Bad Hair Day / Good Hair Day — You Call It

My friend Alan Hanson writes a wonderful blog about Elvis Presley.  The Elvis-History-Blog is well researched and it’s full of interesting and informative articles.

Above is Alan’s blog for this week.  He and I have often come up with similar ideas, but usually they are years apart after time has dulled our memory of the other’s work.  This week we both independently decided to do a blog on Elvis’ hair.  One thing I especially like about Alan’s story is this quote by Red West from his book Elvis, What Happened?:  “That hair has always been [Elvis’] crowning glory. I have never known any other human to take more time over his hair.  He would spend hours on it, smoothing, mussing it up and combing it and combing it again.”

With that much concern for his hair, you would think Elvis had nothing but good hair days.  However, as you will see here, he had some bad days, too.  Also included are some shots where you might have to think about whether you would label them bad hair of good hair days for Elvis.



Here are two easy ones.  Mid-seventies Elvis looked good in his long hair and enormous sideburns.   The picture on the right looks pretty rough, but in fairness to Elvis, it was taken after a strenuous karate workout.  A good shower and shampoo plus some of that relentless smoothing and combing certainly had it looking sharp again.



Here are two young Elvis shots.  In that iconic photo on the left, that we have all seen many times, it looks like Elvis worked on his hair quite a bit.  Larry Geller, Elvis’ long-time hairdresser, has written about how unruly his hair was.  In the second photo, it looks like Elvis’ hair had a mind of its own and rebelled about being slicked into place.


Speaking of slicked down hair, how do you like the left shot?  Red West also wrote, “The handfuls of Vaseline he put on it made it look much darker than it was.”  Elvis had a few handfuls on his hair the day this photo was snapped.  The other picture shows Elvis with a more natural look.



Most folks would agree that Elvis never looked better than when he appeared in the ’68 Comeback Special.  However, after several hours of filming, his hair was falling in his face a good bit.  I don’t care.  He still looks great to me.  A quick look at the picture with Tom Jones makes it seem Elvis had a huge mop of hair.  Look closely, and you can see that much of it is just the shadow from the photographer’s flashbulb.



Here are two photos of Elvis in Hawaii, one from 1973 and one from 1956.  He looks to have been outside in both shots, but the wind was probably blowing only in the 1956 shot.



The wind most likely was responsible for this unusual look to Elvis’ hair as he captained a boat on vacation.  It seems like Priscilla wasn’t too keen on having sea air blowing through her hair.

Here’s another photo of Elvis and Priscilla, plus cute little Lisa.  There are some other photos from this family setting floating around on the internet, and Elvis’ hair looks good in all of them.

This is a Photoshopped picture.  You can tell the sunglasses were added, because Elvis did not wear this type sunglasses in the 70s.  They are not like the custom designed models he favored and spent a lot of money on.  The hair is real, however, and it was a good hair day when the original photo was taken.


©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

5 responses to “Bad Hair Day / Good Hair Day — You Call It

  1. I dont know about you but if you read Elvis what happened.
    1977-RedWest,SonnyWest,David Hebler bodyguards.
    Whom were fired probarbly was retalilation being fired no more money/gifts.
    Even Red west brought up phone call to Elvis about payments.
    These men livlihood was take away from them were angry had temper.
    Look at Sonny West he sure told a lot in later years .
    He admit that he took Speed (uppers) and Sleeping Pills.
    He spew his stories in book he didnt mention it.
    Lamar Fike was not in the book only Red & Sonny & Dave..
    Lamar Fike admit he took pills and enjoy the ride.
    Lamar Fike admit he liked get high with Elvis.(viceVersa)
    Lamar Fike admit nobody forced you to take pills .
    Lamar Fike admit Memphis Mafia was gauntlet.
    IF women want Elvis they had to go through Gauntlet.
    Lamar Fike said he got more sex than toilet seat.
    which means Bodyguards used position get favors women.
    So Larry did you use your position to get elvis favors?
    Job benefits Sex ,Drugs,Alcohol,Partys,Money,Vacations,Homes Etc.
    Larry G what benefits got from Elvis i am sure got paid 4 services?
    Did you think get Elvis to read books contributed to his problems?
    Cause the books didnt stop Elvis from his lifestlye habits/Routines?

  2. In the Aloha concert dress rehearsal video you can see his super long. After he viewed the tapes he decided to trim it quite a bit befor the official show the next night.

  3. Yes maybe photo shopped but Elvis had 2 types of sunglasses in the 70’s. He did wear this style in the 1972 tour,it’s on film.

  4. Not sure whether the photo is Photoshopped or not, but Elvis was certainly wearing these type of sunglasses in THE 70’s, mainly in 72 (on tour interview and gospel) and August 74, but also madison square garden backstage. Cheers, Niek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.