My attention was caught by this article about the unbelievable amount of $10,000 per month spent on the hair of French president Francois Hollande. This news was released by the satirical publication Le Canard Enchaine but is supposed to be genuine.
The hairdresser was identified as Olivier Benhamou. Le Canard Enchaîné estimated Benhamou will earn $650,000 from his five-year contract. Behamou also styles the president’s hair every morning and as needed.
Sarah Levy, Benhamou’s lawyer, said his work for the French government forced him to close down his business.
“He is at the disposal of the president 24 hours a day, he is never replaced by extras,” Levy said. “He missed the birth of his children, their broken arms, their operations.”
While this is completely over the top, Hollande is not the only politician who thinks his hair needs expensive care.
Hollande is among a privileged group of world leaders whose expensive beauty routines have made international headlines. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was mocked in 1999 when he shut down two of Los Angeles International Airport’s runways for nearly an hour so that a Beverly Hills hairstylist could give him a haircut on Air Force One. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s makeup artist earned more than $8,000 a month.
Then there is Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who also has a penchant for the high life, and expensive haircuts, at the public’s expense.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to New York last fall for the U.N. General Assembly cost more than $1.7 million, including a $1,600 haircut.
Among the other expenses on the list reported by Haaretz: make-up artist, $1,750; wine bought for the prime minister, $64.20; chocolate, $4.
Other line items include: removal of furnishings from the hotel rooms, $3,500; storage of the removed furniture, about $16,000; laundry for Netanyahu and his wife, $210; meals for Netanyahu and his wife, $1,860.
What I would like to know is whether this is due to pure vanity or whether these people and their advisors think that the public gives a damn about the state of their hair.
Hollande calls himself a socialist. He should take a lesson from another self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders who can’t even seem to be bothered to comb his hair, let alone get expensive haircuts. And nobody seems to care or even notice except for late night comedians.