Ricki Lake revealed she's been "suffering in silence" for years due to hair loss.
The former talk show host, 51, took to social media on January 1, to assure fans she isn't "having a mental breakdown" and explain the issues she’s been tackling.
"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," Lake started. "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."
The actress then explained that she decided to share her truth about her condition to help those experiencing the same.
Her hair loss, she noted, started in 1988 when she landed the role of played Tracy Turnblad in the original Hairspray. At the time, her hair was being triple-processed and teased every two weeks due to filming. It all went downhill from there.
Lake admitted that other factors — including yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, pregnancies, genetics, stress, hair dyes and extensions — might have also contributed to her hair loss.
Aside from trying on wigs that "felt fake," Lake said she sought medical assistance.
"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," she wrote.
But "after 2 months of bliss ‘working’ in London and after my last extreme diet where I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks," her hair started shedding again. At that point, she felt the need "to be set free of the maintenance every 10-12 days" that consisted of using extensions and coloring her gray hair.
"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,” she explained. “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."
Now, at the start of 2020, Lake has let go of the past by chopping off all
of her hair and flaunting her trendy new look for all to see.
"I am liberated. I am free. I am releasing and letting go. I am brave. I am beautiful I am love," she continued. "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!"
Readers know in her years out of the spotlight, Lake has also had to cope with the loss of her ex-husband, Christian Evans.
The couple, who was once described to RadarOnline.com as "unbreakable" decided to go their separate ways after the actress took issue with his solo trip to Ibiza. To make matters worse, he didn't call her on her birthday!
The former host kicked her ex-husband out of their home, and by 2015, their divorce was finalized.
Roughly two years later, Evans, who suffered from bipolar disorder, died by suicide.