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Yesterday,  October 1, a very peculiar day is celebrated: National Hair Day.

 This day was created by the NuMe Hair Products Company in 2017, for the general public and to complement the work of stylists, with their tools, products and everything intended to maintain hair beauty.

 Elvis always stood out for being a pioneer in everything.  Not only in his music, but also in his image, his way of moving, dressing and, of course, combing his hair… his hair color, his toupee, his sideburns…He was always unique and different.

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He reinvented the Pompadour hairstyle, and brought it back, making it famous in the 50s, adapted to men’s fashion, and made it a part of rock & roll and rockabilly culture. Talking about the toupee and rock ‘n roll is talking about Elvis, the greatest exponent of this type of hairstyle

 In the 50s, this hairstyle was not yet called “Pompadour” and was worn by Elvis and also by James Dean.  It was then called by other names (Quiff, Ducktail, Jelly Roll, Rocker, Greaser, or simply “The Elvis Cut”).


 In the 50’s, when he was young, he was always with his comb in hand, touching up his hairstyle.

 He used three different types of hair gel and fixative to achieve an impeccably sculpted hairstyle.  In the front part of him, he used a denser hair gel to get his pompadour fixed well, a different one for the top part, and for the back of his hair he used Vaseline.


 “I used to love watching him comb his hair in the morning,” his friend, musician Jimmie Rodgers Snow, recalled.  “He used three different oils for the hair. In the front, a very strong wax for the pompadour, some kind of oil for the top, and Vaseline in the back.

 He said it was the only way his hair would fall perfectly while he was performing.”

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 His hair color was natural blonde until his late teens, and even later.

 When Elvis started his career in Hollywood, at the movies, he decided to dye his hair jet black because he thought it made him look better on camera.

ELVIS 1960

The change of image of him was constant.

 As Elvis matured so did his hair, which became less oily and variegated from the 1950s.

 In the 60s, Elvis, who had already made the pompadour hairstyle famous in the 50s, made some changes, and in this decade he looked a little different.  His hair was a little longer.  A big pompadour was then shaped in the front with hair gel, and the sides were completely slick and flat.

 In the 70s, Elvis liked his hair much longer, denser and with bigger sideburns.

 With the passage of time, his hairstyle evolved and logically the work was left in the hands of his hairdressers, but always according to his own taste and criteria.

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 In 1969 Elvis made a radical change in the way he combed his hair, on the occasion of the movie “Change of Habit”.

 In an interview, the director of the movie, William A. Graham tells us how it happened:

ELVIS 1968

Graham tells us how he convinced Elvis to change his famous hairstyle to shoot the movie.

 “He had kind of a pompadour in front and his hair was full of grease,” Graham tells us.  And because this was a movie about a doctor who worked in the ghetto, it just wasn’t the right hairstyle, so I talked to him and I said, “Elvis, how would you feel if you changed your hair a little bit?  ”.

 Elvis told me that there was no problem, that he was willing to change it.

ELVIS 1969

“At the end, we got all the grease out of his hair and restyled it, and it was a landmark achievement. It was quite unusual to do that. And Elvis really liked it.”

 So they talked about who would do it.

 And I told him: ”Well, Elvis, do you like how my hair is?  I have a Japanese hairdresser in Beverly Hills cutting my hair right now,” and Elvis said: “Yeah, okay.”

 So we went to see Jan, my hairdresser, and she was the one who washed all the grease out of his hair and restyled it.  Elvis liked it a lot.

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 But Priscilla, Elvis’s wife, liked it even more.  Priscilla, when she saw Elvis, was so amazed, that she knelt before Graham and said, “Billy Graham, thank you, thank you, thank you.”  “You don’t know what it’s like to live with all this fat everywhere.”

 “They lived in a house in Trousdale and it was all white,” Graham said.  ”The carpets were white, the furniture was white, everything was white.  So Elvis would lean back against a chair or sofa and leave a big grease stain.  You know, the clothes, the pillows in the bedroom… So, his wife, Priscilla was also very happy to see this change.”

 A curious anecdote that Graham always told in his interviews.

Information provided by ELVIS. El Chico de Tupelo.

Rosa Garcia Mora.



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