Beyond that, long hair also evokes the Bible, not to mention Moses (and any other number of Old Testament prophets). Also, it connects to Gandalf the Gray and magicians of his ilk, as well as Albert Einstein and the myth of the mad genius scientist too busy experimenting with electricity to deal with a combover.

Also poets, though their long flowing hair tends to not be gray, at least in the collective imagination.

What we do not associate with long hair: former world leaders.

Indeed, what Mr. Blair’s hair shows as much as anything is the unspoken public assumption that once our leaders leave the highest office in whatever land, they will remain frozen as they were at that moment, preserved in amber and memories just as they were when they steered the ship of state. Even if they were relatively young while at the helm.

That way, when they re-emerge as elder statesmen every once in a while to bestow their hard-earned wisdom on the world, their authority is recognizable. Sure, we know they may be getting on with their lives as private citizens, but they aren’t supposed to flaunt it. It makes them seem inconsistent. (Remember the hoo-ha around Hillary Clinton’s first lady hair cuts?) Unreliable.

As Mr. Blair apparently knows. He later told the Standard he was heading to a barber “imminently.”

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