We age every minute, every second. That doesn’t have to be depressing, that’s just life which would be really boring if time didn’t move us along. With aging comes a change to our bodies and for men, their hair. For celebrities this can be a problem because they are in the public eye and need to look good for the camera. Call it vanity or peer pressure, regardless, a lot of male celebrities resort to toupees to cover their beautiful bald heads. Some of these are not so great, and here we are looking at the worst.
To clarify, this list includes all hair restoration/cover ups including wigs, hairpieces, weaves or even plugs. A toupee is usually real hair, or as John Wayne said, “I don’t have a phony toupee; the hair in my toupee is real!” We are focusing on bald or balding celebrities that are covering up without their natural hair.
Not all celebrities support covering up their baldness, Bruce Willis may don a toupee in movies, but he is a man that owns his baldness off camera. On the flipside, Larry David has a humorous passive-aggressive way to promote baldness. He may not be happy he’s bald, but it is what it is and he uses it to his comedic advantage.
Who doesn’t (or didn’t) wear a wig? Despite rumors, Elvis Presley’s “do” was all real. Same goes for David Hasselhoff and all of Ron Jeremy’s hair. Who would I like to see with a toupee? That would be Nic Cage who off camera doesn’t appear to wear a wig, but if he did you know he would go full Elvis! Ringo Starr’s hair is real, but that doesn’t mean no Beatles made the list. Do any celebrities look good in their fake hair? Al Pacino seems to own his toupee, but that may be because he’s such a character – it’s hard to differentiate his on-screen/off-screen time.
Honorable mentions include a couple of celebrities that allegedly may have some help on top. Here we find Vince Vaughn and his hairline which has suddenly stopped receding and also rumors of Ben Affleck. Neither has admitted it, but there has been plenty of speculation around these two. Here are 15 of the worst celebrity toupees.
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15 Elton John
He didn’t always wear a wig, but Elton John has rocked a toupee for many, many years now. John looked good bald and when you’re as talented as him you don’t need to cover up anything. Of course, being glamorous and looking the part I’m guessing has factored into the decision to rock a toupee. John has mixed it up over the years, lightening the shade, darkening or changing the style of his wigs. I picture him waking up and picking out a wig like 50 Cent picks out his morning hat. After picking out his toupee, then it’s on to glasses and of course, which cape he will be wearing that day.
14 John Travolta
The movie Pulp Fiction was when everyone realized Mr. Saturday Night Fever was losing his hair. He was probably wearing extensions during this time, but has since gone with the full head of hair approach. For Travolta, there was no in-between and “let’s keep them guessing.” One minute his hair was receding and next he was back to his vintage Vinny Barbarino hair. I get it for movies, but you have to wonder if this was really necessary. Travolta is just that, he’s John Travolta! He can wear his hair or shave it off as he pleases. For those that miss Vinny Barbarino and his hair, well, join the club.
13 Rip Taylor
Taylor has the classic “bad” toupee in that it reminds people of Halloween. It’s big and fake and just “out there.” His flamboyant personality has made him an audience favorite (ever notice he always seems to do best with large audiences at events or shows where he isn’t the focal point) and his look, which includes his friend on top of his head, is what people visualize when someone says, “Oh, I think Rip Taylor is going to be here.” Personally, I don’t care what people do, but in the case of Taylor and his wig – I will freak out if that thing ever touches me.
12 Burt Reynolds
Life is really about the small things and watching Burt Reynolds' wigs evolve over the years has been a real treat for many to follow. Reynolds and his toupees are now part of who he is, but that’s only because that’s the only way most of us know him. There was a time when he hid the fact that he wore a toupee (before financial issues revealed over $100K of hair-related expenses). Since, he has continued to modify his toupee, sometimes short, sometimes long and wavy to fit into the times and age along with him. Let’s be clear though, his toupee is aging less than the rest of Reynolds.
11 Tony Bennett
One of the benefits of going with a toupee is to look younger. Bennett often “plays” to a younger crowd and having a full head of hair assists with keeping him in the game. Like Elton John, Bennett has so much talent as an artist, the toupee is really unnecessary. What makes Bennett’s toupee cringe-worthy is the amount of hair he has elected to go with. Also, why go gray if you are going full-head-of-hair toupee? Years ago Bennett should have gone with the “jet black” full toupee. Now it’s too late, lucky for him it doesn’t matter; he’ll still have Lady Gaga at his side and pull in the young girls just because he’s Tony Bennett.
10 Axl Rose
In the late eighties you’d be hard-pressed to find a larger sex symbol than Axl Rose. As the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses he had it all: fame, the voice and hair. Rose is still famous and for the most part still has his voice, but the hair is definitely not the same. In the late nineties, Rose decided to go with some combination of a wig/weave that he wore as dreadlocks. Since he has ditched the dreads; instead, electing for the Bret Michaels method of bandana, hats and a more subtle form of extensions. Assuming Rose always requested for “the heels stay on,” I believe “the bandana stays on” now also applies.
9 Dean Martin
Martin was an entertainment classic in every sense of the word and his toupee was a classic over-the-top wig that didn’t really fit as he aged. Martin’s wig was very full, very dark and super wavy. With no indication of a hairline you got the impression that if he stumbled (always a possibility with Martin), his toupee could topple off his head. Are toupees flame resistant? Given Martin’s smoking and the fact that alcohol seemed to always be flowing around him, let’s hope so. Actually, now that I look closely, his toupee could be used as a resting spot for his Martini. Unfortunately I don’t believe this use ever occurred to Martin, but what if?
8 Frank Sinatra
Unlike Dean Martin’s toupee, there was nothing wrong with the size of Sinatra’s, but what I find disappointing is that he wore a wig in the first place. Having Sinatra embrace baldness could have been a big win for bald men everywhere. Ole’ Blue Eyes didn’t always wear a toupee, but it’s pretty clear when the change was made to the new “do.” The hair didn’t even really look the same. Given Sinatra’s love of the debonair Fedora, why not just run with that? I’m sure someone mentioned this and his response was that he was going to do it his way.
7 Paul Reiser
Remember the show Mad About You? It was on forever and starred toupee All-Star Paul Reiser, another actor that went with the “give me the full head of hair” version. It doesn’t look natural. Also, did anyone else think it wasn’t fair that his best friend in the show always wore a baseball hat (backwards like Ken Griffey Jr.) because he was balding? Since, Reiser has modified his wig, shortening it up on the sides and adding some gray. Still, the damage has been done. I can’t forget the original, though I wish I could, just as I wish I could forget the show Mad About You.
6 Chuck Norris
The joke is that if you pull his wig off, a big fist will appear. I don’t think that’s actually true, but we are talking about Chuck Norris so who knows. Norris has rocked a full head of hair his whole life and there is no way this isn’t a wig. It’s never changed, even the red color, it never occurred to him to lighten it or change it up. I guess when you are Chuck Norris you call the shots and if you want to wear a red toupee you are going to wear a red toupee. Norris doesn’t have time to change up his hairstyle; he’s got much more important things to take care of. Like kicking butt.
5 Sylvester Stallone
Given that everything else on Stallone is manufactured it makes sense that his hair is as well. It’s not clear exactly what Stallone has going on up top, but it’s safe to assume he has the very best plugs money can buy. Like his body, Stallone’s hair looks fake and cartoony which sort of works since it wasn’t long ago he was still starring in boxing and action hero movies that were more graphic novel than cinematic. Stallone is now more than just an actor, off screen he is the character; Sylvester Stallone. This character doesn’t have all of his natural hair on top and that’s pretty easy to see.
4 Paul McCartney
So, I’m going to be careful here because, this is a Beatle after all. What’s interesting about Sir Paul McCartney and his wig, plugs or whatever that is, is how it seemed to happen when no one was looking. We were all just sitting at home, watching the Oscars and collectively said, “Hey, what’s going on there?” Before you knew it ‘Does Paul McCartney Wear a Wig’ was trending. For a few years he kept it neat, but recently McCartney has let his toupee (or whatever) get a little bit wild. I guess he’s reached the point where he doesn’t really care and why should he? The man is a Beatle.
3 Andre Agassi
On the tennis court Agassi was victorious and shocked the world many times, but it is in his autobiography where he really surprised everyone, admitting his “spiked mullet” was a wig. Compliments to the “hair chef” on this one because he had all of us fooled. Everyone just assumed Agassi shaved his head because he was balding, not because he was already bald. What happened after he shaved his head? Not much, he’s still a good looking guy, just no longer ranked on the top 10 current mullet lists. That’s okay; the fake spiked mullet will always make the all-time top 10 lists.
2 Marv Albert
A good rule is that if you are into hookers and S&M it’s a good idea to ensure your toupee is properly attached. You don’t want to get busted and have your picture with your toupee on backwards hitting the front page of the morning papers. With Albert everyone knew he wore a toupee, but it was the context of when he got exposed that was most shocking. From a media perspective he was the reserved play-by-play announcer with a bad toupee that got really excited when a big play was made. After, he was the guy with a bad toupee who was into kinky S&M play.
1 Gene Simmons
A lot of people still don’t know that Gene Simmons from the rock band KISS is bald. When they find out the typical first question isn’t “Why is Simmons wearing a wig?” but rather “Why does he wear a wig that looks like that!” I guess this goes back to his natural hair type, but c’mon if you are going to wear a wig that “big” then you might as well go with something a little less, um gaudy or gnarly? Quite possibly the most shocking piece of this information is that Simmons hasn’t started selling a line of wigs under the KISS brand.
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