‘I am liberated’: Ricki Lake debuts buzz cut after years of ‘painful’ hair loss

Ricki Lake is opening up about embracing her hair loss after "struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life." (Photo: Chris Pizzello, Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Ricki Lake is feeling “liberated and free” after letting go of her hair. 

The actress, 51, proudly flaunted her new buzz cut across her social media channels on Wednesday saying she’d been suffering from hair loss for nearly three decades. 

“First things first, I am not sick. THANK GOD,” she began. “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.”

In a lengthy Instagram caption, Lake revealed that she’s been secretly living in a “quiet hell” and even contemplated ending her life over the “debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely” reality of losing her hair. 

“There have been a few times where I have even felt suicidal over it,” she wrote. “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.”

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Lake shot to stardom following her role as Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 film “Hairspray,” but the actress says she paid a real-life price: Her fine hair never recovered from the constant manipulation it took to achieve Turnblad’s iconic hairdo. 

“They triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming,” she said, confirming that “yes, that was all my own hair in the film.”

Lake added, “My hair was never the same…From Hairspray to Hairless.”

Ricki Lake in "Hairspray." (Photo: NONE, XXX NEW LINE CINEMA)

Lake attributes her hair loss to a combination of other factors, including yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuations over the years, hormonal birth control, pregnancies, genetics, stress and hair dyes and extensions.

As a result, the actress turned to remedies from “steroid shots in my head” to wigs, to little or no avail.

“It all felt fake and I was super self-conscious and uncomfortable,” she added. “I felt like I was a slave to this (hair) maintenance schedule.”

But 2020 will be different, Lake declared. 

“It is a new year and new decade and a new me…I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good!” Lake said. “I am liberated. I am free. I am releasing and letting go. I am brave.

I am beautiful. I am love. For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real.”

She added, “I will on occasion choose to wear hair, but now it is for fun, not because I am hiding anything. I am so done with hiding.”

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