Dolly Parton shares photo of her 'real hair,' reflects on love of wigs in new book

Looking at Frederick's of Hollywood catalogs as a teen played a role in Parton's famous look, the legendary performer wrote in her new memoir.


Dolly Parton is famous for her sky-high hairdo, usually in a bright shade of bleach blond. But despite it being one of her trademarks, her hair hasn't always been that way, as she revealed in her new book, "Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics," released Tuesday.

Photos peppered throughout the memoir show the now-74-year-old entertainer with a short pixie cut as a little girl and various bobs (albeit teased) as a teenager. In fact, it wasn't until Parton appeared with fellow country singer Porter Wagoner on his show from the late '60s to the early '70s that she started to hone her look.

Dolly Parton's new book, "Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics," was released Tuesday.Chronicle Books

"I wear my high heels and my hair as high as I can get it," she wrote, recalling her initial appearances on "The Porter Wagoner Show." "I always wore my hair all teased up. Whenever that style started, I was the first to get my hair all poofy."

She continued: "Then as soon as I could buy those hairpieces and wigs, I wanted them. For one thing, they were so handy. Plus, my hair would never do exactly what I wanted it to do. So the wigs became kind of my trademark.

When I was on 'The Porter Wagoner Show,' we had makeup girls. They would do their basics, and then I would add on to that. I was always into makeup, but I never could stand anybody else's version of me."

She added that her love for big hair and elaborate makeup came from pictures she saw in Frederick's of Hollywood catalogs as a teenager. "I wanted to feel like the way I thought all the movie stars in Hollywood did," she wrote.

The book also includes a photo of Parton singing with her natural hair around 1965. It was taken at a recording session for Monument Records, a label she signed with around age 19. "In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s my real hair," she wrote.

She shared the same image on her Instagram account earlier this year with the caption, "Where the magic happens."

In the snapshot, her locks look to be about shoulder length and like she may have teased them a bit to give the top some additional body. She's not immediately recognizable, but her signature beauty mark on her chin gives her away.

Parton's book isn't the country star's only big project coming out this year. She recently released her first holiday album in 30 years, "A Holly Dolly Christmas," and her new Netflix musical, "Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square," will be available starting Nov. 22.