When it turned its attention on dictators, psychological scholarship made a startling discovery: this group of men (and so far only men) has a particular obsession with excessively groomed hair. This finding is useful in predicting what sort of leader Donald Trump will be should be win the United States presidency in November. As president of Zaire (present-day “Democratic” Republic of Congo), Mobuto Sese Seko had his personal hair stylist fly from Paris every week to trim his hair into an immaculate mass of dictatorial charm. Next door was another hair-obsessed leader who is still in power: President Denis Sassou Nguesso has ruled Congo-Brazzaville for 26 of the past 36 years. At the ripe old age of 73, Nguesso has a head of lustrous black hair that must be consuming more than three quarters of the nation’s supply of Go Black hair dye. As a young man who had recently toppled the Libyan king, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi sported a crop of well-groomed hair beneath an army beret. But then with as many engagements as he had to juggle, suddenly Gaddafi could not find time to sit still for an executive barber – or so the world thought. His hair started straying in all the different cardinal directions of a compass rose even as he surrounded himself with a bevy of Libya’s most beautiful virgins. (This blatant copying of a dubious royal Swati custom should have given early warning that Gaddafi harboured royal ambitions but the continent was slow on the uptake.) When Gaddafi perished under undignified circumstances in 2011, it turned out that the hair he had been wearing on his head for years was actually not his. Long having gone bald, the Libyan leader had taken to wearing a wig to appear hairful. That’s how much dictators are obsessed with hair. Kim Jong Il and his hair apparent, Kim Jong Un, are also on that list.
The obsession starts way before they become political leaders. As a soldier serving in the German army in World War I, Adolf Hitler wore a wide, curling moustache styled like that of a circus performer but when he enlisted in the German army in World War I, he was ordered to trim it down. It would be then that he changed to the moustache thatch the world knows him by. Trump’s hair has suffered numerous mangling bouts from Cigar-Stained Teeth Blonde to Burnt-Cheetos Auburn to Trump Crosshatch and everything in between. In her 1993 biography Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump? his first wife, Ivana, claimed that the New York billionaire underwent scalp reduction surgery which involves cutting away the bald parts of the scalp and then stretching and sewing together the skin that's still producing hair. The operation, which was performed by a plastic surgeon Ivana herself had recommended, did not go too well, leading Trump to assault her in revenge. In the book, Ivana quotes an irate Trump as screaming at her before pulling out fistfuls of her hair: “Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” A theory has gained traction that Trump now styles his hair the way he does to hire the surgery scar.
Trump is already showing dictatorial tendencies and his level of obsession with hair only serves to confirm that he will indeed be a dictator. By one hair theory, dictators feel that immaculate hair makes them project power. Anywhere in the world, this theory should be helpful in identifying future dictators. Here at home, it should help us pick out politicians most likely to become dictators. In the workplace, the haircare regime of supervisors, managers and directors should be similarly useful.