COLUMNS

Locks lowdown: Styling the Bush women

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • May 11, 2006

by Karen Feld

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First Jenna, now Barbara Bush — the president’s daughter, not his mother — has a new hair color. The twin’s locks are now a rich chocolate base with dark honey strands. “Her eye color stands out more,” says her hairdresser, Georgetown’s Nuri Yurt of Toka Salon. Yurt, originally from Istanbul (now an American citizen), is responsible not only for styling first lady Laura Bush but also for changing both twins’ hairstyles. Last weekend, he styled all of them and the elder Barbara Bush as well before a cousin’s wedding festivities.

Attending to the first lady

Yurt respects their privacy but says, “The whole family has gorgeous hair.” Here’s more first family hair dish from their stylist:

Laura: “She’s very classy and elegant,” Yurt said. “A sweetheart.” Her hair is “coarse, thick, and requires lots of maintenance and just enough texturizing.” He colors it a dark honey with warm, gentle highlights and uses a new ammonia-free product called “Chi” ionic permanent shine. It’s made in the USA by Farouk. Yurt, who has 27 years’ experience in the hair business, says, “No matter how talented you are, your tools help you.”

“Laura is always reading or writing while I style her hair. My focus is her hair. I don’t realize what’s going on.” It takes Yurt about 15 or 20 minutes to blow-dry the first lady’s hair in the White House beauty salon.

First daughters: sassy and classy

The twins: “Each has a different flavor. … It’s not the conversation, but they are different.” He talks fashion with them when they go to his Georgetown salon. “They have great taste.”

Jenna is so warm that “when she walks in the room, the energy changes.” Yurt cut her hair to chin length because “she has a beautiful shoulder and neck line.” “It’s not conservative, but nice and sassy.” Her natural color — a dark blond — is “so beautiful that we just do platinum streaks to make a stronger statement,” Yurt said.

Barbara is quieter, classy and elegant. She has darker hair and lighter skin, so he uses a rich chocolate base, which is close to her natural color, with dark honey highlights. Laura and Barbara have the same light blue eyes and incredible bone structure. “Even a $3 T-shirt looks good on Jenna.”

Who else needs the Toka touch?

And whose locks would the first hairdresser like to get his hands on? Condi.

“Don’t you think she needs it?” Yurt asked me. “And Hillary Clinton. Her haircut is sculpted too much. Her head is so big. It should be softer around her smile.”

There’s no eradicating Jack Kemp

Former quarterback-turned-politician Jack Kemp, 70, undergoing daily radiation for prostate cancer, looked terrific at the Israel Independence Day festivities, hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. Daniel Ayalon at the Mellon Auditorium last week. He told a story about his grandson Josh, 6, who is fascinated with words and went to school and told his classmates, “Grandpa gets eradicated every morning for 10 minutes.” Kemp, who now calls himself the liberal wing of the Republican party, said, laughing, “I’m sure there are some people who would like to see me eradicated.”

On the Tommy, with sailing’s best

I had the incredible opportunity to experience a trial race on the Tommy the other day during the Volvo Ocean Race — one of the world’s biggest sailing events — stop-over in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Tommy is fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger’s state-of-the-art Extreme 40 catamaran. Randy Smyth, former America’s Cup winner and double Olympic medalist, was our competitive helmsman — and, of course, the four-man crew was outfitted in red Hilfiger sailing apparel, as was yours truly. While I held tight to the trampoline netting, they whizzed around the harbor.

Smyth told me that he capsized in a similar boat with actor Pierce Brosnan while filming “The Thomas Crown Affair” and then talked about his adventures filming “Water World” as skipper for Kevin Costner. Costner got stuck on top of an 80-foot mast. “Luckily, an inflatable took him away so he didn’t vent any anger,” Smyth said. Smyth and his all-American team were victorious in Baltimore. They’ve been racing together for a while, and the impressive teamwork was like a well-choreographed dance.

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