From his plans to erect a vast wall along the Mexican border to his questionable past comments about women, both Donald Trump’s life and career have taken quite the bashing of late. Just yesterday, the President called an unprecedented press conference during which he branded his critics and the media “fake” and “dishonest”.
But, despite his views on social, economic and environmental issues taking the brunt of the bashing, just one of ‘The Donald’s’ characteristics stays consistently under fire: his spectacularly unusual hairstyle.
Compared to everything from urine-stained candy floss to the venomous Asp Caterpillar (it’s uncanny, believe us), Trump’s bombastic barnet has sparked thousands of debates and conversations around the world – forums discussing Trump’s tenure have more threads on his hair than he has hairs on his head.
But what do the experts think that this idiosyncratic style says about the man sporting it? We asked a hair stylist, image consultant and chartered psychologist to put Trump’s tresses in their cross hairs, and give us his hairdos and don’ts.
“It’s definitely a strange creation – but it’s also a bafflingly cleverly crafted structure,” says award-winning celebrity hair stylist Matthew Curtis. “I’d say that it looks like hairspray is the most heavily-used product here – a really super-setting crafting spray.
“Trump’s hair is a 9.3 or 10.3 in definition, and a warm antique gold – something to match his age – that is probably dyed every 2 to 3 weeks to avoid regrowth. He must do this himself, might I add, as I’ve never met a hairdresser who would help give him this style. If they did, and I had to name it, I’d call it a back-to-front mullet with a new romantic fringe.”
Curtis, who describes the President’s hair has having a “curious weightlessness” to it, has observed a slight lowering of the fringe in recent years, but says that the style has remained mostly the same for over twenty years.
“Professionals hate it,” the stylist says frankly, “but we’re also totally fascinated by its structure. I don’t think anyone’s going to own up to styling that hair every day, and due to the poor execution of colour, it must be a home dye job.
“With this in mind – the terrible colour and sloppy lack of sharpness around the perimeter – I would definitely say that it’s up there as one of the worst hairstyles in the world – but also the most discussed. His advisors could have tamed it down, but any publicity is good publicity – and here we are talking about it!”
Indeed we are. But although this uncommon combover holds no muster with the professionals, what could its unique nature tell us about the man below the matchless mane?
“Dying hair can be a sign of not wanting to deal with the inevitability of age and changes of appearance,” analyses Dr Mark Rackley, a Chartered Psychologist working in London. “It can also be seen as symbolic – as we hold onto our hair to hold onto our youth.
“Baldness for some men can be a sign that they have physically lost some masculinity,” Rackley continues, suggesting that Trump’s ‘youthful’ hair could be a message to Americans that he isn’t too old for the job. “He may not want to accept that he is ageing and changing.”
Speaking of stubbornness, Rackley believes that Trump’s continued commitment to his peerless pompadour is a comment on his self-confidence.
“I think it could be a personality trait of sticking with something in the face of opposition,” offers the psychologist, “a strong belief in his own abilities and what he feels he can achieve. But it could just as likely be a comfort thing – that his image is something he is comfortable with and wants to keep constant. It may help him feel stable and secure in himself.”
So Trump’s shocking shock, for all the ridicule and hairspray that sticks to it, is his comfort blanket? It certainly looks fluffy enough. But, paired with his over-tanned skin and less-than-fitted suits, how much is this hairstyle damaging his approval ratings?
“The long and short of it is that his bouffant thin hair makes him an easy target to poke fun at and make him very hard to take seriously,” says image consultant Daniel Johnson. “How can a man who can’t control his hair have his finger on the button?
“I’m a bit sick and tired of looking at political figures and people in authority who try to look less than their best on purpose, with the intention of looking more like the ‘every man’. What I can deduce from Donald Trump’s hair is that he is a man who knows how he wants things. He doesn’t want people to think of him as having changed since becoming president – but he really should.
“I don’t think anyone could convince him to change his hair – but I’d have him wear it closer to his scalp. Right now his hair and head look like they’ve had an argument and are trying to get away from each other. I’d bring it closer in at the sides and comb the hair across his head rather than front to back. Straighter lines might soften his jowls a little…”
So there it is, Trump’s hair: an analysis. It’s an antique gold comfort blanket-cum-display of individuality, intended to show him as staunch and loyal but falling short at cartoonish and stubborn. A hairy issue, no question – but this threadbare thatch looks set to stay.