Hair Watch: The Mane Event

Wonderful as John Kerry’s acceptance speech was last night, the real star of the Democratic National Convention was perched atop his African mask of a face. The hair was, in a word, resplendent. As far as I could tell, Kerry followed the advice of the Washington barbers and trimmed the height of his coif. And boy, did it work! In the way his salt-and-pepper do held form, yet didn’t appear stiff or crunchy from hairspray, I felt America becoming more and more magnanimous with each rhetorical flourish. Even with sweat glistening on his face (he really should consider endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery, by the way), Kerry still appeared radiant. His supporters seemed to bask in the reflected glow, and I could swear that for a second Michael Moore looked five or six pounds lighter. Much of the credit for all this must go to Olive Benson and Connie Sullivan, the two high-end stylists hired by the DNC to oversee convention hair care.

Clearly, with them backstage, help is on the way. (Or wait, was it “hope is on the way”? Oh, I can’t keep the speeches straight anymore. Let’s just all agree that, above all, hair is on the way!)

From an article in the Boston Globe, which came out right before the convention:

Sullivan and Benson relate that they’re ladies of a certain age; they won’t give specifics. But they have more than 60 years of hairstyling experience between them. Both are accustomed to exacting clients with particular tastes. …

“We will comb, gel, mousse, anything to calm that texture down, whatever it takes,” said Benson, who was voted ”Hairdresser Most Likely To Succeed” at her Cambridge high school.

The two women were chosen for the convention job by a New York publicist who the convention committee tapped to handle all hair and makeup needs for podium speakers. …

Avowed Democrats who will donate their time, the two women came close before to being stylists to the Democratic stars. …

Both Kerry and Edwards have grappled with their appearances and how much to respond to critics’ arrows. Kerry has clipped his hair slightly shorter in recent months, but dismisses allegations that he underwent Botox treatment to eliminate wrinkles. Edwards has resisted change for the most part, keeping his hair in a far side-part, one that some say makes him look boyish.

Sullivan and Benson have their own ideas for the men.

”They both have fabulous hair,” Sullivan said, before allowing that Kerry’s thick salt-and-pepper hair could be served by ”a certain amount of product, to hold it.”

Benson said both men’s hair could stand to be neater and fuller.

”There is better,” she said. ”And then there is the best.”

Bravo, ladies. You truly are best that America has to offer. Bravo, I say!

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