‘Counting On’: Dramatic Duggar Hair Transformations Through the Years

Those who have been following the Duggars from their 19 Kids & Counting days and through their Counting On fame know the fundamental Christian family adheres to strict rules regarding their appearance — including females keeping their hair long and wavy. Because of this, viewers have grown accustomed to seeing the Duggar daughters wearing their hair in this manner. But, times are changing, and so are some members of the family. One of the ways they are changing is their hair. Let’s take a look at some of the more dramatic Duggar hair transformations that have happened through the years.

Why do the Duggar girls wear their hair long?

Jessa Duggar, Jinger Duggar, Jill Duggar, and Jana Duggar visit "Extra" at their New York studios.
Jessa Duggar, Jinger Duggar, Jill Duggar, and Jana Duggar visit “Extra” at their New York studios. | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

The short answer to why the Duggar women all wear their hair long is because it aligns with their religious beliefs. In the book, Growing Up Duggar, the sisters explained:

“Our hairstyle is our choice, and we choose longer hair based on our understanding of 1 Corinthians 11: 14-15. This Bible verse is quoted in Bible Gateway (New International Version) as, ‘Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.'”

The Duggar girls may also keep their hair long and curly because the founder of the Advanced Training Institute, Bill Gothard, is said to prefer women to have long curly hair. The ATI is the home school program used by the Duggars to educate their children. So, Bill Gothard would have a lot of influence in their lives, and hairstyles, apparently. 

Duggar hair transformation No. 1: Jill chopped off 14 inches 

As the older girls in the Duggar family get married and start their own families, some of them are showing behaviors not consistent with how they were raised. People magazine reported on when Jill Duggar got 14 inches chopped off her hair, which was about two to three years’ worth of growth. About the eventful haircut appointment, Jill said, “I wanted to get a little more cut off than I did last time and wanted to get it done soon because it was getting to be hard to manage, the boys were getting tangled in it, I was sitting on it and the weight was contributing to headaches!” Jill ultimately got 14 inches taken off because that allowed her to donate her locks to an organization that makes wigs for kids who have lost their hair. 

Jinger Duggar went blond in 2019

Jill was not the only Duggar sister to make a dramatic change to her hair. People also reports that although Jinger kept the traditional long and wavy hair, she made a bold change with the color. Jinger dyed her forever brunette hair to blond just in time for the summer of 2019. Jinger said, “Decided to go with the blonde balayage this Summer.”

But, that wasn’t the only time Jinger made a dramatic change to her hair. In July 2021, Jinger made a swift decision to chop off her tresses to just below the shoulder and to revert back to a light brunette color. 

Michelle Duggar had a (brief) hair makeover

For her 46th birthday, Michelle’s kids planned a fun adventure for their mom. The plan was that Michelle would go from fun spot to fun spot based on the clues she picks up along the way. There would be several of her kids at each of the locations for her to see. The highlight of the day of fun was at the hair salon where a childhood friend of Michelle’s met her there and surprised her with a hair makeover — complete with coloring, cut, and straightening.

It was a rather dramatic change for this large-family mom, who typically wears her hair super long and super wavy. She was unsure of how she felt when the final product was unveiled, but she said she would “learn to love it.” The day ended with Michelle arriving home with her new hairdo and a surprise birthday party with all her many loved ones. 

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