Does Elton John Wear a Toupee?

Those who have been fortunate enough to witness Elton John in concert are almost as awed by his elaborate costumes as they are by his music. Rocket Man, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Candle in the Wind, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and Bennie and the Jets just might not be the same performed live without the proper attire. We know Sir Elton has a vast collection of spectacles to go with his clothing, but what about the hair? Is Elton John really bald? Does he wear a toupee? 

Who is Elton John?

Elton John attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Elton John | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Sir Elton Hercules John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, in the town of Pinnar in Middlesex, England. He is the only child of Stanley Dwight, a squadron leader in the Royal Air Force, and a housewife named Sheila Eileen who brought home records that introduced him to rock and roll music.

At the age of four, John taught himself to play piano and went on to study at the London Academy of Music. He dropped out of school two weeks prior to graduation to pursue a musical career and joined a band called Bluesology.

His stage name is a combination of the middle name of Bluesology’s singer, Long John Baldry, and the band’s saxophonist, Elton Dean. He added the middle name, Hercules, later in life.

Elton John’s career success and downturn

John is one of the most celebrated English singers in the world. In 1968, he met Bernie Taupin who became his long-term songwriting partner and the pair made musical history. The song Rocket Man became his first number-one single in America in 1972.

From there, the hits continued. He starred as the Pinball Wizard in the film version of the rock opera Tommy in 1975. And, in 1976, his duet with singer Kiki Dee titled Don’t Go Breaking My Heart became his first British number one single.

After a series of not-so-successful albums in the late 70s to early 80s, John’s popularity began to decline. Admitting that he was probably bisexual didn’t help, and he began to abuse drugs and alcohol.

In 1983, John met German-born recording-studio employee, Renate Blauel, and the two of them were married on Valentine’s Day in 1984. After five years of marriage, they agreed to a divorce and John came out as gay.

How Elton John makes a difference

John then turned his attention to helping others and in 1992, established the Elton John Aids Foundation. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and won an Academy Award in 1995 for Best Music, Original Song for the film The Lion King.

He married his partner of 21 years, David Furnish, in December 2014, and they are the parents of two children: Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John. The singer is reported to be worth $450 million.

Elton John’s hair woes

Despite all of his success, John still has a self-conscious side. One area he has continued to struggle with is the loss of his hair.

The 72-year-old star began to lose his locks in the early 70s and a bad dye job only made things worse. In 1976, he barely had any hair left and thus subjected himself to an agonizing five-hour hair transplant that didn’t take. 

John described the procedure as “hurting like hell” and said that post-surgery he looked like “something that might turn up at the end of a horror film.” Eventually, he decided to start wearing a wig.

He noted that once he stopped caring about his lack of hair, other people seemed to stop caring also. And rightfully so — John’s hair has nothing to do with his musical talent and work as a philanthropist.