Heads of State

The 1960 Nixon-Kennedy presidential election proved that a successful candidacy cannot be had without photogenic appeal. But in the coming gubernatorial race, both major-party candidates seem equally challenged when it comes to having a bad hair day.

Governor Rod Blagojevich’s hair-a feathery mound that puts the “guber” in gubernatorial-has been the source of many jokes. Lucky for him he’s running this fall against Judy Baar Topinka, whose bottled orange head-helmet just might make her the one Illinois politician with a worse coiffure. With the pundits predicting a neck-and-neck race come November, a new look for either candidate could make all the difference. Rather than turning to political consultants, we asked four local stylists to diagnose the problem and suggest a course of action.

The stylists

Joan Each Rowan
(Everything’s Relative, 3228 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park; 708-423-2230)
Jeri Delgado
(Trio Salon, 712 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-944-6999)
Michael Davis
(GRO Hair Salon, 2119 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-1153)
JoAnn Kearns-Gryzwa
(Nancy Angelair Salon, 1003 N. Rush St.; 312-943-3011)

Rod Blagojevich - The Problem

 

Each Rowan: “He’s obviously too much of an Elvis fan. Rod, Elvis has left the building. You gotta get away from the pompadourish look.”
Delgado: “He’s a handsome man and he speaks eloquently, but when you look at his hair you can’t take him seriously. It’s almost like there’s glue in there.”
Davis: “The classic businessman’s regular is a good bet for most men in public service, but this look is unsuitable for his extra-thick and wild locks. It’s kind of a cross between Playskool ‘snap-on’ hair and a Muppet.”
Kearns-Gryzwa: “Look at him. Do you trust that hair? He’s got First Day of School hair. And that part is bad. He’s too round, too swept.”

Rod Blagojevich - The Solution

 

Each Rowan: “I’d thin it out a little, texturize it. Comb it forward a little. Funk it up, make it more modern-looking so he can get the under-30 vote.”
Delgado: “His hair should be a frame for his face rather than overpowering it. I’d give him a short layered haircut that resembles an Armani ad-an athletic look that would bring out his eyes and cheekbones. A lightweight pomade for texture.”
Davis: “Something a little looser and less constructed would add a modern touch-and also work better with his hair’s natural growth patterns.”
Kearns-Gryzwa: “He needs the bulk removed off the top, and off the side. A little tighter. Needs to be a little messed up. Look at what natural did for [New York City’s Mayor] Giuliani. Or maybe he should go to his left, his party side.”

Judy Baar Topinka - The Problem

 

Each Rowan: “Her hair is chemically dependent. It’s not fair, but as a woman, there’s more at stake for her hair. Geraldine Ferraro lost because people didn’t like her hair.”
Delgado: “There’s too much hair spray. It’s too stiff. Those kind of shapes were big in the sixties; now it just makes her look older. And with the red it’s very limiting as far as how she can accessorize.”
Davis: “She suffers from ‘hard head.’ The problem is overstyling and a lack of softness. The sharp outlines and dense, overstyled puffiness of the internal shape combined with the flaming orange hue is much too hard.”
Kearns-Gryzwa: “Her hair is offensive. It looks like a British phone booth. And why is she hiding her forehead?”

  Judy Baar Topinka - The Solution

 

Each Rowan: “I would offer her free service to put her hair through detox with pure plant-derived products, and bring her over to the green side. I’m a liberal but she could earn my vote if she did.”
Delgado: “She needs to grow her hair a little more for it to be softer, more feminine. I’d keep it longer around the ears. And the color needs to be updated. Something more organic: caramel colored, honey colored. A neutral tone would make her look younger.”
Davis: “She’s in the right direction with shorter hair. It suits her features and age well. Breaking up the internal shape and leaving some softness in the outline would be more flattering. And she needs a different shade of red. A more natural finish would give her more time for things other than her hair.”
Kearns-Gryzwa: “She should understand that the circus is not in town. The clown red has got to go. She needs to be softer, a chunky strawberry blond and highlights.”

Photography: Blagojevich and Topinka AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
Photoillustrations: John Ueland  

 

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