The actress and TV host wants to help others dealing with hair loss, too. 

Ricki Lake Shaved Head 
Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

TV host and actress Ricki Lake is feeling "liberated and free" these days, all thanks to the decision she made to shave her hair off.

On Jan. 1, Lake posted a series of photos of her cut to Instagram and Facebook, detailing her battle with hair loss over the years, and how it led to her finally buzzing hers off.

"It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things," she said of her journey. "There have been a few times where I have even felt suicidal over it."

While Lake makes it clear that her hair shedding isn't due to any illness, she does reveal that after playing Tracy Turnblad in the original version of Hairspray back in 1988, her hair has never been the same. That role, which required her to triple-process and tease her hair while on set, plus "yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress, and hair dyes and extensions" are all factors she believes contributed to the loss of her hair over the years.

And while she's tried numerous regimens to re-grow her hair, this year she made the decision to shave it off — and it's clear she feels great about her choice.

"I am liberated. I am free. I am releasing and letting go. I am brave. I am beautiful. I am love," she wrote. "For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real."

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Through sharing her story, the actress is also hoping to help others who are dealing with hair loss know that they're not alone — which is an incredibly thoughtful way to start off the new decade.