We’ve been thinking a lot about Newt Gingrich’s hair.

Possibly too much.

It’s easily the best hair of the 2012 candidates—even though Romney gets all the press—and like Newt himself, the coif has shown remarkable evolution over the years. From its origins in ’60s flair, Newt’s hair has shown the influence of some of the most controversial grooming trends of our time, always evolving but retaining its essential Newtness.

So in the interest of helping Florida voters with their upcoming decision, we’d like to take a look at Speaker Gingrich’s hair through the years, beginning with a young man who bears a striking resemblance to Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords

The Year: The late 1960s
The Coiffure: This is our favorite Newt by far. With a different suit, he could be the Shins’ new keyboard player. His sideburns are low, and his forward lock is at its waviest—completing the full “M” with two full peaks and a curvilinear trough. He had so much ahead of him…

 
The Year: 1975
The Coiffure: This snap catches Speaker Gingrich as a geography professor at West Georgia College. The glasses are less hip and a distinguished touch of gray has slipped into the black, but the forward lock has been reduced to a single peak, ending in a defiant cowlick. Already, the decline had begun.

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Year: 1984
The Coiffure: This rally on the Capitol steps found the speaker at his most Conan-esque. The wave has been simplified to a single catenary arch, which rises and falls with the volume of his voice (we assume). Newt has literally turned his hair into a rhetorical flourish.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Year: 1990
The Coiffure: This is the dawn of what we like to call “Christian Coalition Mod.” In modern terms, it lands somewhere between the mop-top and Benedict Cumberbatch. The forward lock is a little more subdued now, thanks to Mr. Gingrich’s growing team of stylists.

The Year: 2012
The Coiffure: Which brings us to the present day. All trace of the forward wave has been abandoned, resulting in a unified silver helmet. Make no mistake: it’s the hair of a man running for nationwide office. (The disco cut, while glorious, won’t play in Kansas.) But if you look closely enough, you can see a few rebellious strands in the front, yearning to breathe free and curl into a glorious wave once more…

Maybe after November.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom