A year ago, Ricki Lake first shared photos of herself on Instagram, revealing that she’d been quietly suffering with hair loss for 30 years. Now, the 52-year-old is sharing insight into her struggle with People magazine.

Lake called her hair journey “debilitating.” She said: “I went back and forth about coming forward last year. It's such a shameful thing.”

She said the problem began after starring in 1988’s Hairspray, where her “then healthy virgin hair” was teased and triple-processed every two weeks while filming. From then on, she suffered extreme hair loss, and she tried Rogaine, prescription medications, topical treatments, Propecia, steroid injections and PRP therapy, none of which worked.

Lake told People: “I was afraid of coming out. Because no woman as far as I knew had ever gone public about female baldness.”

Sharing her truth gave her strength. She told People: “It's about inner beauty, self-confidence and self-love. I truly appreciate what I see in the mirror now.”