Hair Watch

When a head of Super-Hair is on display, it's worth watching. When it's on display day after day and in risky situations, that earns special attention. This section of the site has a goal of providing it -- by keeping regular updates on how women with Super-Hair deal with the challenges they face, whether successfully or not.

SHARYN ALFONSI won a spirited poll among Hair Fans, for our watch at the end of 2005. She's a CBS News reporter who has grown out an ultra-short sidepart to about chin-length, as shown here 13 Sep from Ohio. Perhaps voters expect her to grow it out more. Will she do that -- and will her style have the strength and control to stay out of her left eye in the process?

Latest posts at the top (we'll note her appearances as "morning" for The Early Show, or "evening" for the CBS Evening News); please note we are not always able to monitor every CBS newscast:

31 Jan: There's a two-thirds majority to end this watch (6-3) -- so we shall. Keep checking the CBS News web site to admire Sharyn's locks in action.

Mon, 23 Jan, evening, Washington: Sharyn is inside the U.S. Capitol, reporting on a Congressional hearing about mine safety. She takes a very conservative approach with her style - combed back off the forehead, and seemingly falling behind the shoulder blades. It's hard to tell how long this style has become, but that's a noteworthy adjustment.

Thu, 5 Jan, evening, Tallmansville, WV: Out of respect for the coal mining disaster Sharyn is covering, we post these pictures without comment....

Wed, 4 Jan, evening:

Tue, 3 Jan, evening:

Mon, 2 Jan, evening, Baghdad, Iraq: Talk about a quick flight! Well, we really think Sharyn files a leftover report about a doctor from her August trip to Iraq. She only appears for a few seconds (too quick for us to snap), and wears a "prayer shawl" to cover her head.

Sun, 1 Jan, evening, New York: Sharyn's in the studio, showing hair brushed in so it touches well down her neck. It's combed back a bit on her right side, but not at all on the left.

Yet she can tip her head a bit to the right, without worrying about that left-side hair drooping. There probably was some spraying before she went on the set - and this picture reveals a bit of teasing on top for position.

Fri, 30 Dec: Our online interview with Sharyn now is posted in Super-Hair Q&A!

Thu, 29 Dec, Morning, New York: Compared with other stories, things are absolutely tame for Sharyn here. She's in an office, and able to place her hair anywhere she wishes. Yet she chooses a relatively conservative approach, with a bit of teasing at the top of the forehead and small strips of hair behind each ear.

Thu, 22 Dec, evening, New York: The Transit Workers Union calls off its strike, and Bob Schieffer grants permission for Sharyn to come inside from the cold. (These news anchors have a lot of power!) No icy wind seems to blow on this style during a live report - and the style again has some serious protective combing-back on her right side. The left side may have some "body curl" near the ends for support.

Tue, 20 Dec, evening, New York: "Are you cold?" Bob Schieffer asks Sharyn as she stands outside Madison Square Garden. Such a silly question - we want to know if she used hairspray on her style before her live report on a transit strike. It doesn't look like she did, as strips of hair seem loose near her left ear as she turns around to display the scene. But there's no noticeable wind to disrupt the style -- unless that is what's shoving the right side back so much (it's either that or a major comb-back).

Thu, 15 Dec, evening, Leesburg, VA: Sharyn checks the housing market - and begins outside in the top-of-the-show "headlines." The style is approaching shoulder-length now, and our admittedly fuzzy picture shows the left side is awfully close to her eye. Is anything going to happen to push that hair the one or two inches, to bring the style down?

We never get a good close-up shot of Sharyn during her report, but here the hair seems even closer the left eye. There's no noticeable wind blowing, but it's truly a near-fall.

Yet when she walks down a sidewalk with a real estate agent, the left side seems to twist back a bit. Sharyn reaches for the hair and tucks it back as she walks, but we never notice a total collapse.

Inside a home, we get this view from the side and back. Perhaps Sharyn prepared this report over several days, because the style looks an inch or two shorter here than it does outside.

Tue, 6 Dec, evening. Boston: Sharyn is back in her old home area, and standing outside on a windy evening. But the wind is in her face, blowing the hair back. She seems to have added to the protection, by placing hair behind her right ear and combing it far back to her left above the forehead. The style never flexes forward on camera.

Sharyn has replied to a set of interview questions we e-mailed her. Some revealing results will be posted later in December, as our schedule permits.

Mon, 28 Nov: "Your web site is amazing," Sharyn Alfonsi writes in an e-mail to Super-Hair! She's agreed to an interview about her style, for an upcoming Super-Hair Q&A.

Tue, 22 Nov, evening, New York: Sharyn is live, watching Thanksgiving travelers at LaGuardia Airport - but she's smart enough not to stand on the tarmac, where fast-moving jets might blow her styles around. She's inside the terminal, yet still appears to be tucking hair back behind both ears. We're not sure what led to this move.

Sun, 13 Nov, evening, New York: Sharyn examines a big new Medicare drug program - and in the show-opening "previews," her hair is pulled back quite a bit. In fact, it looks like she uses the left ear to support some of the strands.

Sharyn's hair doesn't seem to move much as she talks with a woman during her report. And in this studio "briefing," she's more relaxed with her style - not really pulled back on the left side, as if she's bracing for big trouble. (Her right side does seem combed back a good bit, though, based on what we can seen in the top left corner of the picture.)

To answer those of you wondering about that Alfonsi interview: we still have not heard from her.

Wed, 9 Nov, evening, Dover, PA: The topic is a closely-watched school board election - and if we may borrow the phrase, Sharyn's style shows some "intelligent design." The hair is trimmed to angle away from the left eye, although it appears the closest strands might be long enough to fall into the eye if pressed. There's no wind outside to pose a threat.

This is an interesting picture from Sharyn's taped report. There's a lot more combing back on the left side - and notice the S-curl on her left side. Does she have some hidden wave (natural or not) that can play a factor?

Tue, 1 Nov: Super-Hair talks with a different CBS News correspondent, who promises to pass on our request to interview Sharyn. (We won't say which correspondent yet, but a Q&A with her is in the works for you.)

Sun, 30, Oct, evening, Washington: Sharyn reports on the memorial tribute to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Our somewhat blurry shot leaves the impression she may have tucked hair behind the left ear, for a change.

Fri, 21 Oct: A final report in the "Home Front" series is promised from San Diego - but Sharyn never appears during the CBS Evening News. Did Bob Schieffer somehow forget her?

Thu, 20 Oct, Los Angeles: Sharyn's hair dangles dangerously low on the left side during an interview. Does it fall in her eye? We couldn't tell from watching her report, but we don't think so.

There's much less riskiness during Sharyn's live part of the report. The comb-back is quite evident on her right side -- as she follows the example of many women, who don't want to be surprised by the "short side" of the style causing problems.

Wed, 19 Oct, evening, Phoenix: How close can Sharyn's style come without landing in her eye? This seems to be the closest positioning yet - we're guessing no more than a half-inch! And she apparently put it there, because no wind blows to push the hair around. There's plenty of combing back at the crown, with probably plenty of spraying for support.

Sharyn interviews a woman who's running a marathon in tribute to a fallen soldier - and she actually joins in a neighborhood jog! But she's able to tie her hair back in a mini-ponytail, so the hair doesn't fly around or into her face. We're actually surprised she had long enough hair to do this.

Sun, 16 Oct: We go on the CBS News web site for a couple more vidcaps from her road trip. The pictures are small, because the Windows media player isn't offering us full-screen views of her reports. (We didn't try it with RealPlayer, which is also available.) But this picture is from Gulfport, Mississippi....

And this blurry one comes from her talk with children in Georgia -- showing hair quite close to her eye. No wind seemed to affect her hair in either case.

Fri, 14 Oct, evening, Houma, LA: There's less lift on the left side of the style, as we look at it. In fact, this look appears flatter all-around compared with Birmingham. Perhaps the Louisiana humidity is to blame for this.

But there's a bit more teasing on top during this interview from Sharyn's report. It's subtle, but noticeable at the part line. Wind is no factor at this stop on the road trip.

Wed, 12 Oct, evening, Birmingham, AL: Sharyn's style sits very close to the left eye as she stands outside. There's a bit of leaning at one point in her report, but little effect from wind is noticed.

This side view from an interview suggests the style could have subtle layering - a bit shorter toward the front, but only likely a couple of inches.

Tue, 11 Oct, Fort Benning, GA: We're unable to take pictures during the Evening News of Sharyn's trip to an Army base, but we've heard from a Hair Fan who tried to find her there. He says the live reports were not conducted at the main entrances, and he could not get inside farther.

Mon, 11 Oct, Parris Island, SC: Sharyn begins a two-week road trip with reports on "The Home Front." (So why isn't it the road front?) She chats with new marines, with hair much more relaxed compared to the flood zone. There's a bit of combing back on her right side, but the style is delicately close on the left.

Sharyn appears live at the end of her report, and the hair appears no more than one inch off her left eye. There's a slight breeze blowing....

....and so she noticeably leans left a couple of times, to keep the hair out of her face. She succeeds, with little drama.

Fri, 7 Oct: With Sharyn seemingly moved away from the Gulf Coast, we have time to post several "better vidcaps" sent to us by a Hair Fan in the Kansas City area. They're from a variety of recent appearances -- this one showing us a very natural-looking style. The only combing back is on her right side, and it isn't much. The left side appears natural, and a bit daring.

The hair is brushed back all around here -- really more to the side on her left side.

We believe this picture is from New Orleans; the hair appears very similar.

This vidcap appears to be from 21 Sep - and there's teasing only at the top. That may explain why she's tilting her head left, to keep hair on that side away from her eyes.

Talk about a slicked-back look! This is ultra-conservative, to keep hair behind both ears.

This picture may be from Sharyn's earlier assignment in Iraq, because she's in an elegant setting interviewing someone. The hair also appears a bit shorter - almost as if the hair closest to the left eye is cut too short to fall.

To save space, we'll post the full set of vidcaps in the "Alfonsi file" at our message board Let Your Hair Down for you to review.

Mon, 3 Oct, evening, Slidell, LA: Sharyn moves to the New Orleans suburbs, and the breeze apparently picks up again. This is how her hair during the opening introductions -- not only thrown back, but almost looking combed over so her part line is in a different place.

During her main report, Sharyn turns her head left slightly. You can see a strip of hair down by her left ear, and she apparently turned because of it. The hair never blows toward her face -- only back, if at all. She's having to take ingenious and unusual steps to save her style, but they're working.

Fri, 30 Sep, evening, New Orleans: We never get a good close look at the style, but Sharyn seems to have little change from other recent days - taking a safe, clear-forehead approach.

Here's a view of the style from behind Sharyn's right shoulder, during an interview. The lines of hair aren't quite precise, and seem to be placed with fingers as opposed to a comb. But to be fair, we're not sure if she has access to her usual styling tools -- since she's in a city which still has wide areas lacking electric power.

Wed, 28 Sep, evening, New Orleans: This angle actually shows a little lifting on Sharyn's right side, as if she used spray to lock in the hair. Her left side is pushed back again, as if tucked behind the ear - but it doesn't look as forced as other days.

Tue, 27 Sep, evening, New Orleans: It almost appears as if Sharyn's hair is pinned back (a step Sharyl Attkisson resorted to trying, along the Gulf Coast) -- but we don't think it is. It's simply pushed back as far as she can, clearing the forehead. No wind is noticeable to cause problems.

Mon, 26 Sep, evening, New Orleans: The weather calms down, but Sharyn takes a cautious approach outside - combing hair back as much as she can, and placing it behind both ears.

Sun, 25 Sep, morning, New Orleans: Bob Schieffer asks Sharyn to Face the Nation about the hurricanes - and after doing so for a few seconds, she turns to show us something. In the process, she shows a side view of a style brushed back so the weight of the tips is well toward the back of her head.

We don't notice much wind, but Sharyn seems to make a bit of extra effort as she turns back to the camera to make sure hair doesn't linger close. A few strands appear resistant around the left cheekbone -- but the turn throws them back. The CBS News web site lets you see the entire report at no charge, if you have the right media player.

Fri, 23 Sep, evening, New Orleans: the front end of Hurricane Rita approaches the Gulf Coast - and as Sharyn stands in high water, she makes sure to stand where wind will push her hair back. In this short appearance, the wind is constant.

But then she appears live -- and she's in trouble! A 24-mile-per-hour wind from our right (yes, we checked) tries to knock off the hat Sharyn put on to protect her hair. If the hat flies away, could her style be far behind?

Sharyn recovers and keeps the hat on, but a few loose strands want to blow in. Thankfully for her, they stop at about this point -- and may not be long enough to hit her left eye, anyway. Sharyn later admits someone off-camera held onto her ankles, so she could keep her balance. She barely held on at the top.

By the way, the opening of this newscast has that Alfonsi photo we mentioned a few days ago. This is the look we suspect many Hair Fans prefer: brushed loose, and oh-so-close to the left eye. It's unscathed so far....

Please consider supporting our "Super-Hair to the Rescue" project, to help Hurricane Katrina survivors.

Wed, 21 Sep, evening, New Orleans: A similar approach works for Sharyn again. The hair tucked behind Sharyn's right ear turns out to be necessary, as a bit of wind comes up from behind her. It blows from our left to right, but doesn't push hair forward.

We didn't expect it during the opening of the newscast, but a "merry-go-round" of hurricane reporters shows a photo of Sharyn with hair much drier and closer to her left eye. It apparently was taken before she went to the Gulf Coast - and we think it's a more attractive look for her. But where she is, attractiveness really is not the big issue.

Tue, 20 Sep, evening, New Orleans: Sharyn's look isn't quite so harsh tonight, but hair still is combed well back. It's not pulled all the way back on the left side, and seemingly is moussed into position. There appears to be a breeze, but if anything it will push this style farther back. It would take something much stronger to bring it forward - but we don't want to think about Hurricane Rita.

Mon, 19 Sep, evening, New Orleans: Sharyn's in the hurricane disaster zone, with hair which looks slicked back a bit. It's certainly combed back, clearing out the entire forehead. In this live segment, we don't notice any wind which might explain this.

Sharyn walks with a New Orleans doctor, allowing us a side view of her style. It's not that slick-looking here -- with hair closest to the left eye brushed back only a little.

Tue, 13 Sep, evening: See above.

You can join the "Hair Watch," by contributing reports and/or vid-caps of styles under our focus. Send them to us via e-mail: .



Season 7: Ann Curry (Final 8/26/5)

Season 6: Diane McInerney (Final 5/18/5)

Season 5: Taina Hernandez (Final 1/16/5)

Season 4: Katie Couric (Final 9/12/4)

Season 3: Jennifer Hawkins (Final 7/17/4)

Season 2: Stephanie Woods (Dhue)

Season 1: Norah O'Donnell (Final 3/22/4)

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