WASHINGTON – Is it a combover? Contemporary art, maybe? Or, wait, a cross between an otter’s tail and a blooming ear of corn?
Donald Trump’s signature helmet of hair has top stylists shaking their heads and spewing scathing criticism.
The Republican front-runner’s do — which descends down his forehead and ranges in shade from canary yellow to tawny orange depending on the season and lighting — has become so synonymous with the man himself that it even made it onto a cover of The Economist.
“Washington, we have a problem …” the respected magazine entitled a tongue-in-cheek photo montage showing Trump’s tresses suspended from a helicopter hovering above the White House.
Indeed, hairdressers to the rich and famous told AFP.
Trump’s mop is a “cross between an otter’s tail and an ear of corn,” quipped Frederic Mennetrier, a French coiffeur whose high-end clientele includes reality star Kim Kardashian and Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio.
As for the color?
“In a word: abstract. Contemporary art,” he added. “It makes us think of many things — except what he’d like us to.”
Stephane Bodin, whom Hollywood stars Uma Thurman and Naomi Watts have trusted with their locks, piled on.
Trump’s “egg yolk yellow” hair is the “height of bad taste.”
“Normally, people hide their foreheads because they’re timid or introverted, but that’s not the case here,” Bodin said of the outspoken real estate mogul known for not mincing words and sparking scandal in the process.
Trump’s hair — or possible lack of it — has supposedly preoccupied “The Donald” for decades.
According to an unauthorized biography, it sparked a fight as far back as 1989 between him and his then-wife Ivana — the couple divorced in 1991 — who recommended a doctor he blamed for a botched scalp reduction procedure.
If Ivana’s loyal hairdresser, Louis Licari, is to be believed, Trump ended up getting hair transplants.
Waving wagging tongues aside, Trump knows how to work the hair hullabaloo to his advantage.
“It may not be pretty but it’s mine,” he has insisted unabashedly.
This summer, he went so far as to summon a supporter on stage during a campaign event in South Carolina to prove his point, letting her get up close to check for herself in an episode that once again proved Trump’s media savviness and ability to connect with the public.
Still, the do debate rages on.
“I think it is real hair and that is the reason he has a combover,” said Cristophe, a Beverly Hills stylist whose roster of high-profile customers has contained the names Dustin Hoffman and Bruce Springsteen.
“Eighty percent of Donald Trump’s hair is combed over to one side to cover as much as possible and make it look as thick as possible,” he added.
Joseph Kendall, co-founder of Joseph Martin Hair and Beauty in Beverly Hills who has counted Paris Hilton among his clients, was blunter.
It is “a combover to hide either a receding hairline or bald spot,” he said.
“Looked a lot better on singer Little Richard than on Mr. Trump.”
The style gurus suggested that toning down the look a little could go a long way.
“I have no issue with a bit of color as long as it looks natural,” Kendall said.
“I would then suggest cutting it into a more normal style that would not raise so many negative comments.”
Cristophe said he would go slow, snipping off a little more each month.
“His sides should be shorter and I think you can make the top look better without having a combover,” he said. “The back of his hair is also substantially too long.”
But Cristophe — who famously cropped former President Bill Clinton’s hair while Air Force One stood on the tarmac in Los Angeles in what became known as “Hairgate” — acknowledged that a revamp would cause a ruckus.
“I think he is doing the best with what he has and has gotten attached to a certain image,” he said.
“If he ever changed his hair that would create headlines around the world.”