Everyone knows that Trump's golden helmet of hair is fucking weird, even the man himself, but no one can quite agree on why. Is it hair plugs? A rug? Was the president just born with some kind of mutant follicles that naturally sprout brittle, raw spaghetti-strands of hair?
Gawker's 2016 investigation into the secrets of Trump's mane made a compelling case for it being an exorbitantly expensive weave, but conflicting theories abound. A former Apprentice stylist swore that every hair was real, albeit poorly dyed, drugged, and hair-sprayed into submission. Michael Wolff's White House tell-all, Fire and Fury, quotes Ivanka as saying her father's hairdo is the result of a scalp-reduction surgery—likely the same late-80s procedure detailed in The Lost Tycoon.
Unfortunately, none of this amounts to more than hearsay or speculation, since no one has gotten close enough to truly inspect his scalp save for Jimmy Fallon, who squandered his shot on that goddamned ruffle. But on Wednesday, longtime Trump hair reporter Ashley Fienberg spotted video footage of the president that may give us answers, once and for all.
The 20-second clip captures Trump from behind as he boarded Air Force One last Friday. As he's halfway up the stairs, a gust of wind catches him just right and peels away a flap of golden strands to reveal his elusive bald spot, finally laid bare for the world to see!
From the look of it, Ivanka's explanation from Fire and Fury is spot on.
"[Ivanka] often described the mechanics behind it to friends," Wolff writes, "an absolutely clean pate—a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery—surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray."
Trump appears to be sporting an overgrown tonsure, like a monk who's let himself go. The strands from this overgrown ring of hair come up and over his bald spot, shielding it from view, and are then likely held in place by a variety of aerosol-based products.
The clip is not extremely hi-res and does not give us enough to fully plot out the cartography of the president's crown or prove Ivanka's allegations of scalp surgery, but it is a giant leap toward understanding what's really going on up there. If nothing else, it at least disproves the theory that McDonald's fries cure baldness. Pore over the footage frame by frame and draw your own conclusions.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.