Ricki Lake went viral this week after being open about her current health struggles. The actress posted an emotional message on her Facebook page, detailing her struggles with hair loss.
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…..
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.
Lake has always been open about her personal life, often documenting her struggles with weight loss and body image issues. This, however, she has been struggling with silently, hoping she would be able to deal with this on her own.
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.
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. 😞
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.
The Hairspray actress tried to hide her hair loss with wigs and medical treatment, but after a while she decided it was time to speak her truth.
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 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.
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.
Lake credits the new decade, as well as her friends, for her decision to live freely.
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.
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 my love, 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. ❤️
Lake ended her post by saying that even though she loves her new look, she might still choose to wear hair once in a while.
I am liberated.I am free.I am releasing and letting go. I am brave. I am beautiful. I am love.
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! 🙌🙌🙌🙌❤️
Since her post on Facebook, Lake visited Good Morning America, and thanked Robin Roberts for helping to inspire her decision.
Robin Roberts, so much love and admiration for you. Thank you for being the person to help me tell my story. My hope is that by sharing my truth it inspires anyone suffering from hair loss for any reason to love who they see in the mirror regardless. As women we need to continue to support each other and continue to redefine what is beauty. ❤️ #Truth#Brave#Courage#selflove
Lake also thanked everyone for their outpouring of support.
"Holding my head up high. The outpouring of love I am feeling is lifting my spirit higher than I ever thought possible. I’m deeply moved by all of the personal stories you’re choosing to share. We’re all brave and we’re all in this together. #RealBeauty2020 📸: @amandademme"