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Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidential hair has long been a subject of intense public fascination. John F. Kennedy’s stylish part was an essential component of his youthful energy and led to the decline of hat-wearing in the 1960s. Abraham Lincoln grew a beard at the suggestion of eleven-year-old Grace Bedell, who said it would make him more handsome and electable. Some of the earliest Americans collected locks of George Washington’s hair, which became coveted relics after his death.

And Donald Trump is obsessed with his hair. Undoubtedly one of the engineering feats of our time, Trump’s golden coiffure swirls in improbable arches and with an ever-changing consistency — something that Rumplestiltskin wove during a particularly nasty hangover. His massive part is no less miraculous than that of Moses in the Red Sea, though who can say whether Trump’s version will lead anyone to the Promised Land?

The question of whether Trump’s follicles are real and natural is insignificant on its own, but the performance behind the hair is essential to understanding the Trump phenomenon. The legendary combover has become synonymous with the man himself, a symbol of his larger-than-life ego and vanity. It’s nearly impossible to turn on a news show or late night program without at least one crack about the presumptive GOP nominee’s scalp.

Why the obsession?

A Mane for All Seasons

Trump’s odd combover is unique in that he doesn’t try to hide it. At times, it even seems that Trump, like a veteran gladiator, savors challenges to his hair. Its authenticity clearly means a lot to him.

It’s also been a major talking point on the campaign trail. After trying on a coal miner’s hardhat at a West Virginia rally in May, Trump lectured the crowd about hairspray. He went off on a curious tangent about the unfair ban on aerosol spray products in the 1970s, which he then clumsily connected to environmental restrictions placed on the state’s mining industry. Rumors abound that Trump, when he first heard that the federal government would be cracking down on chlorofluorocarbon-emitting aerosols, hoarded a near lifetime supply.

On numerous occasions, Trump has invited doubters to feel his hair. Larry King famously touched it during a 2004 live interview and affirmed that it did not seem to be a wig or a combover. Even Megyn Kelly, fresh off her feud with Trump, recently admitted that she too could attest to the legitimacy of Trump’s tresses, having “shoved her hands up in [it]” herself. But take their assurances with a grain of salt: the hair-proving ritual is a highly-choreographed one, in which Trump covers most of his head with his hand, offering just the front of his hairline for inspection.

This habit is especially strange in light of Trump’s self-described mysophobia. He loathes shaking hands and pushing elevator buttons, and yet he gives strangers permission to tug right above his sweaty forehead.

To Pay, Or Not Toupee

Despite Donald’s constant attempts show off his natural hair, not everyone’s buying it. If you’ve ever seen the ghostly way Trump’s mop blows in the wind, you’d understand that skepticism. Critics hold different theories about what kind of trickery is going on behind-the-scenes.

Gersh Kuntzman, journalist and author of Hair! Mankind’s Historic Quest to End Baldness, posits that Trump’s style is most likely the joint result of a combover and hair transplant, which would explain Trump’s eagerness for people to grab a handful of his mane. It would be, after all, real hair.

Ashley Feinberg of the website soon-to-be-formerly-known-as-Gawker says that Trump may be the recipient of a weave of epic proportions. Feinberg connected the businessman to Dr. Edward Ivari, a little-known physician who has pioneered a nonsurgical means of hair restoration using strands of synthetic microcylinders. This technology, which attaches fresh hair strands to thinning ones, requires frequent tightening and costs roughly $60,000 dollars a year to maintain. That’s nearly double the Trump University premium package.

The Bald Truth

To a large extent, Trump’s insecurity is understandable. Balding is common among adult males, and there exists a definite stigma against the correction of that flaw. In secret, manly man Sean Connery donned a hairpiece in every James Bond film, and Ronald Reagan dyed his gray hair in the Oval Office.

Trump, on the other hand, has more than his career riding on his hair — he has his sanity.

Harry Hurt III’s 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump reveals just how desperate Trump is to keep up appearances. He underwent scalp reduction surgery in 1989, probably to correct a bald patch, but the surgeon botched the procedure. The infuriated mogul stormed home to confront then-wife Ivana Trump, who had recommended the plastic surgeon to her husband.

Barging into her bedroom, Trump screamed, “Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” He then tore fistfuls of hair from her head, ripped off her clothes, and forced himself on her. Ivana described the incident as “rape,” in their divorce deposition. She softened her account in later years, first claiming that her Trump had not violated her in any criminal sense, and then subsequently stating that the story was “totally without merit.” Trump, unsurprisingly, denied that any of it ever happened.

We can’t expect Trump to ever get his comeuppance for the assault, but his actions speak volumes about his character. He is a dangerous man when his pride is threatened, and his hair is the symbolic centerpiece of his fragile persona.

When he steps up to the podium, Trump knows: He is the smartest businessman, he has the most loyal supporters, and his country is the greatest in the world. His brand of exceptionalism relies on an oversized display of masculinity. No matter the occasion, he must be seen with a beautiful woman in tow; he has to show off the size of his massive hands. He needs his physicality to prove that he is an “alpha” male: the most fit to fight, to lead, and to breed.

Of course, American voters would have no problem electing a balding president. We’ve done it before. But Trump has a major problem confronting his balding reflection, one older and weaker than he’d care to admit. The assertion that his hair is real, true or not, allows Trump to bypass that vulnerability and create a version of himself more capable of fulfilling all the promises he’s been making to America. With a full head of hair, Donald can make himself great again.

 

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a photo after an interview with Reuters in his office in Trump Tower, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson 

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Copyright 2016 The National Memo

31 Responses to The Dark History Behind Donald Trump’s Hair

  1. Trump’s narcissistic tendencies, including his obsession with his physical appearance, are signs of insecurity bordering on fear. The same character flaws, and lack of values, that fuel his insecurities, are the reason for the hateful remarks he makes against anyone who dates challenge his immature and irresponsible comments.
    The most troubling part of all this is that millions of Americans see nothing wrong with his behavior, including presumptive political leaders who, while feigning disgust when The Donald gets too carried away and let’s everyone know what is in his heart and mind, are quick to reassure their flock that they plan to support The Donald and vote for him regardless of what he says and does, for the good of a party that has lost its way and no longer represents the conservative values it once stood for. His hair is nothing more than an artifact used to distract those who can’t discern the difference between showmanship and reality.
    The man is not only a conceited and immature bigot, he is also a dangerous fraud.

    • That’s a good summary of the man. It also reflects the insecurities of the people who would vote for him as well as the politicians you mention, who will endorse him despite knowing how insincere and ignorant he is about governing (or running a real business, for that matter)

      • Thus the efforts by his surrogates to try to change the subject, calling the demonstrated lack of maturity and moral values exhibited by Donald Trump old news. Time to change the subject, according to them. Too bad, that’s not about to happen. The issue is not whether or not The Donald can “act” presidential using a tele-prompter, the real issue is what is in his heart and mind, his absolute lack of humanity and moral values, his temperament, and so many other personal attributes unbecoming of a person running for President.
        They can talk about e-mails, and the fact the – gasp – Hillary was asleep when she received a call informing her that our consulate in Benghazi was under attack.
        I am convinced that there are enough intelligent Americans out there capable of understanding the difference between a mistake, and/or human habits; and the actions of a bigot.

  2. Good grief Trump man up why don’t you ? It’s what’s going on inside your thick skull than what’s on top of it that concerns most people. I admit I’m gray now & prominently bald. So what ? Why are we even talking about his damn hair when we have more pressing issues like global warming which he denies is real. Or what about the tragic shootings in Orlando overnight & we need real sensible gun control laws to keep firearms away from mentally unbalanced people like Trump himself. Hair today gone tomorrow, your old Mr. Trump & enjoy blowing out all 70 of your birthday candles old man

    • Old man? Hillary will be the same age, 69, in a few months, but you dont call her the old lady that she is. Why not? Lets see her try to blow 69 candles.

      • Just how will she be as old as he is in just a few months? Thought . . . something you really might want to give a try sometime.

      • Because Hillary is not obsessed with her hair like DT. We all know he had a hair weave trying to look younger than he is. It’s obviously a not so subtle dig at telling him he’s not a kid & should act more adult

      • Mr. Box: are you saying these asinine sentences because you have the proof for it or because you forgot to use the gray matter between your ears and used the other matter coming out of your posterior cheeks.

      • Buwwaaaahhaaaahaaaahaaaahaaaahaaa! Oh, sweet jesu marimba, what a freaking maroon!

        This, my friends, is your brain on Drumpf. Not a pretty sight, is it?

      • The moronality of you right-wing nut cases is just astounding sometimes and it’s almost unbelievable that you can be so totally moronic!!

          • Sadly, today’s conservatives that support the GOP are, in fact, totally moronic.

            Who but a moron would support a political party that over the past 100 plus years had a history of destroying our economy: its GDP growth, jobs growth and even the stock market??

            Since 1900, during GOP presidencies America’s GDP has averaged a paltry 2.6%/yr growth while under Democrats it has averaged a much better 4.3%. At the same time, Democrats have averaged creating almost twice as many jobs/yr as Republicans; and our stock market has actually had negative gains during the 42 years a Republican was in office (since 1930) while in the 44 years Democrats were in office the market has produced more than 300% in gains. And on top of all that, Republicans are responsible for 14 recessions and 3 depressions since 1900, while there have only been 3 recessions when a Democrat was in office.

            So who, other than a total moron, would support a Republican knowing full well that when they are in office, the American economy, its jobs and its major stock markets all get trashed????

          • You don’t know he supports the GOP… All you know is that he doesn’t like Obama. Also, is moron your favorite word? I, myself, am partial to words like laughter, friendship, love, peace, and hope.

      • Who knows his name and where he’s from?

        Most everyone in the world knows this.

        Why does he use a social security number issued to someone else?

        He doesn’t.

      • Because President Obama is far from being fake, many people carry and change their remarried parent’s name. The states make mistakes in issuing SS numbers, it happens, there have been other instances. Nothing fake about that. Trump uses fake names (John MIller and John B. Obama’s names are not fake.

  3. “Masculinity” is and has NEVER been a word I could ever use in a sentence as an adjective, or in reference to Donald J. Trump. He is and will always be a prepubescent nasty little brat completely devoid of intellect, decency, with a total lack of integrity in any measure. After his absolutely self serving incredibly wretched tweets today in the aftermath of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, along with his insulting comments with regard to President Obama’s measured and heartfelt response to the same horrific act this morning, there is absolutely no hope this creature of a man will ever grow up and the Republican’s most futile prayer will NEVER be answered, TRUMP WILL NEVER BEHAVE PRESIDENTIAL, he is utterly incapable of doing so!!!

  4. His hair has to be real — who would pay money for such a nasty looking toupee?!

    His hair explains a lot about him. Specifically that he is vain and a reality-denier. Any sane person with his kind of money would pay for hair-transplants or invest in a decent toupee.

    Donald refuses to believe he is losing his hair or that he is aging.

  5. I believe it was his first wife who he abused and pulled out some of her hair because the cosmetic surgery implant of his hair was not to his liking at all.

  6. With such an obsession about his looks and his hair, he may wake up one day to find all of it has fallen out, his scalp riddled with so many sores from constant surgical-implanted strands in full view—hair probably taken from the back of a silver-backed gorilla of the highlands in Uganda—and resulting in a thriving colony of exotic bacteria unknown to science as of yet.

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