Ricki Lake shaves her head, reveals hair loss struggle that left her suicidal

The 51-year-old actress showed off a new look and shared an old issue she’s kept hidden for years.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

Ricki Lake just said goodbye to her long locks, and the new look is so much more than a style statement.

It’s a testament, both to a hidden struggle she’s battled for years and to a new lease on life.

“Liberated and Free, Me,” she wrote alongside a beautiful photo of her fresh buzz cut. “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.”

In fact, the 51-year-old explained that she’s been suffering “mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years," and now she’s breaking that silence.

“I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life,” Lake continued. “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.”

She’s hoping, by finally speaking out, she’ll not only help herself, but that her message will also resonate with others living through the same “quiet hell.”

Lake’s hair played a big part in her breakout film role in 1988’s “Hairspray,” which she now believes factored into her hair woes.

“They triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming, my hair was never the same,” she wrote of her towering big screen style. “From Hairspray to Hairless.”

She went on to detail a number of other factors, from “yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, pregnancies” and stress to “hair dyes and extensions.” It all took a toll.

For years, in addition to extensions, the actress turned to hats, wigs and hair systems, but ultimately, none of it addressed the real problem and all of it “felt fake.”

Even steroid shots and supplements only offered a temporary solution. So when she found her hair shedding again after a recent weight loss, she decided to take a different approach.

In celebration of a “new decade and a new me,” she wrote: “I am liberated. I am free. I am releasing and letting go. I am brave. I am beautiful. I am love.”

And when her fans and followers see her wearing hair again one day, Lake insisted that it’ll simply be for fun, “not because I am hiding anything. I am so done with hiding.”