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Want to know the secret of President Trump’s distinctive ‘do? Madame Tussauds says that it takes lots & lots & lots of product

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Want to know the secret of President Trump’s distinctive ‘do? Madame Tussauds says that it takes lots & lots & lots of product

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Everyone has a bad hair day every now and then.

Well, imagine what Ashley Priselac - the studio manager for Madame Tussauds Orlando - has to deal with. Especially on those mornings when she arrives at this I-Drive attraction to do her usual 6:30 a.m. walk-thru and then discovers that a good percentage of the 75 - 80 wax figures that are on display here now have disheveled 'dos.

"Sometimes - just by looking at the figures during morning walk-thru - it's easy to tell that we'd had a large group come through the attraction the previous day. People who'd had a good time, but maybe gotten a little handsy with the figures on display," Priselac explained during a recent phone interview.

"Which is fine. We want people to enjoy themselves when they're here at Madame Tussauds. To get right up-close with their favorite sports heroes, performers, celebrities & historical figures." Ashley continued. "But at the same time, we want people who are coming to visit our attraction the very next day to also have a good time. To also be wowed by our figures' likenesses, by how authentic they look. Which is why we sometimes have to scramble in the hours between that early morning walk-thru and when Madame Tussauds Orlando officially opens to the public each day at 10 a.m."

And how does Priselac & her team deal with a wax figure who now has a slightly askew hairdo? The exact same way that you yourself deal with a bad hair day. With a comb, a blow dryer and a little product.

"Mind you, while making sure that each figure's hair looks great is obviously a big part of our morning maintenance & preparation procedures, it's not the only part. We always take into consideration the entire figure," Ashley stated. "Not just its hair, but also that figure's face, its wardrobe, all of the props that go into making up that particular display at the attraction. It's really everything you see. You want to make sure that each figure isn't just ready to go for the day but that it also looks as authentic as it possibly can."


Copyright Merlin Entertainment Group. All rights reserved

How authentic? Well, let's review what the Madame Tussauds Orlando team did as they were getting ready to put that attraction's newly arrived Justin Bieber figure out on display last month.

"We received that figure on a Friday and it was then supposed to go out on display the following Wednesday. But then - over that weekend - Justin posted an image on Instagram which showed he'd just gotten a new tattoo. And since we knew that his fans would now be looking for that tattoo at our attraction ... Well, we actually postponed putting his figure out on the floor for a few days so that we could then put a copy of this 'Better at 70' tattoo in the proper place on his figure," Priselac said. "Thankfully, that image which Justin posted on Instagram gave us some good reference. So if you lift up the ripped knee on this figure's jeans today, you can now see that Justin's latest tattoo is right where it's supposed to be."

So what's the figure at Madame Tussauds Orlando that has the most interaction with guests (and - as a direct result - needs a lot of maintaining)? Hands down, that would be President Trump. Who was put on display at this I-Drive attraction back in January of this year right before the real Commander-in-Chief's inauguration.


Each individual strand of hair is inserted one at a time into each figure's wax head.
Copyright Merlin Entertainment Group. All rights reserved

"But on the upside, Trump's figure is actually slightly easier than the others to maintain because we're now so used to working on it all the time," Ashley laughed. "Most days, we just do some quick maintenance on the floor. But at least once a week, we'll take President Trump back into the studio so that we can first wash his hair and then give it a full styling."

Just so you know:  It isn't just Trump that receives this level of TLC. The team at Madame Tussauds put a lot of care & thought into maintaining the hair on each of the wax figures that it has on display. Which is understandable, given that it takes approximately 140 hours to insert each individual hair into a figure's head. And since each of these hairs has to be inserted at just the right angle using a tiny forked-needle-like tool in order to replicate how that performer, politician or celebrity's actual hair actually falls / flows in real life ... Madame Tussauds then makes every effort to preserve & protect the finished product.

"And once all of those hairs are inserted in that wax head, it's then cut and styled to look exactly as it should," Priselac continued. "Now when it comes to President Trump, Madame Tussauds actually have a styling tutorial that we follow for this figure. One that makes sure that the President Trump which is on display at our Orlando attraction looks exactly like the one at our New York attraction. Which looks exactly like the one that's on display at our Washington D.C. attraction. For us, it's all about authenticity and consistency."


Copyright Merlin Entertainment Group. All rights reserved

Given that there's been much speculation about how our Commander-in-Chief actually achieves his unique coif, I asked Ashley if she had anything surprising to share about what it took to make Trump's hair look like that every day.

"Surprising? I think what people might find surprising is the amount of product that we have to use in order to keep this figure's hair in place. I mean, you want it to look soft but - at the same time - you also need his hair to hold that exact shape. To look the way people expect President Trump's hair to look. So we use a lot of product.  More product than people might think," Priselac said. "To be honest, the most surprising thing would be how Mr. Trump's hair looks right after it's been washed. If you were able to come backstage and see this figure's hair before we blow dry it out, style it & then affix it with product, it really looks entirely different."

Which makes President Trump sound like he's the figure who requires the most maintenance on a day-to-day basis at Madame Tussauds Orlando. But that's where you'd be wrong. The award for most fussed figure at this facility actually goes to Audrey Hepburn.


Copyright Merlin Entertainment Group. All rights reserved

"But that's because this figure is styled after the opening scenes from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.' And Audrey Hepburn had such an elegant, beautiful look in that movie, so chic & polished, it takes a little extra effort every day to maintain this figure. Especially that hairstyle on the top of her head," Ashley enthused. "But since our guests love interacting with this classic Hollywood star, having their picture taken with her, we do everything we can to make sure our Audrey Hepburn figure looks beautiful & perfect before we open the door each morning."

And the same attention to detail goes into maintaining Justin Bieber's concert-ready coif. Or - for that matter - President Trump's eyebrows. Which are dyed the exact same color as his carefully engineered ... What exactly should his hairstyle be called? A comb-over? A pompadour? In spite of her intimate knowledge of this wax figure's follicles, Priselac wasn't willing to get into any specifics.

"Getting Trump's hair to look that way every day is definitely a challenge," Ashley concluded. "It takes all sorts of spray styling gel and then more product than you can imagine. Lots & lots & lots of product."

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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