Dolly Parton Once Explained Why She Prefers Synthetic Wigs to Everything Else

Article Highlights:

  • Dolly Parton once said she bought her wigs for $30 a piece
  • Why she prefers synthetic
  • What Parton’s real hair looks like
Close-up of Dolly Parton in a black, sequin top.
Dolly Parton | John Lamparski/Getty Images

Dolly Parton has famously said that she has 365 wigs — one for every day of the year. She’s one of the biggest stars in the world and could undoubtedly afford the best wigs money has to buy. But she’s always gravitated toward synthetic wigs that come in at about $30 each. Here’s why.

Dolly Parton once said she doesn’t bother with expensive wigs

In a 1981 interview with The Ralph Emery Show, Parton was asked how many wigs she was up to.

“Oh, the same old cheap ones,” she replied, as recorded in the book Dolly on Dolly. “I don’t really know. I just say that I have 365, one for each day of the year. But I don’t know… They’re a dollar a dozen!”

That wasn’t just an expression the “Jolene” singer was using. She really did own a bunch of cheap wigs.

“Well, they are cheap wigs! I ain’t kiddin’,” she said. “They’re like the Eva Gabor and all those wigs like that. The way I wear my hair and the look that I’ve got used to, I could buy whatever I wanted to as far as wigs are concerned right now, but they ain’t as convenient. These are just synthetic wigs and I like ’em. They’re handy and they’re not expensive. The way I get ’em, they’re like thirty dollars a wig. Now that’s the honest truth. But when you consider the people that wear expensive wigs, they cost like $1,000 for a hand-done wig. Now, I have a few of them, especially for the movies and stuff, but they still look cheap the way I wear ’em.”

Why the Queen of Country prefers synthetic

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There’s a reason Parton gravitates toward synthetic wigs — they’re easier to style.

“It’s handy too,” she said. “My hair don’t hold curl a lot, and to tease it the way that my look is gets to be real damaging, especially since I color my hair. My hair’s straight and it just don’t hold it’s curl. That’s why I like synthetic wigs because they hold their curl whether it’s rain or shine.”

The “Dumb Blonde” singer went on to say that all her wigs were blonde except for two: “I got a red one and I got a brown wig, but I don’t look good in either one of them.”

At that point, it had been six years since the singer had worn her natural hair in public.

What Dolly Parton’s natural hair looks like

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In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on May 31, 2021, the “9 to 5” singer spoke again about the “great variety of different wigs” her hairdresser, Cheryl Riddle provides. She also spoke about how she keeps her hair when she’s not wearing a wig.

“I keep my own hair the same color and a little longer than shoulder length, just to the top of my boob….” she said. “That way I can just pull it up with a little scrunchie. I was born blond and couldn’t wait to get it blonder. I started buying peroxide as soon as I could afford it! I just am a blonde. That’s just my nature. It’s me.”