Mary J. Blige’s Natural Hair Color May Shock You

Getty / Cindy Ord

Image Source: Getty/Cindy Ord / Staff

There are two things we know about Mary J. Blige: she loves a good boot and she practically invented the hair color honey blond. OK, that last part may be a bit of a stretch, but Blige’s hair color has been a key part of her four-plus decade-long career.

Though there have been a few times when she’s deviated from the script and opted for a more copper tone (see her 1997 meet-and-greet look at George’s Music Room in Chicago), her signature warm, buttery hue has never been far away, which is why many people want to know: “What is Mary J. Blige’s natural hair color?” Even though we can’t imagine her without her signature color, the answer to that question is actually a deep, brown-black. Still, whether it was through her immaculately styled pixie cuts or classic waves, Blige has managed to teach us all that a good hairstyle and color can go a long way in helping you define who you are on your own terms. “I was already blonde. I was already red. I was already doing those colors,” Blige told Elle in 2022, recounting how people tried to get her to follow certain aesthetics when she first started her career. “I wasn’t searching for an image. I was my own image.”

Today, Blige is still known for her gorgeous hairstyles that are undoubtedly on mood boards everywhere. High ponytails, bob haircuts, and sleek updos are a regular occurrence for the beauty icon and her go-to stylist Tym Wallace, but she notes that she’s the secret sauce to her incredible looks, not a particular hairdo or color. “I won’t say hair gave me strength. I’d say I give my hair strength,” she said in the same interview. “Whatever I’m wearing, I’m able to have the strength to carry it now, which I was not able to have in the last layer of my life. Hair is beautiful, but I can’t carry it with confidence if I’m not confident. Because then it’d just be a weave, or it’d just be blond hair, or my [natural] hair.”

Another celebrity with hair this revered is Queen Latifah, and neither she nor Blige has ever had a bad hair day on record. For that, they’ll continue to provide endless inspiration, just as they have been for decades.

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