The 2008 Hot List

NAME: Giada DeLaurentiis

WHO IS SHE: Chef on The Food Network; contributor and occasional fill-in host on NBC's Today

HER STYLE: Long semi-sidepart, usually enhanced with some kind of curl or waves

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan wrote on our message board that her hair looks "amazing" on this December cover of Self magazine. There seems to be more waviness in her hair than in the Atlantic Ocean behind her - and a bit of breeze blowing on her face spreads the style back a bit, to show ripples of wide body.

SUPER-HAIR? At her best when the waves are working, no adjective seems fitting to describe the quality of this look. It's stupendous, spectacular, exotically beautiful hair - and also has surprising toughness to hold, if a wind turns the wrong direction. Yet a review of the magazine's "behind the scenes" video for this cover shoot reveals a few moments when the hair seemed to cave into her face. They're very quick moments, and she seems to fight them off just as quickly. So our answer is "not quite" - but we'd love to review more of those close calls. [Posted 12/26/8]

NAME: Laura Wibbenmeyer

WHO IS SHE: TV meteorologist in Cape Girardeau, MO (southeast corner of the state)

HER STYLE: Blunt-cut sidepart, tucked behind the right ear for safety. It's collerbone-length in the photo submitted to us....

....but has grown out to a couple of inches below the shoulders, in webcasts we found on her station's web site

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hair Fan who nominated her didn't offer an explanation. The top photo offer several things to like - with a hint of movement at the ends of the style, and big-time drama around the right side of the face. She's not afraid to place the hair to within an inch of her eye, confident the tucked-back area will hold.

SUPER-HAIR? From what little we've seen, the hold at the ears is there. But the key to victory for this style appears to be how much hair is kept there.... this vidcap shows a very narrow strip of tuck-back. That means enough hair is loose to drop in her eye. (At least it appears to us that way; she had to shake and tilt it away from danger a couple of times during this appearance.)

So let's make this a split decision: no with the longer look, yes with the shorter one. This is one time when we don't think longer is better, as the shorter style comes across as thicker and more stimulating . [Posted 12/10/8]

NAME: Savannah Guthrie

WHO IS SHE: NBC News correspondent, focusing at this writing on the Presidential transition

HER STYLE: Shoulder-length and mostly straight; round-brush curves used on sections closest to the eyes

WHY WE LIKE IT: To be honest, we didn't at first -- because her hair seemed flat and bland. But we've decided that's actually the secret to her success. We've seen two cases where a gust in the "windy city" of Chicago tried to blow in this style during the evening news - but the hair stiffened firmly at two inches off the eyes, and refused to budge. The rounded approach (undoubtedly supported with spray) seems to add some weight and strength, meaning no strands come loose to cause difficulty.

SUPER-HAIR? We didn't think it would be, but so far she's proving us wrong. And in the process, she's showing how careful shaping can make a seemingly average cut strong and sharp. If her hair is tougher than Chicago winds, future appearances outside the White House should be, well, a breeze. [Courtesy Reporter Caps; posted 11/26/8]

NAME: Amy Katcher

WHO IS SHE: TV meteorologist in Chattanooga, TN

HER STYLE: Shoulder-length sidepart, round-brushed at the tips for plenty of bounce

WHY WE LIKE IT: When we saw her during a road trip, we were impressed by the movement her hair displayed as she turned back and forth at the maps. Yet the movement is controlled....

....and this is how she does it. The right side is solidly sprayed into line. There may even be round-brushing on that side as well, to keep the vulnerable side of the style back.

SUPER-HAIR? Based on the pictures we've seen online, it is. She's developed a great combination style that's around 80-percent flexibility, 20-percent hold in the part that matters most. We'd love to see it out in the elements, to learn how strong that hold is. So to borrow from a famous speech, let this hair reign from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. [Posted 11/10/8]

NAME: Sarah Shahi

WHO IS SHE: Actress on the TV drama Life

HER STYLE: Currently shoulder-length and about center-parted, with waves softly rolling back from the face. (But she's admittedly shown styles as wide-ranging as her roles.)

WHY WE LIKE IT: She's a good example of a currently popular approach for wavy styles. The curls look delicate enough to make you think they're easy to muss. But with a full curl and added spray, the soft look becomes very tough to move -- probably even resistant to wind blowing from the back.

SUPER-HAIR? We were dreaming of it - but blame NBC for posting a picture on the program's web site with a strip of hair right down across the bridge of her nose. We found "model shoots" with some musiness in the face as well. Maybe they're due to the likely #1 enemy of this style -- humidity wearing down the curl. But we still think that's a drama worth watching. [Posted 10/27/8]

NAME: Elishah Oesch

WHO IS SHE: TV morning host in South Bend, Indiana

HER STYLE: A sidepart with varying amounts of waves, shown here just above the shoulders

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan who's seen her on the air calls this "a superb head of hair," which is almost always worn free of pins. Her "loosely-styled hair never covers her eyes," the e-mailer assured us. If you think that's simple, consider the locks above her left eye. They appear long enough to drop -- but she seems to trim them regularly for safety, and can add a strong wave (perhaps with added spray) to keep things in position.

SUPER-HAIR: The good news is that you can check her daily displays online. When we reviewed some clips, we couldn't help saying "Wow!" Superb puts it well -- as this is short hair both stylish and sturdy; high in risk, but well-prepared to hold (even in one surprise bend-over giggly streak). We certainly want to check these clips often. Thanks for another outstanding discovery! [Posted 10/6/8]

NAME: Tina Cervasio

WHO IS SHE: Reporter for MSG Network in New York; recently moved from New England Sports Network

HER STYLE: Shoulder-length and round-brushed, with a shorter strip next to her right eye stopping at the cheekbone

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hair Fan who recommended her didn't give a reason - but pointed us instead to her web site, where you can see clips of her on the job at Red Sox baseball games. Her thick hair displays good shape, and merely flexes its muscle when a breeze blows while staying well in line. We think she uses spray to keep that hold, and she tucks the hair behind an ear when she feels she must.

SUPER-HAIR? There's plenty of impressive strength in this style, with a soft look to match. But alas, watch her home page clip to the last 20 seconds and you'll see a moment where a couple of strands break free and blow across her eyes. If we kept hair-holding like baseball stats, she'd be batting about .980 -- which is still outstanding. [Posted 9/21/8]

NAME: Aida Santory

WHO IS SHE:  Editor of the online magazine Scottish Parent (we assume that's one of her children with her)

HER STYLE: She likes it long -- armpit-length in this picture, although we understand it's been halfway down her back at times over the years. Any curls apparently are self-added.

WHY WE LIKE IT: She lives in Scotland now, but she's a U.S. native - and someone who knew her there recalls how well she kept long hair looking great and under control. It starts with plenty of natural thickness. Our photo shows hints at other keys to success: the curl when she chooses, and combing-back to keep the forehead as clean as possible. We're told she also knows how to throw the hair back behind her shoulders, and carefully keep it there.

SUPER-HAIR? Our U.S. Hair Fan insists it was in the past, and impressively so at that. We've found no evidence to indicate that's changed. But we wish the Scottish TV network which shows her on occasion had a working online video player, so we can have a better look. Maybe her magazine should add video editorials?! [Posted 9/11/8]

NAME: Allison Alexander

WHO IS SHE: News anchor in Providence, Rhode Island; a Super-Hair Wars entry in 2007, when she lived in Cleveland

HER STYLE: Shoulder-length sidepart, seemingly brushed back and sprayed into position on her left side

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan in New England explained it this way: "Straight and sleek in this picture, she mixes it up often." Her hair has the thickness and strength to add a nice round curl at the ends. And she's added a few inches from the Cleveland look, to provide more styling options. A YouTube video we found shows she also can tuck the hair behind her ears, if she feels the need.

SUPER-HAIR? From what little we've seen of her, she has it. While we prefer this look off the ears, a lot of its success depends on how well that left side is sprayed. But all in all, the woman some friends call "AA" seems to have a major-league style -- and may well have had one for years. Thanks for bringing her to our attention! [Posted 8/24/8]

NAME: Mariel Zagunis

WHO IS SHE: Two-time Olympic gold medalist in women's saber fencing; scheduled for senior year of sports eligibility at Notre Dame

HER STYLE: Long and naturally wavy, often kept behind the shoulders; sometimes adjusted to be fully straight or a bit more curly

WHY WE LIKE IT: She makes a Hair Fan curious during contests, with a long ponytail which seems to have a lot of body and bounce. Yet she's clearly careful and conservative when the hair is loose, which it often seems to be away from the arena.

This "Flickr" picture shows if the hair ever gets in front of her shoulders, it's protectively tucked behind her ears (and maybe even teased a bit).

SUPER-HAIR? We suspect she'd deny it, but our online searching indicates it is -- with nothing to indicate difficult situations which threaten her style. She's had long hair virtually her entire life, and has learned how to manage it very well. If a Hair Fan dares to pursue her, she can move as fast as lightning to parry any thrusts -- and probably attack in response, while keeping things in line. If that's not a dream Super-style, what is? [Posted 8/11/8]

NAME: Sandra Lee

WHO IS SHE: Chef/host on the Food Network, who also does public speaking

HER STYLE: She once had a medium-long sidepart, but now displays a fairly tight short cut which includes what a Hair Fan calls "soft bangs"

WHY WE LIKE IT: The bangs are "not as thick as Carrie Underwood," the nominator admitted -- but that person added very few women have bangs that thick. These bangs grow progressively longer on either side of the eyes. They're long enough to drop in her eyes, but also long enough to curl back in a steamy kitchen or tuck behind the ears if need be.

SUPER-HAIR? First of all, are we the only ones who think this style makes her look like Joan Lunden? That's not a bad thing, though. Lunden's successful control of short styles is legendary -- and this woman kept longer hair in line well enough to persuade us she can handle this. She's undefeated, from the pictures we've seen. And a shorter style probably is easier for her, when it comes to cooking. But ask her to take charge of a picnic on a windy day, and "hair hunger" might kick in before mealtime. [Posted 7/30/8]

NAME: Tammy Perry

WHO IS SHE: Co-pastor with her husband (pictured with her) of a Jacksonville, FL church; co-host of Christian program Transforming Your Life

HER STYLE: Shoulder to armpit length; often with a round-brushed turn, occasionally with full curls or bangs (though bangs seem to dominate the pictures we found)

WHY WE LIKE IT: Thick, shapely and well-prepared. That sums up her hair well. The first time we saw her on television, it rested with inviting perfection in front of her shoulders - and while the worshipers at her meeting might have become emotional, she kept the style in line quite well.

SUPER-HAIR? When she stood outside a meeting hall in Maryland and discussed what was happening, a crosswind pushed at this round-brushed thick style. It held solidly for a long time, with the left side even coming over the eyes onto the forehead at one point. While the hair eventually collapsed, its strength and high resistance level had us marveling. So the short answer is "no" -- but as the Bible says, this woman and her hair know how to "fight the good fight." [Posted 7/18/8]

NAME: Erin Burnett

WHO IS SHE: Anchor with the cable business channel CNBC

HER STYLE: It depends on the day of the week, and perhaps her mood - but it's current a bit below shoulder-length, and seems naturally straight.

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan suggested on our message board that she belongs in the Top Ten. Her hair certainly holds well enough to be there. It's often placed close to the eyes -- but the only close call we've seen involved hair blowing up from the ends, which she was able to block in time. Adding waves and curls on occasion helps her with that, although she resorts to tuck-backs behind the ears at times.

SUPER-HAIR? She's frankly surprised us by staying undefeated over at least two years. This woman is not afraid to display some variety in her looks - from waves combed to one side, to toss-backs behind her shoulders. That many changes can be more than some women could handle. But handle them she has - seemingly staying one step ahead of the Hair Fans plotting a strategy for defeating her style. [Courtesy Reporter Caps; posted 7/4/8]

NAME: Jenna Lee

WHO IS SHE: Morning anchor on Fox Business Network

HER STYLE: Mid-length sidepart; ends can be everything from straight to add-on balls of curl

WHY WE LIKE IT: Because of the daily drama around her left eye. She clearly sprays it into perfect position -- sometimes brushed well back off the face, sometimes set temptingly close. Yet it often keeps that position throughout the trading day. Our photo shows a rare day when the overall look appeared on the soft side, yet the key area remained solid.

SUPER-HAIR? We've seen the left side weaken a little in photos, but it hasn't dropped in her eyes yet. She's a great example of how the most critical point of a hairstyle is often made its strongest point. That consistent strength has helped her emerge as this new cable channel's most solid style. [Courtesy TV Heads; posted 6/19/8]

NAME: Brenda Song

WHO IS SHE: Actress in Disney Channel productions, such as The Suite Life of Zach and Cody

HER STYLE: Typically long, straight and sideparted; waves are often added for control (along with occasional streaks of intriguing colors)

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan considers her Top Ten material. We think that's because there's good thickness in the hair, and it usually stays wherever she places it. (If you're thinking of moving it out of place, be warned -- she has a black belt in tae kwon do.)

SUPER-HAIR? We wish it was, but alas it's not. A promotional photo for her TV-movie Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior shows a strip of hair half-covering her very vulnerable right eye. But we'd certainly want to see her in a hair fight -- perhaps against Suite Life rival Ashley Tisdale. The movie's advertisement describes her style incredibly well: "Pretty. Tough." [Posted 6/5/8]

NAME: Katherine "Kat" Cohen

WHO IS SHE: CEO and Founder of Ivywise and Applywise, firms assisting future high school and college students

HER STYLE: Armpit-length, seemingly brushed for shapely curves; sidepart position seems to vary

WHY WE LIKE IT: When we first saw her during a cable news interview, we were impressed by the natural thickness her hair has. She uses brushes and spray (we think) from there, to build a nice variety of styles which always keep the forehead clean and clear.

SUPER-HAIR? From what we've seen, it is -- and when you read more about her, it's not surprising. She's Dr. Cohen, who was a top-level graduate from an Ivy League university. We're talking someone who is "hair wise" here. And as we've noted other places, beauty + brains = great-looking, long-lasting styles. [Posted 5/21/8]

NAME: Leona Lewis

WHO IS SHE: British pop singer who won the X-Factor competition

HER STYLE: Medium-long sidepart with plenty of natural waves

WHY WE LIKE IT: Because she's not afraid to wear her hair this way during performances. From what we've seen on her U.S TV media tour, the style tends to stay in line through emotional songs - yet there's no obvious effort to "set up" the hair in perfect position, the way Sheryl Crow might. (Of course, she could still be doing it in a well-hidden way.)

SUPER-HAIR? We really were hoping so, but there are pictures online showing her long hair across her face. Perhaps that's why she failed to win an English qualifying round for the EuroCup. In any case, this is the best new look we've seen on a pop singer in quite some time. [Posted 5/7/8]

NAME: Nicole Lapin

WHO IS SHE: Anchor on CNN's broadband channel, who occasionally appears on Headline News

HER STYLE: Long and (we think) naturally straight sidepart, with the right side kept in line through a variety of approaches

WHY WE LIKE IT: "WOW!" exclaimed a Hair Fan who recommended her to us -- and thought you'd be "interested in seeing these long locks." The fascination for us is how she protects the styles, sometimes in daring ways. In the case shown above, she adds rolls of curls -- and if those curls weaken, the hair could be in serious danger of falling.

This side view from a CNN interview shows another tempting variation. Round-brushed hair is combed back in one large strip. The key curl point here is very low, around the jaw. We suspect some kind of spray is used to hold that critical area in positions. She also uses tuck backs behind the ears, but only rarely will throw the long hair back behind her shoulders for defense.

SUPER-HAIR? The Hair Fan wondered why we haven't written about this woman. Perhaps it's because we've been waiting for the fateful moment, when we expect her hair to drop to defeat. Yet from what we've seen, that still hasn't happened -- and yes, that's impressive. This woman seems to know how to keep long hair holding strong. We want to see much of that. [Posted 4/25/8]

NAME: Lauren Conrad

WHO IS SHE: Actress on the MTV unscripted drama The Hills

HER STYLE: A medium-long sidepart, usually straight and always well-groomed. (As you might tell from our picture, we root for her occasionally added waves or curls.)

WHY WE LIKE IT: She obviously cares about her hair, and takes good care of it. The result is a mane which can be sleek with perfect lines one day, and extra-thick with waviness on other days. And on rare days when the hair doesn't want to cooperate, she uses her ears or headbands for protection.

SUPER-HAIR? One online article declared she has "perfect hair." More often than not, she impressively does - yet sadly, we've also found an occasion or two when she dropped it across an eye on purpose. But when her hair is loose, it's lovely enough to command (and almost demand) our attention. Maybe Hair Fans should cry out for their MTV all over again. [Posted 4/11/8]

NAME: Amy Yasbeck

WHO IS SHE: Actress, but perhaps better known recently as the widow of John Ritter

HER STYLE: Usually straight, shoulder to armpit length, parted in various spots around the center; waviness can be added for variety

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hair Fan who nominated her didn't give an explanation - but we admit admiring her looks for some time. The red color and sleekness remind us quite a bit of Marcia Cross. Yet her hair seems to have more thickness, which works in her favor for control. She also knows how to use her ears and shoulders to put the hair well back from her eyes, when conditions call for it - and the occasional added waves help with that as well.

SUPER-HAIR? We watched her closely in the news in recent years, and thought about making her a Top Ten contender. But we recall seeing an outdoor moment or two when a breeze shoved a strip of hair across her face. From what we can tell, she tries to guard against that. And she succeeds most of the time - just simply not quite all. [Courtesy Filmmagic; posted 3/28/8]

NAME: Victoria Warren

WHO IS SHE: TV news reporter in Boston

HER STYLE: Rounded, neck-length, parted slightly off-center

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan found several cuts he/she called "fantastic" at this TV station -- and included this woman with Sorboni Banerjee (see below). We actually think this style has improved since she moved from Jacksonville and trimmed several inches. A formerly limp look now seems easier to handle and maintain.

SUPER-HAIR? We personally doubt it, unless she pulls the left side behind her ear on a regular basis. Otherwise, she'd need to pour on the spray for hold. But what is it about the hairstyles in Boston? We've come to see the cuts there are as competitive as the sports teams - and we thank you for tipping us off to another contender. [Posted 3/13/8]

NAME: Erin Ovalle

WHO IS SHE: TV news reporter in Pensacola, FL

HER STYLE: A chin-length sidepart, with hair tucked behind the right ear for safety

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Gulf Coast Hair Fan asked us what we thought of this style. We said it had potential - and after seeing a couple of video clips at her station's web site, we think that even more. The obvious key to success or failure here is how well she can keep hair behind that ear.

When a "Gulf Breeze" comes up (check a map for why that's in quotes), the pressure is on. Yet this style seems to hold well, despite blowing back a bit. We're assuming there's no hidden pin to keep that right side in place. And if a dangerous crosswind develops, the shortness of the cut and the wideness of the tuck might not allow hair on that side to come up in her face.

SUPER-HAIR? From what we saw online, it is - and we wish her station would make it easier for us to find her reports, so we can give a more definitive answer. A sidepart this short can be hard to keep on the ear and out of trouble. If she's found a secret to success, we'd want to see it in action. It looks like Pensacola short-style queen Mollye Barrows might have some competition. [Posted 2/21/8]

NAME: Jane King

WHO IS SHE: Financial reporter for Bloomberg News (formerly with CNN)

HER STYLE: Shoulder-length, with waviness all around - and especially on her left side

WHY WE LIKE IT: She's never been afraid of placing her hair very close to the left eye, because she's been skilled at keeping it in position. If she used bangs to do that once upon a time, she doesn't seem to do that now - and the natural thickness of her hair allows her to turn it away from the face with attractive softness, yet strong hold.

SUPER-HAIR? From what we've seen of her, yes. She shows up at the New York Stock Exchange before 5:00 a.m. with her hair in place and ready to go -- and it seems to hold over the long haul. Bloomberg put her in the chair Nicole Petallides (a 2007 Hot List member) used to have, and the bosses seem to know what Hair Fans like. [Photo courtesy XETV; posted 2/8/8]

NAME: Sorboni Banerjee

WHO IS SHE: TV news reporter in Boston

HER STYLE: Shoulder-length with a bit of layering close to the face; can be round-brushed or tucked behind the ears for safety (our picture actually shows a bit of both)

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan who noticed Frances Rivera on this list thought this co-worker has a "fantastic 'do" as well. Our quick online search found it's actually been grown out since her days at Boston University -- but she's always seemed to keep it on the softly attractive side.

SUPER-HAIR? This is a tough call, since we haven't seen her on the air at all. If she sprays the right side of her style on windy days, it has the potential -- but that spray probably would be a must, to keep it out of her face. Thanks for another good head of hair, from an area which has proven to have many! [Posted 1/24/8]

NAME: Cyndi Edwards

WHO IS SHE: Co-host of Tampa-based talk show Daytime

HER STYLE: Neck-to-shoulder length, sideparted with bangs and occasionally added waves at the tips

WHY WE LIKE IT: It's a well-cut style with plenty of maneuverability. Her hair is at it's best when it's thick and full, because that allows for some flexing movement. We say "some" because this style really doesn't show much, unless it has to. And bang-lovers can admire how she can sweep them aside, or drop them dangerously near her eyes across the forehead.

SUPER-HAIR? There may have been a morning or two when the long hair on the sides crept in too close to an eye -- but overall, she keeps this hair in position and sharp-looking very well. Not many cities show her program -- and if yours doesn't, it's a Hair Fan's loss. [Posted 1/11/8]

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