9 Times Dolly Parton Proved the Higher the Hair, the Closer to Heaven – Vogue.com

“Well, the higher the hair, as they say. . .” That quick quip defines Dolly Parton’s iconic approach to her trademark peroxide, a self-proclaimed gospel-singer-inspired take on styling which has mirrored her career trajectory by inching ever higher. Though many of her moments were in fact the result of elaborate extensions and wigs, their mark remains, her twangy notes forever associated with brushed-up bouffants, towers of ringlets, and exceptionally exaggerated bangs.

The ’60s saw the Tennessee-born country music ingenue experimenting with meticulously cultivated and polished Southern belle bouffants—worn with an upward flip at the ends. It’s a look that soon gave way to beehives born of unimaginable amounts of hairspray, each playing well with hazy flicks of liner, but otherwise minimal makeup. Colored eyeshadow, spidery lashes, and still louder lengths came next, as Parton experimented with Farrah Fawcett waves, clouds of brushed curls secured with bubblegum barrettes, and punctuated with diminutive braids. For her role in the cult film 9 to 5 alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Parton exchanged her over-the-top sensibilities for a helmet of short, close-cropped curls, though the blanched hue was decidedly her own.

But from the mid-’80s on, it was back to below-shoulder-length ringlets and corkscrewed tendrils offering a take on glamour that was irreverent, knowingly camp, and definitively Dolly, her glossy blonde—whether wreathed in flowers or supplemented by statement earrings—as essential as her guitar. And though the mid-’90s brought a brush with the flat iron, she always kept her commitment to height. Here, a look back at the country crooner’s most memorable hair moments.

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