The Hairspray star admitted to moments where she felt suicidal because of the condition

By Claudia Harmata
January 02, 2020 10:48 AM

Ricki Lake is beginning her new year by letting go of the “deep pain and trauma” she’s been experiencing for almost 30 years.

On Wednesday, the Hairspray star opened up to her fans for the very first time about her hair loss and shared a series of photos showing off her newly 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,” she began her lengthy Facebook and Instagram post. “Suffering mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years. AND I am finally ready to share my secret.”

“I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life.”

The 51-year-old talk show host explained that the hair loss began shortly after her portrayal of Tracy Turnblad in the original 1988 Hairspray, explaining that the role took a toll on her “then healthy virgin hair” when she had to tease and triple-process it every two weeks while filming.

“My hair was never the same. (Yes, that was all my own hair in the film.) From Hairspray to Hairless. ?,” she wrote.

However, she explained that there could be a number of factors for her hair loss, including diet, hormonal birth control, weight fluctuations, her pregnancies, genetics ,and stress over the years.

Whatever the cause, the experience has been “quiet hell” the star said, as she’s been to countless doctors and tried every treatment to remedy the condition. There were even moments where the experience left her suicidal.

“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,” Lake revealed. “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.”

“Well, it is a new year and new decade and a new me,” she added. “With the love and support of some of my dearest friends, John Bonny, Mandy Ingber, Sarah Havana Prats, and my love, Jeff Scult, I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good!”

Lake went on to explain her decision to finally come forward with her condition, saying that she hopes her story will help others cope with their own experiences of hair loss.

“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,” she wrote.

The star said she finally felt “liberated” and “beautiful” with her new shaved head and the secret shared with her fans.

“For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real,” she wrote. “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.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to