The self-declared socialist, who regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway, spent nearly $300 on her hairdo at a pricey salon she frequents in downtown Washington, The Washington Times has learned.
The New York Democrat ventured into Last Tangle Salon on 19th Street Northwest last month and shelled out $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights, according to sources familiar with the salon.
A 20% tip would have added $52 to the bill.
Her stylist did not respond to a request for comment about the tip.
A staff member at Last Tangle Salon talked about the lawmaker as if she were a TV superstar, saying “AOC” was extremely nice and even took several selfies with patrons.
“AOC is the Eva Peron of American politics. She preaches socialism while living the life of the privileged,” said Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, referencing the former first lady of Argentina who was known for dressing in designer gowns and jewels while advocating a socialist agenda.
“There is nothing wrong with spending money to make yourself look better, especially as a personality who depends upon visual mediums for her power. But it is a bad look to spend hundreds of dollars to get your hair done to make a video decrying income inequality,” Mr. Manning said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez declined to comment.
She could have saved roughly $100 for the same hairstyle at the government-subsidized Capitol Hill barbershop.
The lawmaker could have saved money on the same services by visiting highly reviewed salons in her own district in the Bronx.
Her high-dollar hairdo stands in stark contrast to that of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator from Alabama who is a regular customer at Senate Hair Care Services in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building.
At that place, open to members of Congress and the public, a men’s cut runs about $20, though men’s haircuts there and everywhere else are cheaper than women’s.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who makes $174,000 a year representing a district that straddles the Bronx and Queens, has supported legislation to give herself and other Congress members a pay raise. She once argued that the congressional salary was too low and that higher pay would discourage corruption.
“Members are paid more than average — but the job requires 2 residences and we can’t take tax deductions for work costs,” she tweeted at the time. “No one wants to be the one to bring up increases, so instead people take advantage of insider trading loopholes & don’t close them for the extra cash.”
She also has complained about the cost of living in Washington, though she lives in a luxury apartment building in the trendy Navy Yard neighborhood, where rent for a no-frills studio apartment starts at $2,000 a month.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has plenty of company in the hair club for extravagant politicians.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, once spent $100 on a haircut.
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, splurged $600 on a hairdo during the campaign, prompting Vanity Fair to ask in a headline: “Is $600 too much for a haircut?”
Former Sen. John Edwards, who ran for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and was the 2004 vice presidential nominee, was known to pay more than $500 to his hairstylist. President Bill Clinton’s $200 haircut in 1993 at Los Angeles International Airport made headlines when two of the airport’s runways had to be shut down for nearly an hour during the procedure.
• Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.
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