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.
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