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.

ANN CURRY was the choice of Hair Fans for a study in the middle of 2005. She presents news updates among other assorted duties for NBC's Today Show, and recently was named a co-host of Dateline NBC in prime-time. Curry won the 2004 Crown Award for Makeover of the Year, as she grew out a traditionally short style to below her shoulders. (But we've heard she's doing this for "Locks of Love," so a trim may be coming.) When this style is loose, as here on 25 May, it's fun to watch -- but dangerously challenging to keep in place.

Latest posts at the top; all times U.S. Central (please note we are not always able to monitor all three hours of Today):

Fri, 26 Aug, 6:15 a.m.: From this view at the co-host desk, it appears Ann's pinned up her hair in some way. There's a lot of pulling back at the crown, and strands secured behind the ears....

7:30 a.m.: ....but that may be misleading. Outside on the plaza for a Joss Stone concert, it appears there's merely teasing at the crown. With not much wind blowing, this style looks both attractive and safe. (It could be she made a change during a commercial break; we're not really sure.)

Thu, 25 Aug, 6:42 a.m.: Here's a good look at Ann's long style in the studio. When she brings hair in front of the shoulders, she appears to have large hints of curl at the ends, Extra-large rollers could accomplish this -- but is this functional, in terms of keeping the style controlled?

8:15 a.m.: DEFEATED. There's a "fall preview" fashion show outside on the plaza, complete with scattered red leaves on the ground - and in the first second or two of the segment, too fast for us to shoot, a stronger wind sends a few long strands flying right-to-left into Ann's face. You can see the impact in this sequence, as she chats with a woman from Lucky magazine. A lot of hair is blown in front of the shoulder....

....a wind strong enough that hair seems to fall off her right ear, close to the eye....

....and the wind tries to collapse Ann's style completely! To her credit, she resorts to a hard head-turn and brushes as much hair behind the right ear as she can - so despite all this, it doesn't fall in her eyes anymore.

The wind was tough enough to even push models' styles down. This unknown woman was an exception; her soft-looking curls acted like a hard helmet and refused to move more than an inch off-line. Take heart, curl fans -- this woman impressed; on this day, our focus really did not.

Because Ann's hair is defeated, we'll continue the watch until she completes her fill-in duty for Katie Couric - as it seems that's the only reason the pins came off, after so many weeks.

Wed, 24 Aug, 7:30 a.m.: This is traditionally "step outside" time for the Today hosts, and we get a good look at how Ann prepares her hair for this. Measuring from the part line, about three inches of hair is set either behind the ear or very close to it.

There's a bit of breeze blowing today -- but Ann can feel it affecting her style, and she reaches up to adjust it before it can get too close to her face. She doesn't have to resort to the head turns of the day before.

Updating a side issue: the anti-Ann blog we mentioned a few days ago has added a link to our Hair Watch. But what gives with the introduction line, about "if you think this blog is weird...."?!

Tue, 23 Aug, 7:30 a.m.: Ann's hair is very similar to yesterday - only this time, she's not kissing anyone on camera. She employs an interesting strategy on the plaza, to counter what apparently is a light breeze. She turns left for a few seconds, compared with the camera....

....then she swings back to the right for a few seconds. The head turns toss any stray hairs away from the face - but we never notice any. With three or four reaches for her ears, the style seems to stay firmly in position. This is good work!

Mon, 22 Aug, 6:00 a.m.: Finally! Ann co-hosts Today , and the pins are left in the dressing room! She emphasizes the shoulders and ears, to keep her hair off her face....

And even turning her head, the hair seems long enough to stay in position. It doesn't drop at all when she turns to face the camera.

7:30 a.m.: But what's happening here, outside on the plaza? On a spur-of-the-moment whim, Ann kisses Matt Lauer! She is married and a mom, isn't she?!

We're so focused on her long hair being outside that we almost miss this tabloid-laden moment! (Imagine if Katie Couric had done this....)

Suddenly Ann seems to come to her senses. But at least she's sensible with her styles, as the hair stays in line very well.

In response to this, Matt suggests Ann kiss Willard Scott as well. She sprints over to him and does it - and the hair stays behind her shoulders as she does, as her posture is upright throughout. Of all the mornings not to be in New York....

Fri, 19 Aug: Yet another barrette! It may be about time to ask you the question again....

And brace yourself for this -- we've uncovered an anti-Ann blog! What you do with this is completely your responsibility.

Thu, 18 Aug: After two days "on assignment," Ann returns to the anchor desk -- with a bun on top again.

Mon, 15 Aug: A topknot at the top of the hour, as she anchors.

Fri, 12 Aug: The same barrette as yesterday....

Thu, 11 Aug: Tuesday's barrette returns. (Do you think she's on to us, and is doing this on purpose?)

Wed, 10 Aug: A bun in back: boring....

Tue, 9 Aug: It's a barrette in the back for Ann today.

Mon, 8 Aug: Ann almost appears to have a top-knot at the anchor desk.

Fri, 5 Aug: Yawn, Ann is well-pinned again on Dateline NBC....

....but we find this picture at TV Heads from earlier in the week, giving a unique perspective on one of those pin-up styles. Hair can still flow down in front of her right shoulder, if she turns in the right direction. But thanks to the pins, the face is clear.

Wed, 3 Aug: We couldn't quite see what sort of pin it was -- but Ann pins hair back at the anchor desk once more.

Tue, 2 Aug: Today's pin is a barrette, allowing Ann to slide strips of hair through and stay behind her neck.

Mon, 1 Aug: Ann's "pin of the day" at the anchor desk is a giant hair-grabbing clip.

7:15 p.m.: At last the pins come off! Ann questions the parents of a teenage heroin addict -- and in the studio, there's no risk to her hair at all. She tucks hair behind the ears to be sure, and it results in a style with a good deal of flexibility. It can be behind the shoulders or in front, yet still be in good shape.

Fri, 29 Jul, 8:00 a.m.: STILL a couple of pins in the back. But previews for that evening's Dateline NBC actually show Ann with no pins at all. We can only hope....

Thu, 28 Jul: Ann's down to only one pin in back, at the anchor desk. That's closer....

Tue, 26 Jul: Back at the New York anchor desk, two pins in back hold Ann's normally most forward hair.

Mon, 25 Jul, Paris: Ann chats with Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, with pinned hair in a ball above her head. But the voters have spoken in our most active Hair Watch poll ever -- and 81 percent say we should wait her out (21-5), so we shall.

To bide our time, this is the picture of Ann with Stone Phillips posted at the Dateline NBC web site. We don't know how old it is, but the hair seems shorter than we've seen lately. We've been missing Ann on the Friday episodes, but plan to tune in for a promised one-hour special report later in the week.

Wed, 20 Jul: Ann brings the hair down again, but with plenty of it pinned back behind her neck. After 28 days of this....

Tue, 19 Jul: The hair is all the way up again during the morning news. One more day will mean four weeks of pins, and we'll have to ask you about whether to continue this.

Mon, 18 Jul: Ann returns to the news desk in New York, and the style at last is down -- yet the pinning continues, as hair closest to the forehead is pulled back with a pin behind her.

Thu, 14 Jul: Ann is seen only briefly aboard Laura Bush's plane flying between African countries. A bun in back is visible, so drop the chop rumors. Since this was on tape, we'll leave the "pin count" at nine.

Wed, 13 Jul, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Outside. Pinned up. Nine. (It doesn't look like she's made that rumored big chop.)

Tue, 12 Jul, Cape Town, South Africa: Ann is in a school, interviewing Laura Bush -- and the hair looks not only pinned, but slicked back for hold. Eight....

Mon, 11 Jul, Gabarone, Botswana: Ann is with U.S. first lady Laura Bush on a tour of Africa -- and she took all her hairpins with her. The up-do count reaches seven. (Should we count her out at ten?)

Wed, 6 Jul: SIX days in a row with pinned hair. Katie Couric declares it a "very humid morning" in New York -- and maybe humidity is one weakness Ann is guarding against.

Tue, 5 Jul: The pin-up count reaches five work days in a row. We hope Ann is resting this hair for an upcoming overseas trip, because otherwise Hair Fans will be disappointed.

Thu, 30 Jun: Again Ann's hair is pinned up for safety, while Katie Couric's hair plops in her left eye on the plaza. If we want buns, we'll go to a bread store....

Wed, 29 Jun: Pinned back again? Is a Nor'Easter hitting New York, or what?

Tue, 28 Jun: Ann pins up the style again, apparently in more of a bun.

Thu, 23 Jun: Ann folds her hair and pins it in the back, for the first time in a while.

Wed, 22 Jun, 6:00 a.m.: Again Ann co-anchors -- and again her hair starts the day solid, this time all the way behind her shoulders. Well, except for a few strays which don't want to stay -- as if they're fighting forward like visitors on the plaza with signs, trying to get our attention.

7:40 a.m.: The Today cast prepares cookies from scratch, apparently outside on the plaza. (They're plugging a New York store; we won't do that here.) Our picture is grainy because of a wide TV shot, but Ann shows how she handles bend-down situations: left-side hair is thrown as far back as possible, while right-side hair is allowed to come forward. The pressure is on her right ear here, and she tilts her head slightly so hair goes down instead of forward....

....and it works, as hair stays well off the face and on the ear. We get the impression Ann has more confidence with the right side of her style than her left, but we're not sure why.

Tue, 21 Jun, 6:00 a.m.: Co-Hosting Today again, Ann brings a strip of hair in front of the shoulders from around the ear. (You almost can't see it on the left side, because barely a few strands are there.) Note the hint of a flipped curl at the left shoulder - a nice distraction.

Combing to curve the ends toward the neck subtly accentuate the face - but might make Hair Fans long to see it move in more.

7:30 a.m.: Outside on the plaza, hair is in front of her left shoulder, but the ears keep the overall style solid.

As this appearance ends, though, Ann turns toward us -- and a surprise breeze comes from our right to left! It's too quick to snap, but a small strip of hair tried to blow into her face. It almost bounced in, but then bounced back out -- another close call.

Thu, 16 Jun:  We close a special six-day "showdown" poll pitting Ann against Angelina Jolie - and by 9-6 (it was once 8-1), Hair Fans say Jolie would win a Super-Hair War. One dismisses the Curry cut as "too limp" - but at least she doesn't pose for pictures with a defeated style, as Jolie does to promote her movie Mr. And Mrs. Smith.

6:00 a.m.: Ann's back at the anchor desk with Matt Lauer - and again the ears-teasing combination for hair control is working well. A funny Lauer line about PMS only brings hair forward a little....

....but it remains securely behind that right ear through it all.

7:00 a.m.: Back outside on the plaza, the comb-back at the forehead seems a bit more pronounced. There's no noticeable breeze to bother the hair at first - but just before Lauer introduces the news with Natalie Morales, wind tries to shove hair from Ann's left side forward. It was too quick for us to snap, but the hair seemed to bounce back off her face just in the nick of time to avoid defeat.

Wed, 15 Jun, 8:00 a.m.:  Ann returns from a short absence, and serves as co-host. That means she steps outside onto the Rockefeller Center Plaza, where breezes often have been more than Katie Couric can handle. She sets up for this with what appears to be a bit of teasing added to the ear tuck-back. Hair is in front of the right shoulder here....

.... but a turn right throws that hair back easily....

....then a turn back to the left brings forward only a strip stuck behind the ear. This hair is ready for the challenge, and it's coming.

8:15 a.m.: Ann stays outside to interview the coach of cycling champion Lance Armstrong. (No, it's not Sheryl Crow.) The left side has some hair in front, but the right side is behind the shoulder - a smart move, because a light breeze is blowing from our left to right.

She turns to ask a question, and that right-side hair falls forward - but remains behind the ear.

Ann dips her head for another question - and you can see a couple of loose strands on the left side of the picture. During the interview, the breeze tried to fly those strands forward into her face (too fast for us to shoot) -- and they might have bounced in and out, not staying forward.

That's why the interview ends with Ann's right side looking a bit messed up. The style survives, but it's been in a fight against the elements.

Wed, 8 Jun, 8:00 a.m.: Ann dips her head to check her scripts, allowing us a good look at the crown of her style. She's only using the ears for protection today, and the slight brushing-in at the tips increases the attraction level for some Hair Fans.

As the newscast ends and she turns back to the hosts, we see only one strip of hair has curled forward around the right ear. We assume she threw hair back during a series of videotapes -- not that she needed to do this to keep the style from collapsing. This woman clearly is "hair conscious." Good - so are we.

Tue, 7 Jun: While Ann's hair is tied back for the newscasts, it's unpinned for her exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie. In the segment we were able to monitor, Ann again uses a three-pronged approach to hair control: extensive teasing, her ears and her shoulders. Strands occasionally drop forward at the shoulders, but nothing else happens. As we've noted here before, multiple lines of defense can mean very hard-to-beat styles.

Oh yeah, we thought some of you would want to see Jolie as well. Her comb-back teasing seems even harsher -- and she keeps hair in front of her shoulders, unafraid to let it move around a little....

Mon, 6 Jun, 8:30 a.m.: The usual hosts of Today apparently have errands to run, so Ann is co-host during the third hour. There's a lot of teasing around the forehead to keep it clean, along with the use of her ears for style control. But a little hair keeps wanting to fall in front of her right shoulder....

....and moments try to come forward at the left shoulder, although the ends stay back somehow.

A short moment off-camera is all that's needed to restore the hair to where she really wants it. Obviously she's sensitive to its position. But wait, someone is cooking outside on the plaza....

8:50 a.m.: Ann hurries outside to join the fun at the close of the show, and we catch her securing the hair to her ears. She needs to do this, because the wind is blowing from left to right as we look at her. So does the style stay in line?

Yes. Even though the breeze pushes hair in front of the shoulder, there's no budging around the ears. Ann gives us just enough hair movement to think her style's in trouble, but takes enough care to keep the risk of defeat minimal.

Fri, 3 Jun: Another tie-back day, similar to Wednesday. It's enough to keep Hair Fans watching for the day when she dares to "do without...."

Thu, 2 Jun, 7:00 a.m.: Now this is more like it - Ann using no pins for support. She sets up for this newscast with her sleek style behind her ears and shoulders, along with some teasing at the center of the forehead. But will it stay there?

At about the one-minute mark, hair starts to come forward at the left shoulder. The hair behind the left ear seems secure, however.

About 90 seconds - and not much change. She tilts her head left a bit, but we don't think it's out of "hair necessity."

About two minutes: now some strands have come down from both shoulders - but there's still all sorts of room around the face, and the short newscast ends with the style nowhere near a complete collapse.

Some women are experts at keeping their long hair behind their shoulders, for perhaps 30 minutes at a time. (In general, this becomes easier as hair grows longer.) On this day, Ann was not -- but careful preparation from the ears up ensures "shoulder drops" are not an issue in this style's success or failure.

Wed, 1 Jun, 8:00 a.m.: Ann pulls back her hair again, this time in a way to keep the face as open as possible. Unless there's a demand for it, we will not post any more tie-back pictures -- because what we really want to see is Ann's hair untied and facing daily tests.

Tue, 31 May, 7:05 a.m.: Ann chooses a curious-looking pinback. Whether it's a bun or not, we can't tell - but the top of the forehead suggests it might not be centered.

Mon, 30 May, 8:00 a.m.: Here's a great look at Ann's loose locks. She combs hair back on the right side only, using her ear for support as much as she can. (We're assuming some of the hair farther back must be sprayed into position.) Ann's left side doesn't need teasing for some reason, and her ear keeps the hair in place. It's a clean precise-looking approach - but would it last outside in Rockefeller Plaza?

Fri, 27 May, 8:50 a.m.: We're only able to catch Ann in a corner of the screen at the end of Today, which explains why our vid-cap is fuzzy. Not that much hair seems tucked behind the ears -- and with hair in front of the shoulders combed inward, she offers a bit of a Liz Cho look. (Cho's hair would be much more precisely groomed, though.)

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 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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