Ricki Lake shows off hair growth, opens up about hair loss and decision to shave her head last year

The star says she's been battling hair loss for 30 years

Ricki Lake opened up about her decades-long hair loss battle after shaving her head last year. 

The actress and former talk show host, 52, revealed on Instagram in July 2020 that she made the difficult decision to shave her head after battling hair loss for more than 30 years.  

"Here goes....I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life," Lake shared at the time. "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."

Now, after a year of growth, Lake debuted her full head of hair on  "Good Morning America" Wednesday and discussed the "liberating" journey she’s been on.

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Ricki Lake opened up about her hair loss journey.

Ricki Lake opened up about her hair loss journey. (Getty Images)

"It was such a right of passage last year taking the leap of faith to shave my head, and my hair, thankfully, has grown back," she said. "And I learned so much through the process of really letting go of something that had been really bothering me for decades."

Not only has her hair grown back, but the star says she’s most excited about the fact that she no longer has to hide her battle with hair loss, noting that she hopes her story will help other people unburden themselves as well. 

"There's things in life where you keep them as a secret," she said explained. "I was molested as a child. I kept it quiet for many, many years and once you admit that it happened to you, the secret doesn't feel like this weight on your shoulders. And for me, it's been such a beautiful gift to be able to come clean with something that I was so ashamed of."

The star is even toying with the idea of writing a book about her struggles with hair loss and the decision to shave her head.

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Later in the interview, she added: "Countless people have come to me wanting to applaud me and also say, 'Where did you find the courage?'" Lake said. "And if I can help one woman by sharing my story, it's worth it."

She also noted that she’s come to embrace her natural gray hair color, adding that women are often told they’re not supposed to embrace aging. 

Last year, Lake explained that she believes her hair loss began in 1988 when she played Tracy Turnblad in the original "Hairspray."

"They triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming," she explained on Instagram. "My hair was never the same. (Yes, that was all my own hair in the film.) From Hairspray to Hairless."

However, Lake listed off a number of other factors she believes contributed to the problem.

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"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," she wrote. "Working as talent on various shows and movies, whether DWTS or my talk show, also took its toll on my fine hair."

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Lake revealed she tried dozens of solutions, including extensions of all kinds and wigs that left her feeling "self-conscious and uncomfortable." She also revealed she had taken supplements and underwent steroid shots to no avail.

Fox News' Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.