A ”Dancing with the Stars” alum shared a video that she had previously kept private for three years.
But as Lake got the spray tan and sequin glam treatment while on DWTS, she was dealing with a private battle with hair loss. Lake didn’t tell fans about her hair loss struggles until years later.
In 2023, Lake kicked off the New Year by giving fans a glimpse at her solution to a battle she had been dealing with for three decades.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ricki Lake Shared the Video of the Moment She 1st Shaved Her Head on December 31, 2019
In January 2023, Lake, 54, posted a throwback video that showed the moment three years ago when she shaved her head. In the clip, the talk show host was upbeat, although she paused several times to take a deep breath as a friend helped her guide clippers through her hair.
“I’m so f***ing excited not to see all the hair in the shower drain,” Lake said in the video.
In the caption to her post, Lake told fans, “Three years ago today, on the afternoon of New Year’s eve day 2019, I took a brave a** leap of faith and chose to make the drastic decision to shave my head after years and years of struggling in secret.”
“‘I have never shared this raw video footage before but felt like I wanted to now, for those of you who have followed my story and have invested in it,” she added. “Some of you know my struggle all too well personally and I want you to know, I truly feel you.”
Lake added that in the video, fans can see firsthand the moment she felt “peace, liberation, and most importantly, self-love and self-acceptance.”
Fans and celebrity friends reacted to the private video, including fellow DWTS alum Nicole Scherzinger, who wrote to Lake, “You are so gorgeous.”
“I love you,” added DWTS season 25 contestant Debbie Gibson.
Ricki Lake Posted a Photo of Her Shaved Head on January 1, 2020 & Revealed She Has Been Struggling With Hair Loss for 30 Years
The day after her head was shaved, Lake posted an “after” photo on Instagram to show fans her new look.
“Liberated and Free, Me,” she captioned the stunning pic, before assuring her followers that she was “not sick” or “having a mid-life crisis.” She then revealed that she was “finally” ready to share her secret.
“I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life,” Lake wrote. “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. Almost no one in my life knew the level of deep pain and trauma I was experiencing.”
The mom of two revealed that her hair problems started in 1988 when she was just 20 years old and played Tracy Turnblad in the original “Hairspray” movie. “They triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming, my hair was never the same,” she revealed. “Working as talent on various shows and movies, whether DWTS or my talk show, also took its toll on my fine hair.”
She told Style Caster that a crash diet at age 26, for the movie “Mrs. Winterhouse” later caused her to “dramatically” lose her hair.
Lake also attributed lifestyle changes – dieting, hormonal birth control, weight gain and loss, pregnancies, and stress – to her hair loss. She ultimately wore extensions until that got to be too much for her.
After going to the Beverly Hills location of the hair clinic Harklinikken, Lake was diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia, she told People. Androgenetic alopecia is a form of hair loss in both men and women caused by genetic and environmental factors and the androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone, according to MedlinePlus.
She ultimately followed Harklinikken’s hair care regimen and now has a natural head of strong, healthy hair that she refuses to damage with hair color. Of her partially gray hair, Lake told InStyle in April 2022. “I love how freaking ombré it is! “No one could bottle that up and make it.”
READ NEXT: PHOTOS: Carrie Ann Inaba Throwback Pics