Cutting-Edge Hair News, 2015


Right photo courtesy InStyle

Lauren Conrad may have one of the most-admired heads of hair from the last ten years. But she also ranks among the top style-changers in that same period – and she doesn't really mind that. In fact, Conrad's openly admitted she likes to try new looks. She's added bangs, and grown them out. She's cut her hair short, then gone back long. She's even turned brunette for awhile. So we shouldn't have been surprised when Conrad announced on Instagram in December 2015 she'd turned redhead – and explained she was “obsessed” with red-headed stylist Kristen Ess. (Their hair intermingles in our trimmed photo.)

Has Conrad finally gone one step too far? Our Hair Fans certainly were not thrilled, as only 29 percent in our one-week poll supported her going red. An overwhelming 57 percent wan her to stay blonde, while 14 percent urged her to try another color (4-8-2). No one left a comment in any direction, but we'd note when Conrad tried her brunette experiment in 2009, a lot of our voters approved. Maybe Conrad needs a little more of The Hills dramatics?!


You may go to a comedy club to unwind after a rough week, have a few drinks and laugh at a lot of jokes. But Hair Fans always are on the lookout for something else – something that's admittedly a longshot. A female comic could take the mike. And even more unlikely, she could knock us over with an impressive hairstyle. A Midwest-based woman named Zan Aufderheide did that for us, when we saw her on the TV series Comedy Time. The somewhat-blurry vidcap at right shows a short cut that's tight for the most part, but thick and bouncy around the face where it matters most. When we explored her further, we found Aufderheide used to have a natural-looking cut stretching a few inches below the shoulders.

In fact, Aufderheide has a routine where a guy talks about wanting to see her “with long hair and a short skirt.” Most of our voters agree with that guy (well, at least on the first part) - as 81 percent preferred the old style in our one-week poll (13-3). No one left a comment about either look, but the short cut intrigued us because it has bangs which bounce around the forehead as she works the audience. They might even have dropped in an eye in the clip we've linked – which we're not sure is really the “Zan plan.”


It sometimes doesn't take much for a head of hair to advance from average to great. It also doesn't take much for Super-Hair to tumble from that lofty title. We offer Fox Business Network anchor Lori Rothman as an example of the latter. A Hair Fan recommended her for “Hair of the Year” in an email to us late in 2012. Her medium-long waves entered our Top Ten Tresses list in early 2013, and she rose to tie for #1 hairstyle in the world in August 2014. But then we started seeing pictures of Rothman with weakened looks – and were stunned when the Hair Fan who first recommended her called for her removal from the Top Ten list. In recent weeks, the reason for that call became obvious to some. Rothman traded her length for a “lob” stopping at her shoulders, and waves for bone-straight cuts.

Do other Hair Fans share this view? We asked voters in a one-week poll, and they did; 80 percent of them wish Rothman brought the long hair back (12-3). Perhaps our right photo from a Fox Business panel discussion hurt her – but it shows dramatically what's happened. To our knowledge, her hair hasn't fallen in her eyes yet. But if she doesn't change course, the Hair Fan who suggested her will be correct with the phrase: “She had a great run.”


Long. Thick. Full. Luxurious. Wave-ready. Drop-dead perfect at its best. Olivia Culpo's hair offered all that and more, when she won the Miss USA pageant in 2012 and went on to become Miss Universe. While she allowed occasional letdowns for steamy photo shoots, Culpo developed the kinds of styles which made Hair Fans' jaws drop like a coyote watching a Road Runner race away. On top of that, she could win tough hair fights – winning three contests in Super-Hair Wars 2012; one required extra time, and another was over a Miss America who went to be a Top Ten Tresses member. Culpo finally succumbed to Crown Award-winning Maria LaRosa by one microscopic vote in the playoffs, but her hair still had championship-level quality. So we can imagine some people were shocked and saddened when Culpo went for a big cut in November 2015. While some women switch to bobs for summer, she made the change in late fall – with hair barely touching her shoulders.

We had to ask the question, and we suspected what the answer would be. Sure enough – 73 percent of our voters prefer Culpo with longer hair (11-4). “Worst makeover of the year,” one declared; “She is a stunning beauty that lost her most remarkable feature.” We wondered if the cut had something to do with Culpo's short romance with football star and devoted Christian Tim Tebow – a romance that was ending as we discovered her change. “I blame the hair, but I have no proof,” a voter commented. We're left to nominate Culpo for a “fantasy league” of spectacular 21st-century hair. (Who would you add to it? We nominate Brittany Jeffers.) And if Mr. Tebow somehow resisted even touching Culpo's hair during their dates, his moral backbone may be even stronger than her styles.


Some of us can remember when the American Music Awards was considered the edgiest awards show on TV. It was the show which dared to have the Ozzy Osbourne family serve as hosts, complete with expletives – and even have Pat Boone dress up as a heavy metal rocker. But perhaps the death of Dick Clark has changed things. From what we saw, the 2015 AMA's had few edgy moments (does a man's long kiss with Meghan Trainor count?) - and several women who could have contended for best hairstyle of the show pulled their hair back into ponytails or openly showed off bobby pins. It was left to a Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member to become the unlikely winner, as Alicia Silverstone gained the most votes from Hair Fans.

Silverstone appeared briefly only because it was the 20th anniversary of her movie Clueless, and she helped introduce a performer with music in that film. But her loose long sidepart was lovely enough to gain 36 percent of the votes in our week-long poll. Then came Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick with 27 percent. Fellow movie singer Rebel Wilson, whose solid blonde hair could have gained her admission as Trainor's twin sister, tied for third at 18 percent with Paula Abdul.

Meh,” said the only commenter on our choices; “nothing to sing about.” Maybe we should have lingered a few minutes past our deadline; Carrie Underwood won an award with hair very similar to CMA night, and Miss America Betty Cantrell brought jaw-dropping waves to the stage to present a prize. But that's our peril these days, for having early ballot deadlines.


When a woman makes a detailed statement about why she cut her hair, you can bet there's either a medical or political message. For Clare Bowen of the TV series Nashville, it's medical. Bowen dealt with cancer as a child, and she received a letter from a girl asking if short-haired females had a chance of becoming princesses. Bowen responded by cutting her medium-long hair to pixie length, and writing on Facebook: “Look deeper than skin, hair, nails and lips. You are who you are in your bones.”

We certainly can't disagree with that view – and of course, Bowen is correct in saying “It's just hair.” But for Hair Fans, this is like telling NASCAR fans the Daytona 500 is “just a car race.” So we went ahead and asked them about Bowen's cut – and the five-day poll ended with 73 percent preferring the longer style (11-4). “What a shame,” one voter wrote. “Claire went from sexycute to simply cute. I understand why she did it, but I'll never look at her the same.” Bowen probably was about to get more attention on Nashville with Hayden Panettiere away in treatment. And with Connie Britton declaring “feminism” is the secret to her Hall of Fame hair.... well, we certainly have a Music City soap opera going on.


Here's a tip to any woman who might want to be in our award show contests: get on the air early. Our posting deadline these days comes well before the final prize is presented. That may have hurt Miranda Lambert during the 2015 Country Music Association Awards. She took the stage in the second half of the ABC broadcast. But Lambert caused a stir among Hair Fans on the red carpet, because she went for a two-toned look: blonde as usual for the most part - but dyed pink at the ends, like she was testing a challenge to Katy Perry.

Some think Lambert was making a subtle statement - either promoting her businesses with "pink" in the name, or saying something about her separation from husband Blake Shelton. Whatever the reason, our voters were not thrilled. A one-week poll ended with no one supporting the pink-end approach; 85 percent want Lambert to stay completely blonde, while 15 percent think she should commit fully and go completely pink (11-2). We hope that at least her personal life calms down, even if the "hair dipping" continues.


Some might argue it was not Carrie Underwood's best hair performance. The styles weren't as big and wavy as she's shown in other awards over the last decade. After the clever “Carrie Fisher” Star Wars parody sketch at the start, Underwood's hair at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards was sleeker and straighter – utilizing the shoulders for control more than we've ever seen from her. Yet Hair Fans seemed to be impressed, because they voted her the best hairstyle of CMA night for the first time since 2012, and the fourth time in seven years.

Even though we had an early posting deadline, the telecast offered plenty of great hairstyles which made for a competitive ballot. Our six-day poll ended with Underwood leading, but without a majority of the votes. (Only as we archived these results did we discover we never entered percentages; our apologies for that.) Miss America Betty Cantrell proved our enthusiasm for her long hair was not a fluke, by finishing second. Leeann Womack scored points with the “classic country” crowd, with long waves finishing third. Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild showed big-haired Girl Crush beauty, yet only finished fourth – while curly colleague Kimberly Schlapman was shut out.


Some women have great hair that has stood the test of time, even if you don't immediately realize it. Actress Jane Krakowski is one of those women. When we posted her on our home page, how many people remembered she almost made the Super-Hair Wars playoffs in 2006? Her long style from the comedy 30 Rock won two matches late in the year, but missed the top eight due to a big loss in the final regular-season match. Krakowski's hair certainly isn't that long anymore; it's cut to a chin-length bob in TV commercials and the Netflix series The Unshakeable Kimmy Schmidt.

The shorter style may be more "rock solid," but our voters wish Krakowski went back to the 30 Rock days. The longer look gained 75 percent of the votes in our one-week poll (9-3). Actually, you might still see Krakowski that way from time to time. We thought the hair was longer when she helped welcome Tracy Morgan back to Saturday Night Live. But that could have been a case of those controversial extensions - shakeable or not.


She was once called a “breakout star” on television, and Wikipedia claims she's even been compared to Emma Stone. But in late 2015, Jane Levy's acting career seems a bit more subdued than Stone's. Levy indeed gained fame on the comedy Suburgatory,but that show's run on ABC has ended. She's appeared in a few movies, but none of them seem at first glance to be Oscar contenders. In fact, Levy's biggest honor to date may have been sharing a 2014 Crown Award for Best Short Hair. But one Hair Fan asked us if Levy still had award-worthy hair, after seeing her at a Cosmopolitan magazine function in Los Angeles. Levy's cut was still short, but the waviness which may have persuaded Crown voters was practically gone.

We asked voters what they thought of the change, and most of them were disappointed. One one-week poll ended with Levy's waves winning by 82 percent of the vote (9-2). “I never thought Jane's hair was in top form,” one voter commented; “Totally overrated.” Perhaps if Levy kept the red color she originally had on ABC, things might be different for Hair Fans. Or do you think an upcoming film called Monster Trucks can turn thoughts around?


Right photo courtesy BBC

The film which brought her the most acclaim was Zero Dark Thirtyyet Jessica Chastain's hair is not known for being dark at all. In fact, it's more like the title of her fall 2015 thriller movie: Crimson Peak. She seldom has changed the red color. And by and large, Chastain has kept her styles in the mid-length range, stopping around the armpit. So a shorter look for her is surprising, and that's what she displayed as she promoted that “Crimson” film – hair cut to a bob, barely touching the shoulders.

Should Chastain be chastised for a change like this? Our Hair Fans were divided in a one-week poll, with the shorter cut winning by a 53 percent margin (8-7). One voter wrote Chastain should have “cherished” long red hair - “longer the better.” Another argued, “Her hair is not thick, so length drags it down. Shorter hair has a touch more body.” Based on our photos, we can see that difference. And while Chastain's hair has fallen in her eyes a few times (but not very often), we'd think the shorter style would be easier to keep under control.


Magazine editors realize the importance of an eye-catching cover. And few things catch the eye of Hair Fans like a cover which provides a close-up look at a tremendous head of hair. So when we found Britain's Princess Catherine on the cover of Canada's Hello! in late September, we simply had to stop. Kate Middleton's styles have been jaw-dropping and praised ever since she was introduced as the future bride of Prince William. And when she made her first public appearances after having her second child, she stunned hair-watchers again. The princess had added bangs – and they're angled on her left side in a way that they could plop in her left eye on a humid or windy day.

Our voters seem to have a “royal flush:” of excitement about this change, as 77 percent of them supported the bangs in an eight-day poll (10-3). No one left a comment either way - but we'd note as thick and full as the princess's hair is, it can fall in her eyes at times on breezy days. That's a big difference between Princess Catherine and perceived rival Princess Diana.


When teenage actors and actresses attach themselves to a successful TV series, they can grow up before our very eyes. Sarah Hyland is one of the latest examples. She enters her seventh season on Modern Family having advanced from teenager to young adult with a live-in lover. Hyland's hair has matured as well – and while she might not have the endorsement deal of co-star Sofia Vergara, she's cut her medium-long hair to a neck-length bob. That look received plenty of glowing comments at the 2015 Emmy Awards, earning enough votes from Hair Fans to be named the best style of the night.

Our search for top hair admittedly had to change this year, as we could not tune in Fox's live broadcast and the Emmy website declined to livestream the show along with the pre-show. But Twitter praise put Hyland on our ballot, and she wound up with 33 percent of your votes in a vacation-extended 16-day poll. Emma Roberts was a close second at 25 percent, followed by a tie at 17 percent between Christina Hendricks of Mad Men and “Other” (one voter explained that as a vote for Claire Danes). Even Lady Gaga impressed us enough to make the list of finalists, with a short cut she dared to press forward before red-carpet cameras. But she had to settle for eight percent.


Tears were shed. Gloria Estefan sang a specially-prepared tribute song. Someone won a car (for a change). The final episode of Sabato Gigante had a little bit of everything, as you'd expect from that long-time Univision variety show. The network decided to end the series with Don Francisco's retirement, instead of promoting that handsome Miami radio DJ to emcee - but that's another issue for another website. We marveled for years at the Gigante spokesmodels, who often had stunning hairstyles as they helped the audience sing commercials such as “Polaroid – Clic! Clic!”

As the days counted down to the “Hasta Siempre” grand finale, we asked you which of Don Francisco's women had the best hair. For some voters, we may have put names on those women for the first time – and our weeklong poll ended with Alina Robert on top. She received 50 percent of the votes, edging Aleyda Ortiz with 40 percent and Vanessa de Roide with 10 percent. We may see more of Robert, as she has some acting experience. And we hope so, since she's posted pictures displaying good hair even on “no-makeup” days.


Courtesy Now Magazine

If this woman walked down streets in the U.S. or Canada, people probably would pay no attention to her. But in Britain, Caroline Flack is becoming well-known. She's hosted several TV series, and won the British version of Dancing With the Stars called Strictly Come Dancing late in 2014. So when Flack changes her hair, it's considered news – and in late summer 2015, Flack actually made a double switch. Her color became much more blonde, and the length from middle “lob” to a neck-length bob to which she seems to have added a perm.

Now that Flack hosts Britain's X Factor, which style gets the “X” vote from Hair Fans? Our one-week poll found the shorter style winning by a 73-percent margin (8-3). While no one left a comment pro or con, we'd say the longer look was less likely to drop in Flack's eyes. But if she's bringing short perms back, we'd like to see other women try to top her.


Summer traditionally is a season for reruns in North American television and radio. We try to avoid doing that here, but sometimes we admittedly slip up. Only after we posted a poll on the changing styles of model and actress Amber Valletta did we discover we'd asked about her in June 2014 – and asked about a very similar change. Valletta came to fame with strong mid-length hair, and she displayed that on the TNT drama Legends. But now Valletta is moving to ABC and a drama called Blood and Oil with a much shorter cut. The hair still appears long enough to drop in her eyes -- but not by much, and not without a lot of effort by someone trying to bring it down.

So have Hair Fan opinions changed about Valletta in about 14 months? The answer from our one-week poll was yes. In 2015, 71 percent of voters oppose Valletta's short cut (10-4) – even though she won narrow support for it in 2014. “Much better longer,” one voter commented; “Almost alien looking with short hair.” We'll see if Valletta keeps supernatural hold in her new series. But let's face it: Blood and Oil is not a remake of Heroes.


Few TV programs on U.S. networks have the ability to fire up Hair Fans like Univision's afternoon news-magazine Primer Impacto. It started with the arrival of Barbara Bermudo and her thick long hair as an anchor – impressive enough to have her own line of hair products. Then Jackie Guerrido's enticing high-risk styles were moved from the morning show, to present weather. Add to that Daniela Ganoza, the movie reporter whose curls win Crown Awards. With all that high-powered hair beauty on display, it might be easy to overlook co-anchor Pamela Silva. Her professional polished hair would top the list at a lot of stations, and her time as a Miami Dolphins cheerleader showed it can endure fast action. Silva went longer with her hair for years, like she was about to demand a Super-Hair Wars “death match” with Bermudo. But in 2015, she's cut back to shoulder-length – still very good, but shorter.

Has Silva made a good adjustment? Our Hair Fans were disappointed, with 79 percent calling for the long hair to come back (15-4). “What a striking difference,” one voter noted, adding, “If it's attractiveness she's going for, longer!” Another hinted a door could be open for Silva to change back, as Bermudo and “some of the most amazing hair in the news business” is off the air for awhile due to pregnancy. But will any of her temporary substitutes steal the spotlight?


The Voice clearly has supplanted American Idol as the place for U.S. singers to get noticed. Christina Grimmie went there in 2014, even though she'd performed as an opening act for Selena Gomez. A third-place finish there apparently wasn't enough, as Grimmie entered and won a radio “Rising Star” contest in May 2015. Those performances opened the door for Coca-Cola to use her in a promotion, and that's where we finally discovered her. But we were a bit confused when we did: Grimmie showed medium-long hair in a picture for “My Coke Rewards,” yet her style was a heavily-shagged sidepart in an accompanying YouTube video.

Which style should be Grimmie's top choice? Our voters voiced their preference for the longer look by a 60-percent margin (9-6). The only comment we received referred back to the prior week's "Who's Number One" contest. We'll answer that by saying Grimmie's hair will not be in the running for number one in Top Ten Tresses. That YouTube video shows her style plopping in her eyes far too much.


Did she sneak past the rest of the field, because the “long-hair vote” was divided? We prefer to think otherwise – that Kara Sewell's short hair is simply that good. She's kept it in perfect position for years, while anchoring at TV stations from west Texas to Kansas to Ohio. She's even appeared to keep it from dropping into her eyes, during mock attacks to illustrate self-defense. Combining a strong style with attractive preparation allows Cincinnati's Sewell to seize the top position in our 2015 rankings of the Top Ten Tresses – renamed “Who's Number One Week.”

Sewell had a strong showing throughout our annual week-long poll, emerging in the second half of voting to claim 45 percent of your vote. Second place was a tie between Fresno dentist Michelle Asselin and University of Pennsylvania runner Kylene Cochrane, at 27 percent each. One voter called it a “toss up” between those two. But the bigger story may be that only those three women received votes at all. Last year's co-#1 in the world, Lori Rothman, received nothing. (At least one Hair Fan has told us her quality has dropped sharply.) Nor did Top Ten veterans Sue Bird (who had votes last year) and Mara Schiavocampo. Any woman lacking in support had better keep their hair very, very perfect.


Locks of Love probably is a very nice charity. But its main way of getting attention has made a lot of Hair Fans grit their teeth over the years – as women cut large sections of long hair, to donate to others for use as wigs. The latest big-name donor in the summer of 2015 was Amanda Seyfried. After displaying long hair from her teenage years on As the World Turns and movies such as Mean Girls to the TV series Big Love, Seyfried made a cut to a bouncing shoulder cut. It's a stunning change for her, of course – but is it a good one?

Our one-week poll found Hair Fans wanting to retrieve that long hair and clipping it back on Seyfried's head, as 56 percent oppose the change (9-7). “One of the truly long-hair icons is no more,” moaned one voter. “Hate the cut, hate the look.” Another said with Seyfried's hair usually straight, “only the long hair gives her any style.” (Maybe we should have posted an “awards show” picture like the one above, but that's an exception for her.) Yet Seyfried had supporters, including this one: “Hair too straight and thin for too much length. Length drags it down and saps any body.” So for Hair Fans, the Seyfried drama now may take a different turn... to whether she grows her hair back out.


Right photo courtesy People Stylewatch

If all you knew about comic Mindy Kaling came from her book titles, you might think she's a woman filled with self-absorption and doubt. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. Kaling asked in a 2011 title – and she showed secure mid-length hair on the cover. Why Not Me?, Kaling ponders in a 2015 book title – and she seems to be changing her style to show a bit more confidence. She went from length to bob, declaring on Instagram: “Short care... DO CARE.” Of course, we do care about things like that here – so we asked Hair Fans whether or not Kaling has made an improvement.

The results of our one-week poll might be added to Kaling's list of concerns, as 83 percent of voters want the hair kept long (10-2). “Her face is too round for a short cut like that,” one voter explained. Another noted her styles on TV's The Mindy Projectwould change from episode to episode. I reckon the short length is her actual length.” If Kaling has been using extensions, she's disguised it well. We think the shorter approach is more mature-looking and easier to keep in place, but the longer style is the one we'd want to pursue.


Long-time visitors know our admiration for the hair of Norah O'Donnell goes back more than a decade. Her skill with strong perfectly-prepared short styles at NBC News made her the subject of our first-ever Hair Watch in 2003, and earned her a spot in our 20 greatest styles of Super-Hair's first decade. O'Donnell's hair doesn't face many serious challenges these days, as she's in the studio almost every day co-hosting CBS This Morning. And that may be inspiring O'Donnell to experiment a bit. When we saw her in the summer of 2015, her hair was stretching below the shoulders – certainly longer than we've ever seen her display.

Is “Norah Oh!” (as we sometimes call her) still impressing Hair Fans? The answer in our one-week survey was an overwhelming yes, as 86 percent support the longer look (16-3). One voter put it this way: “She looked cute with short hair. She is stunning with long hair. Just stunning.” If O'Donnell still can keep that sideparted hair in line, that would be even more stunning; it was a rare day when it collapsed at NBC. Can CBS send her out on a political campaign, please – maybe only once in a while?


After years in the pits, Krista Voda finally sits above it all. She became a national name reporting on pit stops and driver exchanges at NASCAR races on Fox. Now she's a studio and tower host, as NASCAR returns to NBC Sports – and it appears Voda marked the change with an adjustment in her hairstyle. The looks were basic, long and straight at Fox, except when she “went glam” for an awards show event. (After all, she wore headphones a lot because of track noise.) Voda can be a bit fancier in a booth, and we think she's cut her hair to a bit below the shoulders.

Has Voda made a change for the better? Our voters said yes, with 70 percent preferring a shorter style (7-3). While no one left a comment, the new look clearly is stronger in terms of hold. It might even survive a NASCAR driver zipping by it at 195 miles per hour – and we'd want to see her face that sort of hair test.


When we first saw her neon-bright smile on ESPN's SportsCenter, she looked very familiar – but we couldn't come up with her name. Eventually we realized it was veteran anchor Lindsay Czarniak, whose resume includes working with highlights show pioneer George Michael in Washington. Czarniak's short styles became so well-known around the beltway that a baseball team gave her a “bobblehead night.” And that was why we didn't recognize her on ESPN right away; Czarniak had grown out her hair to bustline or longer.

Is this change a bobble on Czarniak's part, or something good? Hair Fans couldn't make up their minds on this one, as a one-week poll ended in a 50-50 draw (8-8). If comments are a tiebreaker, the longer style wins based on statements such as this: “The short hair cut looks like a helmet. Love the longer hair.” (We'd note the bobblehead hair didn't seem to move a fraction.) Another suspected ESPN is in a long-hair season right now. And one voter speculated Czarniak had hair envy for co-worker, fellow Washington TV alum and former Top Ten Tresses member Sara Walsh: “Sara's hair is so beautiful, I'm growing mine long, too.” Maybe so – but didn't Samantha Ponder win the 2014 Crown Award?



Our Crown Awards seem to have several surprising nominees every year. Even the early years were like that, as 2001 brought forward Myleene Klass. A relatively unknown member of the British pop group “Hear'Say” finished second behind future Hall of Fame member Faith Hill, for Best Hairstyle in Music. That group came and went, but Klass and her changing hairstyles remained in the public eye – and Klass's musical tastes took a surprising turn toward, well, “Klass-ical.” In 2015 she's hosting classical music hours on BBC Radio, in addition to various TV programs. But Klass may have stunned fans in June, by getting a trim from long hair to a shoulder-length bob – or as she declared it, a “Klob.”

When we introduced the change here, Klass commented on Twitter to her stylist and us: “The Klob rocks, right?” Sorry, but our voters don't think so; 80 percent of them oppose the cut (8-2). “The short hair lacks character,” one claimed. “At least the long hair added a notable feature.” Perhaps Klass can follow the example of fine classical musicians, and add a few embellishments to win Hair Fans back.


Right photo courtesy Us Magazine

Kate Mara will play an “invisible woman” in an upcoming Fantastic Four movie. And she may be taking an unusual approach in getting Hair Fans ready for it – by making her hair increasingly invisible. Mara apparently will display shoulder-length hair in the movie. But in the run-up to premiere weekend, she's cut her hair to what some celebrity websites are calling a “tousled bob.” The picture we found didn't look tousled to us; it's sleek and precise, perhaps due to spray or oil. It's hair you might want to tousle, but is it a look you want Mara to keep?

Our one-week poll admittedly brought objections to both pictures we posted. “How about super long and red like it was several years ago?” one comment said. Our voters preferred that color by a wide margin in a 2014 poll. As for this change, the house was divided – 50 percent for, 50 percent against (8-8). “I was so hopeful she would be growing it back out in her real color,” someone told us. Mara still could, if someone will find her the right movie script.


Erin Andrews is a five-time Crown Award winner. That includes two top prizes for the Best Long Hair of the year. But in recent years, Andrews openly has admitted she adds extensions at public appearances; she even posted a picture of them on Twitter after she was soaked at a baseball playoff game. Perhaps Andrews finally is getting comfortable with displaying a shorter style, because she had it out in the open while hosting the 2015 CMT Music Awards. It may not be as glamorous as Andrews tries to be on Dancing With the Stars, but we wondered if the more natural approach was better for her.

Our visitors and voters tend to talk down extensions, but in this case they were preferred; 71% want Andrews's hair longer (15-6). “There was a reason she used extensions for so long,” one wrote. “She was spectacular with long hair, ordinary with shorter.” And by, well, extension, strong hold with long hair is even more spectacular to watch. Andrews has shown that at times, but not all the time; perhaps the short change is designed to emphasize that more.


For some reason, Martha Stewart doesn't need an Apprentice anymore. But when she had her own version of the Donald Trump contest in 2005, Bethenny Frankel was a finalist. She went on from there to gain fame for years as one of The Real Housewives of New York City. Frankel also has written books and hosted a short-lived TV talk show. So that makes her enough of a celebrity that when she changes her hair, people notice – and that happened in the spring of 2015. Frankel had her mid-length hair (once nominated for a Crown Award) trimmed to a shoulder-length bob.

Frankel may have wanted something shorter and sassier for summer, but is it really better for her? Most of our voters didn't think so; the longer look claimed 80 percent of the votes in a one-week poll (8-2). One commenter said Frankel was “much better styled and looked better longer.” We also think the old look was less likely to drop in her eyes, through careful use of curl and spray – although we think there have been times when in “real” life, she didn't care about that issue.


Right photo courtesy E! Online

We're not sure who invented the concept of confetti bombing. But we admit the thought has crossed our mind once or twice – attaching something to a woman's great hair, hoping to somehow learn secrets about its hold and strength. When someone in a clown costume “attacked” Jennifer Lopez with confetti at the Los Angeles airport in late May, it purportedly was a moment of celebration. But it was also a test of how Lopez and her hair would respond. The pictures we've seen indicate her style didn't go out of line at all. Yet that also made news at the airport – as Lopez showed a cut stopping at her shoulders, as opposed to the long looks that have been part of her claim to fame.

Lopez has been high on the “extension suspicion” list for years. But should she simply go ahead and keep her hair shorter in public all the time? Our one-week poll said no, as 75 percent of Hair Fans prefer Lopez longer (9-3). No one left a comment, but we'd note Lopez tends to display strong hold at all lengths. Maybe the “BodyLab” marketer should be selling hairspray as well.


Taylor Swift was quoted in the spring of 2015 as saying it's “not that hard” being a pop music star. That's easy for her to say – as arguably the top singer of the moment, winning awards at practically every event she attends. If we were in Swift's shoes, we'd grow a bit weary of every move on stage and off being watched by photographers and tabloid journals. Swift's often-impressive hairstyles have become very closely watched, with any flaw being quickly exposed in mass media. Yet Swift was able to hide one short-term change in a studio – changing her blonde mane red for the video Bad Blood, which was unveiled at the Billboard Music Awards.

We've followed Swift over the years from curly hair to straighter, and long hair to shorter. So is it time for her to change her color as well? Our Hair Fans said no – preferring her blonde by a 77-percent margin in a six-day poll (10-3). No one left a comment on either side of the issue. But we'd say if she approached us with the intensity of that red-haired vidcap, we'd be ready to take Swift's great hair on. We'd probably lose, but we'd be ready....


Right photo courtesy Daily Mail

In some movies Kate Hudson is cute and fun. She tried to show How to Lose a Guy In Ten Days (with Ultimate 50 member Annie Parisse by her side). But in other movies, Hudson displays a serious side (such as in the Reluctant Fundamenalist). Hudson's hairstyles have been the same way over the years – from loose, fun and flighty to polished and Hollywood-glamorous. For the most part, Hudson has kept her hair several inches below her shoulders. But for another movie in May 2015, that changed. She announced a cut to shoulder-length on Instagram – but getting a good look at it without it looking “watered down” was difficult for awhile.

We found a series of pictures where Hudson was out with the public in southern California. When we asked Hair Fans, they indicated it should go back into hiding. Not even a holiday weekend expansion to eight days changed the outcome; everyone voted down the change (12-0). “The longer hair was more kept,” one explained. “The shorter cut is very sloppy.” Perhaps it's a “beach-blown” look by design, but it's clearly unlikely to drive Hair Fans to theaters. Can Parisse play her stunt double or something?


We're not sure how she gained the first name Shanisty. One Hair Fan openly declared it sounded silly. But Shanisty Myers struck us as serious, when it comes to strong and attractive hair. She was voted City League champion of Birmingham, Alabama in 2010, while she was a morning TV news anchor there. Myers even gained a spot in our Top Ten Tresses list for several months. But the last few years have brought many changes for Shanisty – from a serious car crash and a new job in Kentucky to marriage and motherhood. The woman now known as Shanisty Ireland decided to step away from television in Lexington, Kentucky in the spring of 2015. She did it with a longer hairstyle, wavy and hitting her shoulders.

We wondered which look is better for this veteran journalist. Our Hair Fans decided in favor of Lexington and length, by a 59-percent margin (10-7). One voter declared the Birmingham cut “a helmet head look.” Regular visitors know we do not consider that an insult, even if it might have been meant that way. She might have used more spray to keep the short cut in place – but for some of us, that only adds to a head of hair's Super-power.


Right photo courtesy People

First came the book, then came the movie Fifty Shades of Gray. But who would have guessed that concept would spread to hair – especially on women in their 20s? Gray became a “color of the moment” for some celebrities in spring 2015, for reasons we don't really understand. One of the first stars to try this fad (we hesitate to call it a “trend”) is actress Hilary Duff. And this seems strange, considering she's reportedly recovering from a divorce by looking for men on the Tinder website. (Which may be a reality show stunt, but we're getting off our subject....)

Is Duff onto something by going “Loving Gray?” Our Hair Fans decided it wasn't something good, as 89 percent rejected the change (17-2). One voter noted another puzzle with this new look: “She's on a show called Younger, but she's making herself much older.” Perhaps the sensibility sometimes shown by Lizzie McGuire years ago was an acting job all along.


Some TV sports anchors prepare their hair to be windproof, strong and tough. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that. Yet Ana Jurka of the U.S. Spanish-language network Telemundo is an exception – and a wonderful exception to watch. Her hair bounces and flexes on-camera in an intoxicating way. Yet with rare exceptions, she maneuvers her way out of potential trouble to keep the style from dropping in her eyes. Jurka's “base look” when she moved from Honduran television to Telemundo was slightly below shoulder-length. Yet she's slowly taking it longer in 2015, reaching the bust line in the spring.

Is Jurka heading in the right direction? Unlike some recent questions, this is a change Hair Fans like; 62 percent voted “longer” in our week-long poll (13-8). “Attractive woman either way,” one voter properly observed, “but seeing that dark hair cascade over her shoulders is quite lovely.” On the other hand: “Shorter looks more professional,” a different voter argued, “and has just a touch more body.” The voters in our 2015 Cup of the Americas may have agreed, because Jurka lost a Honduras qualifying match. But as long as that hair keeps looking fabulous and moving flawlessly, she'll be a “hair pro” with many people.


The Academy of Country Music marked 50 years in April, and it threw the awards show party to end them all. It filled a domed stadium near Dallas with more than 70,000 spectators. And it filled the roster of performers with stars singing both “classic country” and new songs. Some Hair Fans might argue Martina McBride doesn't qualify for “classic” status. But she won a Crown Award 14 years ago, and she sang a 1994 song best known as a radio theme for talk show host Sean Hannity. Yet McBride's mid-length hair remains impressively stylish – and it impressed our voters enough to be named the best hair of the night.

McBride ran away from a field of familiar names, winning 63 percent of the votes in our one-week poll. Second place was a tie at 16 percent between a woman with a similar style, Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, and Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry. Reese Witherspoon showed up to promote a movie (not about Johnny Cash), and received five percent. We thought longtime ACM host Reba McEntire had hair good enough to get votes, but we were wrong; she received none.


Left photo courtesy Ladies in Satin Blouses

Brandi Hitt became a familiar name on California television news in recent years – moving from Fresno to Sacramento to Los Angeles. In the process, she developed an impressive head of mid-length hair. She could place it close to her right eye, and keep it out effectively in most situations (although she made Hair Pressure for one failure in a fight). Hitt took that look to ABC News in 2012. But the spring of 2015 brought a surprising change, as Hitt trimmed her hair to shoulder-length. It was “for spring,” Hitt explained to us on Twitter. “Needed a change with the highlights, too!”

Pardon our journalistic skepticism – but oh really? Was this change really necessary? We asked Hair Fans about that, and the turnout was strong in our week-long poll – but the vote was a strong NO, by a 92-percent margin (24-2). “What was she thinking?” wrote one shocked voter. (Well, she explained.) “This is ghastly horrendous,” commented another. But that may be partly our fault – because our vidcap of Hitt came from a windy day outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. While she has bangs to protect her hair now, the breeze was too much for the shorter look to handle. It plopped into her face a few times. Any suggestions for preventing that?


It's been purple. It's been red. It's even been “smurf blue.” Pop singer Katy Perry has been a pioneer (if that's the right word) for young women dying their hair in colors more fitting for bubble gum or Skittles candies. Yet through all those changes, Perry has kept her hair on the long side – at least at shoulder-length. But that all may have changed on an April day in 2015, when she reportedly decided to emulate her idol-of-the-moment Kris Jenner. Perry indicated she asked her stylist for a matching cut – and while some understandably took her “after” picture as an April Fool's Day stunt, at least one other picture on Instagram since then has us learning toward the view that a cut really happened.

So if Perry really has made a big cut, has she made a good move? Most of our Hair Fans don't think so, as 75 percent preferred her hair longer in our one-week poll (12-4). “I shudder to think what she was on when that happened,” one voter wondered; “She looks horrible.” Another called Perry's long looks “much more kid friendly and where she made her big hits. Now she can fade into oblivion....” Considering she's heading to Asia to start a huge new world tour, that may be mere wishful thinking.


The end of Mad Men must have been like the end of a school year for the women in the cast. It turns out Christina Hendricks was not the only woman to change her hair color. In fact, January Jones went somewhat in the opposite direction. After years of blondeness playing the wife of an advertising executive, Jones went to Instagram to announce she's turned her hair pink – even illustrating the change with raspberries on her fingers. But Jones didn't stop there; she took her style Hendricks-ish red, then back again.

One website speculated Jones had a bad case of “hair boredom.” This is not a problem our Hair Fans seem to have; as so often happens, they recommended Jones keep her style as is. No one in our one-week poll considered her prettier in pink, while 92 percent said she should go back to being a blonde. Eight percent suggested Jones try another color (12-0-1), leaving us to wonder what else she might do. Going goth-black might make her a truly “Mad” woman.


Right photo courtesy Today

Can office managers have great hair? Christina Hendricks seems to have it – even if's in an office manager character on the series Mad Men. Hendricks has received several Emmy Award nominations, and even has been recommended for our Crown Award for “Best Redhead.” But that apparently won't happen any longer. Hendricks is doing “Nice 'n Easy” hair color commercials, and in March 2015 returned to what celebrity websites called her “natural blonde” color (confirmed by Wikipedia).

The last time Hendricks was on this page, she'd cut her mid-length hair shorter – and Hair Fans didn't like it. They didn't like this change, either; the redhead side won 56 percent of the vote, compared with 39 percent for blonde and six percent for “neither” (10-7-1). But keep in mind, Hendricks grew out the 2012 cut – and since she was a redhead since age ten, this could be simply an experiment as well.


We'll confess it: when a “Superhero” on TV or in the movies displays Super-Hair, that always heightens our attention. Jessica Alba displayed it about 15 years ago, when she starred in the breakout series Dark Angel. Her mid-length hair strengthened by waves flowed back in the breeze, while on a motorcycle – and the hair actually was important, because it hid a critical mark on the back of her “super-soldier” neck (thank you, Wikipedia).

Hair Fans seemed to agree, because Alba reached the semifinals of the first Super-Hair Wars playoffs. A breeze inevitably brought down Alba's style, but her looks have kept impressing Hair Fans for years. She's added bangs, she's changed lengths – and in March 2015, she decided to go shorter again by visiting a stylist to try a wavy shoulder-length bob.

Uh oh,” Alba announced on Instagram, “someone chopped off her hair!” That was exactly the reaction many of our voters had – as a one-week poll ended with 61 percent of Hair Fans preferring the long style (11-7). One voter correctly noted we posted a “before” picture of Alba with bangs from several years ago, and she dropped the bangs recently. But we don't think that affected the outcome much – and we think it was more of a “Super” style, anyway. Let's see her strengthen that shorter curl back to that heroic level.


Can you name any winners of Canadian Idol? We couldn't, either – not even after reading a Wikipedia list. Carly Rae Jepsen made the final 3 in 2007, but failed to reach the finals. Yet she's become the best-known singer from that show, thanks to her 2012 breakthrough hit Call Me Maybe. Jepsen impressed us at the time with thick long hair and bangs, which seemed ready to take a pounding in concert without caving in. After performing with the group Owl City, early 2015 has brought a new single from Jepsen, I Really Like You. But as she toured the U.S. promoting it, Jepsen surprised some people by displaying a new cut – a blunt helmet stopping at her chin, and tinted orange besides.

We asked Hair Fans if they really liked Jepsen's change, and the answer was a blunt NO. Our one-week poll found 75 percent of voters preferring her longer (12-4). “Someone needs to call her,” a Hair Fan wrote creativiely, “and tell her that cutting your own hair is a bad idea, maybe.” It certainly looks more “battle-ready,” and might even unfalingly stay out of Jepsen's eyes – but we agree that the softer look is more inviting.


Some women with naturally curly hair long to make them, well, long -- as in straight. But others not only embrace their curls, they strive to make them the most magnificent they can be. Daniela Ganoza of Univision's Primer Impacto is a prime example. She's written on Twitter about the man at a mall who offered to straighten her hair: “What makes you think that I want to.... you idiot?” Yet in the right hands, Ganoza might be persuaded to be daring with her Crown Award-winning Super-Curls. For the 2015 Oscar red carpet, she visited her trusted stylist “Rowleee” – and he somehow turned Ganoza's hair straighter. Not completely straight, mind you; he left Ganoza with soft full curls from the eyes down.

Rowleee told us Ganoza had only straightened her locks five times before in her life. Ganoza loved what she saw – but perhaps in a surprise, Hair Fans were not. Our one-week poll found 73% of voters want her to keep the classic curls; only 20% supported the change, while seven percent (perhaps that guy at the mall) wanted her to go all-the-way straight (11-3-1). “She can change her hair and still look fine,” one voter explained, “but I think we're so used to Daniela's gorgeous curls, we don't like to see them go away.” Another predicted, “I doubt Daniela will stay with straight hair too long. It's her trademark, and straightening is often not worth the effort.”

We personally lean toward what Rowleee did, but perhaps for selfish reasons. Ganoza's regular curls clearly are indestructible, as natural curls should be – and we know she'll do anything to defend them. By comparison, the straighter hair looks softer and “weaker” for her. That's probably deceptive, because the remaining curls probably are more power-packed. But it's a style Hair Fans might feel more confident about trying to “finish off,” difficult though that likely would be.


When the rain comes down, the hair goes up. That seemed to be the thinking in February 2015, at the 87th annual Academy Awards. Wet conditions in Hollywood prompted many women to wear pinned-back or tired-down styles. But there thankfully were some exceptions, who may have known how to use an umbrella for hair protection. One of them was Mom star Anna Faris, who showed off long slightly-wavy hair and the bangs which have become her custom. They impressed our Hair Fans to be named the top style, on what turned out to be a very competitive night.

Faris won the one-week poll, but with only 24% of the votes. A four-way tie for second followed at 18%, among a wide range of women: American Sniper widow Taya Kyle, model Chrissy Teigen, actress Reese Witherspoon and “Other.” The off-the-board nominees included Anna Kendrick “for her various hairstyles” (they looked pinned to us, especially compared with Grammy night), and Leslie Mann for “a simple ponytail.... puffed up....” Scandal star Kerry Washington trailed the field at six percent.


She may now be a married mom, but one thing has not changed about Kim Kardashian – how polarizing she is. It seems people either “keep up” with her every move, or try to avoid her like the flu. The Keep-Up group marveled in early-February, when Kardashian announced she'd made a big cut in her long hair. At least, that's what she called it. But when we posted it, the Avoid-Her group seemed skeptical. In fact, one voter declared it a “stupid topic” because Kardashian's “natural hair was not that long to begin with.”

We'll accept that slap in the face, turn the other cheek and reveal the results of our poll, anyway. The one-week “longer vs. shorter” contest wound up a 50-50 tie (7-7). “The longer look was much more stylish and interesting,” another voter wrote. “Shorter look does nothing for her, hence why she used extensions in the first place.” And to think Kardashian once was a finalist for our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame.


One website calls her “America's musical darling.” But if you looked at her Twitter feed, you'd quickly realize Anna Kendrick is less than a completely innocent sweetheart. Yet Kendrick certainly has singing and acting skills – nominated for a Tony award before becoming a teenager, followed later by an Oscar nomination and a role in Twilight movies. Perhaps it was Kendrick's work in Pitch Perfect productions which earned her a invitation to the 2015 Grammy Awards. While she only introduced someone, her long brunette hair was attractive enough to overpower Hair Fans and make her the best style of the night.

Kendrick was one of the biggest awards-show runaways we've had in some time, claiming 84% of the votes in our one-week poll. Beyonce followed with 11%, even though close “Bey-watcher” Mara Schiavocampo admitted to us on Twitter she might not have been showing her real hair. Taylor Swift had to settle for third place with five percent. Meghan Trainor made our ballot, but failed to complete a “music awards double” after her American Music Awards success. She received no votes at all – so we assume “straight” beats “wavy” for her.


Did she or didn't she? That was the question Hair Fans might have asked when Scandal star Kerry Washington stepped out in January at the Los Angeles Fashion Awards. The issue was not the shade of her skin; InStyle magazine would take heat for that weeks later. The question here was whether Washington had cut hair which reached to her shoulders, and could be turned into a wide range of looks. She displayed a bob – but you'd have to read deep into the Hollywood Life article about it to learn it was a “curled and pinned.... illusion,” much like what Stephanie Abrams did in late 2014.

We confess we were struck by the picture and the headline, and rushed to put Washington on the homepage without reading the full story. But is this a “change” Washington should make permanent? Our voters were divided, but came down after one week preferring the long look by a 59-percent margin (10-7). “The bob looks great but it's a faux bob,” one voter wrote. We think it looks a lot neater than Washington's recent looks, which are quite a come-down from her Top Ten Tresses days. But this “faux” stunt had better not become a long-term trend.


Pictures courtesy Harper's Bazaar

With some women, hair runs in cycles. They go longer, get it cut and then grow it out again. Actress and model Brooklyn Decker is an example of this. She came to fame on the cover of Sports Illustrated with long beach-blonde hair. Then in 2011, Decker had it cut ten inches to a bob. She may have had a change of heart, because Decker displayed long styles again in 2014 – but then came another cut early in 2015, to about the same length as before.

The cut brought gushing praise from some beauty sites – but we can't help wondering if those sites bothered to check their archives. We checked ours, and found Hair Fans rejected Decker's cut four years ago. This time, it's the same story – with support for the cut gaining a little over the years, from 24 to 33 percent (10-5). “Her hair was all beautiful,” one voter grumbled; “now it's all gone, stupid!” Another declared, “What a waste of gorgeous hair.” We can only hope someone collected it to pass on to another woman. If they can do that in India and the Dominican Republic, why not the U.S.?


Visitors to a Nashville nightclub had several surprises on a night in January. The more pleasant surprise probably was the appearance of country music star Miranda Lambert – doing an unannounced “preview” concert before starting her “Certified Platinum” tour. But the bigger surprise that night may have been how Lambert looked. Her hair wasn't “platinum” blonde at all – taking a darker shade which wasn't really brunette, but certainly was different from what music fans have come to expect from her.

We wondered if Lambert should keep the color turned down all the time. Hair Fans surprised us a bit, when they accepted the change in our one-week poll by a 65-percent margin (11-6). The only person to leave a comment thought back to another change Lambert made in the summer of 2014: “Once she cut her long hair, I stopped paying attention.” And for those of you wondering if Lambert will change the title of her tour – she has been “certified platinum” for sales of several albums.


She's the only woman to win the Crown Award for Best Hairstyle in a Movie two years in a row. And Amy Adams was eligible for a third in 2014, but Hair Fans suggested other actresses. So it's left to those other awards shows to honor her – and the 2015 Golden Globes did. Adams was named Best Lead Actress in a Comedy or Musical Motion Picture for Big Eyes. And her acceptance speech reminded us why her hair is a big deal to many people – using strong teasing to keep a medium-long hair from a deep sidepart from falling in her eyes. Adams's styling and skill captured one more prize, as she was voted the best hairstyle of the show.

Adams broke away late in our one-week poll to claim 41 percent of the vote, and top Katherine Heigl's similar look with 29 percent. Co-host Tina Fey and Naomi Watts tied for third with 12 percent. And one “Other” vote apparently was given to Katie Holmes, as a comment praised her “super long ponytail.... I wish she looked like that in real life.” Perhaps that was the problem; a lot of comments on Twitter smelled extensions there.


People watch the Victoria's Secret fashion show every December expecting certain things. The models will not wear much clothing – but they're likely to display a lot of long bouncy hair. And that hair can be a springboard to fame. (It can't possibly be that other factor, right?) One of the models who's become well-known is Britain's Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The drama of her hair bouncing to the brink of her eye is what Hair Fans love to see. But we weren't sure how many wanted to see what Huntington-Whiteley did at the end of 2014. She joined the “lob” trend, trimming her locks to a long bob – still hitting the shoulders, but several inches shorter.

Did Rosie come up with a bloomin' good idea? That question went down to the wire – but after one week, the cut prevailed by a 53-percent margin (9-8). A supporter of the change called it “trendier and more stylish.” An opponent said it “aged her by quite a bit..... upper 30s instead of upper 20s.” At least the new look is likely to keep on bouncing – even if it bounces in her eyes more often.


When it comes to hair in the 2010's, sorting out fact from fiction can be a challenge. So many women wear wigs and extensions that, to borrow from an old TV commercial, “only her hairdresser knows for sure.” But sometimes the deception goes in the opposite direction. A Weather Channel meteorologist proved that to us when she posted the picture at right on social media in December. “Stephanie Abrams chop job,” headlined a Hair Fan in an e-mail to us. We could see why they could draw that conclusion, so we posted the change on our home page with that thought in mind. But commenters quickly responded: “Pinned!!.... not cut, just worn in a faux bob that day.”

Abrams settled the debate on Twitter with a hashtag: “Not Cut Just Pinned Up.” But since our poll already was going, we decided to modify the question a bit. Should Abrams cut her hair shorter? The answer from Hair Fans was obvious, as the longer look was preferred by 76 percent of voters (13-4). The moral of the story should be clear to all of us: in the 2010's, look carefully at a style before you leap to conclusions.


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