As a huge Michael Jackson fan growing up, I realized that Michael Jackson put as much thought into his hair as he did his songwriting and dance routines. There was more to Michael's hair than meets the eye, and that's what I'm about to explore.
Natural Hair? Beat It!!
Michael kept up with the urban trends. He knew all the latest break-dance moves, fashion statements, and was no different when it came to popular hairstyles. In 1979 he trimmed his "crown afro" and opted for a new look. The beginnings of Michael's Jheri Curl journey began in the music videos for the Off The Wall album and the Triumph tour with his brothers. (pictured above)
A "Stringy" Curl
A Fiery Setback
Jheri Curls are notorious to this very day because of the flammable oils within the activator. Michael told several people that he didn't wear any activator that night; only water. Despite that, the activator he applied during the previous days was still present in his hair and ignited the sparks. If you ever pick up any bottle of activator, including Care Free Curl (the activator Michael used) the back of the bottle says, "Caution: HIGHLY FLAMMABLE. Keep away from open flames."
His "hair" also looked healthy and full, even where he had been burned. He was obviously wearing extensions to make his hair appear fuller, thicker and longer.
A lot of people, (both black and white) were puzzled by Michael's sudden change in skin color. Today we know that he had a skin disorder that he kept under wraps. But back in 1987, some people thought he was trying to hide his ancestry. Due to the fact that Michael couldn't help his skin condition and millions of black people were wearing Jheri Curls at the time, I don't see how he could be labeled a "sell-out." But that's another topic for another blog. Let's fast forward to 1991.
Curly or Straight?
Uh-Oh. Hair (and legal) troubles..
Make That Change....
Wigs: Give In To Me
In my opinion, there was no spice to these wigs and I found myself almost praying that he would do something new with his hair. I couldn't see him performing wearing those boring lace front wigs. Michael apparently agreed with me and surprised everyone by reuniting with the wave nouveau. You know what that means? Curls!!!
This Is It
"It's all for love. L.O.V.E."
-Michael Jackson, 2009