Cutting-Edge Hair News - 2018
Maybe 2018 will go down as the year the tabloid gossip about Justin Bieber finally ended. The pop singer became married in November - not to Selena Gomez, but model and TV host Hailey Baldwin. The bride reportedly is so serious about this that she wants the married name "Hailey Bieber" trademarked. But we're not sure if the marriage led to what Baldwin did with her hair in mid-December. Long blonde locks suddenly became what she called on Instagram a "chopped" bob which stops short of the shoulders.
Bieber's hair has been closely-watched for years. So will Mrs. Bieber's change top his? Based on our voters, apparently not. Our one-week poll found 71 percent prefer Baldwin's hair longer (5-2). One even accused her of "copying Ariana Grande. Not original!" Well, to be fair, bobs were hair trend-setters all-around in 2018. If Baldwin molds hers into place and tries for a "Super-Hair" undefeated 2019, that will be different - and she'll certainly have our attention from January on.
Fox Sports has revolutionized the viewing of U.S. pro football over the last 25 years. It was first with the "Fox box" clock on the screen. It beat the other major networks to one-hour pre-game shows. And now, the Sunday pre-game coverage lasts two hours - and veteran reporter Charissa Thompson is in the main anchor seat for Kickoff in hour one. Thompson came to fame with hair at her shoulders or longer - sometimes so much longer on Instagram that it smelled like extensions. But during the 2018 season, Thompson has stuck to a side-parted bob with waves on the vulnerable right side.
Should Thompson have practiced the "short game" all along? Our week of polling ended with 60 percent of Hair Fans saying yes (12-8). It may have bee a tough choice for some, as one wrote: "Longer looks thicker and softer, but shorter is more stylish." We agree with the stylish part, even if her hair is more likely to drop in her eye. But perhaps the overlooked question was whether Thompson cut her own hair. After all, she once cut the hair of comedian Larry David.
When this website was on the drawing board nearly 20 years ago, we knew we had to have a standard that people could see. So who possessed the most perfect heads of Super-Hair of modern times? We drew up a list, and compiled an "Ultimate 50" - then found only 40 of them truly were undefeated. Over the years, we've kept track of them. Some gave out shortly after we posted them. But others have endured amazingly - staying undefeated even to the end of 2018. Yes, these are Ultimates! But whose is the most "Super" Super-Hair of all?
We assembled the seven remaining unbeatens (one deceased) for an "Ultimate Showdown" week, a virtual battle royal to let Hair Fans decide. Our top-ranked Judy Fortin jumped out to the lead - but then a mysterious surge came for another journalist who's moved to public relations. Betsy Stark, our #14 (pictured), wound up claiming your "Ultimate" title, with 45 percent of the votes! We're not sure what led to the rush of support. There was no sign of it on Facebook or Twitter. Could it have been a coordinated effort by colleagues at Ogilvy and Mather - or her old college, Smith of Massachusetts?
Fortin finished second with 32 percent. Third place went to the late Florence Griffith-Joyner with 14 percent. She had the longest hair of our seven, and undoubtedly took many hair secrets to her grave. Former news anchor Lynne Russell was fourth with nine percent. She's the only one of the seven who's admitted to a hair drop, but we have no photographic evidence to confirm it. While Cheryl Burnett, Paula Cinko and Carolyn Peck received no votes in our contest, they remain amazing "Ultimates" to us.
Her competition seemed imposing - featuring two young women who had won Crown Awards and another two who had won City League titles. On top of that, Alyssa Wallace attends the small St. Thomas University of Minnesota. But that didn't deter a budding entrepreneur from developing hair success. Wallace defeated the "stars" and others, to win our annual "Elite Eight" vote among this season's Best Manes on Campus.
Wallace is a sophomore on the college hockey team. And she was the only contestant to pick up a "hat trick" of votes in our week-long race. She finished with 40 percent support, followed by Purdue's Brooke Peters at 20 percent. Third place was a four-way tie between West Virginia's Saira Blair (one of the Crown winners), East Carolina's Madison Clark, Missouri's Raime Cohen (the two City League winners) and Alysha Coyle from that other St. Thomas in Florida. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Laryssa Bonacquisti of Louisiana State - but in the wrong direction. After thrilling Hair Fans in 2017 and capturing a Crown, she received no votes at all here.
First she undid the ponytail - and pop culture marveled. What was Ariana Grande trying to say? One fashion website claimed the tail that brought Grande a Crown Award had been "retired." But that wasn't true; what she called "a remarkable feeling" quickly came back. But Grande's latest hair change may be much harder to undo. In November, she cut the long hair to a lob that stops a bit below her shoulders (clearly enhanced by Snapchat in our photo). Her Instagram post had no comment about it, nor did her Twitter account. But gossip websites found "sources" who tried to interpret it, saying Grande needed a "reset" after a challenging two years.
When she undid the ponytail, our voters were delighted. But would a cut like be a step too far? Apparently not! Our nine-day poll ended with 63 percent of Hair Fans supporting Grande's shorter look (10-6). "She needed a change," one wrote. "The tightly pulled back pony tail was getting old." But Grande keep it in place, and out of her eyes? We have our doubts - but we know she doesn't care. For Grande, our result probably is like that new album.... "Thank U. Next."
Dress changes? We put an "over-and-under" on her of 6 1/2 - and she reached the "over" with seven. Hairstyle count? We lost track after three. Carrie Underwood clearly has become the busiest awards show host in history - backstage during the show, we mean. But we chose to post her monologue look from the 2018 Country Music Association Awards in our race for the best hairstyle of the night. And enough Hair Fans agreed that she won our poll.
The contest began late on awards night, lasting about nine days. Underwood led from start to finish, recalling the time several years ago when she never seemed to lose polls like this. Underwood wound up with 35 percent of your votes, topping Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott with 24 percent. Sharna Burgess of Dancing With the Stars and Kacey Musgraves tied for third at 18 percent. But we were shocked by the poor showing of newcomer Carly Pearce, whose long blonde hair was stunning and perfect. She received only six percent, with one voter wondering if she wore extensions. Based on the pictures we've seen, we don't think so - but Pearce wasn't under pressure to change her style all night long.
Right photo courtesy InStyle
For movie fans, the news must have been startling. The star of Legally Blonde had turned.... brunette?!?! A snapshot from the set of an upcoming TV miniseries verified it. Reese Witherspoon's blonde hair which won her a Crown Award for the film Sweet Home Alabama had converted to the dark side - at least for the short-term. This isn't Witherspoon's first time doing that; she was deep brunette as June Carter Cash in the 2005 movie I Walk the Line.
Should Witherspoon keep her hair dark for good? Bad idea, or voters say - as 78 percent of Hair Fans in our week-long poll preferred her blonde (7-2). While no one left a comment, we think the miniseries color is lukewarm. But it beats the Halloween picture Witherspoon put on social media, which was shockingly red.
Photos courtesy Hello!
Katie Piper once dreamed of being a British supermodel, along the lines of Naomi Campbell. But attackers changed everything, by raping her and pouring acid on her face. Doctors were able to restore a blind left eye, and Piper changed her focus. She now runs a charity helping burn victims, writes inspirational material and appears in Britain reality shows. Piper's short time on the 2018 season of Strictly Come Dancing featured her with classic-looking mid-length blonde hair. But after her elimination, changes came - with a cut to shoulder-length, and a dark brunette shade.
We chose to focus on the length in our eight-day poll - and six out of ten Hair Fans decided Piper's short cut was better for her (6-4). No one left a comment, but we lean toward the longer look being more appealing - even if it's more likely to fall in her eyes. After what she's endured, may nothing fall in Piper's eyes beyond that.
What's this - Angelina Jolie still acts in movies?! Apparently she has time to squeeze in a role or two, while serving as a United Nations celebrity ambassador and fighting off endless tabloid rumors. A co-star in the upcoming fantasy Come Away posted proof on Instagram in October. Jolie plays a character named Rose. A yellow rose, apparently - because her usually-brunette hair is blonde. The picture shows it pinned; we don't know yet if she'll let it down in the film.
Style-watching websites made a big deal about this color change. So we did, too - asking you if Jolie should be blonde all the time. Our one-week poll concluded with 80 percent of Hair Fans preferring Jolie as a brunette (8-2). One voter noted Jolie has made this switch before: "What about her platinum blonde/Marilyn Monroe do from Life, Or Something Like it?" Jolie played a TV reporter in that movie - and based on promotional pictures, her hair fell. In real life, journalists with Super-Hair never would allow photos of moments like that.
It may be a stereotype, but country music always seems to be looking for the next big blonde. Think Tammy Wynette, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert - or even Hayden Panettiere on the TV drama Nashville. In recent years, Kelsea Ballerini has shown the potential to follow that path to success. But she's also thrown a curve or two, when it comes to the blonde part. Ballerini had her long locks cut to a "lob" at the end of 2016. The style was slightly shorter than that at the 2018 American Music Awards - as a near-center part stopped at the shoulders.
Would the singer of Yeah Boy get a yes from our voters for this change? The quick answer was.... no! A week of voting found 85 percent of Hair Fans wanting long hair again (11-2). One called the cut a "waste of beautiful hair," and may have borrowed from a classic George Jones song to ask: "Why? Why? Why?" Ballerini answered that on Snapchat after her 2016 cut, explaining it would "get my hair strong and healthy again." Based on the pictures we've seen, her styles are indeed stronger-holding when they're longer. Crystal Gayle might be able to tell Ballerini something about that.
Her mid-length mane impressed us at first sight. She gained an endorsement deal with L'Oreal Paris in a hurry. Yet singer Camila Cabello must have frustrated Hair Fans for a long time, by showing up at awards shows with pinned-up styles. We simply don't put that kind of style on our ballots. But Cabello made some changes for the 2018 American Music Awards - not only by going loose with the locks, but singing a ballad with an orchestra. Her hair stayed out of her face all night long, and the former Fifth Harmony was rewarded with first place in our vote for best hair at the AMA's.
While some viewers complained on social media that Cabello's hair was flat during her song, our vid-cap was taken as she won an award. She was prepared to win, and that resulted in Cabello receiving 46 percent of the votes. Carrie Underwood was second with 23 percent, yet one voter was disappointed that her hair "was unusually flat and sleek. She's country! Where's the big hair?" Again we posted an award picture; it was bigger and seemed messier to us when Underwood sang. Venessa Hudgens and Bebe Rexha tied for third with 15 percent each.
Left photo courtesy IMDb
Can you tell what these two young women have in common? They're both actresses. They're both named Molly. And they've both played the same role on the TV comedy Last Man Standing. Molly Ephraim (left) played a girlfriend named Mandy during the show's years on ABC. But when the program returned in September on Fox, Molly McCook had the part - and she was blonde to boot! It's not clear why Ephraim was expunged. But a Hair Fan suggested this "Battle of the Mandys" would be a good one.
We chose a different name for it: "Last Man Standoff." After eight days of voting, the winner was the old Mandy (our photo is from 2011). Ephraim gained 60 percent of the votes (6-4) - but maybe we should added a third option. "Abstain," one voter wrote; "neither head of hair is impressive." Another chose Ephraim for "better hair in general, but I hate those too-short bangs." Her current look may become hard to find, as her Twitter account seemed to disappear during our vote - a lot like her job did.
Right photo courtesy People
Lisa Rinna built a successful career through "soap operas" - spending several years on Days of Our Lives, Melrose Place and even a talk show on the SoapNet cable channel. So perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised when Rinna joined a reality soap of sorts, as one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Through it all, Rinna has been admired for a short layered hairstyle that seems built to last through any challenge. So it's been surprising in 2018 to see her trying out longer looks. One September red carpet found her displaying a ponytail - one we suspect was a clip-on, given her history with plastic surgery and injections.
At age 55, is it time for Rinna to make a real hair change? Our voters said no, with 71 percent preferring the shorter style (10-4). Yet the comments were on the side of the minority, with one Hair Fan writing, "I always wondered how she'd look with longer hair.... I love it." Another took Rinna to task for "the horrible frosted" short cut. She's changed that as well over the years, sometimes looking like a stunning redhead. But maybe that explains why this short-hair icon never has been a Crown Awards contender in that category.
At the two-hour mark, she was on the ballot. With 30 minutes to go, she was on the ballot. But then, Connie Britton took the stage at the 70th annual Emmy Awards - and we feared she'd blown it. The star of 9-1-1 had the sort of loose long hairstyle which put her in the Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. But we thought it dropped in her left eye during too loose a moment, disqualifying her from our ballot for the best style of the night. Yet our Hair Fans thought otherwise - so she shares top honors in hair.
For the first time that we can recall, "Other" led the week of voting after the Emmys ended, receiving 45 percent of the votes. The suggestions went beyond Britton to include Mandy Moore (another actress we thought had a drop on-camera), Heidi Klum and Sarah Silverman. "Or Penelope Cruz," one added (even though she showed up with a ponytail). "And they were just OK. Not worthy of the title 'Superhair.'"
As for women actually on the ballot, Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live led the way with 27 percent. Then came co-star and newcomer for us Aidy Bryant at 18 percent, although one voter suspected she wore extensions. Chrissy Teigen followed at nine percent.
Courtesy FTV Live
If you think all television news teams are as friendly and smiling as they appear on camera.... well, not always. These two women worked together on the 4:00 p.m. news at a station in Huntington-Charleston, West Virginia until late August. Then they went to a bar - and days later, both were fired. What happened in between is a bit murky. We know there was a fight. A police report quoted Erica Bivens as saying Chelsea Ambriz tried to flirt with her husband. Ambriz reportedly shoved Bivens, and they both hit the floor. Bivens eventually claimed on Twitter she had a "fractured skull and ruptured eardrum." Ambriz did not tweet about the wild moment, sticking to reports on wild weather - perhaps because she faces battery charges.
This is a Super-Hair War simply waiting to happen (if it hasn't already). We decided not to wait, bringing Bivens and Ambriz together on our home page. An eight-day battle ended with 71 percent of Hair Fans preferring Ambriz's wavier shoulder-length cut (10-4), but several voters asking questions. "Did they fight over the proper side to part your hair?" one wondered. (The part lines would be parallel, if they came face-to-face.) "Chelsea looks friendler," another wrote; "Who won the fight?.... Was there hair pulling?" The police report does not mention the latter. And for now, even though Bivens once was a national taekwondo champion, it appears both of them have lost to some extent.
(For the record: we are aware there was a similar fight around the same time between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. But can you really be sure about the hair of either woman?)
She's starred in the TV drama Quantico - and Priyanka Chopra's personal life has had some dramatic moments in 2018. ABC canceled the series. There was a minor injury on the set. Controversy erupted over an episode involving east Indian terrorists. But they've been mixed with love scenes - as Chopra now is engaged to singing star Nick Jonas. So which of these moments led Chopra to chop her hair this year? It went from long to mid-length, yet still with steamy waves.
Chopra says the cut was part of the TV series. Our Hair Fans hope the end of its run will change that - as 71 percent prefer her hair longer (12-5). One voter explained the old style "looks softer and thicker too." Another complained, "Shorter makes her look like a little girl." (Chopra's actually in her mid-30s.) And for the voter who lobbied to put Chopra in Top Ten Tresses - did you actually watch Quantico? The longer style fell in her face many times.
Imagine you spent months or years constantly tied down. Then for a few days, the ties came off. Would you feel liberated - ready to show the world your fullest potential? It's tempting to draw that comparison to the long hair of pop star Ariana Grande. Her ponytail has become so famous that it won our first-ever Crown Award for that kind of style. But the MTV Video Music Awards are an event when performers take major risks and chances - and Grande did that in 2018, by appearing with no tail at all. She posted only black-and-white photos on Twitter, showing the hair reaching a bit below her waist.
Should Grande make this a permanent change? We asked Hair Fans that question for a week, in the first question of its kind here. The decision was strongly in favor of NO tail, by a 77-percent margin (10-3). But Grande doesn't seem likely to listen to us. In fact, she had Kim Kardashian West-type misgivings on Twitter days after the VMAs, calling the tail "a remarkable feeling". We will quote one of her tweets:
iím jus ....... supposed to have a high pony u kno ? some things are just meant to be and this is jus one of those things.
So there you go, "ponytailinators" (borrowing from another tweet) - Grande's in your corner, apparently ready to defend her Crown. And if she wears that Dangerous Woman mask when she does, so much the better. It makes Grande look a bit like a superhero. And it gives some Hair Fans two things to pursue and capture - although we can't recall that ponytail ever coming loose in public.
Right photo courtesy Just Jared Jr.
The name might give some people historical whiplash. Who is Lennon Stella - and is he or she related to John and Yoko? If you watched the TV series Nashville, you may remember her playing an aspiring country singer. Now Stella really is in the music business in Tennessee, doing solo songs when not teamed with her sister Maisy. That means the style watch officially is on, and any hair change can get websites buzzing. Take the 2018 CMT Awards. "We really did it this time!" she declared on Instagram after dying her hair brunette - one day after walking the red carpet as a blonde.
But moments like this make us ask: should she have done it? Our Hair Fans think Stella went in the right direction, as 63 percent support the brunette look (5-3). While no one left a comment, we're left in the minority here. The blonde color brings out her long waves better - although we doubt the CMT style has long-term hold with any color.
What do a special education teacher, a TV news reporter and a classical musician have in common? Sorry, there's no punchline here - only their skill with the hair on their heads. Michigan teacher Renee Crittenden, Hillary Vaughn of Fox News and violinist Elena Urioste (left-right) all have developed Super-Hair, from our view. And now, Hair Fans have elevated them to one of our top ranks - as they wound up in a three-way tie for #1 hairstyle in the world, in our annual Top Ten Tresses contest!
The 2018 "Who's Number One" race was a tight one, with no runaway favorite. Crittenden, Vaughn and Urioste all wound up with 20 percent of your votes. We had Cincinnati TV reporter Amber Jayanth on top as the poll began, but she wound up tied for fourth at 10 percent - and with one Hair Fan accusing her of having extensions. (We don't think that's true.) Jayanth was in a logjam with Wichita news anchor Alyson Acklin, Fresno dentist Michelle Asselin (currently the longest member of the list) and Indian athlete Ayesha Billimoria.
Three women were left with no votes at all: Jackie Speier, Mary Tedesco and Aly Wagner. One comment suggested they all be bounced from the Top Ten for that reason. Another complained: "This group used to be stellar. What happened?" We could answer that by noting a lot of women have been eliminated from the Top Ten recently for defeated styles. That's admittedly depleted our list of contenders. But let's put the burden on you. Have you offered any standout styles (as in undefeated) lately? We don't claim to know them all. So to borrow from law enforcement: if you see something, say something - and please notify us.
People who "keep up with the Kardashians" probably do it for many reasons. For Hair Fans, it could be the changing styles of the sisters. As Kim Kardashian became a reality TV star, she also became a finalist for the Hair Fan's Hall of Fame in 2008. Not enough voters supported her then, but Kardashian West (as she's now called) kept making changes. In July 2018, she apparently went with Khloe to a salon for tandem cuts. Both emerged as "moms with bobs" - Khloe's blonde, Kim's brunette.
But Kim immediately had "buyer's remorse" about the change. A Snapchat comment became a home page quote for us: "I don't feel sexy in short hair, I feel sexy with long hair. It's cute." Our voters aren't so sure about that; a one-week poll on the change ended with a 50-50 tie (7-7). "Kim is a long-hair icon for a reason," moaned one voter. "When I saw that bob on a late-night American talk show, I wanted to gag." But another considered the change more honest: "At least with shorter, we know there are no extensions." Sure enough, Kim reached for some days after the cut. Come to think of it, we'd be more likely to reach for them, too - if you know what we mean.
Long-lasting hair can mean a long-lasting stay on our Top Ten Tresses list. One of the longest runs in recent years involved TV reporter Mara Schiavocampo - an amazing 77-month stint until June 2017. She did it with soft-looking shoulder-length mostly-straight styles that simply refused to move, wherever she set them. And we now know Schiavocampo did it, even though her hair is naturally curly. In a May 2018 Instagram post, she showed a full head of curls for the first time in "my adult life."
Is this the look Schiavocampo should display on TV, and at all times? Hair Fans clearly wrestled with this one - and after a week, they couldn't agree. It was a 50-50 tie between the curly cut and a straighter look (6-6). "Natural is always better," wrote the only person to leave a comment. We tend to agree - but in the picture she posted, the curls clearly are in her left eye. We're led to the ironic conclusion that Schiavocampo's relaxers give her styles incredible strength, even if they've led to occasional damage. Who knew they could be a secret to Super-Hair?
Right photo courtesy PhilStar
She was born in Quebec, and developed a worldwide reputation. But singer Celine Dion had never toured Asia until the summer of 2018. As she did, she gave style-watchers plenty to talk about. Dion posted a photo on Instagram from her Tokyo hotel room, which appears to show bangs in her hair. But when she took the stage in Manila a couple of nights later, the bangs were nowhere in sight - simply medium-long hair at its plushest and best.
One Canadian website admits it "obsessed" over Dion's bangs. But our Hair Fans did not. In fact, a week-long poll on them barely gained any votes at all. Perhaps due to World Cup fatigue, it ended in a 2-2 draw - with no one bothering to leave a comment either way. Yet that result actually is an improvement for Dion from her last bang experiment. Hair Fans rejected that in 2012. Perhaps she was trying to make sure Asian Hair Fans bought tickets?!
Our 2018 Super-Hair World Cup V brought together top hairstyles from around the world. Group play had perhaps the most drama ever, especially in the Blue Group. Gabriela Ordonez of Honduras would have advanced to the semifinals, if Match 6 involving eventual champion Sandra Dewi of Indonesia had been closer. But we also faced some drama before the tournament started, deciding exactly which picture of Ordonez to post. The one-time Miss Universe contestant shows luxurious long hair on a daily TV show she hosts. Yet she also has posted short styles on social media, which don't even touch her shoulders.
We concluded Ordonez was an extensions enthusiast, and posted the short style in Cup play to keep things real. But what should her real hairstyle be? Our voters left no doubt in a one-week poll: 90 percent want it longer (9-1). No one left a comment either way, but we'll say this. If Ordonez did so well with that short cut, we suspect the long hair might have carried her a long way toward a championship.
Can an everyday "housewife" have Super-Hair? We think so, and have long encouraged you to offer examples of them. Cable TV has offered some candidates through the "Real Housewives" series - even though those programs sometimes focus on "reality TV" messes. Yet enough people watch that when a housewife makes a style change, it can make news. That happened with Kathy Wakile, a home chef-turned-restaurateur in New Jersey. A six-inch cut in June 2018 was explained on Instagram with a simple, "I need a change." A style at the bustline became a shoulder-length lob.
If this is Wakile's long-term business plan, our Hair Fans like it. Two-thirds of them preferred the shorter style in a one-week poll (6-3) - even though one scoffer wrote it "looks like a throwback pic to 1989" and the old TV series Designing Women. But Wakile may not be satisfied with it. Bravo noted she changed her hair six times in six months. And based on her Instagram feed, she may have an endorsement deal for each of them.
Some people can remember when "Game of Thrones" referred to chess. Many more realize it's the title of a hit series on HBO. It's made a star out of British teenager Sophie Turner - and it apparently required a change in her hair color. IMDb reports her drama teacher "dyed her blonde hair auburn" for the role. We're not sure what that teacher thinks of Turner's latest change. After years of long hair, she had it trimmed to medium-long in June 2018 - now stopping between the shoulders and bust line.
After Turner took a selfie with stylist Christian Wood, she wrote on Instagram is was a time for "new beginnings." Not for our voters, it isn't. They turned down Turner's cut by a 78-percent majority (7-2). "Better when she was a redhead," one critic added. We actually think the cut with added waves will make her hair harder to jostle out of line. But since Turner has an endorsement deal with Wella Professionals, she's probably not going to listen to us. Advice from fiance Joe Jonas might be another matter.
Right photo courtesy Wireimage
There's Crystal Bernard - the Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member who's curiously never been on any other part of our site. But we admittedly never had heard of Molly Bernard until a Hair Fan mentioned her on Twitter. She's the granddaughter of an actor, who's become known for a couple of TV roles. She plays a social media nerd on Younger, and has a smaller recurring part in Transparent. Bernard displayed long hair with thick adjustable bangs for several years. But 2018 is a year of change for her - as she appeared in June with a shoulder-length cut, a color that's more blonde than red and bangs brushed back, if they still exist at all.
Molly and Crystal apparently are not related - but is Molly ready to challenge for Hall of Fame status with this change? Maybe not. Our one-week poll found two-thirds of voters prefer her hair long (6-3). As for looking "Younger": "Old with shorter hair is the right term," one voter wrote. And in this case, a shorter style appears riskier in terms of the hair dropping in her eyes - although she's done very well in terms of hold both ways.
For the first several years of our Super-Hair site, Bonnie Bernstein was "The Legend" - a constant winner by which other hairstyles were judged. Then early in 2009, that title was seized by Victoria Warren, a Boston television news reporter with a loyal following among New England Hair Fans. Warren entered the Hair Fan's Hall of Fame in 2010, then won Super-Hair World Cup IV for the United States in 2014. But in the middle of 2018, Warren decided it's time for a change. She's leaving morning TV news for a public relations job with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Warren may have prepared for the switch by growing out her traditional short cut. In her final days on the air, her style was about an inch below her shoulders.
Warren has made this kind of change before. But is this good for her? This is one time when she technically lost a vote. Our Hair Fans preferred the shorter style in a one-week poll by a 61-percent margin (11-7). But one possible long-time skeptic commented, "At last she's at a length to earn my vote! What a doll." Another dared to tell us Warren "also let her eyebrows grow in thicker. Maybe a push for some recognition from Super-Brows.Net?" We discovered there's a website a bit like that - but we're too busy with this one to compete against it.
The Weather Channel has brought us several Super-Hair legends - but then quietly disposed of them. Hair Fan's Hall of Fame member Kristina Abernathy was one of them. It appeared a second Hall of Famer would join her. In fact, Heather Tesch's personal website seems to put her forecasting career in the past tense. But after departing for a while for other projects, she's returned to do online reports. If that wasn't enough to excite Hair Fans, she seemed to go longer with her style in the middle of 2018 - below the shoulders a couple of inches, instead of stopping at them.
Is Tesch onto something good here? Our voters think so. They endorsed the longer look in our one-week poll by a 76-percent margin (13-4). The only comment actually came from a "shorter" supporter - but it wasn't really that critical. "I agree with the caption on the pic of her longer hair: she's HOT!" We simply couldn't resist that - since the U.S. Southern Plains in June can describe Super-Hair all year long.
Right photo courtesy KFMB
It's been 15 years since Lucy Liu was an "Angel" (left) - part of the trio that turned the TV series Charlie's Angels into action movies. Our voters decided the movie detectives had better hair, even though two originals wound up in our Hair Fan's Hall of Fame. Then they decided Liu's locks were superior to her teammates. (Did you remember they were Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz?) Liu moved on to have occasional success on TV and in movies, and currently stars in a very different kind of detective drama. Elementary lets her long brunette hair be on display often. But as she approaches age 50, Liu appears ready to change her image - surprising people by showing up blonde at an awards show in May.
Liu told The Talk she's wanted to make the color change for a long time. Trouble is, our Hair Fan's don't want it. A massive 90 percent of voters in a one-week poll want the original brunette to come back (9-1). One called it "perfection," that shouldn't be adjusted. But Liu indicated the blonde look will be on TV in Season 7 - and we don't mind, if it gives her hair a fresh start as harder to muss and move. We're not expecting that. But we didn't expect the blonde color, either.
Photos courtesy Daily Mail
Mila Kunis may not have been the biggest star of That 70's Show, but she's clearly become the biggest star beyond it. She appears in movies every couple of years. She's a main voice on Family Guy. And Kunis's public appearances can make men swoon. When her hair is at its best, it's thick and seems incapable of moving out of position. But Kunis has adjusted that look in recent years - first with a cut to a long bob, then in 2018 adding bangs. Well, she may have added bangs. They were on display in May at the Billboard Music Awards, but were out of sight both before and after that.
Is a switch to bangs a cool Kunis idea? Our voters didn't think so. A one-week poll ended with 63 percent preferring her bang-free (5-3). One commented the bangs "would make her look younger if not for that.... awful eye makeup!" Since that's not really our issue, we'll move on to another voter who rode the fence on Kunis's bangs: "Wish the choice was long or short. Not a fan of her short hair." We asked about that cut in 2017, and most voters opposed it. Maybe it's time to lobby husband Ashton Kutcher about it.
Right photo courtesy Us Magazine
If ever a celebrity qualifies as a "quick-change artist" with hair, it's Jennifer Lopez. After all, she came to fame imitating Selena in a movie. Lopez has gone long and short, curled and straight - often making it difficult to know what her real style of the moment is. At the 2018 Billbiard Music Awards, J-Lo seemed to make clear that her hair isn't going too low these days. It's a lob stopping around the shoulders. (We trimmed the picture there, because what Lopez wore below that was a bit controversial.)
We asked you if Lopez has found the proper hair length at last. Our voters said no in a one-week poll, with 64 percent wanting the "Lo" to mean "longer" styles (9-5). That percentage actually is down from a similar poll we did in 2012. "Longer hair hides her plastic surgery better," wrote one voter. Oooo.... that comment could be taken in a couple of ways. In any case, people who want Lopez's style to change again might only need to borrow from one of her hit songs - and be Waiting for Tonight.
One woman had a hair reputation from the opening night. In fact, she wound up with five Crown Awards. The other was little-known, although she picked up a Crown nomination or two along the way. Both Zooey Deschanel (right) and Hannah Simone (left) gave Hair Fans plenty to admire and desire during the seven seasons of the Fox comedy New Girl. But in the backs of their minds, how many wondered.... what if these TV friends could be "frien-emies?" What if something happened that put their great manes in conflict? What if there was some kind of head-to-head showdown, to see whose bangs really are best? (To borrow from a comedy moving to Fox, the "Last Style Standing"?)
Thankfully, Hair Fans need not wonder. That's why we're here, after all! So we set up a New Girl ultimate hair showdown between the two female stars, during the show's finale week. After a week of voting, we have what might be called an upset - as Hannah zonked Zooey by a three-to-one margin (12-4). "Both have very thick and healthy looking hair," one voter wrote, "but Hannah's is sleeker and silkier looking." Another noted after the final episode was filmed, "Zooey hacked her hair." Indeed, and our voters were disappointed by it. But truth be told, Deschanel's hair fell in her eyes in the first two minutes of the series premiere - so Simone's near-perfection had our attention all along.
Kelly Clarkson has long been a musical free spirit. Her celebrated dispute with Clive Davis comes to mind - but it continues to some extent in 2018. As American Idol made a comeback on ABC, inaugural winner Clarkson was on NBC as a coach on The Voice. And the woman who has shown a wide range of hairstyles revealed she's adding bangs to her look. Some fashion websites called it her "biggest transformation" ever. Yet Clarkson had bangs in 2012, when we asked you about her going blonde.
Clarkson's color was declared "hair chaos" by one voter then. This time for one, "neither is that flattering." The bangs were preferred by 60 percent of Hair Fans (6-4) - but someone was reminded of the time when Clarkson "shaved the side of her head". We'd completely forgotten that, even though it was only three years ago. That voter also referred to a "commercial with.... rodents in the car," but we're not sure we want to link to that.
Courtesy People StyleWatch
Some people go to Marvel Comics movies purely for thrills and escapism. But how many go to analyze the actresses' hair? Apparently some people do, as we found two hair articles to mark the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War. One of them, well, marveled that Scarlett Johansson's character changed from longer reddish hair to a blonde bob in the latest film. But we're more interested in "Scar-Jo" in real-life - and she surprisingly has taken her hair in the opposite direction. A traditional blonde was more like "Black Widow" brunette at the premiere.
What do our Hair Fans make of this change? Not much - with a one-week poll showing 73 percent of them want Johansson to remain blonde (11-3-1). No one left a comment either way, but we'd prefer women keep their color as natural as possible. With actresses such as Johansson, of course, that's part of the hair guessing game they'd like you to play.
If they don't move out of the area and no one challenges them, a City League champion can keep the title for a long time. One example of that success is Jessica Schambach. She won the Oklahoma City title in 2008, at about the same time the city gained a major league basketball team. Schambach has adjusted her hair several times since then, and even reached the Top Ten Tresses list in 2015. But as she turned 40 in early 2018, she may have faced a mid-life style crisis. "LONG OR SHORT?!" she asked in all-caps on Twitter. "Thinking about growing my hair back out. What do you think?"
We're always happy to help women with big issues like this. Schambach has gone below the shoulders before, and 86 percent of our voters called on her to do it again (19-3). "It's no contest," a member of the majority wrote. But another voter asked, "What happened to the body?" That's one of the adjustments Schambach has made. In 2008, the hair was sleek. When we asked about her here in late 2013, she had cut all the way back to a "long bob." (The voters wanted things longer then, too.) At least Schambach didn't try to confuse us this time, with a cut in the middle of the poll. Some great heads of Super-Hair try to stay one step ahead of the pursuers, you know.
One finished second on American Idol years ago, when the series appeared on Fox. The other has branched into solo work, after years with Lady Antebellum. But Lauren Alaina and Hillary Scott have several things in common. Both are considered country music stars. Both have attractive long hair. And both styles survived holding tests during their songs at the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards. So perhaps it's only fitting that Alaina and Scott tied for the title of best hair of the night.
Our one-week poll began as the show ended, and ended with Alaina and Scott tied at 29 percent. Third place went to "Other" with 21 percent, and the comments made clear who that meant: "Carrie Underwood!" one voter wrote. Her first TV appearance since injuring her face had hair falling in her face as she sang, which kept her off our ballot. And several people admitted Underwood wore extensions, "but they were incredible extensions." Another added, "Under the hot lights and moving like she did, her hair was beautiful to watch!" The rest of the votes went to Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town (14%) and Maren Morris (7%).
Some celebrities have several pages in their careers. Paige Davis has had one main, well, page. She admits on her Twitter feed: "I'm best known as that girl from TLC's Trading Spaces." The hit reality series began in 2000, but is returning in 2018 after a ten-year break. In the beginning, Davis had a short cut which matched her perky personality. It gained her a Crown Award nomination. But the 2.0 version finds Davis's do different, as a "bowl cut" surrounds her face and almost reaches the collarbone.
We asked you if Davis "traded up" with this change. The one-week poll was close, but the older look gained 56-percent approval (10-8). "Shorter had more body," one voter explained. "I like the bangs, but the new hair lays flat." Actually, both looks have bangs. But we understand the point - even though the new style has a riak of falling in Davis's eyes. The older style had plenty of space, to avoid that.
What does a perfect head of curls do for you? For us, they can make a woman look dynamic - perhaps even electric. That's what happened the first time we noticed Ashlee Banks on RT America. Only a couple of years removed from Morgan State University, her natural long curls certainly were different from what you usually see on television newscasts. They've often been well-defined and strong on camera. That's why Banks quickly moved into our Top Ten Tresses list. But spring has brought a change - as Banks straightened out the curls, making her hair long and sleek.
We think Banks's hair is stunning either way, but we wondered if this change is good for her. Hair Fans decided the curls were better by a 60-percent margin (6-4). "Straight hair is more common," one voter wrote. "The curly looks more natural as well." Not to mention more complex, giving admiring Hair Fans more to analyze - but then again, we think Banks's perfect hair would be in great trouble if someone took her hat off. We only hope some TV "consultant" didn't force the issue here.
Right photo courtesy Allure
If you don't think time flies, consider this: 2018 marks 12 years since the movie High School Musical premiered on the Disney Channel. It led to two sequels, one of which appeared in movie theaters. And that third version led to a Crown Award for Ashley Tisdale, who played "Sharpay" the villainess who frequently had very well-prepared hair. Tisdale went on to star in a TBS comedy called Clipped, set in a barbershop. But Tisdale made her most significant clip in early 2018 - going from medium-length hair to a lob stopping above the shoulders.
The co-star of The Suite Life with Zach and Cody received a sour response from our voters about this change. "Awful, just awful!!!!" one wrote, as the long hair was prefered by 83 percent of you (10-2). "Ashley has one of the best heads of hair in Hollywood," another commented. "Why would she do that?" We can answer a voter's question, "Who talked her into that terrible cut?" It apparently was stylist Anh Co Tran, who called it a "soft undercut." Maybe so, but it strikes us as much harder to keep from dropping in her eyes - especially on the unlifted left side.
We've never seen a revolving door at the U.S. White House. But sometimes we wonder if there should be one, because staff members come and go so often. That's especially been true in the Trump administration. We put White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on the Crown Awards ballot in January - but by the time she won a Crown in mid-March, she had resigned. Hicks reportedly told Congressional investigators she told "white lies" to protect the President. But we doubt any of them had the nerve (especially in 2018) to ask Hicks about a different color. Her brunette hair was considerably lighter as she arrived at the Capitol for questioining.
We called the change "blonde" when we asked Hair Fans about it in a one-week poll. Perhaps that wasn't the best word for it. "Blonette," a voter suggested, describing Hicks's hair as highlighted. Either way, our voters rejected it by a tough 79-percent margin (11-3). "Honestly love her with the highlights and the waves," that voter in the minority continued. Indeed, Hicks fit the profile of many people who have crossed the President's path - a woman he'd like to get behind closed doors for a meeting. We'll simply leave it there....
Cable TV can be confusing these days. First there was Pretty Little Liars, on the same channel where Shailene Woodley starred in another series. Then Woodley joined HBO in a series called Big Little Lies - and people like Lucy Hale were nowhere in sight. As production began on Season 2 of Woodley's drama in 2018, she unveiled her latest hsir change. Bangs now are part of the long hair which came to fame in The Secret Life of an American Teenager.
When Woodley cut her hair for a movie role about a cancer patient in 2014, Hair Fans voted the change down. This time, things were very different - as 69 percent of our voters support the bangs (11-5). "Bangs really bring out her eyes!" one voter exclaimed. That's good for Woodley, since many times her hair has dropped in her eyes. Perhaps this will add to the TV drama.
She's known these days for asking, "What's in your wallet?" But when we saw Jennifer Garner on an Academy Awards red carpet, we asked on Twitter: "What's in your hair?" Thankfully, none of the confetti that fell from the roof during the ceremony. Garner's long hair looked every bit as thick and awe-striking on Oscar night as it does in her CapitalOne commercials - and that made her the overwhelming choice of our voters for the best style of the show.
Jennifer, well, garnered 79 percent of the votes in our one-week poll. She accomplished that even though she had plenty of good competition. Allison Williams (the actress, not the ESPN courtside reporter) was second at 21 percent. Surprisingly to us, no one else received any support - not Laura Dern's high-risk waves, Taraji P. Henson's bob nor Ashley Judd's sweeping look.
The only comment we received about the night asked, "Did you see Sandra Bullock?" Yes, we did; it looked so bone-straight that some thought she was imitating Cher. (No one voted "Other" to include her, which you're always welcome to do.) That comment added, "Hey, you could have waited untl the show was over!" We posted our poll after nearly three hours, which was the time limit listed on the TV Guide website. If more winners had gone after Jimmy Kimmel's JetSki, the awards might have ended on time.
When she appeared on the ice at the 2018 Winter Olympics, some people thought she was a long-lost Kardashian sister. But Canadian sports fans knew better. Gabrielle Daleman is a two-time female figure skating champion there. While she helped Canada win the team gold medal in South Korea, Daleman disappointed in the individual competition. But with her long hair unpinned, she won our contest for the best style of the games.
We found four good candidates for our week-long ballot (admittedly helped by an "Olympic hottie" montage or two online). Daleman dominated, gaining 63 percent of your votes. Second place went to Russian-but-not-allowed-to-compete-as-Russian curler Anastasia Bryzgalova with 18 percent. She brought a cynical comment: "Was Anastasia tested for hair-enhancing drugs?" - a reference to her husband getting accused of doping. U.S. contenders Aja Evans and Lindsey Vonn wound up tied for third at nine percent. They would share a bronze medal, if we had the budget to award any.
The Dancing With the Stars series has done more than give pseudo-celebrities some extra TV time. It's also turned several obscure dancers into stars themselves. Julianne Hough is one of the leading U.S. examples. She's dabbled in country music, hosted TV specials and even had a romantic fling with Ryan Seacrest. Now Hough has crossed the dance divide to become a judge, but she still makes news in other ways. Hair watchers noticed in early 2018 whe Hough turned her trademark blonde hair red.
"I have always felt like a red head my whole life," Hough wrote on Instagram. She added the change came after six years of thought. But our voters want her to think again; 62 percent of them preferred the blonde look in our one-week poll (8-5). No one left a comment, and we admit color changes aren't always a big concern with us. But the Instagram pictures showing messy hair all over her face are another matter. Fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba should mark her down for that.
Right photo courtesy Elle UK
Blake Lively grew a following as a TV Gossip Girl - and young adults watched her sense of style closly, including her ways with long blonde hair. Now that she's 30 and a mother of two, Lively's acting roles are more adult. And her hairstyles are much more surprising. The upcoming movie Rhythm Section reportedly is set in the 1920s and 1930s, and the hairdos (as they were call then) reflect that. Paparazzi captured Lively on the streets of New York, shooting a scene with very short bangs. Style-watching sites called them "baby bangs" or "microbangs", and even declared it a 2018 trend - even though Lively was wearing a wig.
Is this a change Lively should do in real life? "This better be unanimous," one Hair Fan wrote about our week-long poll - and it was: unanimously against it (12-0). "Went out... with swing music," another commented. Yet our voters might shudder at another style Lively may display - a flapper wig, not even reaching the shoulders. We apparently will be left guessing about that until 2019, as production was suspended due to a Lively injury. May she (and her hair) get well soon.
When she's at her best, Zooey Deschanel has a head of hair that leaves others dropping their jaws. The bangs, of course, are legendary; we root for them to fill her forehead. But she often has tremendous natural thickness - and when soft curl is added, the New Girl seems to have it all. Hair Fans have agreed, by voting Deschanel the winner of five Crown Awards. But with her TV series approaching its final season, Deschanel surprised some followers in January 2018. She debuted a collar-length bob on Instagram, which she called "big time" - and style-watchers called perhaps her shortest look ever.
Stylist Mara Roszak called her work a "sixties" look - but most of our voters scored Zooey a zero. The longer style was preferred by 69 percent of them (9-4). The comments expressed our own view, with one writing the cut "took all the fizz out of her hair. It's only a shell of its former self." Another called it "flat and lifeless. Did she thin it out, too?" One website called the change "the nail in the coffin" for Deschanel's TV character. We hope it's also not the end of her Super-Hair career, with a move to "Mommy hair."
She was barely into her teens when she received an Oscar nomination. She's recorded music with Florida-Georgia Line, and sung in Pitch Perfect films. But Hailee Steinfeld has a hidden blot on her record - as she received ZERO votes when she was nominated for a Crown Award in 2013. Bangs put her on the ballot then. They're gone now. And that's apparently better for Steinfeld - as she was voted the outstanding style of the 2018 Grammy Awards.
On a night when critics said the Grammys were too male-centric, we again had only women on the ballot (sorry, Chris Stapleton). Steinfeld led the one-week poll with 60 percent of your votes. Pitch Perfect partner followed with 20 percent.
Rihanna tied for third with ten percent, but sparked the most debate for her "Caribbean wave" look that some compared to Donna Summer in her prime. "Call it a wig call them extensions; Rihanna's hair rocked," one voter wrote. "It was not HER hair!" another exclaimed in response. Rihanna's stylist indicated it was - but overlooked in the debate was the other woman who tied for third: New York music teacher Melissa Salguero, who was honored with the Grammy Music Educator Award. Another teacher's tresses outdid many of the "celebrities."
Right photo courtesy Daily Mail
Considering all the money he has and all the power he wields, it's surprising U.S. President Donald Trump has never opened a chain of hair salons. His hair, of course, is legendary. First Lady Melania's mane is often flawless. Daughter Ivanka has to keep her style in line, due to White House-related activities. But whatever happened to daughter Tiffany Trump, who had her public debut at the 2016 Republican convention? She's now attending Georgetown Law School, and displaying a very different look. A trip to Los Angeles during her semester break found her with long bangs, as opposed to the flipped waves of Cleveland.
We wondered if a poll on this change would spark a political debate. It didn't - and the week-long question ended with a tie on whether Trump made an improvement (6-6). "She looked striking without bangs and kind of like a doofus with bangs," one voter wrote. Another suggested Trump might have worn extensions in Cleveland. Let's all hope they were not hacked by Russian agents.
Her book is called "Pretty Powerful" - and talk show host Eboni K. Williams has hair that fits that description. At its best, it's drop-dead perfect and beautiful in appearances on Fox News and other places. What are her Super-Hair secrets? Williams may have revealed one in Aa New York Post interview - admitting she wears extensions for Monday-to-Friday appearances, apparently including Fox News Specialists. Williams explained she does that to protect her hair from burns with flat-irons.
When we read this interview, we lowered Williams on our Top Ten Tresses list. We had done the same thing after a similar admission by Tracey Anthony. But one Hair Fan threw a red flag, arguing women with extensions should not be in our Top Ten at all. We asked voters over a full week, and there was mass agreement; 88 percent say extensions should mean exclusion, while only six percent disagreed and six percent said "it depends" (14-1-1). We'll accept this, but with some sadness - because Williams's Super-Hair is so, well, pretty and powerful. She hides the extensions well. Now we wonder how many other women have, without revealing it.
The Golden Globes have broken the award show mold several times. Remember 2008, when winning names were read at a news conference due to a writers' strike? Ten years later, performers organized what some considered a Golden Globe protest statement - with almost every woman wearing black, while men wore "Time's Up" pins. That made well-prepared hairstyles stand out even more - and that led to a first for us. The leader in our vote for outstanding style of the show was "Other," at 42 percent.
So which "other" did we miss, in our list of five? There was no agreement on that. Viola Davis and her loose Afro, pictured, was mentioned first on Twitter (not counted as a vote), and it seemed to be the most-praised look on social media. "Penelope Cruz, Jessica Chastain or Debra Messing all had better hair," one voter commented. Another recommended Connie Britton. We'll admit a lot of great styles appeared on TV, and trimming the field to five was a difficult task - fun, but difficult.
As for the women on our ballot (and we'd note to Natalie Portman that no men were listed), Sarah Jessica Parker led with 33 percent. Globe-winning Allison Janney followed with 17 percent. Oprah Winfrey was third with eight percent. While her speech sparked calls for a presidential campaign, one skeptical voter wrote: "If that's Oprah's real hair, I'm in line for the throne of Scotland." We didn't know "Princess Kate" visited our site, but we're honored by that.
"I needed a change," Serena Williams wrote on Instagram in mid-December 2017. Many people probably responded by saying, "Really?" The tennis star had made two major life changes in the previous four months - having a baby girl in September, then marrying the co-founder of Reddit in mid-November. Compared to that, a picture of Williams with "honey blonde" long hair was a drop shot across the net. She decided to lighten her natural brunette locks.
The "after" picture of Williams received more than 363,000 likes on Instagram. That makes our Hair Fans look tougher than Simona Halep in a major tournament. The blonde look received only half-hearted support, as the final vote in a week-long poll gave "brunette" a 56-percent edge (5-4). One voter clearly was unimpressed, writing, "Wake me when it's actually HER hair." That answer could take a while, as Williams plans to skip the Australian Open.
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