TV host and actress Ricki Lake is feeling "liberated and free" these days, all thanks to the decision she made to shave her hair off.
On Jan. 1, Lake posted a series of photos of her cut to Instagram and Facebook, detailing her battle with hair loss over the years, and how it led to her finally buzzing hers off.
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"It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things," she said of her journey. "There have been a few times where I have even felt suicidal over it."
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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. ❤️
While Lake makes it clear that her hair shedding isn't due to any illness, she does reveal that after playing Tracy Turnblad in the original version of Hairspray back in 1988, her hair has never been the same. That role, which required her to triple-process and tease her hair while on set, plus "yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress, and hair dyes and extensions" are all factors she believes contributed to the loss of her hair over the years.
And while she's tried numerous regimens to re-grow her hair, this year she made the decision to shave it off — and it's clear she feels great about her choice.
"I am liberated. I am free. I am releasing and letting go. I am brave. I am beautiful. I am love," she wrote. "For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real."
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Through sharing her story, the actress is also hoping to help others who are dealing with hair loss know that they're not alone — which is an incredibly thoughtful way to start off the new decade.
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