The Secrets of the Republican Hair HelmetS

This has been a remarkably entertaining Republican primary season. Amidst all the insanity, there is one thing that is so odd, unnatural, and reprehensible that it boggles my mind. No, I'm not talking about Rick Santorum. I'm talking about Callista Gingrich's hair. Her butter-blonde helmet is a feat of modern engineering. How does she get it just so?

Callista's hair is a thing of devious genius. It is also the only thing about New Gingrich that is grosser than he is asking for an open marriage. Still, her bob is exactly the same every time you see her before the camera: the indescribable height, the precise wave, the texture that simultaneously looks shellacked and like cotton candy. Callista's follicular fortress joins the ranks of other great Republican domes like Nancy Reagan's and Margaret Thatcher's (who wasn't really a Republican, but come on). So how the hell does she do it?

I called up Michael Angelo, owner of Wonderland Beauty Parlor here in New York. He helped us figure out what was wrong with Donald Trump's hair so I figured he'd be able to help here.

"It's 2012," Mr. Angelo says. "If I was looking back I'd say it was rollers and back combing, but I'm thinking it must be set with a curling iron and combed out. There's no way it's done with a blow dryer and a round brush. I don't know how you get that out of a blow dryer alone."

Michael says that Maggie Thatcher thatched her roof with rollers, as you'll see in the (deplorably bad) movie The Iron Lady but using rollers is out of favor in the hair style world. He suggests that there is a mousse or gel in the hair for foundation and then it is set, combed out, sculpted, and hairsprayed within an inch of its life.

I ask him how he would give a client the "Callista Gingrich" if she was deluded enough to ask for it. "Someone who is not a drag queen? Like a real girl? I would have to start with the cut. It has to be short enough layers around the top where you can bulk it up high without having too much weight."

What is remarkable about her 'do is that it is precisely the same every time she is in public view. "The reality of a hairstyle like that is that it takes masterful skill," he says. "You have to know every quirk of a person's hair growth to get it to work and be exactly the same every time. You can't trust that to a random stranger. She must have someone full time or close to it." He adds that not only is she dying it probably every two weeks to keep from getting any roots whatsoever, but there is no way she is doing her hair on her own on a daily basis. Having her own (probably expensive) hairstylist on staff seems like it would be a White House spending scandal waiting to happen if (God forbid) Newt were to be elected President. Just remember the John Edwards $400 haircut fiasco? This would be even worse.

What is more scandalous than that, however, is the idea that a woman would favor a haircut that seems even more reactionary than her husband's politics. While Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are deplorable for their own reasons, at least Sarah's unfussy soccer mom updo's and Michele's natural-seeming cascade appear modern, effortless, and flattering. To liberals Callista looks like some sort of dead-eyed, Lego-haired Stepford Bible beater and after beauty queens like Palin, Bachmann, Ann Coulter, and S.E. Cupp, Callista looks a bit marmish and out of style. Even to conservatives.

With this haircut, Callista just seems so old fashioned, like her hair would be more suited to Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, or even Jackie Kennedy. Or maybe that's the thing? Maybe she's trying to weasel her way into our little minds by forcing us to associate her with a first lady just on her nostalgic noggin alone. She's winning votes one stealthy suggestion at a time.

Even Michael Angelo wonders what hair stylist would give her such an old-fashioned cut, unless she goes to the same D.C. salon as all the other out of touch GOP grande dames. (According to The New Yorker she gets it done at Sugar House in Old Town in Alexandria, Va., outside of D.C.). Or maybe it's something more sinister. Michael says, "I'm just wondering if there is some queen behind the chair laughing his ass off. 'Take this, you Republican bitch.'"

[Image via Getty]