OMG! That pony is sooo funny! A bridle path could help, but looks like you did wonders already.
On another thread they were talking about a pony's forelock, and I'll say the same thing here: I love Best Shot products, and the Ultra Plenish Conditioner will help your horse's mane and forelock a ton for keeping it healthy and manageable. You do like your own hair -- wet it down, rub it in, leave for a minute or two, rinse out. Then use the Ultra Vitalizing Mist --- SOOO much better than Show Sheen, Cowboy Magic, all those greasy, waxy products. The Mist feels great, and makes it a lot easier to comb through the mane and tail and forelock, and yes, will help thin manes grow thicker and stronger. And if you don't want to bathe, you can just use the Mist on the body and then brush, and it makes them soft, not greasy.
I think even though you don't like to pull the foretop, it could benefit from it to thin it out and take off the sunburnt tips. But if you really don't want to, your horse doesn't look bad at all. Tell your riding mates they are just jealous!