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Turns out that faking sick to stay home from school and watch Bob Ross paint landscapes wasn’t the only lie taking place on your couch during those middle school afternoons. According to a new article on NPR, Ross’ luscious landscapes may have been the real deal, but his luscious locks? FAKE.

While Ross made a career out of his winning combination of a soothing voice and soothing brushstrokes, he also owed a lot of his celebrity to his iconic look. It turns out, not only was Ross’ fro chemically-induced, he hated it. Colour us shocked.

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According to a new story, Ross was searching for TV work after retiring from the Air Force. Looking for a low-maintenance ‘do, he grew out his hair, permed it, and began auditioning for TV gigs. Ross landed his now iconic painting show The Joy Of Painting, with producers loving his hair so much they made it his logo. Like all great TV hairstyles, Ross became recognized by his afro and wasn’t allowed to change his look. Talk about painting yourself into a corner.

It’s an understandable request from producers considering this is how unrecognizable the TV personality is with a different hairstyle. Bob? Is that you?

Bob Ross before his signature afro.

Bob Ross before his trademark fro. circa 1970

Maybe if Ross had come clean with his cautionary tale earlier we would have never seen the Season 2 ratings drop for Felicity or asked our hairdressers for ‘the Rachel’ during every salon visit between 1994 – 1996.

News of Ross’ faux fro now has us wondering whether we’ve been idolizing other famous perms.

Is Questlove‘s afro a phony?

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Has Erykah Badu been playing with us?

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Not Lenny. We can’t handle Lenny.

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We think we need to take a sick day.