Actor Cheyenne Jackson, 44, has revealed he’s had five hair transplants in the space of 14 years. In an emotional Instagram posting, he said he was revealing the information as he had been “dreading” people find out and no longer wanted to hide the fact.
The posting included a photo of the back of his head, revealing a large area of scarring where cosmetic surgeons had removed hair follicles to implant on the top of his scalp.
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“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.
“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”
Jackson is best known for his recurring roles in American Horror Story on FX but has a string of Broadway, TV and movie credits to his name. He has also released three albums of music.
He is married to fellow actor, Jason Landau. They married in 2014 and became fathers to twins, a boy and a girl named Ethan and Willow, in 2016.
The gay actor has spoken before about succumbing to the pressure to maintain his appearance. In 2016, he told Out magazine: “’I find that especially with gay guys, there’s such a pressure in our community to look young, to stay looking young. I will admit I kind of succumbed to that a few years back.
“I got into doing Botox and putting stuff in my face. And I started to not look like myself anymore. It kind of just made me sad. I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ I couldn’t wrinkle my forehead anymore. It changed the shape of my eyes. So three years ago, I was like, ‘F*** it. I’m just gonna let my face do what it’s gonna do’.”