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Michelle Obama. Picture: AP

Michelle Obama jokingly says a midlife crisis inspired her new haircut.

The First Lady revealed the new hairstyle last month on her 49th birthday, which came a few days before the festivities for President Barack Obama's second inauguration.

Mrs Obama was asked about the new haircut during an interview with talk-show host Rachael Ray.

"This is my midlife crisis," she said.

She said she got a fringe because she can't get a sports car and won't be allowed to bungee jump.

The interview was conducted via Skype and is scheduled to air on Wednesday.

The Rachael Ray show released excerpts on Monday.