03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

'First Barber' Zariff Talks About Obama's Custom Cut, Graying Hair

'First Barber' Zariff, of the Hyde Park Hair Salon, spoke to Essence magazine about the president's $21 custom coif.

On the invention of 'The Obama Cut':

The Obama Cut is a custom cut. It came about in 2004 when Mr. Obama came into the shop and said he was speaking at the Democratic National Convention that evening. So I had to make him look sharp. Before that he was wearing his hair longer and a little curlier. I took it down to a short cut, tapered on the sides, back and neck. I wanted it to look more natural.

On whether stress is making the president go gray faster than average:

Not at all. It's average for men in his age group. I don't see a lot of the changes that other people see since I cut his hair regularly. He's not really big on vanity so I don't think he notices that much.

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