'I was really scared people were going to say mean things.'
Ricki Lake is opening up about her hair loss.
The 51-year-old former talk show host appeared on Good Morning America Friday, and got candid about her decision to go public with her decades-long hair loss struggles. The interview came days after Lake first revealed her newly shaved head in an Instagram post, where she described her hair loss as "debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, [and] lonely."
"This was personal. I'm overwhelmed by the reaction," Lake told Robin Roberts of the positive response to her reveal. "I was really scared people were going to say mean things."
The positive response came after Lake suffered for years in secret, something that went against her usual tendency toward openness.
"This has been something that has plagued me for so, so long. It was my secret, and I'm an open book," she said. "You guys grew up with me -- I wear everything on my sleeve. I've talked extensively about my husband who died by suicide almost three years ago -- I have shared, I'm an over-share-er."
As for why she finally came forward Lake said that she "was just at the end of my rope" and revealed that "it had gotten too difficult to manage."
Lake, who appeared on GMA without wearing extensions, added that the reveal made her feel like she "can finally be truly me."
"Actually, I don't think I look that bad!" she said. "I'm holding my head up high. I've never been prouder of myself and I'm really touched by the reaction and the fact that I can help others through this process."
Like she told Roberts, Lake has made it her mission to be vulnerable with her fans. Last February, she spoke with ET about what it was like finding love again two years after the death of her husband.
Check out the incredibly candid interview: