Ricki Lake shaves her head amid ‘debilitating’ struggle with hair loss

Actor and TV presenter Ricki Lake is opening up about a decades-long battle with hair loss that she says has left her feeling embarrassed, scared and even suicidal.

“Almost no one in my life knew the level of deep pain and trauma I was experiencing,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday that’s since been shared almost 2,000 times.

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The 51-year-old, who is best known for playing the lead role in the 1988 version of Hairspray, said she’s exhausted from the onerous treatments she’s undergone over the years to get her hair back, from supplements to steroids.

It’s why she’s decided to shave her head entirely, a choice that’s made her feel “liberated and free,” she said in the post, in which she shared a black-and-white photo of herself with her new, shorter hairstyle.

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The American actor’s struggle with hair loss began after starring in Hairspray. In Lake’s Facebook post, she refers to how her “then healthy” hair was “triple-processed and teased” every two weeks while they were filming. Her locks never recovered after that, she said.

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Lake explained that she also believes yo-yo dieting, birth control, pregnancies, stress and her genetics are all factors that have led to her hair falling out. After constantly using extensions and having the hair loss get worse after losing weight, Lake decided she had enough.

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