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Thoughts on Francois Hollande’s Pretty Uncool Haircut That Costs $122,000 A Year

I never really had a problem with Francois Hollande's hair until I found out how much it cost.

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French President Francois Hollande doesn’t have great hair. Or much of it.

It’s nothing personal, really. It’s just that his hairline is receding and, as if to overcompensate, the back part of his coiffure tends to grow a little too long, curling up on some days like the edges of a fresh croissant on display at a Parisian boulangerie.

At times, those unavoidable gray hairs that come along with leading France through multiple terrorist attacks, a refugee crisis, and a disintegrating Europe tend to shine through a little more than the dark locks he must work so hard to preserve.

I mean, frankly, a photo of his hair is simply not the kind you cut out of a magazine and hand hopefully to your own stylist.

It’s strange though, that I feel this way about Hollande’s hair, because Hollande himself seems to really like the way his arguably bushy eyebrows are left au naturel and how what’s left of his head hair is gelled back and tucked behind his ears. Or, just so that I’m not jumping to any conclusions about just how much he actually likes it, what I can say with certainty is that he at least thinks it’s worth around $11,000 a month — the meager salary he pays his professional hair stylist, whose contract was revealed this week by French satirical newspaper le Canard Enchainé.

Turns out it wasn’t a joke: French officials have since confirmed the existence of said contract, which includes around-the-clock availability and a vow of absolute secrecy for the unidentified barber.

But from their perspective, the price tag doesn’t seem too steep for such an important task.

“I can understand the questions, I can understand that there are judgements,” government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told reporters in Paris. “Everyone has their hair done, don’t they?

Photo credit: Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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