‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Delayed Filming Because of His Hair

Michael Landon starred as Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie for eight seasons. He was also an executive producer, writer, and director. As one of the show’s central characters, Landon was essential to making the show run. However, Landon was known for causing delays in filming on the set of Little House on the Prairie.

Michael Landon
Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls | Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

Michael Landon was known for his hair

Besides his good looks and comforting personality, Landon was known for his hair.

“I weighed 125 pounds in senior high school and I was the best javelin thrower in the United States by far. Well that just doesn’t make sense. But it does to me because I’d let my hair grow longer and longer and longer,” he told the Washington Post.

Growing up, Landon admitted that people were intimidated and perplexed by him because of his hair.

“I never had one date when I was in school because girls were terrified of me. I took one girl out once and we went to a hamburger place and I was the shyest guy you can imagine, but because of my hair, this girl got a note from the waitress which said, ‘Be Careful.’ I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

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The ‘Little House on the Prairie’ actor dyed his hair

In 1959, he began starring as Little Joe Cartwright on the TV show Bonanza. On the show, he was one of the most popular actors and he received more fan mail than any other cast member. The show was also one of the first TV shows to be shot and broadcast in color.

When he was on the program, Landon’s hair started graying prematurely. He used Clairol Medium Ash Brown to dye it back to its famous color. He also cut his hair himself because he had a problem with crowds.

He delayed production of ‘Little House on the Prairie’

When Landon began working on Little House on the Prairie, he still dyed his hair frequently with the same Clairol Medium Ash Brown dye. The show was filmed in Simi Valley, Calif., and a great deal of scenes were filmed outside.

Due to the sun, Landon’s dyed hair would turn a shade of lavender after just a few days. To combat this, lights would be adjusted on set to not reflect Landon’s head and this delayed production. Because this happened so frequently, Landon eventually relented and allowed someone on set to professionally dye his hair.

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Michael Landon was a surrogate father on the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ set

Landon was known for his charismatic and welcoming personality. On set, he acted like a father figure to Melissa Sue Anderson and Melissa Gilbert, who played his daughters on Little House on the Prairie.

“He gave me so much advice…the overall idea that he pounded into me, from a little girl, into my brain was that nothing’s more important than ‘Home & Family’; no success, no career, no achievements, no accomplishments, nothing’s more important than loving the people you love and contributing to a community,” Gilbert said in a 2015 interview on That’s Entertainment.