HAIR WARS

Washington hairdresser Gabriel DeBakey, who did Hillary Rodham Clinton's State of the Union do, is so thrilled with his high-profile client that he often works through the night sketching fresh designs—just to be ready for that last-minute cry of help before a White House dinner. He can pull off a hairdo in under 40 minutes, something he learned coiffing Paris runway models.

But DeBakey, 38, has competition. Beverly Hills hair man Cristophe, 35, the stylist who did Hillary's Inaugural Day do, is moving to town. He has no formal deal to do the First Lady's hair, but if she should call, how could he turn her away?

But hold on a minute—who's doing Hillary's hair on a daily basis? No contest there. Says spokeswoman Lisa Caputo: "Nobody is doing it but herself."

DON'T DOUBT THOMASES
These are busy days for White House security guards as they feverishly try to memorize the faces of big-shot Administration officials who expect to breeze through the front gate without fuss. To avoid any unpleasant scenes, the staff has posted a crude photocopy of a Washington Post article containing every Cabinet member's visage. Also displayed prominently nearby is a large Polaroid snapshot of Susan Thomases, the brash New York lawyer and intimate of the First Lady. Attached is an urgent advisory that she has been granted "second-floor access"—permission to enter the ultraprivate West Wing corridor where Hillary has an office. It just goes to show that being an FOH (friend of Hillary's) may be more important than having a top-level Administration post.

DANCING BEAR
By day, Chicago Congressman Dan Rostenkowski is the power-wielding chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the panel that writes the nation's tax laws. But by night "Rosty" turns into a light-footed party animal—if the recent retreat for Democratic officeholders in Baltimore is any indication. The 18-term Congressman led a conga line of Dems and draped a red tablecloth over his head at a Sock Hop held at Johns Hopkins University. The fun probably helped Rosty forget about the ongoing federal investigation into whether he abused his congressional expense account and appropriated campaign money for his personal use.