Ricki Lake’s New Hair Reveals Her ‘Liberated and Free’ Self

Ricki Lake is kicking off 2020 with a fresh outlook on life thanks to her brand-new haircut.

The 51-year-old longtime TV host unveiled her freshly chopped buzz cut with a powerful Instagram selfie and opened up about her inspiration for the hair change.  

Lake explained in a lengthy caption that she’s been suffering from hair loss for nearly 30 years. Now, with her cut, she said she’s introducing the new “Liberated and Free, Me.”

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant wrote, “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. Suffering mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years. AND I am finally ready to share my secret.”

She went on to explain, “I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life,” adding that, “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. Not even my therapist/s over the years knew my truth.”

Lake said that she felt compelled to share her truth so that men and women experiencing hair loss can find hope. “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 said.

The mother of two recalled what prompted her hair loss: “Ever since I played Tracy Turnblad in the original Hairspray back in 1988 and they triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every two weeks during filming, my hair was never the same. (Yes, that was all my own hair in the film.) From Hairspray to Hairless.”

Lake admitted that there were other reasons she began to lose her hair. “In my case, 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. Working as talent on various shows and movies, whether DWTS or my talk show, also took its toll on my fine hair.” 

Because of her experience as a TV personality, Lake said she “got used to wearing extensions…All different kinds, tried them all, the ones that are glued on, the tape-ins, the clip ins, and then into a total hair system that I hated, and finally to a unique solution that really did work pretty well for me for the last four or five years. I tried wigs on a few occasions but never could get used to them. It all felt fake and I was super self-conscious and uncomfortable.”

Ultimately, she sought medical advice, getting steroid shots in her head and “taking all the supplements.” Still, her “hair would recover then shed again. It was maddening.”

After her latest bout of hair loss, she reached her end point and decided to “say no more” to the maintenance schedule she had to adhere to every ten to 12 days.

Continuing her story on her personal Facebook page, Lake concluded, “It is a New Year and a new decade and a new me…I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good!…From 2020 and beyond I want to be real.” She noted that she’ll wear wigs on occasion, but she’s done hiding.

Brava, Ricki. This authenticity looks good on you!


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.