Interview with Steve Bannon’s manscaper
“He wanted that louche revolutionary look”
U.S. Navy officer. Media mogul. Investment banker. Film producer. Performance artist. Chief White House political strategist, sexy revolutionary Les Maga Jean Valjean, seditioner, insurrectioner and Congress contempter, plus Pickle Ball pioneer — is there anything Steve Bannon can’t do?
Who is this powerful yet mysterious Renaissance mastermind really?
My calls to Bannon and his people to explore the answers have gone unanswered.
But I managed to track down Bannon’s longtime stylist, aka, “personal manscaper.” “They” agreed to sit down with me off the record, on background, not for attribution, and also masked (not for Covid, but because they’s a Harlequin doing commedia dell’arte), to offer an inside glimpse about one of People magazine’s “200 Most Intriguing Indicted Trump People.”
Here is an edited version of our conversation.
So. Steve Bannon. One of your best customers?
Yep. People don’t know Steve like I do. He’s a manscaper’s dream — wonderfully hirsute from head to toe and all in between, and a regular loyal customer because his hairs grow almost twice practically overnight.
Steve is what we call Follicley Advantaged. You can hear his hair growing. It sounds like a million tiny voices singing Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluiah” in perfect harmony.
If not for me, Steve would look like Harry from “Harry and the Hendersons,” only with normal size feet.
Sounds like you admire him.
I do. Very few big-shot Washington power brokers like Steve come in almost every day, sometimes twice a day, to sculpt their topiary, so to speak.
And he’s fun! He pops in, sits in my chair, and says, “Give me the Steve Bannon,” meaning a haircut that looks like he desperately needs a haircut, like Ted Kaczynski the Unabomber. Who was also a client.
It’s harder than it looks to look unkempt. Look at Matthew McConaughey, who is always stylishly sloppy!
By the way, people think Jared Kushner must get ‘scaped every day because he’s so sleek. But I heard through the stylist grapevine — yeah, it’s a cliché but we do love our gossip — that Mr. Kushner was embalmed. So nothing grows on him. Anywhere, if you know what I mean. Such as eyebrows.
What about Trump’s hair? I mean…
Listen, guy — I’ll walk out, right now, interview over, if you can’t keep this respectful. That man wears his hair like a king wears a crown.
Ok, what about QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley?
Sorry. But let’s go back — you’re saying Steve Bannon deliberately wants to look like the Wild Man of Borneo?
Not exactly. Unlike that Borneo guy, Steve’s got a face that makes the camera thirsty, a physique to die from — I mean die for — and that innate GQ sense of casual sophisticate style. And of course, that thick, luxurious mane. Like Clooney. Who, truth be told, has Bannon hair but does something different with it.
And unlike Clooney, Steve’s a rebel. A real one, not like those millionaire Hollywood libs. The worse he looks to the elites, and the more they mock him, the better he looks to his followers. The New Yorker had a joke headline, “Bannon arrested for contempt of soap.” He fed that to Andy Borowitz but of course they’ll both deny it.
Let me put it this way. You’ve seen these MAGAs at Trump rallies and the insurrection, right? Bad, ill-fitting clothes. Disgusting beards. Hair that screams I don’t care. The 70s called, honey, they’re embarrassed by your mullet!
I get it. Steve Bannon isn’t disgusting — he’s branding.
I’m not sure about “branding,” but when he first came in, before he was famous, Steve showed me a bunch of pictures of people to show me the look he wanted.
I said, who are these crazy people with the wild hair? Steve explained they’re Leon Trotsky, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Abbie Hoffman and other famous revolutionaries who roused the unwashed masses to overthrow the government, like he’s trying to do. “You can’t rouse the unwashed masses if you look like you wash,” he said. “It’s called mirroring.”
Steve also loves that Trotsky quote, “If one cannot get along without a mirror, even in shaving oneself, how can one reconstruct oneself or one’s life?”
What about the indictment? Is he worried about going to prison?
Prison is exactly what he wants, like, “Oh, don’t throw me in that briar patch!”
It’s all part of his plan. The contempt of Congress, the indictment, the arrest, the trial if there is one, prison if he’s convicted — he’ll come out of this even stronger. He’ll be a folk hero like King, Mandela, Havel, Nehru and that lady from Myanmar who’s now a dictator.
But I do worry about the prison barbers. Not because they’ll massacre his look. They’ll never keep up with his hair.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.