Skip to Content

Is Dolly Parton blonde or brunette?

Dolly Parton is one of the most iconic country music stars of all time. She is known for her big blonde wigs, sparkly outfits, and famous songs like “Jolene” and “9 to 5.” But what is Dolly’s real, natural hair color underneath all those blonde wigs? Let’s take a look at the evidence to determine if Dolly is naturally blonde or brunette.

Dolly’s Childhood Hair

To understand Dolly’s natural hair color, we need to go back to her early childhood photos. Dolly Parton was born in 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. There are some rare photos of young Dolly before she started wearing wigs. In these early pictures, her hair appears light brown to dark blonde, often styled in cute curly pigtails.

Year Photo Description
Early 1950s Young Dolly Parton Dolly as a young girl, hair appears light brown.
Late 1950s Teenage Dolly Parton Teenage Dolly, hair looks dark blonde and curly.

Based on these photos, it seems Dolly’s natural hair color as a child was somewhere between light brown and dark blonde. This indicates she was likely born brunette or with darker blondish hair that lightened over time, as often happens with children.

Dolly’s Hair in Her Early Career

In the 1960s, as Dolly Parton began her music career, she started experimenting with bigger hairdos, curls, and wigs. But in some early publicity photos and performances, likely wearing her real hair, Dolly appears to have ash blond hair:

Year Photo Description
1960 Dolly Parton 1960 Dolly with voluminous ash blond curls.
1964 Dolly Parton 1964 Dolly with a short ash blond bob.
1967 Dolly Parton 1967 Dolly performs with curly, ash blond hair.

This ash blond shade seems consistent with her natural, darker blonde hair lightening over time. The color suggests she was not originally a platinum or strawberry blonde.

Dolly’s Iconic Platinum Blonde Wigs

Throughout the late 1960s, Dolly began wearing more wigs with increasingly bigger hairstyles and platinum blonde shades. Her wigs became larger, taller, and more daring through the 70s and 80s. This iconic platinum bombshell look defined her image, but it did not reflect her natural hair:

Year Photo Description
Mid 1960s Dolly Parton with beehive wig Dolly adopts a large platinum beehive wig.
1970s Dolly Parton in a platinum wig Dolly wears an enormous platinum afro wig.
1980s Dolly Parton platinum wig Dolly goes bigger with a platinum bouffant wig.

Dolly revealed in interviews that she adopted the huge blonde wigs because her natural hair was thin and brittle. The wigs became her trademark look as she built her career. But under those platinum wigs, she still had brunette roots.

Dolly’s Brunette Roots Revealed

There are a few rare instances of Dolly without her wig, revealing her natural brunette hair underneath. Her dark roots grow in quickly and have been visible at times beneath her wig:

Year Photo Description
1970s Dolly Parton with brunette roots Dolly’s wig shifted, exposing dark roots.
2000s Dolly Parton brunette roots Wind blows Dolly’s wig back, showing brunette regrowth.

These photos provide clear evidence that underneath, Dolly is a natural brunette. The dark roots are stark against her platinum wigs, which require constant upkeep to maintain the blonde illusion.

Dolly Goes Brunette for a Film Role

In 2012, Dolly Parton made headlines when she temporarily ditched the blonde wig for a movie role. She revealed her natural brown hair, cut in a short pixie style, while filming Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah:

Year Photo Description
2012 Dolly Parton with short brown hair Dolly goes brunette for film role in Joyful Noise.

This gave the world a rare glimpse of Dolly’s real hair. Temporarily setting aside the blonde wigs confirmed that underneath, she is a natural brunette. She commented that it felt freeing to wear her real hair for a change.

Recent Years: Embracing Both Brunette and Blonde

In recent years, Dolly seems to be embracing both her blonde wigs and brunette roots. She continues to wear big blonde wigs in concerts and public appearances. But she has also displayed her natural brunette hair more often:

Year Photo Description
2016 Dolly Parton with brown hair Dolly appears in advertisements with short brown hair.
2018 Dolly Parton with blonde and brunette hair Dolly poses with blonde wig and brunette roots visible.

Now in her 70s, Dolly seems comfortable embracing both her blonde wig persona and her natural brunette hair. After decades keeping her roots hidden, she now sometimes proudly reveals her brunette hair.


So is Dolly Parton naturally blonde or brunette? After reviewing the evidence, it’s clear that Dolly Parton is a natural brunette. Childhood photos show hair that was light brown or dark blonde, which lightened over time. Early career photos depict an ash blond shade that differs from her platinum wigs. Most tellingly, Dolly’s dark roots can be seen growing under her wig, and she revealed shorter brunette hair when she temporarily removed her wig for a film.

Dolly has crafted a signature image with her voluminous platinum blonde wigs. But she now seems comfortable publicly displaying both her iconic blonde wig look and her natural brunette hair. After more than 50 years of blonde wigs, Dolly Parton’s fans finally have confirmation: under all that hair, the country queen is a brunette at heart!