By Andrea Lavinthal, People, January 28, 2021
Celebrity hairstylists like Chris McMillan, Harry Josh, and Tracey Cunningham are known to recommend Harklinikken to their star clients. Throughout the three decades that Ricki Lake struggled with hair loss, she was desperate to find a solution. "You name it, I put it on my scalp," Lake tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, opening up about her "painful" journey for the first time since she shaved her head a year ago.
She used Rogaine, prescription medications, supplements, topical treatments, Propecia, steroid injections and PRP therapy (injecting your own plasma into your scalp to encourage hair growth). Nothing worked. To hide the thinning, she resorted to wearing extensions and a hair piece for five years.
Eventually, the 52-year-old documentary filmmaker had enough of suffering in silence and decided to shave her head, a move that helped her find self-acceptance with her appearance. "I think it looked good," she said of her buzzed look.
So Lake was cautiously optimistic in February of 2020, when a friend recommended Harklinikken, the Danish-born clinic that specializes in customized hair-restoration treatments. (Celebrity hairstylists like Chris McMillan, Harry Josh, and Tracey Cunningham are known to recommend Harklinikken to their star clients.). She went to the Beverly Hills location (they also have clinics in New York City and Tampa) and was diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia, a genetic condition which causes gradual thinning.
"The constant teasing and dyeing Ricki's hair endured at the beginning of her career created structural damage to her hair," explains Harklinikken founder and head of research and development, Lars Skjoth. "But the type of thinning she had over time was due to hereditary causes."
Before Skjoeth could put Lake on his program he had to address her scalp, which in addition to having permanent scarring from years of extensions and pieces, was red and irritated from all of the treatments she had tried. He instructed her to use Nizoral, an over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo, to prep her head for treatment and improve her regrowth.