Ricki Lake, 51, Shaves Her Head & Reveals Hair Loss Struggle That Made Her ‘Suicidal’ — Before & After Pics

Ricki Lake feels 'liberated and free' after she bravely shared her story on Instagram in an emotional new post about her struggle 'with hair loss for most of my adult life,' coupling the caption with a series of photos featuring Ricki's newly shaved head.

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Image Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Ricki Lake, 51, the beloved star of the 1988 film Hairspray, opened up about a very personal struggle she has been living with: hair loss. The actress took to Instagram on Jan. 1, in time for the new year and decade, to share her story with fans and followers. “Liberated and Free, Me,” Ricki began the lengthy caption to the post, which featured a series of three photos of the star proudly showing 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, though I have been suffering,” she continued. “Suffering mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years. AND I am finally ready to share my secret.”

Ricki’s secret came as a shock to her fans. “I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life,” she confessed. “It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things.” Ricki got very personal in post, too, revealing that for a period of time she even “felt suicidal over it,” as the toll of her condition affected her mental health and self esteem incredibly. “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 shared. Although Ricki knew that her story would strike “a chord with so so many women and men,” the trauma was still incredibly fresh.

The Hairspray star and Dancing With The Stars former contestant revealed that it was her 1988 starring role that was part of the cause of her eventual hair loss. She explained how the hair and makeup team on the film “triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming, my hair was never the same.” She referred to the traumatic situation as, “From Hairspray to Hairless.” But besides the transformation she endured on set, there were a number of other factors Ricki attributed to her hair loss including “yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress, and hair dyes and extensions.” Although she tried nearly everything to give herself the look that would be deemed ‘normal,’ or ‘recognizable,’ it was Ricki’s choice to shave her head that stuck.

ricki lake hair loss
Before photo [REX/Shutterstock].

In the final sentences of her caption, Ricki encouraged her followers to read more on her Facebook page, where she thanked a number of her friends to say, “I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good!” Fans were so incredibly proud of Ricki for sharing her story with the world, and left nothing but a string of loving comments throughout her Instagram post! With a new lease on life and positive perspective, we truly cannot wait to see what Ricki does with her platform in the future!