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Wait, The Haircut Cost How Much?


Exploring the ins and outs of tonsorial expenditures and the U.S. Presidency.

The media is blowing a gasket over Presidential candidate John Edwards' $400 haircut at Torrenueva Hair Designs of Beverly Hills.

Hold on, make that two $400 haircuts.

According to the Professional Beauty Association, a trade organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the average price for a haircut in the United States is about $45.

The most expensive, apparently, is an $800 cut by Orlando Pita, owner of Orlo, in New York City. His clients include Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow-but no Presidential contenders.

Datamonitor's Haircare: Global Industry Guide says the global haircare market generated total revenues of $30.5 billion in 2005, this representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.3% for the five-year period spanning 2001-2005.

It reports that shampoo sales proved the most lucrative for the global haircare market in 2005, generating total revenues of $10.6 billion, equivalent to 34.8% of the market's overall value.

Expectations are for market to accelerate, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate of 4% for the five-year period 2005-2010, driving the market to a value of $37.1 billion by the end of 2010.

With Edwards dropping four bills each time he gets a trim, those numbers could push their way even higher.

But then, there are candidates like Barack Obama who could throw a wrench into it all. He gets his hair cut at the Hyde Park Hair Salon in Chicago.

I called the shop-(773) 493-6028-and spoke with proprietor Abdul Karim Shakir, who told me that a standard men's cut goes for $19.

That's ten-and-a-half Torrenueva haircuts.

And here's how it looks:

Hyde Park Hair Salon (look closely-it's behind the tree)

Following a fundraiser in Milwaukee, Mitt Romney had this to say to reporters about his hair:

"I don't dye it. I don't color it and you can take a real close camera shot and see there's a lot of gray mixed in with all that black."

These are the issues occupying the men who seek the highest office in the land. An internal campaign document that recently surfaced in the media suggests that Romney's campaign advisers worry that his hair is too perfect.

Mitt Romney's hair. And Mitt Romney

Let's just hope they don't go to the other extreme. The "Nick Nolte" likely wouldn't help Romney, either:

What do the experts say about the current crop of candidate hairstyles?

Dr. Jon Gaffney, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, hair-loss specialist to the stars and medical scion of the Hair Club for Men, provides some insight.

"Giuliani's thick, coarse hair on the sides and back make him an ideal candidate for a transplant," he said. "And if he gets one now, his hair will have had plenty of time to grow in before the Iowa caucuses."

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, could use "a transplant where we could design a hairline commensurate with his age," he said. "We could put hair back on top of his head without making it look like he was trying to look like a 30-year-old."

Here's a transplant that could've used Dr. Gaffney's magic hands:

Joseph Biden and his "hair"

What might this have cost? says the minimum hair transplant cost is usually around $4,000. Total expense will vary depending on each patient's unique hair loss situation and expectations.

That's approximately ten Torrenueva cuts.

Lest you think the political hair phenomenon is exclusive to America, let me be the first to tell you: it's not.

Britain's Tory leader David Cameron garnered considerable press after changing the part in his hair from right to left.

A shift from the right to the left, obviously. Right?

"There is no political significance in his decision to [change the direction of his part]," a spokesman told the Daily Mail.

David Cameron's liberal, left-leaning part

It also goes on in Germany.

In 2002, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder sued DDP, a German news agency, for claiming he dyed his hair from snowy white to a youthful brown. He won in court.

"Anyone who insinuates that I dye my hair insinuates that I always lie," Mr. Schroeder said.

Gerhard Schroeder's undyed hair

And now, the most amazing piece of information I uncovered during my follicular journey:

U.S. Patent # 4,022,227: Method of concealing partial baldness

Inventors: Smith; Frank J. (Orlando, FL), Smith; Donald J. (Orlando, FL)

Appl. No.: 05/643,681 Filed: December 23, 1975

Abstract: A method of styling hair to cover partial baldness using only the hair on a person's head. The hair styling requires dividing a person's hair into three sections and carefully folding one section over another.

Friends, Frank and Donald Smith patented the combover.

Now that we've explored the ins and outs of tonsorial trends and the U.S. Presidency, allow me to leave you with a question that burns deep in the core of my very being:

With hair like this, how did Andrew Jackson ever pull off his 1829 victory?

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