How to Get Barack Obama's Hairstyle

by Bonny Brown Jones

Barack Obama giving a speech at podium.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The easiest way to get a haircut like President Barack Obama's is to visit Chicago, Illinois, where you can schedule a session with Zariff, Obama's longtime barber, at the Hyde Park Hair Salon. You can also see the presidential barber chair, encased in plexiglass. If you don't plan a trip, the first barber has widely shared tips that you can pass along to your own hair cutter.

Close-Cropped and Natural

At Hyde Park Hair Salon, "home of the Obama cut," a haircut like the president's still costs $21, just as it did in 2004 when Obama was still an aspiring, ambitious young Illinois state senator about to address the Democratic National Convention. Zariff suggested a shorter, less curly style tapered at the back and sides -- a "Quo Vadis," close-cut look. "I wanted it to look more natural," Zariff told "Essence" magazine. "The New York Times" reported that the short locks were so appealing to one 5-year-old African-American visitor that Obama urged the boy to give his presidential head a pat.

The Presidency's Aging Effect

Over the years, Zariff says, the haircut has remained consistent. One thing that has changed: The president's hair is flecked with gray. "The New York Times" noted that Obama was beginning to go gray just 44 days into his presidency. Other sites have speculated that he either covers the gray, or adds to it to increase gravitas, but Zariff said neither is true. "He's not really big on vanity so I don't think he notices that much," the barber told "Essence."

Photo Credits

  • Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Bonny Brown Jones has been a writer, columnist, copy editor and senior copy editor for newspapers that have included the "Orlando Sentinel," "Miami Herald" and "Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch." Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University.