The French public, the French press, and most of France’s government are all atwitter and on Twitter about the amount of money Socialist French President Francois Hollande spends on his hair. The care and grooming of the receding hair of the President cost $11,000 per moth according to July 14, 2106, reports planned to coincide with Bastille Day.
Hollande claims that the cost is his own business but the expense runs counter to all of the positions that he has taken on wealth during his 2012 campaign and during his Presidency. An upscale haircut costs around $56 in France. The amount that the President spends on his hair is four times the salary of the average French worker.
Hollande’s concession to vanity may be in part a need to impress his once secret lover actress Julie Gayet. Hollande campaigned with the comment that he does not like the rich but the price of his coiffeur has incensed the French who supported him and those who have never supported him.
The hair episode has reached such proportions that #Coiffeurgate has become the top Tweet in France.
The $132,000 annual cost for a haircut that fails to hide the balding of the President is seen by the majority of French as in direct opposition to the “Mr. Normal” image Hollande has chosen to adopt. Hollande has cut costs in the French government and reduced the size of the government since his election. He also reduced his own salary by 30 percent.
The reaction of the average worker to the haircut scandal may be more of a reaction to Hollande’s, measures that have allowed easing of restrictions on hiring and firing workers and increased the length of the average work week in France.
Hollande remains firmly reticent in commenting on his hair and the cost.