Cutting-Edge Hair News, 2016
Up-front musicians tend to get all the attention - from magazine reviews to paparazzi following their cars. But sometimes it can be more interesting to watch what the backup band is doing. Hair Fans have done that for several years with an Australian rock guitarist known by her first name "Orianthi." Her long hair and rocker-like intriguing bangs have gained such a following that she captured a Crown Award in 2014 for Best Hairstyle in Music. But in the final weeks of 2016, Ms. Pangaris pulled a surprise: not only did she have the hair cut to shoulder length, but she swept the bangs to one side.
Our voters expressed strong emotions about this change, but after a week came down on the side of the cut by a 71-percent margin (10-4). "She was due for a change. She rocks that look!" wrote one. "Her hair used to be amazing. The once mighty has definitely fallen," wrote another. What might distress the "longer" voters even more is that shortly before our poll opened, Orianthi again expressed her lifelong love of hats on Twitter - so now her hair might be even harder to see.
In her first year at Northwestern State of Louisiana, Jordy Warren already has become a valuable student. She started six games on a soccer team with a winning record, and averaged more than 40 minutes on the pitch per game. As a defender, Warren probably stopped many attacks. And her long blonde hair gained points with many Hair Fans. Warren was named Best Mane on Campus at her university - and now she's finally scored a big goal: leader of this season's "Elite Eight" contest of college cuts.
Our week of voting may have been influenced by the fact that northwest Louisiana is a known hotbed for Hair Fans. They surely helped Warren gain 44 percent of the votes. The state of Hawaii took second place, with Chaminade's Brianna Georgia receiving 22 percent. Third place was a three-way tie between Georgia's Abby Brown, Pittsburgh's Kalista Walters and Clemson's Rachel Wyatt at 11 percent each. Wyatt's finish may be surprisingly low, since she was first runner-up at Miss America in September.
Her official job titles may be "actress" and "model". But Olivia Munn's background is in journalism (her major in college) and sports (a little reporting for Fox Sports). So her romance with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shouldn't be that big a surprise. Where Munn has surprised from time to time is with her hairstyles. Munn's latest mane change in late 2016 went from long and a bit wavy to hair stopping right at the shoulders.
Does Munn mesmerize even more with this new look? Our one-week poll found Hair Fans uninspired; 73 percent of them opposed the cut (8-3). "So bummed out Olivia cut her gorgeous hair," one wrote. But maybe people won't have to "bum-Munn" for long. She's shown a history of going up and down with her length - which makes her a bit like a pro football player's career.
Photos courtesy Amber Heard News
Some people have declared 2016 a terrible year, for a variety of reasons. It certainly has been difficult for actress Amber Heard. Her brief and seemingly star-filled marriage to Johnny Depp collapsed, amid accusations of abuse. Some women might have made "impulse cuts" to their hair in response, as a visual statement of a new start. Heard didn't really do that - but three months after her divorce became final, a cut came in late November. A style that was medium-long suddenly was a shoulder-length thick-looking lob.
Has Heard's hair improved with this change? Our week-long poll found 92 percent of our voters saying no (12-1). "Amber waves of hair look better longer," one person commented. Perhaps our "after" picture was unfair, because it looked as if Heard had been in a messy party at a club. But we agree that the longer style has more "super" potential. Perhaps Heard's appearance in an upcoming Justice League will show that potential - in many ways.
It's a rare day when Hair Fans completely agree on something. Years of polling have shown us that - and that's OK; people with differing views make life interesting. But when we posted two pictures of Robin McGraw, full agreement almost happened. The wife of TV analyst "Dr. Phil" spent a few weeks on our Top Ten Tresses list in 2003, for displaying a well-rounded short cut with bangs. But while we weren't paying attention in the mid-teens, McGraw went longer with her hair - going well below the shoulders, with styles that look quite enticing. Some online scoffers might say McGraw did it because she had plastic surgery, but that's not our concern.
We asked if McGraw had made a good change - and for five days, every voter agreed she had. Only one little vote for shorter hair came in the final hours of our week-long poll. But the 94-percent majority speaks for itself (16-1), and we agree with it. Perhaps the longer hair is better for promoting McGraw's new cosmetics line. But the most amazing part may be that McGraw has improved so much as she approaches her 63rd birthday. Yes, marvelous hair is possible at any age.
(We should note our Hair Headlines section has had a link for years to a Dr. Phil show about "Hair Obsession." That topic apparently is not on the program's website anymore - but that had nothing to do with our posting this.)
Nicki Minaj might be called a trendsetter in the world of hair - but in ways that would make traditionalists shudder. Minaj once was known for wearing wigs in all colors of the rainbow. But since turning 30, the singer/rapper has calmed things down. At the 2016 American Music Awards, Minaj's mane was long, straight and sleek - so much so that some people might have presumed it was (gasp) all real. We gave her the benefit of the doubt, put her on our ballot for best style of the night, and the toast of Trinidad and Tobago came out the winner.
Minaj jumped to a big lead in our week-long poll, but had to hold on at the end to win with 36 percent. "I'm with Nicki even though there's no way that was all her hair," one supporter wrote. "What a great look!" Another was quite skeptical, by comparison: "If that's her real hair, I'm the heir to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire." Always nice to have visits from royalty....
We knew AMA co-host Gigi Hadid would be a contender in this race. Her perfectly positioned long hair almost caught Minaj, but wound up second at 29 percent. Blake Jenner was third with 21 percent. Then came a tie at seven percent between model Milla Jovovich and "Other" - that other being Ciara, who was praised for being "amazing with her hair in a ponytail." We agree that Ciara has impressed strongly with her styles in recent months, but the tail disqualified her from our poll even though Minaj stayed in.
There was a time when some supermodels with long hair had a sneaky secret. Women such as Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member Brooke Shields had bangs, but disguised them very well. They'd only seem to come out when the Super-style was in serious danger - so much that we came to call them "warning bangs." Perhaps those days are still around, but some models aren't hiding the bangs as much. When Karlie Kloss added them during the fall Paris Fashion Week, she openly announced it with a photo.
Kloss's bangs don't dominate or fill the forehead filling. So is "light" right for her? Our six-day poll found Hair Fans liking them by a 57-percent margin, but with not many votes either way (4-3). We think they're an improvement and add some drama to Kloss's hair - especially since she's also posted photos where she lets longer bangs droop down while drinking beer. Not a "supermodel" look for us at all.
So tell us.... what color is your life these days? Actress and singer Lucy Hale declared in an October 2016 tweet she was heading "back to the blonde life." Apparently the seven years on the TV series from Pretty Little Liars were her brunette period. But Hale acually has been blonde before - early in 2016, in fact. It was called "strawberry blonde" in February, when Hale referred to the color as her "alter ego." She also confessed at the time: "I dye."
Are Hair Fans dying to see a change like this? Our six-day poll found the answeer was no. Hale's brunette shade was preferred by 77 percent of them (10-3). "Hale, hale, natural color!" one voter exclaimed. In many cases, we'd tend to agree - although an extra bit of blonde or red can add an electrifying sense of fire, especially when a woman has Super-Hair for starters. But considering this is Hale's second rejection by our voters in about two years, maybe it's time to borrow from Paris Hilton and head toward a simpler life.
Maybe we should call Kasey Musgraves a few years ahead of her time. The country singer showed up for the 2014 Country Music Association Awards with a Bump-It big-on-top hairstyle that reminded some people of Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette in their prime. With the 2016 CMA's having a historical theme for its 50th anniversary, we wondered if Musgraves would try something like that again. Surprisingly, she didn't - and that delighted Hair Fans, as her more "everyday" long locks were a runaway winner in our vote for the best style of the show.
A six-day poll started after the ceremony ended, and it led to Musgraves taking 67 percent of your votes. Best New Artist Maren Morris indicated she's a good hair newcomer as well, finishing second with 13 percent. Wendi McLendon-Covey of The Goldbergs showed her own real hair for a change (scoffers would say), and received seven percent. But we noted 13 percent of our voters chose "Other", without naming names. Be sure to leave a comment in cases like that, because we don't want to make wrong assumptions.
Photo courtesy FTV Live
Who has hotter hair - Robin Meade or Wonder Woman? Meade made the answer "both" one morning in October, when she dressed like a superhero during HLN's Morning Express. Meade's outfit clearly had hair longer than Lynda Carter's, and clearly was a wig.
But that photo drew such a big crowd on our Twitter feed that we knew a follow-up was in order. it turns out Meade has lightened her real brunette hair in recent months, perhaps for a summer look. So we asked you if blonder was better for her.
Our eight-day poll ended with Hair Fans on the natural side - 75 percent preferring Meade as a brunette (12-4). Oen voter put it bluntly: "Blonde looks trashy." Another was more creative: "Honey [blonde] belong in mead, not Meade!" Proving again that our visitors not only admire Super-Hair, but have great literate minds to match.
The race to become U.S. President is a long hard fight. Too long, some of us think, if it takes longer than a NASCAR or Major League Soccer season. So when it comes to selecting the best hairstyles of the 2016 campaign, we decided to keep things short and to the point: two weeks, with two "tickets" of children from the major parties. It ended with Republican daughter Ivanka Trump winning Hair Fan's votes in a landslide.
The Trumps may have the advantage in genetics, given the famous hair of their father. Donald Trump once was an Honorable Mention in Top Ten Tresses, and Ivanka even was the subject of a 2013 question about her color. Blonde clearly worked for her here, as she won 68-percent support. Chelsea Clinton was a weak second at 16 percent, while recent college graduate Tiffany Trump was third at 11 percent. Annella Kaine brought up the rear at five percent, perhaps because she's out of the spotlight in college and the daughter of a potential "Veep." We're simply delighted that our 14-day contest ended with absolutely no one claiming it was rigged.
Someone writing "FRINGE!" online in all-caps in the fall of 2016 might face accusations of playing politics. But that's not what actress Jessica Biel was doing when she wrote it. She was changing her hairstyle, which traditionally has been on the long side. She announced on social media the addition of bangs (what the Brits call a "fringe") - and our research found Biel has displayed bangs in public several other times in recent years.
We asked voters for a one-word reply to Biel's exclamation! No one wrote any during our eight-day poll - but the overall answer was "yes." The bangs received support from 54 percent of Hair Fans (7-6). If Biel's husband Justin Timberlake adds bangs to his hair, we'll know she's received the most important backing of all.
Some women may be "stars" for years before getting big-time attention. That's true in both acting and the world of Super-Hair. We didn't know about Lindsay Sloane appearing on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Gross Pointe - but when we spotted her on the 2015-era remake of The Odd Couple, we were impressed by her hair so much that we put her on our Hot List. Yet as we did, we discovered Sloane made a major cut in her hair - from medium-long in Season 1 to medium-short in Season 2.
We asked you which season of Sloane is better - and #1 was, well, #1. Hair Fans chose the longer look by an 80-percent margin in our one-week poll (12-3). No one commented on either cut, so we'll paraphrase what we said in our Hot List: Sloane seems to know how to keep in place at any length, currently using bangs to help her. You might find that "odd," but we're rooting her on.
Hair Fans with long memories may have been surprised when Mandy Moore took the stage at the 2016 Emmy Awards. In fact, people who remember her teenage years with a short spiky cut and bangs may have been shocked. Moore is now 32, and her mid-length bang-free style looked grown-up and elegantly perfect on awards night. She had an Emmy opening because she stars in the new series This Is Us - and she seized on it, to win your vote for the outstanding hairstyle of the night.
A lot of potential contenders chose to wear ponytails at the Emmys. That left a close race among the rest, and Moore prevailed after a week of voting with 31-percent support. Memorial singer Tori Kelly and comic actress Ellie Kemper tied for second at 23 percent. Emmy winner and Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon made a promising debut on our site, earning 15 percent. Kerry Washington's long curls were praised as "fierce" by some beauty sites, but she won no votes here - while one person wrote in Emmy Rossum, who played to her natural hair strength with sideswept waves. Come to think of it, how many "Emmys" have ever won an Emmy?
Mention the TV series Full House around Hair Fans, and one woman will jump into their minds. After all, Lori Loughlin is a member of their Hall of Fame. The child stars of that family comedy had eight seasons to grow a following, as well as good heads of hair. But older daughter Candace Cameron Bure may have fallen off the radar until recently. Bure was brought back to star in the Netflix sequel Fuller House - and she's become a co-host of The View on daytime TV. So when Bure made a late-summer cut from mid-length to a short bob, it had people talking. (Well, about something other than presidential politics.)
Has Bure made a good change, as she moves past age 40? Our voters were split in a week-long question, finally coming down with 57 percent supporting the longer look (8-6). "Longer is Fuller," one cleverly wrote. Bure didn't help herself by posing with the new style appearing to cover an eye (the angle may be tricking us). "Aunt Becky" Loughlin should have taught her something about hair control.
Photos courtesy Glamour
It seems strange to quote country music singer George Jones when it comes to supermodels - but we will: "Who's gonna fill their shoes?" That is, the high heels of the Alt-Bundchen-Campbell-Crawford generation. Those models have been as renowned for their outstanding hair as their footwear. One candidate for the next wave is one-time British "Model of the Year" Cara Delevingne. She's one of the highest-paid models in the world. But she's also moved into acting, by starring in Suicide Squad - and she seems to change her hairstyle on a regular basis. One cut came in late summer 2016, when Delevingne switched from long hair to a shoulder-length sidepart.
Does the new look for Cara carry the day with Hair Fans? Our one-week poll settled that issue quickly, with 91 percent voting no (10-1). No one left a comment, but Delevingne personally strikes us as not quite matching the women we named above. Her styles have dropped in too many photo shoots, and her eyes seem to dominate pictures more than her tresses. That's admittedly making her millions, but it doesn't score well with us.
"Reality television" has become commonplace in the last 20 years. Perhaps it's too real for the people who appear in those programs, because the number of top-flight heads of hair from those shows is small. One woman who has tried to rise to that level is Bethenny Frankel, from Real Housewives of New York. She was a Crown Award nominee in 2013 for Best Long Hair. But then the business operator and former talk-show host started making changes. First Frankel cut her hair above the shoulders - and in the summer of 2016, she added bangs. (Of course, she had to insist the bangs really were hers.)
Is Frankel making a good move to return to the hair spotlight? Our Hair Fans were split down the middle, over a week - 50-50 for and against the bangs (4-4). The only person to leave a comment came down against them: "She's too old to be copying Taylor Swift." OK - but who's to say that's the woman Frankel is copying? Another famous New York businesswoman has displayed bangs for a long time. Maybe Frankel is longing for a Super-Hair War against Anna Wintour of Vogue.
Beauty experts know the value of "shea butter" - a moisturizer in cosmetics. But how many Hair Fans have grown to admire a different Shay, as in Mitchell? She's one of the four main stars on the U.S. cable drama Pretty Little Liars - a show where some viewers might long for the characters to throw away their friendships and start battling for hair supremacy. Mitchell has kept a medium-long wavy center-part looking plush and strong for years. But in August she pulled several hair surprises - first showing off blonde hair, then posting pictures with a cut to slightly below shoulder-length.
Mitchell called it "a little chop chop" for a "fresh perspective" on Instagram. But our visitors did not quite go "Shay nuts" for the change - as a one-week poll ended with 57 percent preferring Mitchell's hair longer (8-6). No one left a comment, so we'll note first the contest was much closer than when Lucy Hale cut her hair in 2014. And we'll say Mitchell's control with the longer style has been impressive. The cut seems like a weakening to us. But photos she's posted since that day suggest the hair may be growing back fast. And at some point, she put it in not one ponytail - but three. That's a lot, not a little, for hair that's often quite pretty.
Sooo.... did she slip or not? It's not often our search for the #1 hairstyle in Top Ten Tresses turns into a two-part question. But with Dani Mostrom, it did. The 2016 top-ranking head of hair first impressed our voters with long curls, before showing what looked like a "blowout" straighter look on Facebook. So we had to ask: which Mostrom mane is really the best - and could she have dominated our poll even more?
The answer in a one-week poll was beyond question. The curls have it, by a 69-percent margin (11-5) - perhaps because they make Mostrom's hair more challenging to muss. The only comment we received actually concerned Part One of our question. We offer it to you for discussion, perhaps on our message board: "As far as the two minority women not getting votes, keep in mind that minority women are often know for extensions, not to mention that the hair of those two in the top 10 is not natural."
At first, we feared she'd made a fatal slip. Wichita State University volleyball player Dani Mostrom posted a "selfie" on Facebook with her long hair at the very edge of dropping in her left eye. And she did it only days before we opened our annual public vote on the Top Ten Tresses list. We lowered Mostrom in the rankings, but kept her in. Then the Hair Fans spoke, and we were outnumbered. Mostrom not only jumps back up the ladder - she's jumped all the way to #1 hairstyle in the world!
The 2016 "Who's Number 1 Week" contest found Mostrom racing to the lead, and not being caught. The incoming college senior wound up with 36 percent of your votes. California dentist Michelle Asselin continue to dazzle, as she came in second at 18 percent. Then came a logjam: Tracey Anthony, Kylene Cochrane, Kate Collins, Hallie Jackson and Mary Tedesco all tied for third at nine percent each. Only three women failed to receive votes - but it admittedly concerns us that two of the three were the "minority" entries on the list. To borrow a phrase, we say all hair matters - especially if it's Super-Hair.
When summer comes, everything seems to be a little brighter - even some heads of hair. Plenty of women know how to lighten their locks, to make them seem sun-drenched. But not many do what British actress Michelle Keegan did. We don't know if the longtime star of Coronation Street used any chlorination in her hair, but she changed from brunette to blonde in a hurry. Perhaps it was fitting for a woman who also appeared in a British TV series called Ordinary Lies - but was it an extraordinary change for her?
We put the change of colour (British spelling) to our Hair Fans, and they were not thrilled at all. In fact, 90 percent of them called on Keegan to stay a brunette, and the remaining 10 percent suggested she change from blonde to something else (0-9-1). While no one left a comment, we're going to assume Keegan is a natural brunette. We think little enhancements in a natural color look far better than going all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum.
She puts on a mask like TV's "Batgirl" for her latest album. But pop music fans don't have to guess who the Dangerous Woman is. They know she's Ariana Grande. Her long iconic ponytail gave her away. Undo her hairbands, and Grande's style could be in some peril. But she made a surprising move in July to protect her style from collapsing in her face. Grande cut in bangs, which apparently are not clip-ons - even though she's admitted wearing extensions during performances at times.
Grande declared on Twitter change is "fantastic" (we're leaving out the profane part) - but our voters were not so sure. A one-week poll ended with 54 percent of Hair Fans against the bangs (7-6). No one left a comment about it, but we're ready for a "Comic-Con" mas Grande battle with this woman. We'd have to get her mask off to expose the Super-Bangs, of course. But if and when we did.... well, who would like to pick up the "hair story" from there?
We don't advocate divorce here - but the sight of pop-rock singer Gwen Stefani these days makes us wonder: was it her hair that lured Blake Shelton away from Miranda Lambert? Stefani can be a daily example of "Cutting Edge Hair" at times, with daring and avant-garde styles which stand out thanks to her platinum-blonde color. So what would happen if she turned down the brightness - a lot? Stefani did that in photos posted on social media for her summer 2016 concerts. She was nowhere close to blonde, claiming her "tour look" was brunette-brown.
We asked Hair Fans about it in a one-week poll, and they left, uh, no doubt about it. They were not on the dark side, as 77 percent want Stefani to stay blonde. Only 11 percent like the brunette look. "I kinda suspect a wig," one voter wrote of the brown shade. Indeed, some style-watching websites confirmed that - and the blonde hair was back when she performed in Boston. Maybe the 11-percent who voted "neither"(7-1-1) will get their Stefani moment next.
Some New Yorkers suggest on social media that Juliet Huddy should replace Kelly Ripa. They may have forgotten she had that chance. Huddy was paired with Mike Jerrick on a program called The Morning Show on Fox TV stations in the last decade - a spinoff of what they were doing at Fox News Channel. In fact, our left photo shows Huddy from that talk show in early 2008. But it didn't last long, and Huddy eventually landed back behind an anchor desk. She now co-hosts Good Day New York in the Big Apple - and Huddy's hair has changed with the times. What once was long and attractively wavy is now a short, perfectly-set sidepart.
Has Huddy improved her look, over about eight years? Our one-week poll found Hair Fans split, with a narrow 52 percent supporting the short style (11-10). One voter recalled Huddy having "long gorgeous hair," and presumed the cuts are because of thinning.
Another said we missed the best style of all: "She looked better with a shoulder-length cut, not either of those looks." Perhaps that refers to this cut, which was in our archives from 2006 - an era in which Huddy's hair fell on camera, during a fun moment on FNC. These days, her "anchor hair" look certainly has high risk of falling (reminding us of Amy Robach down the dial) - but she's probably trying harder to stop it.
She may not have the sunrise hair perfection of Becky Quick, or the top-quality curl of Julia Boorstin. She may not have the Crown Awards of Erin Burnett or Courtney Reagan. But Mary Thompson made her own hairstyle mark at CNBC. She defeated Crown Award winner Monica Potter during the 2001 Super-Hair Wars season, and reached the playoffs. That was early in a 16-year career covering business news, which led one network-watching site to declare hers the "prettiest hair on cable television." But on 1 July, Thompson decided to step away to do something new - something she's apparently still trying to figure out as we post this.
Thompson received a farewell sendoff on Squawk Box complete with a review of her changing CNBC styles. She apparently had a "short-hair period" around 2008, based on an image review we did. But that was apparently all right with Hair Fans, who split 50-50 on whether Thompson's best look was shorter or longer (5-5). The short cuts certainly were more precise, but the longer styles appear bouncier and more daring. Yet we don't recall ever seeing either approach come down. So Thompson's hair is a bit like investing - is your approach conservative or risky?
Marriage to a suave, good-looking actor must not be all it seems. And for that matter, marriage to one of the "hottest women of all time" (thank you, Men's Health magazine) must not be, either. A dream matchup like that occurred when Orlando Bloom wed Miranda Kerr in 2010 - yet by the end of 2013 they were in divorce court. The Australian model reportedly has moved on to another love. And he may explain a hair change Kerr made in the middle of 2016 - showing up in Tokyo with her traditional brown hair turned blonde. Perhaps it was for U.S. summer, or perhaps it was to test a new camera for the co-founder of Snapchat.
Kerr shortened her style as well, from medium-long to a chin-length pageboy. But we made color our question, and an eight-day poll found 60 percent of Hair Fans supporting Kerr as a brunette (6-4). No one left a comment either way, but we admit Victoria's Secret models like hair are more likely to get our attention if they're blonde. Of course, they also have to display precise hair. We hope Kerr's going for that with the pageboy, because longer looks have dropped often.
Some Hair Fans may remember when the TV question "Does she or doesn't she?" referred to hair color. Nowadays, that hair question most often refers to women adding extensions. In the case of Selena Gomez, almost all hair-watchers have concluded the answer is "yes." So much so that when she showed off a new look in June 2016 with long bangs, magazines had to get confirmation from her handlers that they were real.
This is actually Gomez's second go-round with bangs; they were much more precise in the fall of 2014. The updated look won strong support from our voters, with two-thirds backing the bangs in a one-week poll (10-5). But a debate developed in the comments section about the length. "Can't a celeb have gorgeous hair without being accused of extensions?" one voter asked - arguing Gomez and others "had gorgeous hair since they first hit the spotlight." To which another replied: "Selena has bangs one day and they are suddenly gone the next.... Check out how [Carrie Underwood] looked at the start of American Idol and how she looked at the end of the show. Makeover City with longer hair." And some people think overseeing a site like this is easy....
When you run a website promoting Super-Hair, anyone that's billed as "Super" tends to get your attention. So when we saw a magazine cover in a waiting room referring to an attractive woman as "the super Supermodel," everything stopped - and we had to know more. It turned out Harper's Bazaar was displaying Dutch model Doutzen Kroes with full, perfect, I-dare-you curls around her face. Kroes indeed has become a successful supermodel in Europe and the U.S., even though she's shown her hair much weaker at times. In June 2016, Kroes announced a cut in her medium-long hair. It didn't seem much like a cut to us, but the look certainly was straighter than the style which first caught our eye several years ago.
Should Kroes go straight all the time, and be arguably more daring with her hair? Our one-week poll ended with Hair Fans saying no; 82 percent want the waves to remain (9-2). No one left a comment either way, so we'll say we agree with the majority. A "super" Supermodel shouldn't look like her hair is practically ruined when we first see her - and we fear the straight look presents that. Give us hair that's ready for a super-struggle. Please.
The last two years have been very good for Gina Rodriguez. The actress has won awards for playing Jane the Virgin on TV. She's also been nominated here for Crown Awards, as medium-long waves have Hair Fans watching. Now the publicity is getting Rodriguez movie roles - but could that be trouble with the "hair base"? She admitted on Twitter in early June she not only cut her hair to a shoulder-length sideparted bob for a movie role, but had part of it shaved as well.
Rodriguez admitted on her Twitter feed her hair has never been so short - and she added: "I am not my hair.... I am love." Well, OK, but our week-long poll didn't find much love for her new look. Not only did 89 percent of our voters support the longer style, (16-2), but the comments were scathing. "Did she get a role in Orange Is the New Black?" one asked. "She looks like a convict." (Maybe that's what the movie is about; we're not sure.) Another called it "a waste of gorgeous hair. This side cut look should be banned." That could happen over time, of course; they're called fads.
It may seem like a hair paradox: when the days grow longer, some women's styles become shorter. But then again, Jackie DeAngelis should know something about "short selling." She hosts the CNBC online program Futures Now, and has worked as an analyst at a capital management firm. So when DeAngelis cut her shoulder-length hair to a bob in early 2016, it's safe to conclude she knew.... well, something. She wouldn't take a step like that simply on a whim, would she?
Whether DeAngelis knew about hair trends or an approaching record-breaking summer heat wave, we're not sure. But our Hair Fans are bearish about the change, with two-thirds turning it down in a one-week poll (14-7). "Wow," exclaimed one disappointed voter, "she was beautiful with long hair. I feel sorry for her." But from the other side: "That shorter look makes her look more youthful for some reason. I think it's a good summer look." Based on the pictures we've seen, we think DeAngelis still will take a conservative approach to her hair - and limited risk will help her last a long time on our radar.
Right photo courtesy People
The Twilight movies made Kristen Stewart a star. But what has she done with that opportunity? A look at her online resume shows Stewart has appeared in a large number of movies, but nothing that strikes us as a major hit. So Stewart has made headlines in other ways - including her hair. She told People magazine after finishing five films in two years, it was time to stop looking "neutral" and make a change in her hair. Stewart switched from basic brunette to platinum blonde, for her appearances at the Cannes Film Festival.
Our Hair Fans have nothing against platinum; after all, they've voted Heather Tesch into their Hall of Fame. But on "K-Stew," they declared her a D-minue.... or maybe worse. Our one-week poll showed only eight percent supporting the change, while 77 percent want Stewart to stay brunette. In fact, a higher 15 percent want Stewart to try another color (1-10-2) - which she actually did in 2014, when she went red. Our voters didn't seem to think much of that, either. So don't worry about her nickname changing to "rainbow Stew" anytime soon.
Right photo courtesy Twittami Beautiful
We're not sure if anyone's ever set a "soap opera" in a salon. Maybe it could be called "Cuts of Our Lives" - or for extreme Hair Fans, "The Bald and the Beautiful." It was The Bold and the Beautiful which brought Rena Sofer style fame here, as the growing-out of her hair earned her the 2014 Crown Award for Makeover of the Year. But is that an award anyone can win twice in a row? Sofer may be trying, by adding rather thin bangs to her long hair during the spring of 2016.
Based on our one-week "Sofer opera" poll, she'll need to do something else to gain a ascond Crown. The bangs were bashed, with 73 percent opposed to them (11-4) and one voter calling them "limp and lifeless." Another voter who's a clear Sofer supporter said the bangs are "really not too bad on the show, but.... not an improvement." We agree with these voters. Thicker, stronger bangs impress us more. They're well, even more bold and beautiful.
Some heads of Super-Hair last in the spotlight for years and years. Others have a short season, then disappear. It seemed Renee Elise Goldsberry was in the latter category – rising quickly to the top of Top Ten Tresses in 2005 with the old soap opera One Life to Live, then going away every bit as quickly. But then Goldsberry found a role that's brought her even more attention: the oldest Schuyler sister in the breakthrough hip-hop Broadway musical Hamilton. It's won Goldsberry a Grammy Award and a Tony nomination – and brought new attention to what's still a standout head of hair. There's still a lot of flexing and bounce, only these days it's bust-line length compared to the shoulder length of a daytime drama attorney.
We asked you if Goldsberry had improved her look with time – and Hair Fans were split. After a week of voting, the shorter style had 55 percent of the votes (6-5) with no one leaving any comments. Perhaps that's because the hair isn't that much longer - maybe a couple or three inches. But it's enough for Goldsberry to throw back behind her shoulders for safety at times. And all the attention she's gaining for Hamilton hasn't seemed to bring moments when her hair has collapsed. So perhaps Goldsberry's "short season" in the spotlight was more our fault than hers.
Right photo courtesy Yahoo Movies
As we prepare this update on Mother's Day 2016 in several countries, we're reminded of one of those cliches Moms like to say: “You're not getting any younger, you know.” As if anyone really is. But the line applies to Julia Roberts, as much as anyone. The Pretty Woman of 1990 movie fame now is 48, a mother of three – and may be contemplating how she'll change her closely-watched hair next. Medium-long waves have been Roberts's standard look. So it was a surprise to see her pull out a wig and display a helmet bob in the film Mother's Day – a wig she admittedly recycled from Notting Hill in 1999.
Is it time for Roberts to look more, uh, grown-up and matronly like this on a full-time basis? Our Hair Fans clearly answered no; a one-week poll found 81 percent of them opposed (17-4). While one voter called it a “stupid question” (we did have a guess about how it would turn out), another dared to explain an answer: “She's no Taylor Swift. A woman her age should not try the Prince Valiant look.” That voter suggested Roberts recycle her hair from Steel Magnolias – which came out even before Pretty Woman. If we're going to have that debate, it's a great debate to have. And we personally would pursue Roberts's curls in The Pelican Brief all day long.
Did you know the late Prince Rogers Nelson had a personal hairstylist? She was told no one was allowed to touch his ears – something the singer later denied. Yet Prince had a hairstyle which as distinctive, and he introduced the world to women with great hair as well. Several sang with him, then moved into solo careers. So when “the artist” died, the best tribute we could give was to ask you about some of the best related heads of hair of his era (especially the 1980s).
We put three women before Hair Fans for a week-long vote – and Apollonia (now known with her last name Kotero) won the contest easily. The co-star of the movie Purple Rain (the source of our photo) and her plush waves won 80 percent of the votes, dominating Glamorous Life singer Sheila E. and Vanity (who ironically died only two months before Prince) with 10 percent each. Kotero went on to lead the group Apollonia 6, and now runs her own entertainment company. While the waves may be gone, the memories indeed live on.
She may not be Farrah Fawcett. But Faran Fronczak has hair that can make some Hair Fans salivate. As a TV reporter in South Bend-Elkhart, Indiana, Fronczak showed off medium-long waves that looked attractively loose at times. They earned her a win during Super-Hair Wars 2014, followed by a very close loss to eventual Crown Award winner Karen Gillan. Then Fronczak became an anchor at the same station, and eventually decided it was time for a change. In early 2016, Fronczak chopped her hair into a thick and wide shoulder-length bob.
She called it an “impulse cut” on Twitter, but she's followed a trend of other women making shorter moves. And unlike the others, our voters like what Fronczak's done; the cut won support from 62 percent of our voters in a one-week poll (16-10). “Much more youthful and beautiful longer,” one voter commented. “Both have things going for it,” another wrote, “but I think the shorter style is more distinct, and I like the color better.” It's probably more distinct compared to Fronczak's days as a Purdue University and Chicago Bulls dancer – and especially the day after her beloved Black Hawks won hockey's Stanley Cup.
When she was Nancy Weiner and working at ABC News, her hair seemed almost invincible. It was medium-long with perfectly positioned wave or curl, and refused to fall when the winds were risky. In fact, she made our Top Ten Tresses on two separate occasions – the second time after becoming married, changing her on-air name to Cordes and shifting to CBS News. But while covering 2016 presidential candidates, Cordes has become the latest journalist to change her style. She's switched from shoulder-length or longer hair with still-muscular curl to a neck-length bob with barely any curl at all.
Our voters were unimpressed by Cordes's cut, rejecting it in a one-week poll by a 79-percent margin (11-3). “Huge mistake,” one viewer declared. “Very forgettable short hair,” another wrote – adding: “She lost a lot of appeal with that cut.” Well, maybe not; if she flips the ends a bit more to keep the style strong, Cordes would keep our attention. But who could have guessed that Cordes someday would have shorter hair than CBS colleague Norah O'Donnell?
Are Hair Fans ready to forgive Miss America 2016 for making a big cut? Or is the quality of hair in country music in decline? The Academy of Country Music Awards in April had us wondering – especially when few qualifying styles appeared on stage before our deadline. Betty Cantrell certainly has “made the rounds” in public appearances, both before and after her cut. Based on her Twitter feed, her short waves made several “top hair” lists at the ACM's – and in our week-long poll, she climbed all the way to the top.
Miss America came from behind to hold off rising star Kelsea Ballerini by 42 to 32 percent. Usual leader Carrie Underwood had to settle for third place with 21 percent, topping "Other" with 5 percent – but she received one comment quite critical of the “Mom bob” she's developed: “I can't remember Carrie Underwood's hair looking worse. Bring back the extensions!” Another voter wrote with an obvious sigh: “Remember when country music was known for big hair?” This surprised us, because Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town was on the ballot and received no votes. Are her curls (or Cam's) simply not big enough anymore?
Some of us can remember when wives of political candidates did little more than wave to the crowd, while following their husbands to the stage. That's certainly not true anymore – and the fact that we've presented Crown Awards to the Best Hair in Government/Politics for more than a decade should be proof. But the 2016 U.S. Presidential race has raised questions about what role candidates' wives should have. When an “anti-Trump” political action committee posted steamy photos of Melania, followed by Donald Trump tweeting a less-than-perfect picture of Heidi Cruz, the political fight took a turn no one could have expected. But we're always willing to help settle (ahem) vital issues along this line – so we decided to ask you which “first wife” of a Republican candidate had the best hairstyle.
If there were wagers taken on this, Melania Trump probably was the favorite. And indeed, she won – taking 56 percent of the votes in our one-week poll. Heidi Cruz and Karen Kasich wound up tying for second at 22 percent (10-4-4). No one left a comment, perhaps out of fear flaming tweets would come. And if anyone wants a contest involving the Democratic presidential candidates.... well, we've had a good look. You'll have to make a special request for it.
Some women make subtle changes to their hairstyle, that you might not notice if you're not paying close attention. When women in the public eye make changes, it's more obvious. But when a Super-Hair Wars winner does it in the middle of a match, she simply asks for trouble from Hair Fans. Tracey Anthony of "WeatherNation" did it during her second match - cutting long hair which she openly admits has saved her from revealing on-air spills, and moving to a cut which has little curl and strains to reach the bust line.
Anthony went on to become a Wars undefeated champion - but we wonder if that's because we had no picture of the change for her third contest. Our one-week poll with the changed style ended with 88 percent rejection (15-2). “What a waste of gorgeous hair,” one voter moaned; “Just another talking head now.” But another found something to like about both styles: “Longer has more body and waves, but shorter looks sleeker and silkier.” We fear "sleeker" does not mean "stronger," which is a key issue for us. The rolls of curl Anthony often used not only looked attractive and tempting, but helped the overall style stay in place. Now it's as if Anthony is daring someone to defeat her hair - and while she may have secrets we don't know about, we fear defeat is only a matter of time.
ABC and CNN seem to trade on-air personnel more than the New York Yankees make trades with baseball bottom-dwellers. Chris Cuomo and Bill Weir went from A-to-C, while Jonathan Karl and Rob Marciano went from C-to-A. Marciano was joined by another CNN meteorologist late in 2015, when Indra Petersons swapped networks. (In fact, she returned to the ABC family after working at KABC-TV in Los Angeles.) She arrived right on time to provide “weather support” as Ginger Zee went on maternity leave – and she impressed Hair Fans to be nominated for a Crown Award. But once again, a Crown nominee decided to change her style in the middle of voting. Petersons chopped her hair from armpit-long with waves to a straight look barely below the shoulders.
Has this self-proclaimed “scientist” found a winning formula? Most of our voters don't think so; a one-week poll ended with 76 percent calling for the long hair to come back (13-4). “From distinctive.... to unimaginative” was how one comment described the change. “At least she can work her way back longer.” Another wondered if ABC required a haircut as part of the move. “Was that part of the deal? I was stunned – and not in a good way.” A review of her social media accounts indicate Petersons made the cut in early January, after a trip to Los Angeles. But she gave no explanation – leaving open the speculation that she's trying to “be like Zee.”
Left photo courtesy Popsugar
We've known identical twins who changed identities for a day, to fool people at school. And the 21st century has brought us a reality show called Wife Swap. But how many women do you know who would engage in a hair swap? And do it without the use of wigs or extensions? Young models GiGi Hadid and Kendall Jenner did it for an appearance at the spring Fashion Week in Paris. Hadid's long blonde waves have made an awards show ballot here, while Jenner's brunette looks may be riding on the coattails of the Kardashians. To pull this swap, Jenner dyed her hair blonde and added waves while Hadid went very dark.
One of the models called it “playing Barbie” on social media. Fun for them, but apparently not for Hair Fans; they may have been so baffled by this swap that very few voted on it in in our one-week poll. Two-thirds wound up saying Hadid and Jenner should keep their original colors, while the other one-third recommended they both go brunette (4-2). But this is the stuff of great Super-Hair fantasy. Whose hair would you like to see move to someone else's scalp? Maybe a Top Ten Tress on Supergirl or Wonder Woman? Head to our message board and discuss.
We'll get to “the issue” of the 2016 Oscars in a moment. We first want to ask: was Sylvester Stallone robbed? Some moviegoers probably thought so, when he lost the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – a award many thought he was sure to win, based on his career. But Stallone can take comfort in the fact that he has some nice “consolation prizes”. Jennifer Flavin is a textbook “trophy wife,” an actress married to Stallone for more than 18 years – and if you saw their daughters on the red carpet at places such as the Golden Globes, you'd probably agree they're equally attractive. Flavin was not going to be on stage during the Oscars, but her medium-long loose hair with bangs still gained pre-show interviews. And she gained the votes of Hair Fans, for the top style of the night.
Our one-week poll started in the middle of the show, and Flavin ended up with 53 percent support. Julianne Moore finished second at 24 percent, followed by Naomi Watts with 12 percent. Fourth place was a tie at six percent between Angela Bassett and Lady Gaga – and that gets us back to “the issue.” As much as ABC, Chris Rock and “The Academy” talked of diversity this year, we ironically could not find a “minority” candidate who qualified for the ballot for most of the evening. Almost all the potential candidates had hair pinned back in some way. We were rescued at our posting deadline by Bassett appearing in a recorded “Black History Month Minute.” While we're reluctant to post award show contenders based on taped segments, the Oscar producers really left us no choice.
Awards shows can be times of change – not only as new stars take the spotlight, but longstanding celebrities try to keep current while staying attractive. Singer Meghan Trainor has experienced both sides of that in less than two years. Our left photo comes from the 2014 American Music Awards, when she was emerging and All About That Bass. .The right photo comes from the 2016 Grammy Awards, about 15 months later. In that span, Trainor has become a mega-star, lost her voice more than once and been ranked in our Top Ten Tresses list. But she may have saved the biggest surprise for the night she was named Grammy Best New Artist – turning her blonde hair auburn, and trimming it to slightly below the shoulders to boot.
Did Trainor make a good move with her hair? Our voters say no by a large margin. Only 13 percent like the brunette color, while 81 percent say she should stay blonde and six percent suggest she try a different color (2-13-1). One voter who claimed support for “natural color” said “long blonde hair was Meghan's trademark. Why did she have to change the color and shorten the length?” Trainor explained to Seventeen magazine it was because she has a new album – and after 14 years of blondeness, “I just have to get used to it.” To which many Hair Fans might respond, “Katy Perry didn't.”
Maybe the country singer with beloved long hairstyles finally has decided to make a big cut. Maybe she decided to go without extensions for a night. Whatever the explanation, Carrie Underwood was one of several women to show surprising style changes at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Underwood displayed a sideparted blunt-cut bob on the red carpet, and during her song. She had to reach for it a couple of times, but the hair held well enough to make our ballot – and Underwood's fans took it from there, voting hers the top style of the night.
Underwood has a history of being a contender whenever she qualifies for one of our ballots. This time, our six-day poll ended with her receiving 45 percent of the votes. Selena Gomez used tucked-back long waves to finish second, at 30 percent. Taylor Swift made a lot of style news by opening the show with a tight bang-filled bob, but only 15 percent of our vote went her way. Thick waves of Tori Kelly finished fourth at 10 percent, while Britain's Ellie Goulding became lost in a strong-styled field and received no support at all. So all in all, we must disagree with the person who tweeted about “so much bad hair on the same stage.” There was plenty of good, amid the “bad.”
The 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign has offered several surprises – from a long-time Independent running as a Democrat, to a discussion of how Bible characters utilized the Egyptian pyramids. Even hair has become an issue, with Republican Donald Trump inviting someone at a rally to pull on his mane to prove it's real. But somehow, it seems one of the biggest “position changes” of the campaign has escaped media notice. Megyn Kelly of Fox News Channel became a controversial figure to some people when she moderated a Republican debate in the summer of 2015. Her hair was medium-long then, but was far shorter when she moderated another debate in early 2016.
It took a side-by-side comparison during an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America to make the change obvious to us. But did Kelly make a good change? A poll extended to eight days found Hair Fans turning their back on her almost as fast as Trump; only 34 percent support the short cut (19-10). Perhaps it's ironic that we extended the poll, because one voter is sure Kelly has been wearing extensions. “It looked better that way,” the voter admitted. But another commenter said, “She looks better with shorter hair; the problem is she needs to soften the look.” We agree with that Hair Fan when it comes to the “slicked-back look” being “far [too] harsh for her, more of a man's look.” But then again, if Kelly's going to ask tough questions of potential world leaders, should she look every bit as tough?
When last we left actress Allison Williams, she was single. Her father was still a respected TV news anchor. And she dreamed she could fly – as in putting on a tight-cap wig to portray Peter Pan on live television. Truly much has changed for Williams and her family since late 2014. While we probably shouldn't bring up Brian Williams here at all, she's now married. And the Girls star has decided to do something wild for her. She revealed on Instagram she went to a Hollywood stylist at 3:00 a.m. and had bangs cut into her medium-long hair.
Williams at least had enough sense to have a middle-of-the-night operation like this done by a pro – Chris McMillan, the stylist who made Jennifer Aniston famous. But does this change prove the phrase, “Few good things happen after midnight”? Our Hair Fans were split about the bangs; a one-week poll ended with 54 percent opposed to them (7-6), and no one leaving comments either way. McMillan notes Williams made this change for some upcoming acting role, so the bangs may not last long. But all in all, we think “3am Girls” should stick to British tabloids.
Left photo courtesy Huffington Post
She has good looks topping her mother, Goldie Hawn, plus an attractive smile – two perfect traits for getting cast in romantic comedy movies. But Hair Fans also have been struck by Kate Hudson's mid-length blonde mane. It's thick, easygoing and adjustable for waves. So Hudson is a natural for magazine covers, like the 2015 year-end issue of Harper's Bazaar at our left. It's impressive that she's appeared on that cover at least seven times – often with that hair in captivating motion. But Hudson could be going more conservative as 2016 begins. She appeared at the Golden Globe Awards with hair barely hitting her shoulders. Her stylist revealed he made a seven-inch cut, on the eve of the show.
“I was ready to cut my hair off,” Hudson told Live With Kelly and Michael days after it happened. Maybe she was, but our voters were not; 80 percent of them rejected the change in a week-long poll (16-4). One voter noted the shorter hair is “thinner as well. Major downgrade.” Hudson's stylist actually called it not conservative, but “modern, jagged, crazy.” Yet Hair Fans can take heart in something else she told the talk show: “It'll grow back.”
Someone once commented to us that a great head of hair seems to be a requirement for working at The Weather Channel. Indeed, many great styles have come and gone – with two of them entering our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. But the key word may be that many have gone. From Jeanetta Jones to Alexandra Steele, some classic and perfect heads of hair have been ushered out the door under puzzling circumstances. The first woman in 2016 to do that is Kait Parker – a Crown Award winner and two-time nominee. She's moving to some kind of “new project” (not disclosed as we write this). And only days before she left cable TV, Parker surprisingly added bangs to her medium-long hair.
Parker gave no explanation on social media for this change. But perhaps no explanation was necessary, as Hair Fans love it enough to give it 70-percent support in our one-week poll (16-7). One voter suggested the bangs “add some youth to her face.” Another said Parker “never has a bad hair day” either way, but called the bangs “stunning.” They certainly will make Parker's hair less likely to drop in her eyes. She's had some awfully close calls at times – and an “atmospheric scientist,” as she now calls herself, can't afford to have stray strands of hair getting in the way of research.
An awards show in January can be a tricky proposition for hairstyling, even in normally-sunny southern California. Rain and Santa Ana winds can test even the strongest heads of hair. But the 2016 Golden Globe Awards seemed calm by comparison, and as a result great styles were out in abundance. A dozen women or more might have qualified for a place on our end-of-the-night ballot. But when Golden Globe and Crown Award winner Amy Adams came out with long perfect waves, we knew she had to be there. Our Hair Fans agreed, as she was the overwhelming choice for the best hairstyle of the night.
One voter predicted a “landslide” for Adams after she took a huge early lead – and that was accurate. She wound up with 76% of the votes. Jennifer Lopez took second with 14 percent, based on a short glamorous look that was very subdued compared to the American Music Awards. Lady Gaga and Taraji P. Henson of Empire tied for third with five percent. But the predicting voter admitted a desire to vote for Supergirl Melissa Benoist. We didn't think her long hair quite matched the other finalists – but keep in mind, we always have an “Other” choice during awards shows if you have better ideas.
Some heads of Super-Hair are, shall we say, “killers.” In three years of college, Dani Mostrom has recorded 15 kills – and that's only playing in volleyball matches at Wichita State University. The junior from Missouri actually is better known for serving aces and digging out potential points. But her long curls clearly are a knockout with Hair Fans, because she became the new City League champion of Wichita - and she dominated the 2015-16 “Elite Eight Week” of Best Manes on Campus like few others have.
Mostrom raced to the early week in our one-week poll, and the other seven college students never came close. She cruised to 67 percent of your votes. A four-way tie developed for second place between Jodie Buddenbohn of Coastal Carolina, Betty Cantrell of Mercer (pre-cut or post?), Madison Clark of Buffalo and Nicole Durham of South Alabama. One voter openly wished for “better choices” and asked: “Do you solicit nominations for this?” Absolutely, we do – and we have since day one! If you see a great head of hair at a college or university, please let us know.
The theory about “beauty pageants” is that contestants need long hair to win. After they win, changes can happen with no penalty. While Miss America doesn't call itself a pageant anymore, that's certainly been the trend in recent years. Caressa Cameron captured the crown in 2010 – then her mid-length hair suddenly went short. Laura Kaeppeler was the same way in 2012. Then the end of 2015 brought perhaps the biggest shocker of all. We swooned over Georgia's Betty Cantrell and her marvelous medium-long waves. But we had no idea she was growing them out for Locks of Love. Cantrell held out two bundles of hair on Twitter, wrote about “giving in a personal way” - yet some Hair Fans might have wondered if she was really thinking, “No Super-Hair for you, pursuers!”
We could have gone to Atlantic City and plunked down a lot of money, betting how a poll on this change would turn out. Sure enough – after one week, 71 percent of our voters called for Cantrell to bring the long locks back (10-4). Miss America had backers in our comments, including one who called the short look “super cute;” another compared her to “a 1940s film star.” But a critic of the change said, “She was selected with long hair. She should keep the long hair for her entire year with title. They should have a contract saying so.” Sorry, but the only thing that seems to get you fired from Miss America is a nude photo shoot for Playboy – and this past year, the competition forgave Vanessa Williams for that by letting her be a judge.
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