When The New York Times runs a page one story on Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, you’d probably expect it to focus on a major policy or campaign issue.
But Friday’s piece centers on something a bit more personal – the former Massachusetts governor’s hair.
“By far his most distinctive physical feature, Mr. Romney’s head of impeccably coiffed black hair has become something of a cosmetological Rorschach test on the campaign trail,” The Times reports. “Many seeing in his thick locks everything they love and loathe about the Republican candidate for the White House. Commanding, reassuring, presidential, crow fans. Too stiff, too slick, too perfect, complain critics.”
Romney’s opponents may be disappointed to learn that he pays $70 a pop for his cut. While that’s not cheap, it’s probably not enough to make campaign fodder.
The Times scored a major scoop for its story – an interview with Romney’s hair stylist, Leon de Magistris. He would actually like to see Romney stray from the perfectly-structured coiffure. “I will tell him to mess it up a little bit,” said de Magistris, 69. “I said to him, ‘Let it be more natural.'”
No can do, Romney told him. “He wants a look that is very controlled,” de Magistris said. “He is a very controlled man. The hair goes with the man.” Style isn’t the point, the stylist says. “It is not something stylish. It is clean and conservative.”
Apparently there are plenty of other men who like clean and conservative too. In de Magistris’ fancy salon in Belmont, Mass., many men ask for “The Mitt.”
The other questions you probably are dying to have answered about Romney’s tresses: No dye, no gel, no mousse. Artificial additions aren’t “what do you call it? – in his DNA,” de Magistris said.
De Magistris isn’t too pleased that when Romney is away from home for an extended period, he trims his own hair. “But what can I do?”
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, declined to comment to The Times about Romney’s hair.
His opponents on the campaign trail aren’t as tongue-tied. When late-night-television host Jimmy Fallon asked Michele Bachmann Monday what word she associates with Romney, the Minnesota representative said, “Hair.”