I recently made a blog posting about Abraham Lincoln’s disheveled hair after noticing that in so many photographs his hair had been messy. Then I came across a little story (below) in A. Lincoln:The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln by James C. Humes about Lincoln’s hair. Enjoy:
“Right after Lincoln was awarded the presidential nomination in Chicago, party officials rushed the fifty-one-year-old Springfield lawyer to a photographer. Woodcuts of the photograph were needed to distribute to newspapers and party organizations around the country.
Despite the fact that the photo showed a harried Lincoln with straggly unkempt hair, the photo was sent out. The next day Lincoln heard outside his hotel a vendor hawking his picture.
“Get a picture of Abe Lincoln cheap—cost is only one bit—when Abe gets his hair slicked down for the next picture it will cost you two bits.”
Ah, I can see you smiling. Good story-but it doesn’t explain all the other photograph sittings where Lincoln posed with messy hair. Who knows-maybe he liked the look! I also don’t recall any image of Lincoln where his hair was “slicked down.” And since we’re talking about Abraham Lincoln’s hair-did it ever start to turn gray? It seems to me that most of our modern day Presidents have turned gray during their terms of office- seen President Obama lately? As far as I can tell Lincoln’s hair retained its natural color. How was that possible? Good genes, perhaps. Did they have hair dye for men then?