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.

KATIE COURIC of TV's Today Show was your choice for Season 4. This picture is from the July 18-24 cover of TV Guide magazine, and shows her regular basic (and apparently quite expensive) style. Does this style earn its keep on a daily basis? That's why we're here....

Latest updates are at the top; all times U.S. Central:

Sun, 12 Sep, 6:05 p.m.: Couric makes a guest appearance on Dateline NBC (but on tape only), interviewing the author of a new political book. Based on this style, we'd guess this occurred late in the day. The hair doesn't seem processed at all - and she seems to rely on her shoulders and left ear as her only means of keeping the hair in place.

This rare back view of Couric's cut shows it's neck-length at the spine. But it looks longer than that toward the front; else the shoulders would not be used by her for hold (and if you saw the interview, you know she did use them.

With this, we close our Couric watch - as we've documented how her hair can fall to defeat. For streaming video of this style in motion (oh yeah, and news as well), we recommend the MSNBC web site.

Fri, 10 Sep, 6:00 a.m.: What shall we call this trend, Flatiron Friday? The ends are almost straight - except the tips seem brushed inward, and may be subtly curled a bit with the iron. The right-side hair seems well-sprayed, to keep things in line.

Thu, 9 Sep, 6:10 a.m.: Couric sometimes wears eyeglasses to read over her papers. As she does it here, we're not sure if the glasses extend out far enough to provide an extra bit of protection from the hair falling across her eye. We lean toward saying they do.

Wed, 8 Sep, 6:00 a.m.: There's that bit of looseness in a few strands next to the right eye again. Since there's no curl at the end to go with the hair behind it, we have to conclude it's sticking in place there thanks to spray.

 7:00 a.m.: The "muscle curl" at the ends is back, perhaps due to a touch-up during a break. But has she left a few strands loose and exposed on either side of her face? We couldn't watch the entire program, to see how this held up.

Tue, 7 Sep, 6:00 a.m.: It's too rainy in New York for Couric to go outside - so you have to guess what a few drops might do to this look. With her right eye a bit shadowed by a "wall" of hair, it might not take much to bring the style down.

Fri, 3 Sep, 6:00 a.m.: A look much like the day before - and we like the tips softer and more feathered, although we understand the need for more curl there to toughen the style in windy situations.

Thu, 2 Sep, 6:00 a.m.: Left-side hair is combed in toward the neck today -- always a nice way to frame the face, and get Hair Fans dreaming about moving it in even more.

And how about this for some fun! We happened to snap the very moment Today's director switched from a close-up of Couric to a map of Hurricane Frances. Those aren't bangs between Couric's eyes; it's an outer "rain band" from the storm. Your imagination can take it from there as far as you dare.

Wed, 1 Sep, 7:00 a.m.: We get the feeling there's more of a breeze in Manhattan today. You can't really tell when Couric bends her head down to check her notes....

But look at the effort she makes to toss the hair back when her head comes up! She obviously was concerned a straight lift up might leave strands in her face -- especially since there doesn't seem to be much curl on the right side for support. (But note in the top picture, she does have a few strands hidden behind her left ear.) We admire women who go to some extra trouble to keep hair under control, in challenging situations.

Tue, 31 Aug, 6:00 a.m.: Not much is different from the day before, except the right-side hair is turned in a more pronounced way. Note she doesn't have any hidden "tucking-back" of strands behind her ears.

Mon, 30 aug, 6:00 a.m.: Couric's finally back in New York, and apparently not needing the heavy curl at the ends for wind protection. But the tips seem to sweep to the side more than the hair around her right eye. Perhaps that's why even in a studio, she's leaning.

7:00 a.m.: Outside "30 Rock," we see a view which suggests we were misled an hour before. Turn the left-side strands around, and that "weight curl" becomes more noticeable.

....but she's still doing the head tilt for safety.

Fri, 27 Aug, Athens, 6:00 a.m.: The Greek "marathon" ends for Couric with a much tamer 'do. The flip at the tips is back.

And the comb-back is more of an angle, as opposed to a sweeping circle. Truly she can create a number of variations with this basic style.

Thu, 26 Aug, Athens, 6:00 a.m.:  Couric's right side is heavy-looking and quite loose today. It's so loose that you wonder if she had to walk across a breezeway just before air time to reach the anchor desk.

6:30 a.m.: Out on the concourse, we're waiting to see if the wind will give this style a thrashing - but no! Somehow a small strip refuses to be pushed into her right eye. Anyone have an idea about how she pulled this off? We'd certainly like to know.

Wed, 25 Aug, Athens, 6:00 a.m.: Couric's look is flat, and combed inward so it's almost threatening to smother her face - but of course, not quite. Let's check the angle of hair closest to the right eye. The turn toward the back comes very low (too low for safety?!), around the cheekbone....

But does it ever sweep far back, once the curve comes. Notice how well in line her right-side hair is, compared to the slightly-messy looking left side above.

Tue, 24 Aug, Athens, 6:00 a.m.: It's a tie-back day for Couric - but that right side strikes us again. It apparently isn't long enough to go all the way back into a ponytail....

7:00 a.m.: ....and here she tucks it behind an ear for safety. No wonder it plopped down during gymnastics training. How many women would feel awkward with that sort of look?

Mon, 23 Aug, Athens, 6:00 a.m.: With her hair its usual loose "self" at the anchor desk, Couric tips her head - and that slight tip seemingly does nothing to jostle the style. It appears to us to be sprayed at the ends.

A view from the side shows the hair combed back, with a hint of curl that looks natural - but now we think it's sprayed on the entire right side. When she's out on the concourse an hour later, that hair stays in line very well despite a wind blowing across her face.

Fri, 20 Aug, Athens, 6:00 a.m.: If your office has a "Casual Friday," Today may have that policy as well. Couric's showing a flat and straight style, much like last Friday.

Here's a look from the side, showing what she has to do for control with this approach -- clearly putting hair behind her ear.

Thu, 19 Aug, Athens, 6:00 a.m.: Couric's style is very similar to Monday's, with perhaps a slightly less severe curl. Note the tilt of the head, even though the hair seems to have space on her right side to stay clear of her eye.

7:20 a.m.: In a taped feature, Couric learns basic gymnastics moves from the U.S. coach. (Too bad it's not Top Ten member Kristen Smyth.) Like so many gymnasts, Couric pins her hair back for this. But not completely....

GOTCHA! After a cartwheel on the floor, we catch Couric (OK, a bit blurrily) with that all-important strip of hair in the right eye. Did she leave this side vulnerable just for fun? (She left the hair there long enough for us to snap it twice.) We knows she cares about her style, so this is a slight surprise.

Wed, 18 Aug, Athens: Couric appears with a ponytail right from the start. Even Olympic stars need to have "rest days" - in her case, for her hair.

Tue, 17 Aug, 6:00 a.m., Athens: We like this version of Couric's style a bit better than the one shown Monday. That look reminded us a bit of an oversized cowboy hat. This comes across to us as less forced, perhaps because the right-side hair is in slightly and the tips are nowhere near as rigid.

7:00 a.m.: This time Couric is ready for the wind - as the hair appears tied back, out on the concourse. She thought of this one day too late, though....

Mon, 16 Aug, 6:00 a.m., Athens: It's so windy in Greece that Olympic rowing was postponed a day before. Yet there Couric sits on the set with her usual loose style. The noticeable difference we see is a very pronounced curl at the tips - but even that looks relaxed, not stiff. If she steps outside on the plaza with that....

7:00 a.m.: DEFEATED. The NBC camera has a 'wide shot" on all the stars of Today - but we're not far enough away to miss what the wind is doing to Couric's cut. The right side bounced around several times, while keeping a solid wall. She dipped her head once or twice, to save the style. But after about a minute, that vulnerable strip nearest the right eye fell across her face. She shook it back after a second, but it was enough.

Why didn't Couric tie this hair back? we ask ourselves. We predicted the night before she would, especially given what we saw last week. For many women with Super-Hair, that would have been a no-brainer. Maybe when Couric returns home, some New York tabloid writer will ask her. In the meantime, we'll keep the watch going a few more weeks as a courtesy to her fans.

Fri, 13 aug, 7:20 a.m., Athens: Couric shows a straighter style at the anchor desk, as if she took a flatiron with her from New York to Greece. It's especially evident at the tips. The left side looks like it's tucked behind an ear, but a closer check shows it's not. Wind isn't threatening this style, and the precision really shows.

7:00 p.m.: OK, so the Olympic opening ceremony is tape-delayed several hours - but when NBC shows it, Couric is in a press box with more curl in the style. There's obvious round-brushing on her left side, and on the right....

This side view indicates there must be some spraying, to keep that hair in position. Was a curling iron used? We don't think so from this angle, although the front view gives that impression.

Thu, 12 Aug, 6:00 a.m., athens: Couric enters the Today broadcast position, at last with her hair unpinned. But it's a breezy day on a concourse, and her hair is tested right away. A gust from our right to left attacks the "weak side" of the sidepart - and it throws a couple of bangs across Couric's forehead. We thought she was growing them all out! But on her left side, they remain as a safety buffer (or as we like to call them, "warning bangs") so she has time to adjust longer strands away from danger.

(We thank TV for this vidcap. We snapped our own pictures off the screen -- but our camera apparently overheated from the pressure.)

7:20 A.M.: Couric steps away from the desk to interview a U.S. women's gymnastics team whose hair seems to be pinned 24 hours a day. She has to "do the lean" a couple of times to keep right-side hair away from her face; her sunglasses don't seem big enough to do any blocking. At one point, wind from the other side pushes left-side hair forward again. Tips have to fight fiercely to stay at the cheek, but they remain out of Couric's left eye.

(Only minutes before, diving champion Laura Wilkinson is interviewed outside as well. Her long curls seem thin -- and the wind almost pushes a couple of wisps into her face, even though she's using sunglasses as a headband and keeping hair behind her ears.)

8:00 a.m.: A session with the Olympic mascots (wow, they do have big feet!) shows a breeze blowing hair around on the spectators behind Couric. But with seemingly added curl (you can see it on her left side above), her "hair wall" stays solidly in position even when she dips her head. It's a nice recovery from a shaky start.

Wed, 11 aug, 6:45 a.m., Athens: Couric examines archeological work at the Parthenon - and her hair is even more pinned back, this time seemingly using a stick. For Hair Fans, this is more like "Yawn-ee at the Acropolis." And we can't resist wandering down the dial, to gaze longingly upon Taina Hernandez's marvelous soft waves at the Scott Peterson trial on ABC. Ooooooo....

Tue, 10 Aug, 6:40 a.m., Athens, Greece: It's hot and sunny, as Couric awaits the start of the Olympic Games. And it's a rare occasion when she pins her hair back. Since there's no noticeable wind blowing the tips around, we're assuming she did this merely for heat reasons. One message board later claims Couric changed sunglasses every time she appeared on camera, but we don't stick around to find out.

Sun, 1 Aug: Is Couric's cut really worth the $600 price tag TV Guide put on it? Most Hair Fans in a one-week poll say no. Read the results in Cutting Edge Hair News.

Fri, 30 Jul, Boston, 6:01 a.m.: Couric moves outside for a Democratic "sendoff event" in a park. It turns out her style is a carbon copy of the day before - with softness at the right eye, instead of a processed flip back. She couldn't get away with that if a wind was blowing. But there's none which we can notice.

7:20 a.m.: Couric has an "exclusive" interview with the Democratic ticket. There's still no wind blowing to disturb the style, and we can see some curving of hair close to the left eye to keep it back. (It's hard to tell from looking if it's sprayed or not.)

Couric dips her head noticeably as the interview ends -- and it looks like the right side gets extremely close to the right eye. But it happens so fast that we can't really be sure if it falls or not.

Thu, 29 Jul, Boston: Our camera is having problems, but Katie is covering the convention of the Democratic Party from a Fleet Center "skybox." There's no flip at the tips, as the hair is rounded around the face. Her key strip of hair (closest to the forehead, angling from her left to right) curves around the right eye, staying clear by about an inch and sprayed into position as a solid "sidewall."

7:20 a.m.: Couric interviews Maureen Dowd of The New York Times in the skybox. Dowd's medium-long hair is pouffed, curved and stylish - not quite what you'd expect of a newspaper columnist at this hour of the morning. In fact, her hair outlasts Couric's cut; by the second question, Couric has tucked her hair behind her right ear for security. Perhaps 80 minutes of TV lights began to wear down Couric's spray.

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

Season 2: Stephanie Woods

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

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