French President Francois Hollande is facing a scandal over the exorbitant price of his haircuts.

The revelations that the Socialist leader — elected on a populist mandate of taxing the super-wealthy — spends nearly $11,000 a month on his presidential barber has been dubbed #Coiffeurgate. Hollande, 61, is not known for having unusually difficult hair.

The scandal further mars the image of the historically unpopular Hollande as he tries to show a dignified front Thursday on Bastille Day, the country's national holiday, while greeting the public. It also deepens his uphill struggle to recapture the Elysee palace in next May's general election.

The original story by the Le Canard Enchaine newspaper was confirmed Wednesday by French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll, who tried to defend his boss.