The king of rock ‘n’ roll isn’t just famous for his music or swiveling hips. His legendary jet black hair had a life of its own. And the man behind the mane is spilling the secrets behind Elvis Presley's signature pompadour.
Larry Geller, who opened his first West Hollywood-based men’s salon in 1964, recently spoke with Yahoo! Beauty about being selected to become the entertainer's personal hairstylist, including for movie shoots.
Maintaining those tresses that made women across America swoon required a bit of creativity, he said.
“I used to go to the health food store and get a benign-based shampoo and get some vitamin capsules and pour 99 percent pure aloe vera and other herbs into, and shake it up,” explains Geller. “That’s what I used on Elvis’ hair. He said to me, right from the get-go, ‘You can do whatever you want with my hair, but one thing: Make sure I keep it!'”
And how did the singer keep his hair? Geller says a daily routine was involved to make sure it was camera and stage-ready.
“I shampooed his hair regularly, usually every day,” says Geller. “I would massage his scalp for a few minutes, then brush his hair at least 50 or 60 strokes. I was focused on long-term health on his hair, which was so important.”
And forget today’s coconut oil for silky smooth tresses. Geller claims he used vitamin E and jojoba oil. While Presley was naturally a “sandy blonde,” he preferred dyeing it black, and Geller relied on an L’Oreal formula every two to three weeks to make it happen.
But what did the two men talk about while Presley was in the chair? Surprisingly, it wasn’t about women. Geller says topics ranged from religion to books.
“Elvis had everything,” he said. “He was an extraordinary human being. He had the greatest eyes, the greatest voice, fans galore. He also had great hair.”
Yahoo! is also reporting Geller will be launching his own line of organic hair products later this year. No word yet on whether his custom mixes for Presley will be included.