After hiding a "horrible secret" for the better part of two decades, "American Horror Story" star Cheyenne Jackson is coming clean.
The actor, 44, suffers from hair loss and has gone through five hair transplant surgeries.
In a lengthy Instagram post in which he shared a photo of a huge scar on the back of his head, Cheyenne detailed the extreme lengths he's gone through to hide his hair loss.
"I've been DREADING this day for 17 years. The day when my horrible secret would be revealed," he said. "No, this gnarly scar across my head isn't from life-saving brain surgery, nor did I narrowly survive a shark attack. It's worse. (At least in Hollywood…) I had hair transplant surgery. 5 of them, to be exact over 14 years."
Cheyenne said he's felt shame over the years when people found out about his hair loss.
"I started losing my hair around 22. My older brother was balding too, but was way braver & cooler & just shaved his off," he said. "It was really emotional for me to watch it fall out & I felt less attractive & truly less like myself as the days went on, so I saved up and got my first surgery at 28. I hid it from everyone. It was painful & expensive but I started to feel better about myself."
"Over the years as my hair kept thinning, I kept secretly getting more procedures & would just pray that no one would find out," he said. "Being a vain actor in an industry that rewards beauty, I vowed to keep this my secret forever. I feel SO stupid saying that but it's my truth. As if someone finding out would somehow negate my talent, or make me less viable or valuable in the world."
Cheyenne said the hair and makeup people who worked on his shows knew about "secret," and he would approach them the same way.
"At the beginning of every job, I'd secretly gather the hair & makeup people, dramatically close the door of the trailer, & make a big deal about REVEALING my devastating truth. Every. Single. Time. they basically said 'ummm…yeah…so?' NO ONE CARED BUT ME!," he wrote.
Cheyenne said he wanted to share his story for catharsis, but also to inspire others to share their truths.
"What I've learned during this pandemic is that s—- like this just doesn't matter," he said. "I'm trying to teach my kids to accept themselves & to be proud of who they are, & to put value on things that are IMPORTANT & REAL so as their father, the example should start with me. This is that. I'll go first."