall of Fame, became the 2002 champion of Super-Hair Wars, captured a record five Crown Awards (including one for her Wars title) and led the U.S. to triumph in the first Cup of the Americas.

So what is it about Bernstein's long hair that has "Bonnie-Philes" so fired up? Several of them urged us to go directly to the source - and after trying several dead ends of communication, we finally reached her. Bernstein was happy to answer our questions, through an e-mail exchange with her New York office:

SUPER-HAIR: How would you describe your hair and your style? And how long are those locks these days?

BONNIE BERNSTEIN: Hmm. I don't know that there's really any style to it. It's just long and straight, maybe three inches below my shoulders.

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

BB: It's been this length probably about two years.

S-H: When you were at ESPN, the hair was shorter and seemingly curlier. What made you decide to go longer and straighter after you left?

BB: I've had long hair my whole life, but cut it really short early in my career, hoping viewers would focus more on the information I was disseminating and less on aesthetics. Now that I've been fortunate enough to establish some solid credibility in the business, I've let my hair grow back to the length I love!

S-H: What do you like most about your hair? (Is there anything you dislike about it?)

BB: I like the color, especially when it gets lighter in the summer. I was actually blond as a little kid, but my hair got darker as I got older. I have very fine hair, so I guess it would be nice if it were a bit thicker.

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

BB: Mother nature! I have no idea how women wear their hair down in the elements. I've tried, but just got tired of it blowing all over the place. So during the football season, unless I'm in a dome stadium, it's up in a barrette.

S-H:What routine do you go through (if you have one) to prepare your hair for a telecast?

BB: I'm pretty low-maintenance. For outdoor games, I just blowdry and throw it up in a clip. For studio, I'll set it with rollers for an hour to get some body in it.

S-H: Do you use any specific treatments, like spray or gel, to keep the hair in place?

BB: I swear by Tigi's Bed Head "Hard Head" hairspray. Our stylist for the super bowl used it three years ago, and it's been a fixture in my bag ever since. With rollers, I use Kusco-Murphy setting lotion (unfortunately, they've discontinued the line, so I'm in search of a new product!)

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

BB: I've never had a major mishap with this one. The wind's blown my hair around a little, but I've never had my whole mop completely blanket my face (thank goodness!)

S-H:  Some people consider you and Jill Arrington rivals at CBS, in a way. Is that realistic?

BB: We're not rivals at all! We cover totally different sports.

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

BB: Do whatever makes you happy. When your hair looks good, you feel great about yourself!

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

BB: I'll have to think about that one... no one really comes to mind.

S-H: Off the topic, admittedly -- but we can't resist. We're sure "Bonnie-Philes" would want to know if you're (ahem) spoken for these days?! Or does your schedule make such things possible?

BB: The schedule makes it tough, but I have faith my knight in shining armour is out there somewhere!

SUMMARY: Bonnie shared some interesting things here - most notably that women with longer hair can use hairspray effectively. This explains why during basketball season, her style is normally unpinned yet well-controlled. (But perhaps surprisingly, it's not teased at the roots that much.) We also can't help noting Bonnie seems to have a personal goal of keeping her "whole mop" out of her face. That's a great goal, which we love to see women with Super-Hair fulfill in challenging situations.

(Don't overlook some other points in Bernstein's favor: her athletic background in college gymnastics, her "beauty smarts" as an academic all-American, and what she called in a magazine interview her "cat-like reflexes" when trouble approaches.)

Her fans disagree with us, but we have noticed a couple of times when a few (and only a few) of Bonnie's long strands went across her eyes - at football games in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in 2002, for instance. But overall, she has a great style and does great work to keep it in control. Who will have the hair to finally outbattle Bernstein?

(Thanks also to Bernstein's web site for allowing us to use a couple of her photos.)


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

November 2003 -- Kienji's colossal curls

September 2003 -- Aimee Myer, Aspiring Teen Model

June 2003 -- Deborah Gianoulis, Jacksonville Journalist

May 2003 -- Allison Curran, 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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