Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (43, Green Party) spends around 11,000 euros a month on hairdressers and make-up artists. The Freital hairdresser and stylist Claudia Mihaly-Anastasio (49) had a few tips for the politician.

FOCUS online: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock incurred more than €11,000 in costs for hairdressers and make-up artists in November and December. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit reported this at the CDU’s request. What do you say to this as a hairdresser?

Claudia Mihaly-Anastasio: I would like to speak here not only as a hairdresser, but also as a city councilor. I’m currently running again for the city council and the district council here in Freital. When I heard about the 11,000 euros, I gasped. We’re really circling like crazy here, four million euros are missing from the city budget. A big issue is the funding that the clubs apply for from the city. Without clubs, cultural and social life in the city cannot function. The club’s funding affects children, young people, seniors – everyone. The fact is: Nowadays, clubs are more dependent on support than ever. At the same time we have to cut and cut and cut, every cent is turned over several times. But things are obviously different with Annalena Baerbock.

Would you now tell us your thoughts as a hairdresser?

Mihaly-Anastasio: Of course. My first impulse: How ugly does a person have to be to need so much money for hair and make-up?

Do you think Ms. Baerbock is ugly?

Mihaly-Anastasio: I took a closer look at it. No, she’s not ugly. In fact, I’ve given a lot of thought to how this insane amount comes together. I suspect that travel costs for the stylists are also included. And Ms. Baerbock probably won’t stay in a hostel when she’s on the road. One thing must be made very clear: As Foreign Minister, Ms. Baerbock represents our country. She has to look good. Point. I do have one tip for the stylist, however.

Who would be?

Mihaly-Anastasio: It would be better if she took her on as an employee. I assume this could save 10,000 euros. Or let’s say 8000 euros, at least. It would be even better if the minister would do without a stylist for long stretches and do the work herself. She could attend a seminar to prepare her for this. I’ll put it this way: Ms. Baerbock isn’t always out and about on official occasions. There will also be days when she is only in the office. For days like this, doing her own hair should do it. God knows it’s not a particularly complicated haircut that she has.

But can anyone really do that – style themselves?

Mihaly-Anastasio: To a certain extent, yes. Let’s not kid ourselves: the hairdressing profession is a craft, an apprenticeship. You can learn any craft.

Even without talent?

Mihaly-Anastasio: The basic moves are always the same. Of course, I also had apprentices who were less talented. Particularly sophisticated cuts may not be ideal here. But again: Ms. Baerbock’s haircut is uncomplicated. I can imagine that she sees things differently herself. Also, I would assume that she doesn’t necessarily want to hear the opinion of someone like me. In general, hairdressers can set their pricing however they want. What we have down is the minimum wage…

Do you pay that?

Mihaly-Anastasio: No, but here in East Germany many people get it. For someone like that, the minister’s styling expenses are of course a slap in the face. Or let’s think of the many small hairdressers who certainly don’t have 11,000 euros a month – as sales! On the other hand, everything is open when it comes to pricing. The job title is often changed, for example “artist”. I’m not a low-price hairdresser either, I’m more in the middle segment, but I can imagine that some people will dismiss my arguments with “then she just has the wrong clientele.” I would reply: I have the right customers. People come to me.

What kind of money do people leave with you?

Mihaly-Anastasio: A customer comes every week. This is my hair dryer dyslexic. I can say this, she calls herself that. For her, we chose a haircut that looks okay even if she just blows it dry. That means: Even if I do that, it won’t cost much money. To do this, the customer invests in crazy colors. She leaves around 200 euros a month in the salon.

Is that a peak value?

Mihaly-Anastasio: I already have customers who invest 1,500 euros. But then they get hair extensions. I can rule that out for Annalena Baerbock. The minister would give me 68.50 euros for a haircut. With coloring it would be 150 euros. However, I discovered gray streaks when I zoomed in on recent photos of her. So I guess it doesn’t stain. So 68.50 euros.

And that would be enough, every six weeks?

Mihaly-Anastasio: If you really want to be perfectly styled, you should also come to the salon two to three times a week. Washing, blow-drying, laying, that’s 39.50 euros each. If you do this three times a week, you’ll really be perfect. Again, an alternative would be to learn the most important moves. I give such seminars regularly. The Foreign Minister is warmly invited to come along and tackle her hair drying dyslexia – or whatever is preventing her from spending money on hairdressers in moderation. Now I’m speaking again in my dual role, once as a hairdresser and then as a city councilor. Because with this measure we would save a lot of tax money in the long term. In my opinion, there should be an upper limit for such expenditure. Maybe that would give politicians, ladies and gentlemen, something to think about. The 3,000 euros that the Federal Chancellor charges monthly is also an issue…

What do you mean?

Mihaly-Anastasio: 3000 euros? For three hairs? Let’s be honest, if you drive the machine over it once, it will do it. A machine haircut costs me 18.50 euros.

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