It is the prototypical French scandal: CoiffeurGate. While U.S. leaders are hounded by national security lapses or fraud allegations, President François Hollande is under fire for paying roughly 10,000 euros per month to his personal hairdresser. The unpopular socialist has failed to deliver on key campaign promises and has reversed early disastrous policies that resulted in an exodus of wealthy people from the country. However, his pricey hair maintenance appears the final blow for many who are outraged as the excess of the President. To put it in perspective, Holland’s hair costs roughly the same as what one of his government ministers make in a year. What is particularly curious is that there does not appear a whole lot of hair up there to cultivate, but it is enough for a wonderfully French scandal.
Of course, we have had our own political follicle fallout. Remember Bill Clinton holding up air traffic on the tarmac so his hair stylist could cut his hair? While John Edwards reimbursed his campaign for the $800 paid for two haircuts, at least he had some impressive locks to show for the cost. It even looked good in a mugshot.
Hollande, 61, of course campaigns as the “normal” man who would be the ideal of a Socialist leader. Right now, he appears as popular as a full body French wax.
The Élysée Palace confirmed the stylist, Olivier Benhamou, “redoes the president’s hair every morning and as much as needed, for each public statement.”