Ricki Lake is revealing she has been suffering in darkness over a debilitating issue with hair loss, that the former talk show host says left her ‘suicidal’ at times in her life.
The former ‘The Ricki Lake Show’ host posted a lengthy message on social media addressing the issues and letting her fans in on her private struggle.
“Liberated and Free, Me First things first, I am not sick. (THANK GOD.) I am not having a mid-life crisis. nor am I having a mental breakdown, though I have been suffering. Suffering mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years. AND I am finally ready to share my secret. Deep breath Ricki…. Here goes…..” she began.
She continued, “I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life. It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things. There have been a few times where I have even felt suicidal over it. Almost no one in my life knew the level of deep pain and trauma I was experiencing. Not even my therapist/s over the years knew my truth. I know that by sharing my truth, I will be striking a chord with so so many women and men. I am not alone in this and my goal is to help others while at the same time unshackle myself from this quiet hell I have been living in.”
Ricki described the issue going back all the way to her starring role in ‘Hairspray’, “Ever since I played Tracy Turnblad in the original Hairspray back in 1988 and they triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming, my hair was never the same. (Yes, that was all my own hair in the film.) From Hairspray to Hairless. :disappointed: In my case, I believe my hair loss was due to many factors, yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress, and hair dyes and extensions. Working as talent on various shows and movies, whether DWTS or my talk show, also took its toll on my fine hair. I got used to wearing extensions, really just over the last decade.”
She went on to describe the arduous process of dealing with her hair over the years, saying, “All different kinds, tried them all, the ones that are glued on, the tape-ins, the clip-ins, and then into a total hair system that I hated, and finally to a unique solution that really did work pretty well for me for the last 4 or 5 years. I tried wigs on a few occasions but never could get used to them. It all felt fake and I was super self-conscious and uncomfortable.”
With any medical issue comes the treatments, and Lake describes the painful issues with trying to reverse the process.
“I’ve been to many doctors, gotten steroid shots in my head, taking all the supplements and then some. My hair would recover and then shed again. It was maddening. So of late, after 2 months of bliss ‘working’ in London and after my last extreme diet where I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks, my hair started shedding again, big time. This time, I say no more. I have to be set free. Free of the maintenance every 10-12 days, where my added hair would need to be tightened (sometimes painfully) and my gray hair would need to be colored. I felt like I was a slave to this maintenance schedule. I wouldn’t go out of town longer than 12 days, because of this. I even brought my hair fairy and dear friend, to London during my stint there to do what she needed to do to keep it on my head.”
The message came on the first day of 2020, and Ricki included a message about the new year.
“Well, it is a new year and new decade and a new me. With the love and support of some of my dearest friends, John Bonny, Mandy Ingber, Sarah Havana Prats, and Jeff Scult, I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good! Huge heartfelt thank you to my dear friend Amanda Demme for photographing and capturing this pivotal moment in my life. :heart: I am liberated. I am free. I am releasing and letting go. I am brave. I am beautiful I am love.”
She ended the message with this, “For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real. (I will on occasion choose to wear hair, but now it is for fun, not because I am hiding anything. I am so done with hiding.) Happy New Year and decade to all!”