Ricki Lake 'overwhelmed' by support since sharing hair loss

Ricki Lake has been "overwhelmed" by the amount of support she has received since revealing her "debilitating" hair loss.

The 51-year-old television presenter took to Facebook this week to share a photograph of herself with a buzz cut hairstyle as she decided to let her fans know that, for years, she has been battling the loss of her strands.

Ricki wanted to start 2020 feeling "liberated and free" by being honest about her struggles with her hair, and since making her post she has been blown away by the love that has come her way following almost 30 years feeling "embarrassed" and "depressed".

Speaking to TMZ, Ricki said: "It's been amazing, it's really been overwhelming. I'm delighted that people have been so supportive of me."

The actress also praised her "family and friends" for their support and for giving her the confidence to embrace her natural hair.

Ricki revealed she has been living with hair loss since starring as Tracy Turnblad in the original 'Hairspray' film in 1988, and has attributed her condition to many factors, including stress, dieting, and birth control.

In her lengthy Facebook post, she wrote: "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. (sic)"

The US chat show host - who recently competed on UK talent show 'X Factor: Celebrity' - tried extensions, wigs, steroid shots and several supplements to help her hair grow, but now she's going to embrace who she is.

She added: "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.

"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!"