What’s with the expensive haircuts?

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.


  1. blf says

    The “haircuts”, etc., are actually when the USB cable is plugged-in and new programming from Teh Illuminati is downloaded. The expense is a precaution intended to distract any attention away from what is really happening during the “haircuts”.

  2. anat says

    For comparison to the Netanyahu situation, in 1977 Rabin had to rescind his candidacy for premiership because it turned out his wife neglected to close her Washington DC bank account (she had it when Rabin was Israel’s ambassador, once they no longer lived in the US it was no longer legal for them to have an account there according to the law back then, she kept it for shopping sprees). Standards have deteriorated significantly.

  3. Trickster Goddess says

    Bernie Sander’s hairstylist is chronically underemployed, but at least he makes $15 an hour.

  4. doublereed says

    Honestly, men just don’t have that many things to indulge in in terms of ridiculous beauty expenditures. Women can get weirdly expensive makeup, manicures, hairstylists, etc. etc. Not to mention jewelry is typically not worn by men, especially as now watches aren’t worn as much anymore.

    So it’s like “well I gotta spend this money to make me look good. I guess… haircuts?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *