Aside from her illustrious and continuously successful career, Beyoncé is known for her signature blond hair. While she has tended to switch things up — from bobs and braids to waist-length hair and curly updos — her mane almost always follows the same hue. Fans know that she tends to wear wigs and hair extensions for extra dramatic effect, but they might be surprised to learn that underneath lies a beautiful head of naturally curly hair.

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Beyoncé at an event in February 2017 | Lester Cohen/Getty Images North America

Beyoncé’s hair journey, starting with her earlier years

Several childhood photos of Beyoncé show the singer with curly dark brown hair.

By the time she was a teenager breaking out with Destiny’s Child, she had seemingly started experimenting with her mane. In the group’s very first music video — “No, No, No” from their self-titled debut album that released in 1998 — Beyoncé donned dark-colored, shoulder-length curls with light brown streaks.

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For their second effort, 1999’s The Writing’s on the Wall, Beyoncé went for a bolder look. The visuals for tracks such as “Bug-A-Boo” and “Say My Name” feature the Lemonade signer with long, dark locks and bright blond highlights, marking the beginning of the end of the mostly-brown era.

In the following years, Beyoncé’s hair became increasingly lighter and longer before she adopted the style and color pattern fans know and love her for now.

Speaking to E! News in a throwback interview, Beyoncé’s hairstylist Kim Kimble said Beyoncé’s mom Tina Knowles, a former hairstylist, did her daughter’s hair up until Kimble took over in 2003.

Here’s what Beyoncé’s real hair looks like

Beyoncé rarely — if ever — shares when she’s rocking her real hair. But in December 2017, her stylist Neal Farinah revealed that Beyoncé had just worn her real hair when she presented Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali LegacyAward at Sports Illustrated’s yearly Sportsperson of the Year Awards.

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“LOVE MY JOB. THIS IS HOW U SLAY YOUR NATURAL CURLY HAIR,” Farinah captioned a clip of Beyoncé’s speech. Knowles praised her daughter’s hair around the same time, sharing on Instagram that she was so happy to see Beyoncé’s hair grow back after the singer chopped it off for a pixie cut in 2013.