It's not every day that you get a mention on Have I Got News For You. Last week was certainly one of "those weeks!" I've been a hairdresser for over twenty years and in that time, working across the TV and music business as well as magazines with the likes of Lady Gaga and Chris Martin, I have had the pleasure (usually) to run my hands through the hair of quite a few famous faces...or should I say heads!
I did an interview with The Times talking about the politics of hair. Back in 2010 I was called in to re-style Ed Milliband and his wife Justine's hair, that was during the Labour Party leadership battle. The fashion editors all said I had done a good job - with Justine going from "mouse to fashion maven" and, we all know how the leadership vote went so I felt it was in part thanks to Ed's new sharp, short hair (from yours truly) that was the secret of his new-found success. I am not sure Ed agreed! I don't think he liked his hair so short - or that I got rid of the student "bangs" but I did push him into a more grown-up look and for that I am proud.
I also talked about the general "politics of hair" not just about Ed and what I thought was good and not so good with his current cut, but about other politicians, some whose hair I have also cut. Michael Heseltine (the original Tarzan) and also Alistair Campbell have both sat in my chair at one point or other. Whilst I never really needed to do much with either of them at the time (I think they have their "looks" pretty well sorted out don't they?) I think someone's haircut says a lot about them. For instance Nigel Farage's deep side parting is so entrenched in a pre-Second World War feeling that it actually is highly reflective of his politics - a desire to float back to a long-gone England. Then there's Nick Griffin - he used to have the look of a scaffolder from Essex - nothing wrong in that per se - but it's funny how over the years, the gel has been dropped and a more "statesman" style has been adopted, as he tries to re-position the BNP into mainstream politics.
Ultimately, it seems to be the fashion for politicians to walk a fine line of not looking like they spend too long (or too much) on how they look - vanity is never a vote winner. Politicians don't like anything out of the ordinary or to look like they have spent time in front of the mirror (although this can often take the longest to achieve) and I always think if a politician doesn't look like they take care of themselves and their appearance we have to ask, would they take the same care - or lack of it - with the country?"
My favourite politician's hair is Gordon Brown. If I could have cut anybody's hair it would have been Gordon's. I think he has got beautiful hair yet it's a terrible cut. He could have changed things politically for himself if ONLY he had had a good cut and he could be incredibly handsome. As for political commentators, Jeremy Paxman is less about the hair - he is just very clean cut, very manly. His beard looked great - Jeremy's got a very long face so the beard actually foreshortened him and gave him a more oval appearance, with more symmetry, which is how we perceive beauty.
For female politicians they don't want to be seen to look too good - if they look too good or like they've spent more than a tenner on their hair they're going to get slammed for it! For female politicians it's really hard because if they have anything too directional it will get scrutinised and then they will be dragged through the press like Teresa May - just because she might wear a Vivienne Westwood coat. There are some super glamorous female politicians out there: Denmark's Helle Thorning-Schmidt (she of the Obama/Cameron "selfie") and Italy's MEP Licia Ronzulli. I also quite like Caroline Lucas - it's not the most most feminine of cuts and I would like to give some more body to her hair - but she is consistent with her look. With politicians like Lucas and Angela Merkel - it's the consistency which establishes them both in the public's conscience.
Some people say, it's just a haircut but just like our body language, you can tell a lot about a person from their hair and the style they choose - sometimes they just don't realise it!
For more information on Charlotte Cave and her salon why not visit www.charlottecave.com