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Pablo Martinez Monsivais  /  AP
President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, following their return from Jean Biden’s funeral services. The first lady's hair was cut within the last week, after she returned from the family's holiday vacation in Hawaii.
TODAY staff and wire
updated 1/13/2010 3:55:54 PM ET 2010-01-13T20:55:54

First lady Michelle Obama has a new hairdo.

Mrs. Obama unveiled a shorter, above-the-shoulder bob on Tuesday, when she accompanied President Barack Obama to Delaware for the funeral of Vice President Joe Biden's 92-year-old mother, Jean.

At least a couple of inches of Mrs. Obama's dark locks have been sheared off.

Mrs. Obama tried to minimize the buzz her new do would set off by telling reporters Wednesday that it was just “a little cut,” unworthy of being newsworthy. But as with other first ladies before her, any clothing or hairstyle change is noticed and talked about.

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Remember Hillary Rodham Clinton's ever-changing hairdos during her husband Bill Clinton's White House years?

The first lady had allowed her hair to grow longer last year. Since November, she wore it mostly in an updo, tucked under or pulled into a tight bun, as she did when she returned to the White House on Jan. 4 after the family's holiday vacation in Hawaii.

The haircut was sometime between her return and Tuesday.

The last time there was much buzz about the first lady’s ’do was during the summer when she appeared at a country music performance at the White House with a shorter, sleeker look. Many web sites and blogs praised her updo and wondered whether or not it was actually a new cut. So was it? Nope, it wasn't a haircut. Michelle Obama had just pinned it up.

So now that the she has in fact snipped some inches off her signature, elegant bob, will her new look still cause a sensation? Will sites and blogs praise her new ‘do? And most of all will fans of the first lady follow suit and head to the salon?

Mrs. Obama's office had no comment Wednesday on why she shortened her hair. But at least two special occasions are approaching. Mrs. Obama turns 46 on Sunday, and next Wednesday marks the couple's first year as president and first lady.

Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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