Each week, we pick apart a hot beauty topic. It’s our version of an op-ed—with hair, eyeliner and lipstick.
The day after the second 2012 debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney everyone was talking about moderator Candy Crowley. The buzz was that she had been pro-Obama and too hard on Romney. Clearly she made waves by injecting herself into the discussion. But the waves that caught my attention were those in Crowley’s hair!
I know that the focus of these debates should not be hair. But maybe if more curls and waves made their TV debut, it wouldn't be such a big deal. Usually news anchors, reporters and TV’s talking heads wear their hair stick straight. Rarely do they let a wave—or, heaven forbid, a curl—escape. Sometimes their straight hair looks good. Often it’s been sprayed into submission, moving like a helmet when the wearer turns their head.
Experts say the reason for this is because straight strands have a reputation for being more professional. I know countless curly girls (myself included!) who, regardless of their stellar resumes, have been told to straighten their waves and ringlets before a job interview. But things appear to be changing. After all, there’s no more professional job than moderating one of the presidential debates and, being as Crowley was only the second woman to ever do so, it's a breakthrough that textured hair got a spotlight on the national stage.
So wavy and curly girls should rejoice because your strands can come out of the closet and head to the office (or wherever your job may be). In today’s world, “curly hair can be professional,” explains Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl: The Handbook and co-owner of Devachan salons, which specialize in all types of waves and curls. Her tips? Keep hair healthy and hydrated, which is exactly what Crowley appeared to do right. What can look messy and thus unprofessional is dried-out, frizzy hair. “But frizz is just your hair’s way of begging for hydration,” explains Massey. Condition often and steer clear of sulfate-filled shampoos, which strip hair of its natural oils, and your locks will be healthy, smooth, shiny and, yes, professional!
I've admired Crowley’s work for years on CNN. But now I'm admiring her hair. In the past she has worn it straight. But her more textured, natural-looking style gets my vote and the vote of many women to whom I've talked.
Photo: Getty Images