Bob Ross’s Hair Was Actually Straight

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Photo: Acey Harper/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Long before ASMR and Tasty videos came along, the best Zen thing to watch with your eyes glazed over and your jaw fully slack was The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. For 403 episodes of the PBS classic, Ross softly guided the viewer through the process of painting a blank canvas — his signature ‘fro making the show as much as his deft and deliberate art skills. But it turns out it was all a lie — Ross’s hair was actually stick straight.

A young, pre-perm RossPhoto: Bob Ross Inc.

In an interview with NPR, his business partner, Annette Kowalski, revealed that Ross initially grew out his hair and permed it to save money on haircuts when he was fresh out of the Air Force and trying to make it as a painter. But soon, he became trapped by his look. 

Before he could change it back, though, the perm became his company’s logo — Ross hated it. “He could never, ever, ever change his hair, and he was so mad about that,” Kowalski says. “He got tired of that curly hair.”

Thank you for your sacrifice, Bob. We’re all happier little trees for it.