Jewish Mom Ricki Lake Shaves Her Head for This Moving Reason – Kveller
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Jewish Mom Ricki Lake Shaves Her Head for This Moving Reason


Ricki Lake has gone through many transformations in her life. The Jewish mom of two rose to fame as the star of the John Waters’ classic, Hairspray, at age 20. At age 24, she lost 100 pounds and became the youngest talk show host in history.

Since then, she’s produced documentaries and starred in reality TV shows, like Dancing With the Stars and The Masked Singer. She’s even become a certified doula.

And now, she’s going through another transformation: She’s living her truth and sharing with candor the long struggle that led her to shave her head.

No, she is not sick, Lake wrote in an Instagram post, but she has been struggling with hair loss for the past three decades. In the post, she admits the struggle has been “debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely… There have been a few times where I have even felt suicidal over it.”

The 51-year-old star wrote that she has been dealing with hair loss since her role as Hairspray‘s iconic Tracy Turnblad, which was released in 1988. As she notes, while shooting the film, her hair was constantly “triple-processed and teased,” which led her “healthy virgin hair” to never be the same. (“From Hairspray to hairless,” she quips.)

Lake — who, with her ex, artist Rob Sussman, has two sons, Owen and Milo, both in their 20s — further attributes her hair loss to “yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress, and hair dyes and extensions.” The system that did finally work for her involved maintenance every 10 to 12 days, causing her to become a slave to her hair’s demanding maintenance schedule, she writes.

She wrote on Facebook that she’s used hair extensions, wigs, steroid shots, and supplements to help curb her hair loss, but nothing worked.

“After my last extreme diet where I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks, my hair started shedding again, big time,” Ricki wrote, “this time, I say no more. I have to be set free.”

While the inspiring mama wrote that she may occasionally “choose to wear hair,” but it will be for fun and not in order to hide her hair loss.

Both her Instagram and Facebook posts incredibly moving, but what’s even more heartwarming are the moving responses from others who are dealing with hair loss and posting pictures of their own beautiful, shaved hair.

“This brought tears to my eyes. Almost three years ago I took what I thought was a leap of faith. What I discovered was living out loud as a bald woman was a short step between connecting me with that part of my soul that longed for the peace that simply “being me” longed for,” wrote one commenter.

“Thank you for sharing. I don’t feel alone anymore,” wrote another.

We’re so glad Lake has chosen to be so authentic and to make so many other people feel seen in the process. Go, Ricki! Go, Ricki!

Image via Ricki Lake’s Facebook

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