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.

Right now we're looking for a new style to study. We have some ideas for your votes -- but leave a comment if you have a better suggestion:


STEPHANIE WOODS was selected by an online poll of Hair Fans to be the focus of Season 2. She's a Washington reporter for public television's Nightly Business Report, who's steadily climbed our Top Ten Tresses list by keeping a short-to-midlength sideparted look precise for years.

The look above, from 21 January, is a good example of Stephanie's basic style. Spray undoubtedly is used to support her right side of the style, and teasing at the crown seems apparent as well. She probably doesn't have to tuck the left side behind an ear, but she's doing it here. A bit of round-brushing makes for nice shape and softness at the tips. Woods is in an electronics store here, so there's no risk at all. The hair is safe and solid.

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Latest updates are at the top (no time of day is given, as the program only appears once per evening):

Wed, 2 Jun: By an overwhelming 90-percent margin (9-1), Hair Fans say we should surrender. Stephanie's style is simply too strong, and almost always too perfect -- and we mean those as compliments. We'll keep monitoring her, though, and update you as necessary.

Mon, 31 May: Nightly Business Report shows Woods's President's Day report on antiques for a second time [see 16 Feb]. By now, her pageboy style almost qualifies.

Thu, 27 May: Our apologies for picture problems, but Woods's appearance on this night indoors has a similar look to that of 25 May. The forehead is heavy on bangs, but angled toward the right side.

Tue, 25 May: After a month of waiting, at last Woods takes her newly-modified style outside. While it doesn't move on camera, this hair appears a bit windblown. It's a bit flat on the sides (especially her right side) - and a few bangs drop right down the middle of her forehead. Those bangs seem longer than a month ago, and are downright enticing. But they're still not long enough to hit her eyes -- although they're getting close.

Wed, 19 May: So which look is Woods's favorite, with her modified style? On a library set, she's brushed the bangs completely to the side -- the neater look, as opposed to slightly messy. Hair above the right eye still looks long enough to fall in it. But with bang styles, look-like doesn't always make it so.

Thu, 13 May: Come on out, Stephanie -- it's getting warm outside! But Woods is inside again, showing a bit more bangs. They almost completely cover the forehead, yet they're swept to her right just enough to give the impression of a pageboy. Longer strands next to the right eye now seem the key to success or failure -- but it looks like there's curling done above the right eye to lock that strip in position.

Wed, 12 May: Woods remains indoors, with a look almost exactly like the prior report. A wispy section of bangs is brought onto the forehead, and long hair near the right cheek looks blunt instead of rounded. Otherwise, it's the usual solid style - but we're wishing she stepped outside again.

Thu, 6 May: Another indoor report shows how even Woods's modified style can have some different looks to it. This looks truly like a pageboy - and in fact one in some danger, with hair seemingly less than one inch from her right eye.

A tip of the head shows only a trace of a loose bang on the forehead. The rest is well brushed back, out of sight and almost unnoticable. Hair Fans actually might be distracted by that strip gently folded back from the left ear the bangs first. Woods is simply superb.

Tue, 4 May: We close our one-week poll on Woods's style change, and we're a bit surprised to find a majority of you prefer the shorter bang look. (7-4) One voter titles his comment "Bang!" - perhaps somehow thinking Woods covers basketball games for a living. Based on this outcome, she stays at the top of our Top Ten list.

Mon, 3 May: That was no fluke we noticed a week ago. Woods is back with the same shorter cut -- but it's clearly wider, in this indoor view. Round-brushing combined with spray can make it look more like a pageboy. And she's brushed the bangs to the side, to give that appearance as well.

A slight shift of her head makes that clear. A breeze across the forehead now probably would drop the hair straight down, but it wouldn't be long enough to get in Woods's eyes. As for the strands around the right ear - well, that's the wonderful mystery of a look like this. Could it collapse the style completely? It makes a Hair Fan keep watching....

Mon, 25 Apr: Woods throws Hair Watchers quite a curve, at the end of a report on the Internet. The length overall is trimmed only an inch or two - but bangs?! The risky pageboy is out, and a safe sideparted style is in.

We hesitate to call it a helmet or bowl cut, because the bangs are very light. Woods probably can scatter them anywhere around the forehead she wishes. Meanwhile, there's still enough length around the ear that a wind potentially could blow hair into her right eye -- but it's a lot more difficult now.

Thu, 22 Apr: Woods's topic is dining again - but she's not on a breezy porch. Inside, the pageboy is as perfect as always - except for a small group of strands curving enticingly near the right eye. (It curves away, of course, and it's likely sprayed down.)

Woods opts for plenty of teasing around the forehead today, so perhaps the weather was a problem outdoors -- but she appears ready to face it. What can defeat this Super-style - besides herself?

Tue, 20 Apr: Woods is standing outside again -- but there's no noticeable wind, so there are no worries. Yet we detect a bit of extra teasing on top, just in case a challenge develops. There's brushing-back on both sides of the style, but any spraying is light to keep hair looking on the natural side.

A slight tilt of the head to Woods' left might expose her ear, but not one strand of the style goes out of line. It's Super-Hair on top of its game again.

Thu, 15 Apr: Woods does an extended interview with an executive with McDonald's, about changes in its menu. Dare we compare Super-Hair to fast food?! Well, how about a pageboy as timeless as a cheeseburger - combed back farther this time, so it's not so close to the face. Note the left side is brushed back extensively as well, yet it seems some round-brushing was done to round the tips near the neck.

The interview allows us a rare back view of the style - and even here, you can see the effects of brushing hair back. Woods's goal apparently is to have every end at least pointing toward the nape of the neck. We're only guessing, but we suspect the use of hairspray goes well back as well. In short, the pageboy is a bit more solid than the day before - and in perfect position as it almost always seems to be.

Wed, 14 Apr, Denver, PA: Woods wearing glasses? In this case, they're really safety goggles at a factory where she's examining health insurance issues. But the "safety" here has another meaning -- as the goggles seem to be the only thing keeping her pageboy out of her right eye.

Woods apparently went in using only light spray and minimal teasing, which makes the style appear extra-soft and natural. But that also could increase the danger of collapse....

....yet a slight tip of the head to her left shows the pageboy staying in line. That's true even though some strands seem to be outside the frame of the goggles. The spray farther back apparently does the holding work there.

Woods walks with a plant executive (goggle-less) during her report, allowing us to see a less "set up" look at her hair. Even here the style is loose-looking and quite close to the face, with spray on her right side keeping things secure.

This view indicates there's not much spray on the left side, either. Only a small strip of hair is brushed back toward the shoulder, away from the face.

Woods is opting for softness and high-risk positioning - and this resulted in the closest pictures we've found to her style falling. But the Super-Hair didn't fall, or get out of line at all. Truly a natural look and all-out hold can mix well. Oh, if only we could have seen this style outside that plant....

Wed, 31 Mar: The VCR we're using is flashing unusual messages, and Woods's hair is unusually imperfect. A few strands are down on the pageboy side, and drooping awfully close to her right eye and cheek. If Woods was outside, her Super-Hair could be in trouble - but she's inside, so there's no harm.

Perhaps Woods was rushed to make her air-time deadline. Whatever the reason, this is the worst capture we've had yet of her style. Yet if this is as far out-of-line as her hair gets, it's still very good.

Tue, 30 Mar: Woods is outside, with her hair giving the impression a wind is blowing it back. But the style simply sits there and doesn't move, so that could be an illusion.

Woods helps create that illusion with plenty of teasing at the crown, extending across almost the entire forehead. From the other pictures we've taken, this seems like a lot for her. Near her left ear, we also see a small strip of hair twisting back around another strip. It's as if Woods curls one section around another to prevent flyaways. Whatever the reasoning, it works. This ultra-conservative approach seems ready for anything, and we noticed nothing to test it.

Thu, 25 Mar: Standing inside a nice-looking building, Woods's style is as nice-looking as always. Round-brushing right down to the tips perfectly frames her hair at the chin. Notice the lifting-up of a section of hair above the left eye, to ensure strands go in the proper direction.

As she straightens out her head from the tilt above, you can see how close to danger this hair sits. Are those a couple of stray locks, only an inch from her right eye? They make the upper right side of her style look almost like a square - yet they seem secure enough to stay in line.

If you saw this report on TV, you had a treat - as Woods walk down a couple of hallways, giving you side and angled views of the hair. It seemed to bounce a couple of times, but nothing ever seemed to bounce loose. So this pageboy has some flexibility, yet continued precision.

Wed, 24 Mar: Woods apparently returns from vacation, and stands on a sidewalk facing a light breeze. For some odd reason our camera is chopping the photos into four parts, but we can build a composite of her great pageboy. It's well-rounded, and the curve turns back toward her ears - the better to absorb whatever wind may come up. The style is pushed back slightly, but never gets out of line. We think it's sprayed to perfection.

Let's analyze her left side of the style. The angling back at the part begins about an inch off the head -- and that strip disappears behind the rounded strands at the ears. Thus hair protects hair, so flyaways are prevented dangerously close to the eyes.

Wed, 10 Mar: Woods is at a computer, as her topic is Internet spam. She could e-mail Hair Fans pictures like this one anytime - with not as much teasing on top, and the curl occurring farther back in the style near her ear.

What's most noticeable here is a twist of hair closest to her left eye. Instead of being angled back and sprayed, it's almost as if a roller was used. The lowest curl appears to occur about eyebrow-high - so if a wind blew hair toward her face (and as we've seen, how unlikely is that?), the curl-supported tips could stay above her eye. It's a tempting variation, and as always it's strong and functional.

Tue, 9 Mar: Woods's style looks light at the sides, but it takes solid work on top. A 1 1/2-inch-wide strip of hair closest to the forehead is teased so far back it's almost out of sight. Only after that does the pageboy-curl start to come down the head, beginning the turn at eye-height. It's not angled that far back, so it's probably supported with spray from the ear to the ends.

A slight turn of the head gives us the best view we've had of the "wall" of hair on the pageboy side (that's why it's extra-large for you). It's perfectly arranged, and flowingly sweeping back. We get the feeling this look was built to take on wind, but none was noticeable during the report. It's a well-prepared style with seemingly nothing to fear.

Thu, 4 Mar: Even though her topic remains the Disney company, Woods is back in Washington - and is back outside. Her style seems simply combed back, without any real teasing on either side. But there's not much weather to challenge her Super-Hair.... she can even tilt her head a bit, without the pageboy moving. What will it take to get this style even a little out of position?

Wed, 3 Mar, Philadelphia: Disney's Michael Eisner may have had a bad day, but this business reporter's hair does not. She's in a foyer outside a shareholders' meeting,

with hair as perfectly secure as ever. It looks like she does not tuck the left side behind her ear, as a Betsy Stark or Norah O'Donnell might. Instead, Woods lets round-brushing (and likely spray) do the control work. Are there any no-confidence votes from the floor? We didn't think so.

Tue, 2 Mar, Philadelphia: Woods is inside for a pending showdown of Disney stockholders (and perhaps meeting Ultimate 50 member Betsy Stark, who's there for ABC News). Our admittedly washed-out picture emphasizes the left "weak side" of the style. A two-inch-wide strip closest to the forehead is combed straight back, then likely sprayed. That's apparently all she needs to keep this side under control.

(We can't see her right side well, but the pageboy is noticeably higher -- well above her eye.)

Mon, 1 Mar: What can a crosswind do to Woods's Super-style? We get a bit of a hint with this report. The basic style has not much teasing on either side, and hair turned back below eye-level. Her right side is very much like the previous appearance.

It helps her that the breeze is light, and from her left to right (our right to left). You can see it bringing the pageboy side up slightly - but her left side is combed back and very solid.

The wind seems to "inflate" Woods's left side, perhaps trying to push the hair forward -- but strength farther down makes sure the strands stay in line and don't come loose.

She can even turn her head slightly left, toward the breeze - but the "strong side" doesn't even hint at budging.

The report ends with the style virtually unchanged from when it began. A small threat - but a large display of Super-Hair working well.

By the way, this time we're ready for a "back view" of Woods (at least we think it's her) at one point in her report. We don't think it reveals anything other than well-groomed lines - but maybe you can spot something we don't.

Thu, 26 Feb: We clip a bit of Woods's head, but a slight variation in the pageboy still is noticeable. We don't think there's a lot of teasing at the top, and the turn in the style is a sweep a bit below eye-level. (Most of the time, the turn seems to begin above the eye.) As a result, the hair is very close to the right eye for Woods -- we estimate no more than one inch. But she's safely inside, and the style doesn't even flex a bit while we see her.

Due to lighting adjustments, we regrettably missed a moment in Woods's report where the back of her style is in front of the camera. The tips of the pageboy are in view, clinging strongly at an angle almost parallel to the ground. This look obviously was sprayed into position -- and probably needs to be, because it's a bit higher-risk. But as always, Woods wins in a walk.

Tue, 24 Feb: For some reason, Nightly Business Report replays the antiques report Woods did for 16 Feb. Doesn't this show realize Hair Watchers don't really take holidays?

Mon, 23 Feb: At last we see Woods's Super-Hair facing a wind. And the key word is facing -- as she stands so the breeze blows her hair straight back. We snap as quickly as our gear allows, and find the hair isn't going back very much. The tips on her right side (apparently hairs covered at the top) may be up an inch or two, but no more. The motion seems to stop at ear-height.

The left side seems to be well-teased toward here back, with extra rounding at the ear. The left photo shows it coming up, compared to the picture above it. Then at right, like a sail, it puffs into a well-rounded face-framing block of hair. Part of her ears are visible, and that's rare for her -- but hardly a strand is out of line. And her right-side tips still offer a hint of curl that's inward, not backward.

Photo #4 seems to show the pageboy at its most-blown -- yet no wisps appear to be flyaway-loose. And the hair remains nowhere near her face, as she obviously combed it back in preparation for the situation. This is a Super-style at its best -- able to take on a weather challenge, and succeed gloriously.

We throw in this last shot just for fun -- because with a slight head tilt at the end of her report, we think Woods looks runway-model attractive. On a night when Norah Jones's hair put in a dreadful near-fall performance on David Letterman's Late Show (not her singing, her hair), we're convinced we put the right woman in the #1 ranking. Woods's solid style under pressure earns it.

Thu, Feb 19: Woods is inside again, reporting on the indictment of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling. Her usual "skill-ing" is on display - with hair gently curling in at the ends to frame the face, and gentle-looking teasing above the right eye. Ignore that redness under the right ear; we think that's a matter of lighting, not her turning punky on us.

Mon, 16 Feb: Woods is inside at an antiques show on this President's Day program, explaining the best collectibles "stand the test of time." Her hair, of course, always does that. Here it's kept simple on the pageboy side, with a small flip which doesn't look sprayed or teased much at all. The left side is a bit more rounded at the ear, but hairs nearest the eye seem especially brushed back. It looks quite natural, and that's the beauty of it.

Thu, 12 Feb: A rather distant shot in a rather-dark bar makes it tough for us to photograph her, but the pageboy seems a bit flat on either side. It's not as well-rounded, especially at the tips, but the lines of the style as usual seem perfect. Woods's topic, by the way, was online dating -- but she never revealed if she's spoken for.

Wed, 11 Feb: Here's what we've been waiting for: Woods outside. She's not there long (two sentences) - but we can see a similar hair "setup" to the day before. The only difference is that there's a more rounded approach above the right eye, which somehow keeps the pageboy a bit flatter on the side.

Toward the end of this short appearance, a slight breeze may have developed - because the pageboy shape changes a bit. Hairs on top angle back, but not much. And the style certainly doesn't go out of line at any point -- showing why we've ranked her #1 in the Top Ten.

Tue, 10 Feb: The same studio, but a much better look for our Super-Hair. Why? The curls at the tips are more well-pronounced -- but we especially like the two-layer approach to the pageboy side. The top level is angled straight back. But the layer underneath it does an enticing S-turn toward, then away from, the right eye.

Woods even leans slightly to the right, but this hair seems sprayed solidly in place -- and isn't going anywhere. Our only misgiving is that we wish Woods went outside in the elements with this look, so we could see if wind did anything to it.

Mon, 9 Feb: Our over-the-air signal isn't the greatest, but Woods's hair might not be either. Teasing is evident atop the forehead, to steer hair to her right - but a close look near her right eye shows a few strands thrusting forward a bit. She's indoors, so weather can't explain this. Perhaps a hurried schedule does. In any case, this is only a slight flaw.

Earlier in her report, we get other glimpses of Woods's style. This view appears to show hair tucked behind the left ear. We missed a moment where the other side was visible - and the pageboy was quite sweeping, curled only at the bottom and with the hair nicely in line.

Mon, 2 Feb: Before a bookshelf indoors, a perfect style stands unchallenged. You can see a hint of a pageboy curl on her right side, well off the eye - and it appears a round brush was used around the left ear.

But what makes this report different is how Woods turns her head on camera, to give us a rare profile view of the style. It confirms the left-side hair is rounded, and not tucked behind an ear. This view also gives the tempting appearance that hair is dangling precariously above her right eye -- a view that the first photo proves is misleading.

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

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