Ricki Lake shaves head after long-running battle with hair loss

Ricki Lake shows off new shaved head. Credit: Instagram - @rickilake

Ricki Lake has decided to shave her head after suffering with hair loss for decades.

The 51-year-old former talk show host took to Instagram on Wednesday to share snaps of her brave new 'do and told her fans and followers that she'd been struggling to keep her hair loss under control for almost 30 years.

"Liberated and Free, Me," Ricki began her lengthy caption, which she wrote alongside three pictures of her showing off her shaved head. "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."

Explaining that she'd been battling hair loss "for most of my adult life", she revealed that she had even felt suicidal over the years, but had refused to talk about the "debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, and lonely" condition, even with her therapists.

Ricki traced the beginning of her hair loss to when she starred in the 1988 musical Hairspray, and said the hairstylists on the set of the movie "triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every two weeks during filming".

She also pointed out that many factors over the years will have contributed to her losing her hair, and confessed she had been wearing extensions to cover the bald spots.

"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," the former Dancing with the Stars contestant wrote.

The mother-of-two hopes that speaking out about her struggle will inspire her fans and followers to face their own insecurities with hair loss.

"I know that by sharing my truth, I will be striking a chord with so so many women and men," she continued. "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."

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