O'Malley proves to be a cut above

In an unsplit vote, mayor's hair is winner in school promotion

August 28, 2004|By Tanika White | Tanika White,SUN STAFF

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. may be feuding over who's the better man to run the city school system (and soon, perhaps, the state), but on the question of which politician has the better haircut, O'Malley wins, hands down.

His honor the mayor rarely has a strand of hair out of place, yet he manages to look comfortably neat, instead of stuffy. His cut is short, but not severe. His style is conservative without that choirboy feel.

At every public appearance, he looks freshly shorn.

So how does a Hair Cuttery stylist from Hampden - with cameras trained on her every move - improve O'Malley's near-perfect (for him) cut?

Texture, Milli McKenzie decided yesterday, as O'Malley slid into her chair at the discount hair salon at the Rotunda for a ceremonial cut. Texture's what our mayor needs.

So, using a green plastic comb as leverage, the veteran beautician snipped the top of his brown and gray locks at a calculated angle. She buzzed around the edges of his ears and neck with clippers. She spritzed O'Malley's slightly thinning hair with water, and fluffed the lighter, more textured top with her fingers.


The mayor looked exactly the same.

Afterward, O'Malley seemed relieved that his hair was unspiked, non-tousled, and gel and mousse-free.

"I think I've had the same haircut since the fifth grade," O'Malley said. "I'm not a Dapper Dan man."

O'Malley agreed to get a trim at the Hair Cuttery as a part of the salon's Share-A-Haircut program, which has paired up with O'Malley's Believe in Our Schools campaign to donate 700 free haircuts to city school children headed back to class Sept. 7.

"These haircuts will help our children show up ready to learn," O'Malley proudly announced yesterday.

McKenzie hoped to do a good enough job on the mayor's head to convince him to come back. But O'Malley hinted that he'd probably go back to his regular barber, Joe, in Locust Point, who can get a little jealous when customers stray.

"Joe will be upset when he sees this on TV," O'Malley said. "But it's for the kids."

That's fine with McKenzie, anyway. O'Malley's picture-perfect hair was no great challenge for the 15-year Hair Cuttery master.

Now, if our esteemed governor were to come through her shop, ho-ho! That'd be a different story.

Oh, the things she'd do to his hair! He'd get some texture, too. But first, she'd do away with that old-fashioned, unmovable look! Then she'd work feverishly on those nonexistent sideburns ...

"Bob Ehrlich and Donald Trump," McKenzie said. "I'd love to get ahold of those two."

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