Elvis Presley often referred to as ‘The King’ is a household name. One of the most frequently asked questions about his life is whether or not he was naturally blonde. In this article, we’ll be talking about this hotly debated topic and filling you in with some important details.
Elvis was born as a blonde child, and as he grew older his hair changed to sandy-blonde color. Over the years his hair even changed to brown, so after the movie Love Me Tender, he decided to fully change his hairstyle and overall looks, dye his hair black and never look back.
If you want to learn a little more about the history of Preley’s hair, then read on.
When and why did Elvis dye his hair?
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, as a blond child. Even as a young boy he expressed his love for music and entertainment. When he was 13, his family moved to Memphis, where he would graduate from Humes High School. It was at that time his hair started to change, from a shining gold color to sandy-light brown.
From a young age he was considered to be a trendsetter and a bad boy, so in the late 1950s he decided to prove everyone his rebellious nature and dye his hair black. He wasn’t doing it regularly, but as he grew older it became one of his trademarks.
His first job was in a company called Precision Tool Company Inc. where he worked at the assembly line for almost a month. He later changed several different jobs (movie theater usher, truck driver), all the while listening to records and singing when and wherever he could. His first gigs as a singer were at a local bars, where he went by the name of “The Hillbilly Cat”. It was at this time that he started dying his hair black on a regular basis. He imitated the hairstyle of a famous 1920s actor Tony Curtis who had a distinct hair that fans called “ducktail”. Elvis thought he should have a trademark if he wanted to succeed in the rough industry of show business.
Tables soon turned as Elvis Presley became a household name in showbusiness and his face and style became recognized all over the world. In 1956 his acting career skyrocketed and he made his first movie with him in the main role, Love Me Tender, with Richard Egan and Debra Paget alongside him. He loved wearing sideburns in this period, and it was definitely his trademark at the time. Of course, his look and style changed as time went on, and so, in the 1960s Hollywood decided to style his hair differently by dying it jet black and removing long sideburns. Considering the fact that he was at the height of his acting career, a new look was necessary.
Thus came the 1970s and Elvis wanted to focus more on his singing career, so, of course, it was time for a new look that will dazzle the fans and bring a change to Hollywood music scene. He decided to grow his hair and sideburns again. This caused a lot of attention and made the girls swoon from excitement while the guys ran to the local drug store to buy the hair products that Elvis used. He was at the peak of his stardom and the people loved him.
Fan’s Reactions to Elvis and His Looks
As you can only imagine, the reactions to the appearance, music and overall style of Elvis were divided. On one side we had the teenagers and people who were outgoing, trendy and up-to-date with the latest music and movies. Guys and gals absolutely adored Elvis and all of his shows were filled to the brim with these youngsters. On the other hand, the older generations were still not willing to accept this new trend (men never dyed hair in that time) and were hung up on the Sinatra era – classy suits, cigar and a fedora.
There’s a less-known fact that Elvis managed to beat Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn in the best hairstyle competition that was voted some time ago.
After coming back from the army, in 1960, ABC Television Network decided to put together 2 of the very best entertainers at the time in the same studio: Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. The show was officially titled “It’s nice to go traveling”, after a Sinatra’s song, but it was remembered as “Welcome Home Elvis”. It was meant to gravitate the older generation to Elvis and the younger generation to Sinatra.
The two sang each other’s songs and the crowd went wild because it was Presley’s first TV appearance after three years.
Seeing two of the greatest together, the older generation slowly accepted Elvis as a true performer, disregarding his greasy and dyed hair and wacky dance moves. The rest is history.
How do People Remember Elvis?
Sadly, Elvis died at a young age of only 42, on August 16, 1977, at his mansion in Graceland near Memphis. The news has shocked people all over the world.
Would Elvis Presley continue to dye his hair if he had lived more?
The answer would probably be “yes”. Elvis was an artist and paid a lot of attention for most of his career, so let’s assume that he would wish to leave his legacy and good looks forever in the minds of his fans.
Even though he was born as blond, Elvis was known as a black-haired actor, singer, dancer, songwriter and one of the most stylish and trend-setting bad boys that ever took the mic in his hand.
His style changed over the years; he went from dishwater blond hair combed backward to Tony Curtis Duck Style and finally, his very own, long black hair with long sideburns.
In the end, people don’t care what colour and style his hair was; they all agree that he was one of the best singers and entertainers of all time, a man who changed Rock’n’roll music forever.