On the Basics Panet hair = fire = wealth.
Now sooner or later Janeways bun was going to quit.
And Neelix had a choice of being a natural resource for a 140 bald assholes, or to take over and dictate who was worthy of fire and who had to go out into the cold because they didn't know how to suck up with enough eloquence.
He would be able to even trade hairballs for sex.
Talk about quid pro quo on the gag reflex.
Neelix is a survivor!