Did Obama Dye His Hair?

There may be no better place for someone to let his hair down than the neighborhood barber shop.

So political commentator and Early Show contributor Laura Schwartz stopped by the Hyde Park Hair Salon, a few blocks from Barack Obama's home, where Obama's been a regular for more than 13 years -- including a haircut the day before the show's Tuesday visit.

He uses the same barber all the time, Zariff.

What do they talk about?

"Anything, from A-to-Z," Zariff told Schwartz. "Sports, family, community."

But not politics.

"He loves (the) Hyde Park (neighborhood), so he wants to know everything that's going on here," Zariff explained.

He says Obama himself hasn't changed much over the years, but his haircut sure has: "It's been gradual. (From) long, to what you see right now, Id say, probably over the last three years."

It was Zariff who cut Obama's hair before the Democratic convention in 2004, when his keynote address thrust him onto the national stage. "That was a lot of fun!" Zariff remembers.

Obama's cut is now "a lot shorter," Zariff pointed out. "You know, a lot closer."

And ye says that style is becoming all the rage in the shop, as customers come in an request the Obama Cut "all the time. Especially the kids. They love him. (Kids) as young as 10, 7, you know? All the way to 60!"

Then came the potentially explosive question: Are the rumors true that Obama used to have his hair dyed to try to look younger, but no longer does, in an attempt to appear more experienced?

"No controversy," Zariff responded quickly. "One hundred percent natural. No dye."

Has he ever?!

"Never has. He doesn't have time for it!"

A customer whose hair Zariff was cutting as he spoke to Schwartz, one who's also been having his hair cut at the shop for many years, said there are "exciting times for the neighborhood, Chicago and the country, as well."

The shop's owner, Ishmael Aliman, told Schwartz he plans a party Election Night, and he's definitely feeling good about Obama's chances.

That sentiment was echoed loud and clear, in unison, by the rest of the patrons and barbers in the shop when Schwartz asked whether they're excited about what could happen in a week.

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