Peniel Shin, a member of K-pop boy band BTOB, revealed on variety show Hello Counsellor yesterday the real reason why he has been wearing caps and beanies for the past year. The Korean-American idol revealed that he has been experiencing severe hair loss since five years ago, which culminated in him losing 70% of his hair.

The 23-year-old revealed that he had gone to a hospital, but was told that there’s no guarantee that his hair will grow back. Doctors said his condition could be related to stress, or hereditary, which he claimed was unlikely because his father didn’t suffer from hair loss.

Since he is still actively promoting as part of BTOB, he had to wear berets and caps during their public appearances to hide his condition, which proved to be uncomfortable due to heat and sweat. When fans asked why he always wore a cap, he had to lie and said he was going for the hip-hop style.

Even when he did take off his cap during a performance, he had to apply makeup on his scalp to hide his bald spots.

His parents were worried about his condition and even wanted him to quit being an idol and move back to the US to seek treatment. However, he stayed on in Korea to promote with the members, whom he debuted with in 2012.

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He said his reason for appearing on the show, on which people air their grievances, was to tell fans about his condition so he can confidently go on stage without a cap.

Peniel also talked about the stress and hardships that K-pop idols face, such as not being able to dress casually even in their free time, and not being allowed to interact with female idols who are his friends as people might think they are dating.

His manager, who appeared on the show with BTOB members Eunkwang, Minhyuk and Hyunsik, agreed to help him through his condition and even allowed him to date. He said, “You can date,” then added hastily, “but you have to tell me first.”

Peniel remains optimistic despite his condition and was more relieved than anything that he no longer had to hide behind his cap. After the show aired last night, he tweeted to assure fans, “… there is nothing wrong with my health, so don’t worry.”

Image: TPG/Click Photos