When Larry King is in Washington, he starts each day the same way--he sneaks into Okyo before the Georgetown salon opens so that owner Bernard Portelli can style his hair. The talk-show host emerges, every strand fluffed and sprayed into place, and a car spirits him away before the first regular client arrives.
King is not alone. It is rare to see a famous face in the next chair in a hair salon. Few public figures want to be caught while a colorist doctors their roots. But here's a partial list of who styles some of Washington's top pols, pundits, and media personalities:
Former president Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Senator John Kerry get clipped at Cristophe Salon in DC. Cristophe himself flies in every few weeks from Los Angeles to cater to some heads of state. (He's not the only Hollywood hair guru here: Michael Canale, colorist to Jennifer Aniston and Friends costar Courteney Cox, comes to Toka in Georgetown every five weeks.)
Kerry's 2004 running mate, John Edwards, has his boyish locks styled by Kevin DePew at Celadon on DC's F Street. Second Lady Lynne Cheney is coifed by Paul Ramadan at Nantucket, near the White House. Look for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at Lucien et Eivind in Georgetown.
California congresswoman Loretta Sanchez gets her hair styled by Melba de la Torre at Bubbles on Capitol Hill.
Mustafa Corumlu at Salon Jean-Paul in Spring Valley is responsible for NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell's flippy new 'do. This salon is a media mecca--WRC's Barbara Harrison, NPR's Diane Rehm, and WUSA's Cindy Pena have their hair done by him as well. Fashion icon Deeda Blair was a salon client before she moved to New York.
WRC anchor Wendy Rieger had to break up with Corumlu when she moved to Annapolis. Now she usually has her hair colored and cut closer to home at Hudson& Fouquet.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer has his hair cut weekly by David Tabo at David's Hair Studio on I Street. NBC's Tim Russert and Pete Williams followed stylist Jean Paul Mazeas when he switched salons; he's now at Lifestyles in DC's Spring Valley. Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser headsto stylist Barbara Thomas at Potomac Hair Design to have his beard trimmed and dyed.
The Redskins cheerleaders get primped and polished by Robert Andrew-the Salon & Spa in Gambrills, Maryland. Coach Joe Gibbs gets clipped at Le Shoppe in Reston.
Across town, University of Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams--known for his volatility on the sidelines--has found an aptly named salon in College Park: Bananas Hair Design.