Ricki Lake: US TV presenter reveals hair loss ‘hell’

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TV star Ricki Lake has unveiled her new buzz cut after revealing she has been struggling with the “quiet hell” of hair loss for almost 30 years.

The US talk show host, 51, who recently competed on X Factor: Celebrity in the UK, said the ordeal had made her feel suicidal on a few occasions.

She wrote: “It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things.”

Posting new photos, she added: “For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real.”

Lake was praised on social media, including by many women who have experienced their own problems with hair loss.

Ricki Lake backstage at The X Factor: Celebrity in mid-November
Image captionRicki Lake backstage at The X Factor: Celebrity in mid-November

Lake had been “suffering mostly in silence”, she said, and “almost no-one in my life knew the level of deep pain and trauma I was experiencing”.

The TV personality traced her own issues back to playing Tracy Turnblad in the hit 1988 film Hairspray. “They triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks”, she explained.

‘I have to be set free’

Other factors included “yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress, and hair dyes and extensions”.

Hair treatments before appearing on TV shows, from her own talk show to Dancing With the Stars, also took their toll, she added.

She has seen numerous doctors, had steroid shots in her head and taken “all the supplements and then some” in an attempt to stem the problem, she wrote. “My hair would recover and then shed again. It was maddening.”

Her hair started shedding again “big time” after her latest “extreme diet”, when she lost 1st 6lb (9kg) in six weeks, which coincided with two months working in London, she said.

“This time, I say no more. I have to be set free.”

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