Michael Jackson had a reputation for being troubled yet brilliant. Confirmation of this lies in the fact that his net worth continued to creep up, even after his passing.
Fans already know that the pop star underwent many cosmetic procedures during his long time in the spotlight. It’s obvious given his previous appearance in music videos for songs like “Thriller” versus later works and public appearances.
What’s not clear is precisely why Michael began wearing wigs.
As NY Daily News reported at the time, one event likely triggered Michael to begin doing things differently with his hair. In 1984, Jackson (who was then 25) was filming a commercial with Pepsi when his hair caught on fire.
The publication reported that the pomade in Jackson’s hair likely caused his hair to ignite when he got too close to the pyrotechnics display on stage. MJ was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, though he appeared in good spirits as he exited the Shrine Auditorium.
The Pepsi incident happened the year after MJ released “Thriller.” At that point, he was up for 12 Grammys and seven American Music Awards. With songs like “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” already topping the charts, Michael was on his way up.
And yet, that seemed to be a turning point in terms of Michael’s appearance. Fans now that Michael reportedly had vitiligo, which apparently worsened over time. Instead of dealing with splotches, Michael apparently decided to lighten his skin all over.
The King of Pop also made other changes to his appearance, but fans didn’t start noticing the hair change until much later. For a while, like in his earlier music videos, Jackson looked to be wearing his natural hair.
Fans on Quora speculate that at that point, Michael Jackson was wearing hairpieces to cover up a bald patch due to the burns he suffered. They also point out that the star didn’t begin wearing full hairpieces until around 1995.
Why the change from filling in a bald patch to wearing full-on wigs? Fans theorize that Michael grew tired of dealing with the bald spot. One commenter claimed that Michael only lost a “palm sized amount of hair” after the Pepsi accident, so he wore “small hairpieces” from then on.
But years of wearing hairpieces caused him pain, the fan said, so he started wearing wigs. Of course, the fan didn’t cite any sources for that information, so for now, it appears to be a theory. Albeit, a fairly solid one.
It does make sense that Michael Jackson would get tired of sitting for fill-ins to be added to his mane. And since he’d already had countless other procedures by that point (fans point to multiple surgeries on his nose), perhaps going to wigs full-time wasn’t that tough of a decision (even if it meant shaving his head).
Other fans speculate that Michael was, in fact, bald at the time of his passing. Still others argue that he was not, but unless fans can pore over the autopsy report themselves (and confirm rumors like what his last meal was) that bit of information remains unconfirmed.