Ricki Lake reveals she's been struggling with the 'quiet hell' of hair loss for 30 years

"Hairspray" actress Ricki Lake gave her first interview since going public with her nearly 30-year struggle with hair loss.

Posted: Jan 4, 2020 11:10 AM
Updated: Jan 4, 2020 11:10 AM

Ricki Lake posted a photo of herself on New Year's Day with a very closely-cropped haircut and shared a deeply personal story.

"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," she wrote in lengthy posts on Instagram and Facebook. "Deep breath Ricki.... Here goes..... I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life."

It's been "debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things," she said.

Lake said she even has felt suicidal at times and that no one, not even her therapists, knew the "level of deep pain and trauma."

She said she can only assume it's the years of having her hair color processed for different roles in her career, from her starring turn as Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 film, "Hairspray" to hosting a daytime talk show for more than a decade. She also said it could be her years of dieting, genetics and more.

"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," she added.

As for remedies, she says she's tried it all.

"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," she said. "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."

The response to her post was overwhelming, with more than 29,000 likes on Instagram and hundreds of comments from supporters and people sharing their own experiences with hair loss.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 352891

Reported Deaths: 7597
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24704451
DeSoto23619283
Harrison21395335
Jackson15984255
Rankin15957294
Madison11224227
Lee10952180
Jones9316171
Forrest9136163
Lauderdale8211244
Lamar736590
Lowndes7253152
Lafayette6658125
Washington5681140
Pearl River5396155
Oktibbeha506598
Bolivar5022134
Warren4828128
Panola4823112
Marshall4759106
Pontotoc455773
Neshoba4487181
Hancock444488
Union441479
Monroe4390138
Lincoln4247116
Pike3771114
Leflore3696125
Alcorn362474
Tate356188
Sunflower351794
Adams350690
Scott349177
Yazoo344877
Copiah333569
Simpson329191
Itawamba318581
Tippah316569
Coahoma316385
Covington305584
Prentiss304163
Leake291976
Marion291882
George285851
Wayne282345
Grenada272488
Newton269264
Tishomingo241670
Stone240038
Winston238484
Jasper236248
Attala229974
Chickasaw222760
Clay204654
Holmes204374
Clarke190480
Tallahatchie185842
Smith184936
Calhoun184632
Yalobusha174241
Walthall151249
Lawrence146426
Greene144735
Amite140144
Noxubee137635
Perry137038
Montgomery134644
Carroll127531
Webster125132
Jefferson Davis121334
Tunica116627
Benton108425
Claiborne106131
Kemper105029
Humphreys102533
Franklin88724
Quitman86819
Choctaw83619
Wilkinson79632
Jefferson72328
Sharkey52018
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 595816

Reported Deaths: 11561
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson865251591
Mobile50436872
Madison37905534
Shelby27652260
Tuscaloosa27422465
Montgomery26428628
Baldwin26175329
Lee17414181
Calhoun15549334
Morgan15265291
Etowah15106372
Marshall13248236
Houston12297294
Elmore11006220
St. Clair10903252
Limestone10867158
Cullman10643206
Lauderdale10374255
DeKalb9603193
Talladega9032188
Walker7873288
Autauga7635114
Blount7463140
Jackson7450117
Colbert6780142
Coffee6515132
Dale5803117
Covington4864125
Russell483543
Chilton4828117
Franklin465681
Tallapoosa4591156
Escambia457583
Chambers4007125
Dallas3756164
Clarke374663
Marion3490107
Pike336979
Lawrence3280100
Winston301973
Bibb293766
Geneva293083
Marengo263867
Barbour254361
Pickens247962
Butler243672
Hale236979
Fayette228565
Henry218845
Monroe206941
Randolph203844
Cherokee201748
Washington189439
Macon172252
Crenshaw171758
Clay167659
Cleburne161845
Lamar152638
Lowndes146555
Wilcox132731
Bullock126542
Conecuh123032
Coosa119729
Perry111228
Sumter110933
Greene99937
Choctaw64525
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 83°
Columbus
Mostly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Friday will be just a little warmer in the morning due to some cloud cover in the area. We will see some isolated to widely scattered showers and thunderstorms pop up over portions of our area due to a little bit of low pressure flowing through the area.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather