'I Am Suffering': Ricki Lake On Her Severe Hair Loss That She 'Felt Suicidal Over'
Ricki Lake has penned an emotional open letter about her "debilitating" struggles with hair loss.
The American talk show host bared her soul on Facebook with an honest and heartfelt post about her decades-long struggles with hair loss and mental health.
The 'Hairspray' star has sparked a touching and raw conversation about the condition that she said has made her "self-conscious" and "suicidal."
"I am not having a mid-life crisis, nor am I having a mental breakdown, though I am suffering," the post began. "Deep breath Ricki…. Here goes..."
The 51-year-old explained that she has been struggling with hair loss for most of her adult life.
Lake was 19-years-old when she starred in the John Waters classic musical, 'Hairspray' where her big hair was a distinct feature of her character, Tracy Turnblad.
"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 two weeks during filming, my hair was never the same. (Yes, that was all my own hair in the film.)
"From Hairspray to Hairless."
Lake believes it was a range of factors, like stressful production schedules and yo-yo dieting, that caused her condition.
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.
The actor and television presenter detailed the great lengths she went to to conceal her condition from the public, including various wigs, extensions and even steroid injections into her scalp.
The rapid hair loss accelerated again recently when Lake dropped nine kilograms in six weeks due to extreme dieting.
Now, she is sick of hiding.
This time, I say no more. I have to be set free.
Alongside empowering words of how she will embrace her condition and learn to be confident within herself, Lake shared a stunning black and white photo of her shaved head.
"For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real," she wrote beside the powerful image.
The viral Facebook post has garnered more than one thousand comments, with most commending Lake for being so sincere and unabashed about her situation.
Dozens of women have come forward in the comments to bravely share their own stories of hair loss.
Complete with smiling selfies, the hairless women and girls wrote about their journeys towards acceptance.
"Thank you for being so brave! I went short due to hair loss in 2018 and I haven’t gone back. It is freeing," wrote one commenter alongside a selfie of her short cropped hair.
"Best choice I ever made," wrote another, complete with a gorgeous picture of the hairless mum hugging her child.
Each and every commenter has their own unique story to tell. Discussing their battles a wide range of different conditions and situations that caused their hair loss, like stress, lupus, cancer, and alopecia.
Throughout the many comments on Lake's post was one common thread -- how extraordinarily heartbreaking it can be for women to lose their hair.
The post has empowered hundreds of women to not only share their pain, but their quest for self-acceptance. And throw their incredible support behind their peers as well.
"I am brave. I am beautiful. I am love," Lake wrote.
Featured Image: Getty/Facebook