Elvis Presley stars in 1966 trailer for Frankie and Johnny

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When Elvis Presley was working his way into the music industry he was trying to achieve a particular look. With his guitar slung over one shoulder and his piercing blue eyes, the star almost found exactly what he was looking for. But to perfect his style, the King decided he wanted to make himself known with black hair. Unfortunately for him, hair dye was very expensive. 

Hair dye was considered an unnecessary luxury in the 1950s.

So in order to get the hair colour he wanted, the King coated his hair with shoe polish to achieve the slick greaser look he wanted.

In fact, the King’s real hair colour was actually a lot lighter than fans might think.

According to book The Girls’ Guide to Elvis: “Elvis’ real hair was a sandy blond, but he wanted that black, black colour. You can see pictures from the army when he couldn’t dye it, he got highlights.”

As Elvis found fame and subsequently had more money to spend on luxuries he started using some legitimate hair dyes instead.

The Classic Country Music website claimed he used boxes of Miss Clairol 51D and Black Velvet / Mink Brown by Paramount to get his dark hairstyle.

Even more interesting was that he never wanted to be pictured with his natural sandy-blonde hair colour.

Despite this, one photo of a blonde Elvis exists.

The photo is a portrait that hangs in Graceland to this day, showing Elvis with almost strawberry blonde hair.

The King looks quite young in the image, meaning it must have been during the early part of his career.

Elvis’ relationship with make-up and beauty products even spilt into his marriage.

The star married Priscilla Presley on May 1, 1967, after being with her for almost ten years. 

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However, before the nuptials occurred, Elvis asked Priscilla to dye her own hair.

Speaking on This Morning, Priscilla revealed: “He did want me to dye my hair black when I was young so we could look alike a little bit.”

Looking at the happy couple’s wedding photos, they do look extremely alike so it seems Elvis got what he wanted. 

This desire for Priscilla to look a certain way continued into their relationship. 

Priscilla later revealed her husband didn’t want to see her without make-up on. 

Speaking on Loose Women, Priscilla revealed: “Some men can’t have truth. I always had a little bit of makeup. He never wanted to see me getting dressed.

“[Elvis] wanted to see the end result. Men don’t want to see what a woman has to go through to get where she is, they want to see the product, the result.”


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