The Hot List, 2009
NAME: Jennifer Rukavina
WHO IS SHE: TV meteorologist in Paducah, Kentucky
HER STYLE: Neck-length bob, well-rounded in shape and only lightly sprayed on the right side
WHY WE LIKE IT: The style looks simple, but attractive. It's able to move and bounce a bit, but she probably can make it as tough as the situation requires. Heavier spray is all it would take - and we found a couple of pictures where she can tuck the hair behind ears, if all else fails.
SUPER-HAIR? It seemed daringly close to dropping when we saw her on a recent road trip. But the style held in place well, and we can't find any pictures where it's collapsed completely. She gets the benefit of our doubt - but we'd like to see her outside on a windy spring day. [Posted 12/23/9]
NAME: Betty Davis
WHO IS SHE: Meteorologist with The Weather Channel (not to be confused with the movie star who died several years ago)
HER STYLE: Shoulder-length and round-brushed, with a bit of teasing on top
WHY WE LIKE IT: A Hair Fan wrote us to say her hair "looks incredible" since she added about three inches to put the ends below the shoulders. The writer continues: "My ideal hair on a woman is one with shine, and she has it all. It's long, soft looking and moves well!"
SUPER-HAIR? Good movement is nice -- but it could be troublesome, in terms of hold and control. The picture we found at TV Heads shows her hair extremely close to her left eye -- but we didn't find any with the style completely down. Thanks for alerting us to a potential rising star at a channel known for great hair days. [Posted 12/8/9]
NAME: Alena Leonova
WHO IS SHE: Russian figure skater; 2009 world junior champion
HER STYLE: Neck-length in the back, with the strands seemingly getting shorter from the ears forward
WHY WE LIKE IT: Because she wears it loose on the ice - something few competitive skaters do these days. We saw her free skate at the Finlandia Trophy competition, and marveled at the motion of her hair. While she's not a speed skater, she could be moving on the ice at 20 miles per hour or faster. And yet....
....look at what happens when she has to make a move like this one during her routine. Bangs seem to come out of hiding - and they seem perfectly cut to avoid bouncing in her eyes.
(We also like the fact that she's adding a few blonde streaks to her brunette style. Usually that's not an issue with us, but they add fire to this cut and accentuate its movement.)
SUPER-HAIR? From what we've seen, she is -- and she's impressing us. As the U.S. TV commentators said when they saw her free skate, this style brings back memories of Dorothy Hamill. This hair is ready for action, almost daring Hair Fans to chase it down or outmaneuver it. If she's on the Russian team at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, major stardom awaits her in more ways than one.
UPDATE: Only days after we added Alena to our Top Ten Tresses list, she performed in the ISU Grand Prix finals - and a sharp turn at the end of a disappointing free skate appeared to bring right-side hair across her right eye. Hamill and Fratianne would have done something to keep more control than that. [Updated 12/8/9]
NAME: Heather McDonald
WHO IS SHE: Actress and comedienne, seen often on the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately (her best-known movie was White Chicks)
HER STYLE: The top picture we found shows soft waves, able to bounce just below the shoulder; we've also found photos where her hair is straight.
WHY WE LIKE IT: "Her hair is incredible," wrote the Hair Fan who suggested her. That's about all the explanation we have - but there's plenty of thickness on display. A little added spray could result in a lot of hold.
SUPER-HAIR? Based on what we've seen, we're saying yes. If she can keep her style loose during a mock fight scene (which we warn has graphic language), yet somehow keep it out of her eyes, we're certainly impressed. Hopefully host Chelsea Handler doesn't mind being upstaged. [Posted 11/12/9]
NAME: Lindsey Vonn
WHO IS SHE: World Cup champion alpine skier
HER STYLE: Long and normally straight, trimmed recently to armpit-length; this appearance on The Tonight Show showed added curls
WHY WE LIKE IT: This head of hair is quite thick and abundant (especially evident before the trim) - but she seems careful about when she puts it fully on display. She helps herself by wearing a helmet in races, as well as plenty of wool caps for protection at other times. Yet when the "top comes off," her styles look good and seem to hold well.
SUPER-HAIR? We thought she was when we first posted this. We checked a lot of pictures online, and found nothing showing hair in her face -- not even with wind on a mountainside tossing it around. (Wool caps = good security.) But then we went to her Twitter page, and there's a strip of hair across her right eye. Yet if you're old enough to remember a U.S. skier named Suzy Chaffee, we think you'll agree this woman is on that level when it comes to great hair. [Posted 10/30/9]
NAME: Leighton Meester
WHO IS SHE: Blair Waldorf on the TV series Gossip Girl; now dabbling in pop singing
HER STYLE: Shoulder-length, almost center-parted -- and we say at its best when waves are added
WHY WE LIKE IT: She's not afraid to take chances and wear medium-long hair loose. The waves in our picture provide some strength for hold (especially if she adds light spray), while still allowing movement. We especially were drawn to a recent cover of Harper's Bazaar, where she displayed wing-like full curls around the face. But she can take a more conservative approach when necessary; headbands seem to be common on her TV show.
SUPER-HAIR? While Gossip Girl can be a Hair Fan's dream world, it also can be disappointing. We've spotted all the characters with their hair dropping in their eyes, and this woman is no exception. But drops seem to be a rare event with her. One web site has compared her look to the top-notch perfection of Olivia Palermo -- and if they're competing for maximum fight-to-the-finish beauty, we're rooting on both of them. [Posted 10/16/9]
NAME: Karen Hopkins
WHO IS SHE: TV reporter in Shreveport, Louisiana
HER STYLE: Shoulder-length and conservative, carefully placed behind the left ear; waves occasionally added
WHY WE LIKE IT: "Silkiness and smoothness" were the words offered by a Hair Fan. After reviewing several video clips online, we'd add another word - as she clearly strives for perfection with her style. The left ear obviously is the critical point, for having perfect lines of hair. So how does she do it?
Thanks to video clips Karen has posted, we can study this carefully. The hair tucked behind her ear is pulled back as far behind the shoulder as possible. Yet even in this vid-cap, the ends of the tucked-back hair appear hidden by other sections. Where does that mysterious tuck-back stop, and what is done to keep it there? This is the stuff some Hair Fans (including us) love to ponder.
SUPER-HAIR? She seems to want it. She's a "summa cum laude" college grad, so she has the intelligence to figure it out. We want her to figure it out -- and so often her style seems flawless. But clips of her work on YouTube also show moments where stray strands loosen and drop in an eye. In one case, the left-side hair seemed too short to secure behind the ear -- and an effort to curl it back was not enough. But wow, thanks for a nomination worth a close look! [Posted 9/30/9]
NAME: Doutzen Kroes
WHO IS SHE: The cover of this recent Harper's Bazaar put it dramatically well: "The SUPER Supermodel" from the Netherlands
HER STYLE: Medium-long sidepart, at its best (we think) when rolling curls are added
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you're a regular, you can probably look at the photo and figure out the answer. Hair circles around the right eye, with a provocative curl next to her nose. Assuming the curl is sprayed, it provides hold and strength against flyaways. But what happens if the humidity rises, or a breeze comes up to Kroes's right? Then she'd have to prove how "super" a supermodel she is, to keep the style in line.
SUPER-HAIR? All the pictures in the magazine showed similar perfection. But alas, a photo shoot we found for L'Oreal (designed to show off her hair) does not - as the hair has only a hint of wave, and it covers her left eye. For Hair Fans, that's not quite "super" enough. Are any mega-supermodels out there? [Posted 9/18/9]
NAME: Danielle Brian
WHO IS SHE: Executive Director of Washington's Project on Government Oversight
HER STYLE: Short and efficient, with sideparted hair sweeping across her forehead
WHY WE LIKE IT: Some may consider this style no big deal, but we contend it is. How long is that hair across the forehead, anyway? From interviews she did with TV newscasts about the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, we think there's risk here - and the hair could fall if a bad moment happens, such as a strong breeze. (Notice the small strip curving above her nose.)
SUPER-HAIR? Based on all the online pictures we've checked, it is. Some of them show the hair much more closely cropped than our photo, and that admittedly doesn't thrill us. But add a little body and length, and this is a short cut with a degree of mystery and jeopardy. Her agency investigates things -- and in this case, we might want to do the same. [Posted 9/3/9]
NAME: Dr. Jennifer Ashton
WHO IS SHE: New Jersey gynecologist and CBS News medical correspondent, usually appearing on The Early Show
HER STYLE: Shoulder-length and sideparted, seemingly relying on round-brushing to enhance straightness
WHY WE LIKE IT: This style looks quite natural on camera, but she appears to use some clever maneuvers to keep things in line. Notice how her left side is brushed back, with a strip pulled forward almost from the back of her head to serve as a guard. We think the vulnerable right side has to be secured with spray, but it's so light that it's hard to tell for sure.
SUPER-HAIR? From what we've seen on TV and found online, it is. Moving to CBS from Fox News somehow added vibrancy to her hair - perhaps because the style is now a bit longer, and seems neater overall. She's teaming with Maggie Rodriguez to make CBS a network worth watching for Hair Fans again. [Posted 8/21/9]
NAME: Sonni Abatta
WHO IS SHE: TV news anchor in Orlando, who moved there recently from Pittsburgh
HER STYLE: Slightly longer than the shoulders, usually straight and loose with a little flip at the tips
WHY WE LIKE IT: First of all, this is eye-grabbing hair. We saw her on TV during a road trip and simply had to stick around for a closer look. There's probably some spray for support around the forehead, yet the style overall has movement in head-turns. The key word, though, is limited movement -- a little flex, then bouncing back in line.
SUPER-HAIR? One evening newscast doesn't provide a fair assessment, but pictures we found from her old TV station indicate she well could be unbeaten on camera. We're inspired to be poetic about it -- if her spray stays strong, the hold will be long. [Posted 8/7/9]
NAME: Liz Claman
WHO IS SHE: Afternoon news anchor for Fox Business Network; one-time Crown Award nominee
HER STYLE: Seemingly going longer - formerly shoulder-length with bangs, now armpit-length and wavy with bangs grown out
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hair Fan who suggested her calls her the "best head of red hair this side of Angie Everhart." That's especially due to the thickness in her style -- and we'd add the fact that she often places her hair riskily close to her eyes, especially on her right side.
SUPER-HAIR? We've been monitoring her for years - and the answer is an impressive yes. She's found ways to keep her hair out of her eyes, even on the trading floor or outside in a windy place. But with no more bangs, the risk factor is much higher these days - and based on the fact she lost a Super-Hair War earlier in the year, Hair Fans may be skeptical about how much longer she can stay undefeated. [Photo courtesy Reporter Caps; posted 7/23/9]
NAME: Patricia Kara
WHO IS SHE: Actress and model, best known for assisting Howie Mandel on the U.S. version of Deal or No Deal (and listed on the "100 Most Beautiful People" list)
HER STYLE: Her web site indicates she's had a wide variety of them, but current episodes show shoulder-length waves which may have some layering to them.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The hair seems natural and loose, as if an exuberant contestant could shake it down. But the flip-backs on the left side are this style's strongest point, perhaps sprayed for hold. If a strip of hair weakens, it hits her forehead -- and she has time to adjust it back into position.
SUPER-HAIR? To be honest, she doesn't have much to do on the game show. Practically any head of hair could (and should) hold there. But great overall thickness has earned her a place in Suave ads - and while the style might droop a bit on-camera, we can't find any pictures of it down. The woman famous for holding "Case #9" rates a 10 with us. [Updated 7/8/9]
NAME: Cheryl Cole
WHO IS SHE: Singer in the British group Girls Aloud; judge on ITV talent show The X Factor
HER STYLE: Medium-long, parted a bit off-center and often on the loose. (We've seen pictures of her with bangs, but don't think that's her current look.)
WHY WE LIKE IT: Her strength seems to be thickness, and she's not afraid to display it. And when she adds a bit of curl to the ends, we can imagine how much flexing and bounce this hair has.
SUPER-HAIR? We spotted her before we learned FHM magazine had declared her the "sexiest woman" in the world. Her hair certainly had to help her win that title. But we didn't have to look too hard online to find pictures with her style mussed and covering an eye. She's certainly dreamy, but not quite flawless. [Posted 6/24/9]
NAME: Michelle Bachmann
WHO IS SHE: U.S. Representative from Minnesota
HER STYLE: Shoulder-length and sideparted; teasing and round-brushing used for control
WHY WE LIKE IT: At its best, the style looks quite natural. The turning of hair on the left side probably is kept in line with spray; she's not afraid to put it behind her ear in extreme situations.
SUPER-HAIR? From the pictures we've reviewed, it is. But her House web site includes several outdoor pictures where wind comes very close to ripping her well-groomed style across her face. Now that we've mentioned that, Democrats probably will be waiting to take pictures of that fatal moment. [Posted 6/9/9]
NAME: Rola Dashti
WHO IS SHE: Newly-elected member of the Kuwaiti Parliament
HER STYLE: We were linked to this picture of a shoulder-length sidepart, apparently round-brushed (and we think sprayed) to surround the face. We found other photos online with her hair a couple of inches longer.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hair Fan who suggested her didn't give a reason. But there's good thickness here, possibly helped with hold by a touch of teasing at the crown. We suspect this style could bounce and flex a bit, without going out of line.
SUPER-HAIR? We didn't find any photos with her hair in her eyes, not even with a longer style. So she has it at this point -- and we'd better stop our words of praise there, because she's an advocate for women's rights and might get upset. [Photo courtesy CNN/Getty Images; posted 5/27/9]
NAME: Vanessa Rousso
WHO IS SHE: Professional poker player
HER STYLE: Medium-long sidepart, usually with a waviness we think is natural for her
WHY WE LIKE IT: It's usually thick and almost always gorgeous in public. While she admittedly wears a lot of hats during tournaments, she shows good ability to keep her hair in line at other times (such as this picture from a commercial for Super-Hair's domain name registrar). The fact that she graduated from Duke University in 2 ½ years adds another key to success -- brains to prepare hair beauty.
SUPER-HAIR? Check her web site for yourself. It has dozens of pictures, practically all of them with flawless hair and none with hair in her eyes. Watch enough poker on TV and you'll learn "position" is important. That matters with us as well -- and you might say she "has it in spades." [Posted 5/13/9]
NAME: Charity Shea
WHO IS SHE: A "little-known actress," admits the Hair Fan who nominated her; currently appearing in the Canadian TV series The Best Years
HER STYLE: Straight from the jawline up, with bangs almost filling the forehead; waves from that point down below the shoulders.
WHY WE LIKE IT: Our nominator likes the mix of bangs and waves - and indeed, she gives Hair Fans of various interests something to analyze. While she may be little known, a makeover site has spotted her and suggested she uses an iron to create the curls. The result is weighty long hair that's relatively hard to jostle out of place, combined with bangs to keep the eyes clear.
SUPER-HAIR? This look appears tough enough to hold firmly under challenging conditions. But an online search found one carefree scene where she's lying on grass, and loose strands swirl into her eyes. It wasn't her regular style, though -- and if you put the hair in our picture on the ground, you might have to fight for any movement at all. [Posted 4/29/9]
NAME: Charli Turner Thorne
WHO IS SHE: Arizona State women's basketball coach
HER STYLE: Our search found several variations, but the Hair Fan who recommended her seems to prefer this look, with chunks of layers close to her eyes and shoulder-length hair around the back
WHY WE LIKE IT: The nomination didn't give a reason, except that this look seems more interesting than what another college basketball coach on our Top Ten Tresses list shows. It's certainly a higher-risk style, with hair appearing ready to drop in her right eye at any moment. How she keeps it in place is a mystery to us -- but we're guessing it's some combination of flat-ironing, round-brushing and spraying.
SUPER-HAIR? We thought sure we'd find a picture with this style in her eyes. It might have collapsed once, as a player hugged her during a center-court ceremony in 2007 -- but the hair fought very hard to avoid bending a decisive half-inch. This style certainly has a great mix of drama and hold. And we especially like a courtside fan club's hair-minded name: "Charli's Angels." [Photo courtesy East Valley Tribune; posted 4/13/9]
NAME: Wayna Wondwossen (she performs by the first name only)
WHO IS SHE: Soul singer, recently in the news for an arrest which was thrown out of court
HER STYLE: Most recently loose shoulder-length, using round-brush waves for support
WHY WE LIKE IT: The style looks very natural and carefree, yet we think that's deceptive. The round-brushing gives the strips closest to the eyes enough heaviness to hold in place, yet flexibility to bounce and move. We also think we've caught glimpses of hidden bangs here.
SUPER-HAIR? We reviewed her music video My Love which contained a couple of aggressive moments, but the hair fought well to hold and stay off her eyes. The pictures we've seen online indicate she's made a nice transition from tight short curls to this longer look, and without the style dropping at all. She's unbeaten so far, and certainly worth watching. [Photo courtesy AP/KOMO-TV; posted 4/1/9]
NAME: Heidi Bohay
WHO IS SHE: Currently declared a "cooking expert" in a TV infomercial (more on that below)
HER STYLE: Helmet-like bob, cropped at the chin with moderate bang thickness
WHY WE LIKE IT: The tips are turned in to frame the face, and the hair is wide enough at the jawline to flex a little. But this cut is made for perfect hold, and she shows it throughout her pitch. Any bending or turning of the head as she examines food ends with the hair still precisely in position. And that shouldn't be a surprise for this woman....
....because if that name looks familiar, she was a co-star on a TV drama called Hotel in the 1980s. And she had temptingly perfect long hair then - with bangs that could rescue her from trouble when necessary, but otherwise set and sprayed into an attractive and seemingly indestructible style.
SUPER-HAIR? We vaguely remember the long hair falling in her face at one point - and as well-built as the look seemed then, did that ever disappoint us. But she's made a great transition to a short style that seems even more long-lasting, yet still invites a close examination. The current cut is unbeaten, and she earns our praise for showing top-notch hair at several lengths over three decades. [1980's photo courtesy eBay; posted 3/19/9]
NAME: Sarah Chang
WHO IS SHE: Top-level classical violin soloist
HER STYLE: Medium-long sidepart, utilizing teasing and occasional added curl
WHY WE LIKE IT: While she sometimes wears pins during performances (more "elegant," they might say), this style seems to hold well when she does not. The extras she adds make sure of that.
A close look at this spectacular picture from a photo shoot reveals a bit of how she does it. Hair on top appears to be sprayed down, after she combs it back - and there's even evidence of a body wave overall. The strip of hair nearest her right eye leaves no doubt of its critical importance for overall hold of the style.
SUPER-HAIR? She had us lingering like a cadenza at the end of a concerto movement. But alas, her web site has a promotional picture for the Vivaldi Four Seasons CD with a "winter" wind pushing that key strip of hair across her face. Yet it stays solid through the drop, which actually captured our attention more than turned us off.
There's something about the mix of flighty or serious classical music and a performer with great hair. It's a drama which builds with every note, especially if the woman has both hands so occupied that she can't use them to adjust the style. With this look, she certainly displays it. [Posted 3/6/9]
NAME: Lauren Storm
WHO IS SHE: Actress; next scheduled film is I Love You, Beth Cooper
HER STYLE: Long near-center part, with plenty of apparently-natural curls
WHY WE LIKE IT: "Check out the body, curls and thickness!" exclaimed the Hair Fan who suggested her. All of that work in her favor when it comes to style control. The pictures and clips we've seen show the hair is strong enough to stay wherever she places it. Our photo shows it can hold behind the ears....
....but this photo from her movie trailer shows she can also combine teasing and spray above the forehead to maintain hold in front of the shoulders.
And that hold seems to last, even when she tilts her head dangerously as she does here. (Our apologies for a blurry photo from a web site trailer.)
SUPER-HAIR? We know from other women that curl can add weight and strength to a style. Natural curls such as these can be tough to maintain, yet can act tough in challenging situations. This woman's hair has that toughness, as she's unbeaten from what we've found. So please ignore Hayden Panettiere in this upcoming movie, and focus on her friend. [Some photos courtesy Ace Showbiz; posted 2/20/9]
NAME: Kim Zolciak
WHO IS SHE: To quote from her web site, "a mother, an aspiring actress. singer" -- but best known as one of cable TV's "Real Housewives of Atlanta"
HER STYLE: Armpit-length sidepart, with plenty of waves and teasing at the crown
WHY WE LIKE IT: The waves make her hair look full and attractive. The teasing (and perhaps some spray on her waves) is critical in keeping all that hair in line. The pictures we've seen indicate the hair can flex on either side, yet stay under control when moving toward the face.
SUPER-HAIR? We wanted so much to say yes - but a January picture posted on her site (just below her photo posing with fellow jaw-dropper Olivia Palermo) shows a strip of "hidden bangs" loose at a poker table, and seemingly dropping in her right eye. But to borrow from the network which shows her, this style deserves a Bravo.
UPDATE: In the wake of this posting, we asked Kim's booking agent about interviewing her for Super-Hair Q&A. The stunning short answer: "Hi, Kim wears wigs." She certainly fooled us. [Photo courtesy ajc.com; updated 2/7/9]
NAME: Sandy Thomas
WHO IS SHE: Academic advisor for athletes at Brigham Young University
HER STYLE: A bit beyond shoulder length, with a bit of curl at the ends and bangs across the forehead
WHY WE LIKE IT: The person who suggested her didn't offer a reason, but there are plenty of items combined here for Hair Fans to appreciate. The bangs are moderately thick, for hold and clearance of the eyes. The curl adds attractiveness, while guarding against flyaway strands. and guards component parts. And the long hair seems to be cut deeply enough that she can stick it behind the ears for protection, on windy mountain days.
SUPER-HAIR? She actually was nominated for our Best Manes on Campus section. While we reserve that for students, this adult style appears healthy and controlled enough to outlast the strongest younger cuts. She has several good-looking ways to keep her hair in place - and put all together, it's a great combination which seems ready to stand up to any threat. We only have this perfect picture to go on, but we'd be delighted to look at more. [Posted 1/22/9]
NAME: Michelle Gielan
WHO IS SHE: Anchor of the CBS Morning News
HER STYLE: A thick shoulder-length sidepart, often curled at the ends; the critical left side can be tucked behind the ear, or left out and brushed back with round-brush curl
WHY WE LIKE IT: She displays plenty of volume, yet with a great measure of control. This style probably is sprayed down, but the hair looks so soft that you can't really tell. That allows her to place the left side hair very close to collapse, yet without any danger. Yet on days when things don't work quite perfectly, the left ear provides an easy and safe alternative.
SUPER-HAIR? From what we've seen so far, it is. She's careful on camera to keep the hair in line, and we've only spotted tiny flaws over several months. While some TV news message boards put this woman down, we say CBS improved on the last head of hair to anchor the morning news -- and that was Crown Award-winning Susan McGinnis. [Courtesy TV Heads; posted 1/8/9]
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