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Ricki Lake Shaves Head, Reveals Ongoing Battle with Hair Loss


Source: Invision/AP

Ricki Lake is starting the new year off by refusing to suffer through the “debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing and lonely” condition that is causing her to lose her hair.

The 51-year-old opened up about her hair loss experience in a lengthy Instagram and Facebook post, where she debuted a fresh, new buzz-cut look.

View this post 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


“Liberated and free,” Lake shared on social media, before reassuring fans she was not sick or having a mental breakdown.

“Suffering mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years,” Lake captioned a shot of herself sporting her gorgeous new look. “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,” Ricki bravely shared. “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.”

Ricki then went on to reveal her hair loss began after playing Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 movie Hairspray.

“They triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming, my hair was never the same,” Lake shared. “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…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.”

But “no more,” Ricki told fans on Facebook of her decision to shave her head. “I have to be set free – it is a new year and a new decade and a new me.”

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