AceShowbiz - Ricki Lake debuted a drastic new look on Instagram on New Year's Day, January 1, 2020, explaining to fans that she'd decided to shave her head after battling hair loss for the past 30 years.
The 51-year-old former talk show host shared a series of empowering pictures of her shaved head on her Instagram page as she reassured her followers that her makeover was not down to being "sick," a "mid-life crisis" or a "mental breakdown."
"Suffering mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years. AND I am finally ready to share my secret," Ricki said, before revealing she's been suffering from hair loss "for most of my adult life."
"It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things," she continued. "There have been a few times where I have even felt suicidal over it. 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."
Ricki added that it was her role as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray in 1988 that really messed up her hair, admitting "they triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every two weeks during filming" - and her locks were "never the same" after that.
Then various factors in her life contributed to her hair falling out, as Ricki explained, "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."
Now she's hoping that by speaking out about her battle, she will help other people going through similar struggles.
"I know that by sharing my truth, I will be striking a chord with so so many women and men," her message 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."
As she welcomed in 2020, Ricki said that she is fully embracing the "new me" in the new decade, and concluded, "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."