Ricki Lake Opens Up About Hair Loss After Shaving Her Head: I Feel ‘Liberated and Free’

Ricki Lake Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

“From Hairspray to Hairless.” Ricki Lake kicked off the new year by making a huge change in her style.

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The television presenter, 51, opened up about suffering from hair loss “off and on for almost 30 years” on Wednesday, January 1, in a revealing Instagram post. Lake appeared happy and healthy, “liberated and free” in a gorgeous black-and-white portrait that showed off her new ‘do.

“First things first, I am not sick. (THANK GOD.) I am not having a mid-life crisis. Nor am I having a mental breakdown,” the Hairspray star explained on Instagram. “I am finally ready to share my secret … 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.”

Lake went into detail about her “maddening” experience in her own “quiet hell,” dating back as far as her starring role in the 1988 movie musical. Transforming her hair into a highly processed 1960s style for the film took its toll, but the actress explained that there were a number of factors that contributed to her unexpected hair loss. Lake believes that “radical weight fluctuations,” pregnancies, genetics and continued stress all played a role.

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The talk show host revealed that she tried every solution in the book to try to remedy her early hair loss, including wigs and extensions. “It all felt fake and I was super self-conscious and uncomfortable,” she said. She also tried seeking treatment from doctors, but the complex “maintenance schedule” they provided only temporarily fixed the problem.

“This time, I say no more. I have to be set free,” Lake continued in a longer post on her Facebook page. “It is a new year and new decade and a new me … I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good!”

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With the help of her close friends and her boyfriend, clothing designer Jeff Scult, Lake is stepping into the new decade with a positive new outlook.

“I am liberated. I am free. I am releasing and letting go. I am brave. I am beautiful I am love,” the actress said in her emotional Facebook post. “For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real.”

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