February 2003: Danae DeMasi, Miss West Virginia 2001

It's always fun to post new, great heads of hair on this web site. It's even more fun when people like you send e-mail agreeing with our choices -- and encouraging us to go deeper with our analysis.

DANAE DeMASI is one such woman. We spotted her during the Miss America pageant of September 2001 representing West Virginia. She reached the top ten, and we placed her on our Hot List. Then she was entered in the 2001 Crown Awards -- and in a wonderfully classic duel of top-quality styles, she edged Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones for the "Newcomer of the Year" award.

Apparently Danae never knew she was on our web site until a sorority buddy at the University of West Virginia spotted her. That friend e-mailed us. Danae e-mailed us. We happily e-mailed both of them back, so you can learn how this college pageant queen builds such a delicately-balanced, temptingly attractive hairstyle. Danae answered a set of questions we e-mailed her:

SUPER-HAIR: How would you describe your hair and style?

DANAE DeMASI: I am trying to grow my hair really long because I haven't had it that way in awhile. Right now it is halfway down my back and cut in layers. The layers around the front come an inch or so below my chin. It's pretty much the same hairstyle I had at Miss America in 2001, only longer.

S-H: How long have you had your hair in this current style?

DD: This style works best on me. I've had it since my junior year in college, which would be since the summer of 2000.

S-H: What do you like about it?

DD: I love my hair this way! It's soft, long, and I can run my fingers through it. It makes me feel very feminine.

S-H: What's the biggest problem you face keeping your hair in place?

DD: My hair is very thick. I love it thick, but sometimes I have trouble keeping it full because it is so heavy that if falls.

I use hairspray when I go to important events and I want my hair to stay exactly in place, but it takes me forever to set and style. Usually, I just blow it dry and use a thick curling iron. I like to run my fingers through my hair and it usually falls into place naturally.

S-H: Someone sent us e-mail saying you had "perfect hair," even when the wind's blowing. Is that accurate -- and if so, how are you able to do it?

DD: That's so cute! Yes, I live in West Virginia and face some strong winds coming from the mountains. I usually just blow my hair dry and let it flow naturally. This is what keeps my hair "perfect" for me.

When I style my hair and use gel or hairspray on a windy day, it just gets messed up and sticks up straight in the air. The only downfall is when I have on glossy lipstick and the wind blows. This pushes my hair in front of my face and gloss gets stuck to it. My hair then pulls the gloss across my face and smears it everywhere. This is especially not good when you want to go somewhere important or are on a date.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "You have lipstick across your cheek."

S-H: When was the last time your hair fell into your eyes in public? How did it happen?

DD: My hair falls into my eyes almost every time the wind blows. I just usually push it back out of face. I don't feel that bad because the wind is also blowing everyone else's hair into their eyes too.

S-H: Do you use any specific treatments to keep the hair in place? (Spray, gel, curl, etc.) How do you get it ready each day?

DD: I don't like to use hair products. I just use Amplify shampoo and conditioner. I then take a really thick curling iron to turn the ends under.

When I go somewhere important, I use mousse when I dry my hair. I then use those really fat dry curlers and let them set. I take a curling iron to the ends and then use hairspray as I try to lightly tease my hair at the roots for volume.

S-H: Did you take any extra steps to get the style ready for Miss West Virginia or Miss America?

DD: Before the Miss West Virginia pageant, I went to my stylist. She is the best and we have a good friendship. She really helped me with my style and gave great suggestions on what would look best on me. She showed me how to do my hair to get it full and how to get it to look exactly how I want it. I still can't do my hair like she does it. I could never get it to look that good.

S-H: We have a theory (hopefully not a stereotype) that the best hairstyles on college campuses can be found at sororities. Do you think that's accurate?

DD: Absolutely! I feel that sorority girls (especially the sisters of Pi Beta Phi), have the best hairstyles. There are so many diverse girls in sororities. Each girl has a different, unique style. You can walk into any sorority house in America and find girls with great hair color and hairstyles.

I think it's because sororities are very social. There is always a charity event, formal, fund raiser, or party going on. Everyone wants to look their best and therefore most sorority houses (at least ours was) are packed with the latest fashion magazines and movies starring famous and glamorous female actresses.

During the day someone was always watching soap operas at our house. I think some of the best trends come from daytime TV. Also, if you were having a bad hair day or your style wasn't that great you always had a sorority sister to give you her honest opinion and help you out!

S-H: What advice would you give someone who wanted to develop Super-Hair?

DD: I would say to definitely find a stylist that knows your personality and can give you his or her opinions about what would be best for your hair. I feel that a good stylist can make a big difference. Also, find a style you are comfortable with and that you can handle. The better you feel about yourself, the better you will look.

I also try to maintain a nutritious diet because it keeps my skin and hair soft. I like it when my hair shines and to me any hairstyle that shines is Super-Hair.

S-H: Who would you consider to have the best head of hair you've ever seen?

DD: Wow, there are so many great hairstyles out there! Almost every pageant you see on TV has girls with great hair. I really can't pick out one head of hair that I think is the best. ALL of the Victoria's Secret models have great hair, along with the past two Miss Universe's (2001 and 2002).

SUMMARY: Danae raises some good points to consider in building pageant-perfect hair. For instance, there's a fine balancing act for thick styles, to keep them from becoming too heavy. Even though Danae admits to occasional control problems, she does a good job in "beefing up" the hair for high-profile moments while still keeping it flattering.

We hope Danae doesn't fade away from public view, because she has an admirable head of hair -- one we suspect many others would want to run their fingers through.

(Special thanks to the Miss West Virginia web site for some of our pictures.)


Super-Hair Q&A Archive:

December 2002 -- Shannon Oliver of "The Bachelor"

October 2002 - Carolyn Hughes

August 2002 - Lynne Russell

June 2002 -- Eva Chavela, Rock Singer

April 2002 - Susan McGinnis, "Best Bangs" 2001-02

December 2001 - Rachael Nama and the "Locklear Look"

November 2001 - Onnie Willis, Gymnastics Champion

August 2001 - Yolanda Davis and The Flip

July 2001 - Miss Georgia 2001, Emily Foster

April 2001 - Cindy Hernandez's Cut of Controversy

November 2000 - Gina Tognoni and the Swing*

July 2000 - Britney Spears "FAQ's"

May 2000 - Shania Twain*

March 2000 - Jessica Simpson*

* Interviews with expert stylists about the woman's hair.

Do you know a woman who's willing to share her secrets of hair success? Is there a particular woman you'd like us to interview? Do you have a question we should ask? Simply e-mail us: .

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