Why Dolly Parton Always Wears a Wig Over Her Real Hair

Dolly Parton

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Dolly Parton never leaves her house without a wig, and she isn’t afraid to admit it.

The 74-year-old is both a fashion and musical icon — and with her big, blonde, signature hair, she has been turning heads and entertaining fans for decades.

In 2003, Parton told CBS News, “Part of the magic is that I look so totally artificial but I am so totally real.”

She continued by joking that she would never step out of the house without her wig and makeup, “unless my husband is dying of a heart attack, and even then I would think about it.”

Parton concluded, “It’s important because I don’t want someone to see me and be disappointed.”

Still, the singer is completely aware that the way she looks isn’t necessarily “on-trend.” She famously told the Guardian, “I’m not trying to be fashionable. Never was! I got some clothes that I’ve had for 25 years.”

“It’s the Look I Chose”

Parton’s list of accolades is endless: she has 25 RIAA-certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, 10 Grammys, two Academy Award nominations, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, and has composed over 3,000 songs. As an actress, she has also appeared in a number of critically acclaimed films, like 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias, Straight Talk, and Joyful Noise. 

CBS quotes Parton as saying that when it comes to her look, the wigs started as fun but then became a “conversational piece.”

While Parton acknowledges that some people may make fun of her, she insists the joke is really on them. In an interview with Elle, Parton said, “… I am sure of myself as a person. I am sure of my talent. I’m sure of my love for life and that sort of thing. I am very content, I like the kind of person that I am. So, I can afford to piddle around and do-diddle around with makeup and clothes and stuff because I am secure with myself.”

She Has No Plans to Retire

Last year, Parton shared that she has no plans to retire. Speaking with the Today Show, she said, “People always say that, ‘Why don’t you retire?’ And I say, ‘And do what?’ What does that even mean? I could never do that. I always count my blessings more than I count my money. I don’t work for money, never did. It was the art, it was the job. I love the work. And I’ve done well and I’m thankful for it.”

Parton has worked hard for her accomplishments, but they haven’t come without their costs. The “Jolene” singer wakes up at 3 a.m. every day to start her day.

She tells Today, “I get up early. … I’m usually up by 3 o’clock. I go to bed early, but I’m just an early bird. I get up, I do my little meditations, I do my little spiritual work.”

In the words of Dolly Parton, “This is just who I am!”

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