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April 27, 2021

Elvis Presley Haircut Fever Among Young Ladies of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1957

In 1957 the top-selling single in America was Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up,” and the top hairstyle in Grand Rapids, Michigan was a tribute to the man who sang it. America was so wild for Elvis at this time that when the singer made his debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, 82.6 percent of America’s televisions were tuned in. Glenwood Dodgson, who operated a chain of beauty salons in Grand Rapids, read the market and began offering women an Elvis hairdo. He knew what he was doing.

In six weeks more than 1,000 women came to Dodgson’s shops and had themselves made over in the image of Elvis. The makeover cost the not-outrageous price of $1.50 (which would be about $14 today).

The group photograph here shows that there was some variety in the hairdo approach. While every woman was given Elvis’ sideburns, each took a different tack to the forehead locks, and some went all the way and dyed their hair black.

(Photos by Grey Villet / LIFE photos archives)


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