This Haircut Costs France $11K a Month
President Francois Hollande pays stylist thousands to maintain his sparse tresses
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2016 8:21 AM CDT
Hey girl.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – A satirical French magazine recently printed a barber's tab that indicated Francois Hollande pays around $11,000 each month to maintain the modest amount of hair on his head—except the tab was no joke, Bloomberg reports. "Everyone needs their hair done, no?" a government rep confirms. "I can understand people's questions, I can understand their judgments. He's not just anybody, that's all." But while Hollande may not be just anybody, he is somebody who promised austerity and that he'd be a "normal" president compared with former "bling-bling" President Nicolas Sarkozy. It's also a stunning amount for the stylist—identified by the BBC only as "Olivier B," required to be on call 24/7 and Hollande's travel companion on most of his foreign junkets—when noted next to base salaries for European Parliament members, who just received a raise in January to about $9,150 a month.

A source who talks to the Express appears to defend Mr. B's compensation by noting that the hairstylist has had to sell his personal salon to tend to Hollande, and that frequent trips have even caused him to "[miss] the birth of his children." Still, most other reaction has been cutting, with mane-centric memes flowing aplenty, many accompanied by the #CoiffeurGate hashtag and some even floating the idea of balding candidates for the next election to save taxpayer money, News.com.au reports. A good number of tweets are in French, but even those who can't read the language will be able to appreciate Photoshopped images of Hollande done up with a mullet, channeling mid-'80s George Michael, and even imagined as Princess Leia. The Zero Hedge site, which refers to the revelation as "shampoo socialism" amid "record unemployment, painful labor reforms, economic collapse, and the most serious social unrest in decades," wryly notes, "Vive la revolution." (Gawker may have solved the mystery of Trump's hair.)