When the history of the Paula Jones case is written, it will be decided that one of the most important factors was hair.

I didn't realize this until I was seated in a unisex beauty parlor last week after Jones' lawsuit was thrown out, and Jerry Goelzer said, "Every woman Starr subpoenaed was more concerned about her hair than her legal rights. I had three customers last week who pleaded, `Jerry, make me look like the grand jury will believe me.'"I gave each of them a soft texture and a warm blond color. One of them called me the next night and said a federal marshal had asked her for a date."

I was impressed. "You can't have justice if you don't have a trustworthy hairdo."

Goelzer said, "That's how people decide guilt or innocence. Monica Lewinsky was in real hot water until she changed hair stylists at the Watergate."

A customer getting a shampoo said, "Someone really did a job on Linda Tripp. Everyone thought the mike was buried in her blow dry. But when she changed stylists we all started looking for the tape under her elbow."

Goelzer said, "Every woman called in front of the grand jury knew her ordeal would take place either on the courtroom steps or her front lawn. They were aware that if they looked too sexy they would be criticized by the TV-viewing public. At the same time, if they appeared too dowdy, no one would believe the president gave them a bad time."

The manicure lady said, "That was Paula Jones' problem. She didn't know what to do with her hair, or even how to part it, and that is why the judge threw the case out."

I said, "I heard the reason for it is that she had so many people advising her on what to do with her tresses she could never get it straight. She should not have changed lawyers - she should have changed beauty salons."

Kathleen Willey's name came up.

"Do you think she's telling the truth?" I asked.

Goelzer said, "She looked truthful on `60 Minutes,' but if she goes on Barbara Walters I would take a little off the top."

Even though Paula Jones lost big, I think she has dramatized once and for all the importance of the right hairdo when attacking the president of the United States.

They have a saying at Pepperdine Law School: "If someone combs her own hair before facing a Starr grand jury, she has a fool for a hairdresser."

Los Angeles Times Syndicate