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Donald Trump: rich man, poor hair

Saturday, February 07, 2004

By Cristina Rouvalis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

What's going on with Donald Trump's poofy comb-over, an orange-and-gray swirl that hides his baldness but generates comedian's jokes, e-mail snipes and groans from hairdressers?

Jennifer Graylock, Associated Press
This is Donald Trump's current look.
Click photo for suggestions on a new look for Mr. Trump.

"I have visions of Shelley Winters swimming out of the wave on top of it," says W. Mark Snyder, a stylist at Salon Nuvo, Downtown. "It's horrible."

In fact, Snyder tries to watch Trump's hit win-a-job reality TV show "The Apprentice," but he usually shuts if off after a few minutes because he can't bear looking at the Trumpian mop.

Snyder and other local stylists put down their shears long enough to psychoanalyze why someone so fabulously rich and famous would cling so ferociously to a dated '70s do. Sure, everyone has bad hair days, but Trump's hair is so consistently bizarre that it's been dubbed the Taj Ma-helmet.

"He's hiding," Snyder says. "He feels like his virility is draining out with his hair. Some men are afraid that they won't be young and potent anymore" when they begin balding.

In fact, the opposite is true. Balding, Snyder says, can be sexy when you embrace it, instead of combing thinning wisps of hair over it in strange contortions. Snyder figures that Trump's hair is folded over so many times, "if you put it down, it would look like Crystal Gayle's hair."

Snyder recommends that Trump get a short cropped haircut, a la Bruce Willis, and platinum blond color to replace the garish orange.

Philip Pelusi, owner of 13 salons, has a simpler explanation for Trump's bizarre do: He has bad taste.

"Rich and famous doesn't give you taste. If you see his apartment, it's overdone and gaudy. His casinos are ugly. Even Trump Tower was a little bit gaudy."

Also, some successful men can be resistant to changing their look, says Pelusi, who recommends a closely cropped haircut like George Clooney's and a reddish brown color for Trump. "Would he listen? Being steadfast to principles is good in business, but is it good in hair?"

It would take the right female, Pelusi says, to persuade him to change a hairdo that has been the subject of David Letterman's Top Ten List.

Marty Hall Goldstein, president of Jacques Dessange Day Spa in Shadyside, can't begin to understand Trump's motivation for sporting such a bad haircut. "I have no idea what he is thinking."

She recommends a shorter cut with hair floating on the top without a part and the sides brushed back. "The color needs to be more natural, a dark blond."

Nathan Coombs of Timothy's of Squirrel Hill Salon theorizes that Trump avoids salons because "he is a man's man. It's a macho issue.

"He doesn't have a bad face," says Coombs, who believes a Michael Douglas haircut would be a vast improvement. "But his hair is borderline ridiculous.

"I watch the show, and it really bugs me. It really bugs me."

Cristina Rouvalis can be reached at or 412-263-1572.

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