Fireworks and potato salad, sure, but if you want a patriotic way to celebrate July 4th, you could consider booking a stylist now for a hair-rific nod to the current resident of the Oval Office.
President Donald Trump’s soufflé of hair has been a topic of discussion for decades, most recently at meetings with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that some dubbed the Bad Hair Summit. Surprisingly, having controversial locks puts Trump in good POTUS company.
Americans have been obsessed with presidential hair all the way back to the first coiffure in chief; George Washington apparently passed out souvenir locks like candy, with one turning up last February. Chief executive hairdos have been a thing ever since and, in fact, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia has a collection of presi-hair that includes the first 13 heads of state, as well as several since.
If Trump is up for contributing hair to the museum, it should be easy for him because he has a lot of it, says Brad Nadeau, a stylist at two downtown Minneapolis locations of Great Clips. Nadeau was styling a client this month when it struck him that he was giving the client a Donald Trump ’do.
“It’s a comb-over that is hiding certain areas,” says Nadeau, adding that the bangs need to be left 5 or 6 inches long, so there’s plenty of hair to swoop around to places that are bare. “There are certain angles you need to cut the hair at. And you need extra hair to work with, so one side is usually going to need to be shorter than the other. The front is long, so you can brush it back and skirt it all the way around [the head].”
Nadeau’s not a huge fan of Trump’s hair (“He should try shaving it off,” he advises the prez), but he says his Trump-esque client walked out of the salon looking darn good.
What’s going on with Trump’s head is a secret as well kept as the nuclear codes. Still, barbers can’t resist speculating.
Brooklyn Edwards, who cuts heads at Dick’s Sports Barbers in Edina, suspects Trump’s hairdo is so elaborate because he’s covering up more than a balding crown.
“Hair loss comes in different fashions. Our president, his hair loss is obviously in a lot of different places so whoever cuts his hair is obviously using every trick in the playbook,” says Edwards, whose thinning-above-the-ears hair has forced him to learn a few of those tricks, too.
Edwards is an advocate of the “bald fade,” a variation on the military high-and-tight cut in which the short sides create the illusion that the thinning hair on top is fuller than it is. But he says most men eventually face a choice between using a combo of hair spray and neighboring hair to cover up bald spots, or just buzzing it off.
“That’s the trend now if you’re bald: Shave it down and grow a beard,” says Craig Ylitalo, owner of Craig’s Como Barber Shop in St. Paul, where Trump’s hair has been the subject of professional speculation.
“No one has come in and asked us for a Donald Trump, but we have joked in the shop about it, trying to figure out what it might be that’s going on with his hair. One barber shouted out that he thinks Trump does it himself,” says Ylitalo.
No one seems to think the Trump is going to become the new Rachel, partly because it takes a lot of effort and hair product to achieve the look — which, because of those 6-inch bangs, could be dubbed party-in-front/business-in-back.
Speaking of which, Nadeau doesn’t rule out the possibility of any bygone hairdo making a comeback, especially given what’s happening with the much-maligned business-in-front/party-in-back look that never went out of style with hockey players.
Says Nadeau, “Hey, if the mullet has come back, anything is possible.”