We love big hair, and we’re not ashamed to admit it.

Living legend Dolly Parton—no really, the Library of Congress has deemed her such—may be best known for rhinestones and electric blue eye shadow. But we will always love this simpler look she sported back in the 1970s. The down-home denim shirt and restrained lip and cheek color harken back to her humble roots (the Tennessee native grew up one of 12 children in a two-room cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains), while the va-va-voom eyes and mounds of blonde hair scream star on the rise. Hello, Dolly!

Photo: CSU Archives/Everett Collection

Yes, it’s a stereotype—Southerners have and love big hair. But this is one stereotype that’s absolutely true and we’re not ashamed to admit it. Southerners have been making waves with their oversized hairdos for decades and—we’d argue—have been the biggest hairstyle trendsetters to date. In the 1950’s Texan and singer-song writer, Dale Evans, rested her cowboy hat atop voluminous curls with her omelet fold hairstyle. In the 1960’s, Memphis-native Aretha Franklin gained our R-E-S-P-E-C-T not only for her singing chops but for her mile-high beehive. In the 70’s Corpus Christi-raised, Farrah Fawcett’s blonde feathered curls made her a timeless beauty icon...and the rest of us green with envy. Who could forget Georgian Julia Robert's full-volume wedding day updo in the 1980’s movie Steel Magnolias? In the late early 90’s former Miss Florida and actress, Delta Burke, had as much hair as she did Southern sass starring in Designing Women. And of course, we can’t forget the queen of big hair, Dolly Parton who has sported a series of larger-than-life ‘dos to match her personality all along the way.

Today, celebrities like Selena Gomez (from Texas) with an overload of dark waves and Reese Witherspoon (born in Louisiana) with her sleek but full blond locks, are putting a new spin on big hair, and we’re saluting them for carrying on the tradition. After all, if the inescapable Southern humidity is going to make our hair grow anyway, we might as well embrace the look. That’s why we’re saying when it comes to hair, Southerners will always go big, or go home.