Do the very altered makeup designs have a back story in Discovery that is interesting like the original series?
Apparently the Klingons of Season 1 were shaving their heads in preparation for war. Seriously, that's all we get. From Season 2 Point of Light
BURNHAM: I heard, postwar, the Klingons are growing their hair again.
TYLER: The rumors are true.
Out-of-universe, fans really weren't digging the bald Klingons
But one of the show’s most divisive changes turned out to be much more superficial: the look of the Klingons. From Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987 all the way through to Enterprise’s cancellation in 2005, Klingons were depicted as a kind of alien Vikings — jovial warriors with huge flowing heads of hair, pointed teeth, and brow ridges — but Discovery changed their appearance in several major ways. Makeup was no longer applied to the actors’ faces, instead replaced by full-face latex masks, which had the unfortunate effect of giving them puffy and unexpressive looks (and made them extremely hard to tell apart). It also, most controversially, made the Klingons bald.
“We did have #NotMyKlingon,” said Mary Chieffo, who played the Klingon L’Rell, of fan criticism. “I mean, people do get caught up in that.”
[W]as this change done in response to fan criticism?
“Absolutely,” Kurtzman admitted. “When you’re doing Trek and trying to keep track of the points that are meaningful and significant to people, some things are going to fall through the cracks […] I suppose we should have just explained it earlier.”