Back in Parton's freshman year of high school, "when teasing came out I just thought I had died and gone to heaven."

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
June 11, 2021
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We love Dolly Parton for many reasons. Her incredible music. Her kind heart. Her helping to, you know, save the world with her $1 million donation to Vanderbilt Medical Center which supported the creation of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. Nevermind the fact that the main thing that got us through quarantine life was binging on films like Coat of Many Colors, Steel Magnolias, and 9 to 5.

Now, her hair. Let's talk about the Smoky Mountain Songbird's hair. It's blonde. It's mile-high. It's fabulous. But as it turns out, even before Parton started sporting wigs, she couldn't live with hair that wasn't larger than life.

"When I was a freshman in high school hair teasing came out. I'd already bleached my hair and got in big trouble," Parton revealed in a 1984 interview in Interview Magazine with Andy Warhol and Maura Moynihan. "I have blonde hair, but it just wasn't radiant, it's sandy blonde. It wasn't yellow and white and bright. When teasing came out I just thought I had died and gone to heaven. Being creative with my hands, I started teasing. I fixed everybody's hair. I had the biggest hair in school."

MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Dolly Parton - Inside
Credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

She might have gotten scolded for bleaching her hair as a teenager, but decades later, it's clear that "bleach blonde," and "Dolly Parton" go together like two peas in a pod. And as for her poofy hair? We don't know about you, but we can't imagine Parton with a tamed hairdo.

With that being said, we hope she didn't give her parents too hard a time with her penchant for hair bleaching and teasing in her youth. Little did they know, that big hair would soon be the inspiration for millions of adoring fans around the country. A girl's gotta stay true to her roots, after all.