Ricki Lake opens up on 'debilitating' hair loss

Ricki Lake has been battling "debilitating" hair loss.

The 51-year-old television presenter took to Facebook this week to share a stunning new photograph of herself with a buzz cut hairstyle, and has said her decision to make the change to her look comes as she wants to start 2020 feeling "liberated and free", by opening up about her hair loss struggle.

In a lengthy caption, she wrote: "Liberated and Free, Me

"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.

"Deep breath Ricki.... Here goes.....

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

"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. (sic)"

Ricki admitted she has been struggling with her hair since starring as Tracy Turnblad in the original 'Hairspray' in 1998, and has attributed her condition to many factors, including stress, dieting, and birth control.

She continued: "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.

"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 2 weeks during filming, my hair was never the same. (Yes, that was all my own hair in the film.) From Hairspray to Hairless.

"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. (sic)"

The 'Ricki Lake' star has tried extensions, wigs, steroid shots and supplements to help her hair, but has now said she's ready to enter 2020 in style, as she's embracing her short locks.

She wrote: "I've been to many doctors, gotten steroid shots in my head, taking all the supplements and then some. My hair would recover and then shed again. It was maddening.

"So of late, after 2 months of bliss 'working' in London and after my last extreme diet where I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks, my hair started shedding again, big time.

"This time, I say no more. I have to be set free.

"Well, it is a new year and new decade and a new me. 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!"

Ricki closed her post by insisting she feels "beautiful" with her new style.

She added: "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.

"(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.) (sic)"