A look at political hair scandals over the years
PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande’s $11,000-a-month barber bills have ignited a national scandal, undermining his carefully constructed image as a regular guy. But hair challenges have bedeviled plenty of other politicians. Here’s a look at some hair-raising moments:
EDWARDS: HAIR CUTS FROM $1,250 to $12.95
In 2007, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who pledged to alleviate poverty, raised a brow or two after his campaign disclosed that he’d received two $400 haircuts.
The pricy hairdresser Joseph Torrenueva said he upped the regular price of $150 because of travel expenses involved in going to meet the silken-haired Edwards on the campaign trail. Torrenueva added that one haircut cost $1,250 as he had to fly to Atlanta and miss two days of work.
The exorbitant haircuts didn’t help Edwards, with then-Senator Barack Obama winning the Democratic nomination.
In 2012, Edwards was spotted at the humble, no-appointment chain SuperCuts — where a men’s snip sets you back a populist-friendly $12.95.
CLINTON’S SCRUNCHIE WOES
Hillary Clinton has often complained — and laughed — about the media’s long obsession with her hairdos.
She joked in 2014 that she liked the idea of calling “Hard Choices,” her memoir about being secretary of state, “The Scrunchie Chronicles” instead, since her hairstyles were the subject of constant debate.
Clinton was widely criticized for wearing her hair up in a no-hassle ponytail with the aid of a scrunchie as she zig-zagged to 112 countries as President Barack Obama’s top diplomat.
The presumptive Democratic nominee was also criticized in April for a haircut at New York’s exclusive John Barrett Salon. Though it’s unclear what Clinton paid, a normal cut-and-blow dry there costs around $600.
Detractors say that sky-high price tag was at odds with her campaign pledge to help working Americans.
TRUMP’S GRAVITY DEFYING COMB-OVER
Clinton has often quipped that at long last there’s someone on the political scene whose hair is an equally big talking point as hers. Of course, she’s referring to Donald Trump.
The tycoon and presumptive Republican nominee has a famous, gravity-defying comb-over, and speculation has been rife that he wears a toupee or has had hair implants to achieve the inimitable look.
ABC anchor Barbara Walters in a 2015 interview poked Trump’s cranium, declaring that it all seemed real.
PALIN: THE LUXURY “HOCKEY MOM”
There was shock in 2008 when Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign revealed it had spent more than $165,000 in just over two months on stylists for his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin.
The excessive costs, which included hairstyling and clothes, undermined the former Alaskan governor’s down-to-Earth “hockey mom” image. Palin’s traveling hairdresser alone was paid $42,615 over a nine-week period, over $700 a day.
CHERIE BLAIR’S HAIR NERVES
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife Cherie was the subject of national ridicule after she reportedly spent more than $2,668 on a personal hair stylist at a G7 meeting in the United States in 1997.
Stylist Andre Suard was flown to Denver for four days to personally attend to each strand of hair.
A British government spokesman made matters worse when he tried to explain it away — saying that she was simply nervous, since it was her first summit. Mrs. Blair said she paid the costs herself.
GATES ATTACKS BERLUSCONI’S HAIR
In 2010, Microsoft founder Bill Gates lambasted then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for putting his hairstyle before foreign aid.
Berlusconi’s hair was the subject of much speculation after photos over the same week showed him with dramatically different degrees of hair growth.
The philanthropist ridiculed the image-conscious Italian’s reported hair transplant and attacked Italy’s poor record on aid. Gates told Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that “rich people spend a lot more money on their own problems, like baldness, than they do to fight malaria.”
BILL CLINTON’S HAIR FORCE ONE
In 1993, President Bill Clinton provoked consternation when he grounded the presidential plane — Air Force One — in Los Angeles, causing two runways at the airport to close for an hour.
The reason? His hair.
Belgian-American stylist Cristophe Schatteman gave the president a $200 haircut as the giant taxpayer-funded plane sat on the tarmac with its engines running. The move delayed some flights, but some media later claimed those delays were exaggerated by Clinton’s critics.
AP News Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP