The XX Factor

Marla Maples and Tiffany Trump Allegedly Try, Fail to Procure Free Hairstyling for the Inauguration

Marla Maples and Tiffany Trump receive free blowouts on Aug. 27, 2009, in London.

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Marla Maples and Tiffany Trump are using Donald Trump’s inauguration as a scam to get free blowouts, if a Washington stylist who came forward in the Washington Post is to be believed.

Tricia Kelly, who has tamed the tresses of clients in both major parties, thought she had settled on a fee of $200 to do both Maples’ and Tiffany’s hair, which was already lower than she had initially asked for: Kelly had requested $150 in addition to her usual fee for travel but was told the budget could not accommodate that. (Red flag No. 1, in retrospect.) But then an assistant from Maples’ team came back with a new offer: How about free fifty, aka zero dollars and no cents? Would Kelly agree to do the women’s hair for the priceless exposure to her craftsmanship it would no doubt bring?

But Marla and Tiffany had messed with the wrong freelance stylist. Kelly went to the Post with her story: “I told them … I work for a fee, not for free,” she said. Though she was “reluctant” to talk to the press and had previously prided herself on her “discretion,” she felt the president-elect’s family’s behavior was too egregious to let stand. It also provided a serendipitous excuse to use a presumably pre-existing photo of herself standing in front of the Supreme Court, which was provided to the Post “courtesy Tricia Kelly.”* A good lesson to all our nation’s hairstylists: Have a photo of yourself staring plaintively off into the distance near a national landmark on hand, should you ever need to speak out against beauty-centric abuses of power by an incoming president’s B-list family members.

According to the Post, free beauty treatments are rare in Washington, or at least used to be when people still concerned themselves with ethics and ethics optics. After getting in touch with the Post, Kelly reportedly received ominous messages from Maples’ camp, accusing her of “messing with the president of the United States.”

Maples and Tiffany have long been figures of mystery in the Trump-iverse. Is there bad blood between them? He could still suspect Maples of allegedly leaking those tax returns to the New York Times, and poor Tiffany always gets the short end of the stick. Does Trump hate them? Do they hate him? Do they hate him but strain to align themselves with him publicly because they need his money? Money which he may or may not really have?

The money piece is the other big question: If John Edwards could afford $400 haircuts on the reg, why can’t these Trump adjacents can’t swing the funds to get their hair done for the president-elect’s first and arguably most important event? Trump is very rich, as he’s told us many times, though paying for services rendered has not always been one of his strong suits. Is he devoting all his hair budget to his current wife, Melania, and his more famous daughter, Ivanka, shunting his second wife and younger daughter to the side? Surely Trump could spring for a sub-$100 trip to Drybar for the two of them at the very least (they both seem to favor the curling-iron-happy looks of blowout bars the world over), even if he doesn’t want to go all out. But this is the same man who once canceled health coverage for his sick nephew. Which leaves the two of them backed into a corner and wondering if our new age of grift will, for all their suffering, at least result in some free hairdos.

*Correction, Jan. 17, 2017: This post originally misidentified the building Tricia Kelly is standing in front of in the photo in the Washington Post. It is the Supreme Court, not the Lincoln Memorial.