Ricki Lake has posted pictures of her new buzz cut and revealed she has been struggling with the “quiet hell” of hair loss for almost 30 years.
Lake, 51, said on Facebook that the ordeal had made her feel suicidal and wrote: “It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all things.”
The US talk show host, who recently competed on X Factor: Celebrity, added: “For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real.”
Lake said she had been “suffering in silence” and said “almost no-one in my life knew the level of deep pain and trauma I was experiencing”.
She said she had issues going back to when she was playing Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 film Hairspray and explained: “They triple processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every two weeks.”
The star also told of other factors, such as “yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress and hair dyes and extensions”.
She believes hair treatments before appearing on TV shows – from her own talk show to Dancing With The Stars – did not help.
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Revealing how she dealt with losing her her, she said: “I got used to wearing extensions, really just over the last decade.
“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 four or five 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.”
Despite seeing numerous doctors, taking steroid shots in her head and having taken “all the supplements and then some”, she said: “My hair would recover and then shed again. It was maddening.
“This time, I say no more. I have to be set free.”
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.