Dolly Parton Walks Us Through 10 of Her Favorite Beauty Moments

To Dolly-ize. That's the main goal of every single outfit, hairstyle, and makeup look Dolly Parton has worn in the past 60-something years (that's a helluva lot of looks). When she gets her hands on a beauty trend, she makes a point to infuse her "gaudy, flamboyant, fun" personality into it — hence, Dolly-ize. That's how she's maintained a version of her signature sky-high, bleach-blonde hair, plump, pink lips, and miles-long acrylic nails throughout her career, all while still keeping it modern, no matter which decade she's in. It's a look that is so distinctly Dolly that no one else could even attempt to emulate it because they probably don't have the same self-effacing sense of humor, Southern flair, and larger-than-life talent.

Ironically, Parton's authenticity lies in all the fake stuff she wears. Just ask her yourself: "I've got little, short, stubby hands, so of course I'm going to have long nails. I'm short, so I wear high heels. And my hair don't do what I want it to, so I wear wigs," she previously joked to ishonest. "I might be artificial, but I'm real where it counts — right here in my heart."


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The evolution of Parton's beauty look is the perfect illustration of how she's remained the same at her core despite experimenting so much with hair and makeup. Below, the icon walks us through 10 of her best beauty moments from the 1960s to today.

Portrait (1965)

"I was doing a lot of my hair myself. Backcombing, they called it then, came out. I was doing that back in high school. I was one of the few girls in high school that was having that big, old bouffant hair. My daddy used to raise bees and some of those hairstyles looked like a beehive, so maybe I was influenced by that."

Portrait (1970)

"I love the idea of wigs. And my hair, I love it to be bleached. So when I would do all that bleaching and I would do all that teasing, my hair was just not in good condition, but I still wanted that look. When hairpieces and falls, as they called them, came out I started wearing a little hairpiece before I started wearing the wigs."

Performing in Los Angeles (1975)

"When wigs started coming out, when they were good enough that you could really fix them, I thought I'd been set free because I just thought, Well, I can have a hairdo of any kind anytime I want it. I've got a wig for every occasion. They've served me well throughout the years and someday I'm going to have my own line of wigs and hairpieces."

Portrait (1977)

"Through all the decades, I always had that big, old hair. The '70s hairdos were like whipped cream curls — but these started having a little more length, a little more curl, a little more motion. Still big, though. My hairdresser, Collen Owens, at the time, was so big on doing those big hairdos. She thought that I was larger than life so she tried to make my hair even bigger."

Country Music Awards (1986)

"In the ‘80s, a lot of the wigs had those really, really, little, tight curls. The smaller I got, the bigger the hair seemed to be. My husband used to say, ’You look like a Q-tip.' I was like a little stick with all this hair."

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1990)

"The '90s kind of show how I was trying to be a little more glamorous. I was working with professional people. I was working with Tony Chase and Robert. I was working with Steve Summers, people who really knew what they were doing coming up with these glamorous clothes."

Heavens to Betsy (1994)

"Cheryl Riddle, who was my hairdresser at the time, she started studying hairdos that were fashionable and she was applying those to my personality — Dolly- izing them, as they say. I felt like during that time I was probably the most fashionable I'd ever been."

National Press Club Luncheon (2000)

"I think it's true with anybody that, even if you're young or old, there are certain things about your body that just change. You just have to go with that — and that's the same with your makeup. That's the same with your hair. I basically stayed the same with that, but I do have to use more caulk and putty these days with my makeup."

Country Music Awards (2019)

"I'm the kind of person that I like a lot of makeup, daytime or nighttime, and I like colors. A lot of people say, 'Oh, don't wear blue eye shadow.'" I say, 'But I like blue eye shadow. I don't care if it's fashionable.' Blue's blue! I love blue."

Late Night With Seth Meyers (2019)

"I think my style today is a combination of all those things back through the years. With my hair, we go back to those old things and just pick out the best elements and incorporate that into what's new and modern. I still have the hair. It's not as wild or crazy, but it's still big. If I don't like it, I'll change it. It's still me and it's mine."

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