Obama: A Weekly Trim With Plenty of Gray
In his high-school yearbook photo, Obama is sporting a neat, well-kept Afro. By the time he attended Harvard in the late eighties, his hair was cropped closer, and he wears it even shorter today. To keep it that way, Obama gets a weekly trim at the Hyde Park Hair Barber Studio. "He doesn't miss unless he's out of the country," the shop’s owner, Abdul Karim Shakir, told the Associated Press. Politico’s Ben Smith asked Shakir in February 2007 if Obama was graying. “I've been noticing that ever since he made the Senate,” he said. "It's not very pronounced, though." Fast-forward to 2011, and Michelle Obama was touting Obama's now noticeably gray hair as justification for a second term. "Every day, I see Barack make choices he knows will affect every American family," she said in an e-mail to supporters. "That's no small task for anyone — and more proof that he's earning every last one of those gray hairs."
Romney: "Too Perfect?"
Having grown up hearing about his father's own Mr. Politician hair, Romney might have thought copying his father's aide's hairstyle was sticking it to the old man. "He [Edwin Jones] sat up front, to the side at a desk, keeping records," Mitt told the Boston Globe in 2007. "I remember that he had very dark hair, that it was quite shiny, and that you could see it in distinct combed lines from front to back. Have you looked at my hair? Yep, it's just like his was some 40 years ago." Just a year earlier, the Globe's magazine said, "sure, it's talked about entirely too much, but, good Lord, is that a nice head of hair." Perhaps too nice. A campaign playbook that was leaked the last go-round gave a few insights into what aides thought were Romney's greatest weaknesses. Among them: "Too perfect hair." Which is probably why Ann Romney implausibly told NBC's Today show this past May that "most of the time [Romney's] hair is really messed up." As Sridhar Pappu put it in The Atlantic: "The guy just looks like a president. [...] Standing over six feet, graying neatly at his temples, with a sharply cut jaw and the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen, he looks in certain lights like the actor Ted Danson, only handsomer and more wholesome, and with real hair." The Times published a deep-dive interview with Leon de Magistris, the architect behind Romney's signature hair helmet, or "the Mitt," as other salon customers call it when asking for the look by name. "He wants a look that is very controlled," de Magistris told the paper. "He is a very controlled man. The hair goes with the man.” Despite its seeming constancy, Daily Intel has discovered some infinitesimal yet compelling changes in "the Mitt" over the years.