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cheyenne jackson american horror story apocalypse fx

There are many things that one might imagine an actor confessing to on social media. While those things could easily range from the silly to the profound within categories that are either personal or professional, it seems like American Horror Story actor Cheyenne Jackson has finally decided to unburden himself with regards to something that touches, quite a bit, on both his personal and professional life. Jackson has just revealed that he's been hiding his hair loss for several years, but now he's ready to completely "release" his "shame and anxiety" about it.

Actually, when I say that Cheyenne Jackson has been holding on to the secret of his hair loss for "several years," it turns out that it's actually been well over a decade, though Jackson's many roles in film, television and on stage, which includes four seasons on American Horror Story, certainly haven't given anything away, and for a good reason. Jackson recently took to his Instagram feed to lighten his load about his balding secret, revealed why he felt now was the right time to come forward, and explained just how hard this decision was for him. Take a look:

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I’ve been DREADING this day for 17 years. The day when my horrible secret would be revealed. 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. My inner monologue is “Really Cheyenne? With everything that’s going on in the world, you’re CONFESSING that you had hair surgery? Get over yourself.” I get it, but I’m admitting this really, to RELEASE how much shame & anxiety I’ve had about people finding out for years. I started losing my hair around 22. My older brother was balding too, but was way braver & cooler & just shaved his off. 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. Why? Why did I care so much? What does that say about me? 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. 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! I’m sharing because maybe this will inspire someone out there to share a secret they’ve been hiding, or show a scar that they’ve been afraid of anyone seeing. Let it go. What I’ve learned during this pandemic is that shit like this just doesn’t matter. 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. #ShowYourScars

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Phew, boy. Hair is such a thing, isn't it? Anyone who's had a seriously bad hair day (or week...or year) knows that you don't have to be an actor or anyone else in the entertainment industry to feel anxiety over your hair. The standard of what makes good hair is hardly universal (even for men) but deciding to go bald when you realize that your follicles are failing you is usually not an easy choice.

As Cheyenne Jackson noted in his post, he first started losing his hair 17 years ago when he was still in his twenties. And, it doesn't take a hair historian (Is that a real thing? Someone please tell me that's a real thing.) to know that openly bald actors (never thought I'd type that phrase) only come in two types: old men or tough guys. If you don't fit into one of those subsets (or really don't want to) and just want to play regular young men who aren't trying to make some kind of statement with a bare pate, then I can see how being bald as an actor doesn't feel like an option.

Jackson was so desperate to keep his hair loss a secret that he went through the trouble of having five hair transplant surgeries over the course of the last 14 years to combat feeling "less attractive" and "truly less like myself." Those procedures, which likely ranged in price from $4,000 to around $15,000 each, helped, but as time passed and he kept his balding to himself, the weight of the secret grew.

Now, Cheyenne Jackson says that he's coming forward both to release himself, and also to show his kids that it's possible to accept yourself, scars and all, because "shit like this just doesn’t matter."  Well said, Mr. Jackson. Well said.

You can watch Cheyenne Jackson's work on American Horror Story on Hulu or Netflix, as the show streams on both platforms. If you need more to fill your viewing schedule in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2020 Netflix premiere guide and see what's coming to TV this summer!

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