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- Actress and talk-show host Ricki Lake revealed on Instagram she’s been struggling with health-related hair loss for more than 30 years.
- Lake described the issue as debilitating, depressing, and lonely, even making her feel suicidal at times. She said she shared her story, and debuted a newly-shaved head, to help others who may be struggling.
- Hair loss can be caused by a variety of issues ranging from minor to severe. Lake believes it was in part due to stress, hormones, and yo-yo dieting.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more.
Actress and talk-show host Ricki Lake recently debuted a new hairstyle on Instagram while sharing her decades-long silent struggle with hair loss.
She wrote that she had suffered problems with hair loss for most of her adult life, more than 30 years, and that the experience had been “debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things,” and even contributed to Lake having suicidal thoughts at times.
“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,” she wrote.
The actress, perhaps best known for her starring role in 1988’s “Hairspray,” also noted the irony of the situation, writing “from Hairspray to Hairless,” but said she had chosen to finally discuss her struggles with the hope of helping others.
“My goal is to help others while at the same time unshackle myself from this quiet hell I have been living in,” Lake wrote on Instagram.
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. 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. 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. To read more: please go to my Facebook page. ❤️
A post shared by Ricki Lake (@rickilake) on Jan 1, 2020 at 11: 25am PST
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Lake said a combination of factors like stress and yo-yo dieting were likely to blame for her hair loss
The actress said her hair was “never the same” after the intensive spraying and combing required for her starring musical role, but in subsequent years, she continued to struggle with losing her hair.
She attributes the problems in part to yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuations, since research shows nutritional deficiencies, like a lack of iron and B vitamins, are often linked to hair loss. However, despite going to doctors and taking supplements, Lake said the problems persisted; her hair would briefly recover, and then fall out again.
Lake said she tried a variety of hair extensions to cope, but didn’t feel comfortable with any of them. She had similar problems with wigs.
Other possible causes of hair loss, Lake noted, include stress and pregnancy. Both of these can have significant effects on the body’s hormones and can cause the hair follicles to go into a “resting phase,” causing hair loss, according to the Mayo Clinic and the American Pregnancy Association.
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Hair loss can also be a sign of something more serious
Female hair loss is common, affecting more than 50% of women at some point in their lives, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
In some cases, though, suddenly losing hair is a symptom of serious health issues, including autoimmune diseases like lupus and alopecia, or it could signal hyperthyroidism. This is typically accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue, muscle aches, or a rash.
It could also be a side effect of certain medications, including those for high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
In many cases, however, hair loss isn’t permanent, and there are steps you can take to reverse it, scalp specialist Iain Sallis previously told Insider.
If you’re concerned about hair loss or associated symptoms, see a doctor, who can then recommend a course of action or refer you to specialists if necessary.