Gawker: Trump Hair Mystery Solved (Hint: It's a Weave)

On May 24 Gawker reported receiving a tip that Donald Trump's mysterious orange pouffe is in fact a hair extension technique marketed as microcylinder attachment, and costing tens of thousands of dollars per treatment.

The intervention involves the use of skeins of natural donor hair. Each skein consists of a line of hairs attached to a thread about one inch in length. The threads are then attached end-to-end in concentric circles over the client’s head. The circles of thread are then anchored to each other by separate threads, which radiate from the center so that the underside of the resulting hairpiece resembles a spider’s web. The client’s natural hair is attached to the hairpiece by forty to sixty separate threads. Each of those threads is attached at one end to the web and at the other end to a tiny metal clamp around a few strands of natural hair at the scalp. Every few weeks, as the natural hair grows out from the scalp, the hairpiece loosens on the head. This places increased tension on the natural hair to which the microcylinders are attached and can cause hair breakage. A maintenance procedure (maintenance) is necessary wherein the clamps must be removed and replaced closer to the scalp. A maintenance tightens the hairpiece on the client’s head.

According to the Gawker article, the purveyor of "microcylinder extensions," Edward Ivari, was a man Trump could admire. Apparently Ivari markets himself as a doctor and pioneer in the field of hair restoration, although there is no record of his having a medical degree. None of the hair restoration specialists Gawker contacted for its article had heard of Ivari or his work. Ivari had business licenses suspended four times in California, for tax issues. An archived copy of the Ivari Center website from 1997, showing text dated 1992, lists the address of the center as Trump Tower, 25th floor, which Gawker asserts is also the location of Trump's offices. A 2009 lawsuit characterizes Ivari as "one of several aliases used ... in the furtherance of various highly suspicious and illegal operations in the United States, the Middle East, and elsewhere." The lawsuit suggests that Ivari essentially attempted to extort funds from the plaintiff by demanding payments beyond what had been initially agreed, to finish a partially complete hair restoration job.

Gawker speculates that the Ivari Center's address overlapping with Trump's offices, combined with the center's gradually disappearing public profile suggests that Trump may have singlehandedly been supporting the business.