LOCKS OF LOVE: DONATE YOUR PONYTAIL
Hair donation is a simple way to provide a child with locks of love. If you have a ponytail that is 10 inches or longer, you can donate hair so a child who's lost theirs can look more like themselves.
Children undergoing chemotherapy, suffering from alopecia areata, or recuperating from scalp burns face multiple hurdles. In addition to the physical challenges of medical treatment, children also must combat low self-esteem and poor self-image from losing their hair. Oftentimes, bald children believe it necessary to hide their condition under hats and feel they stand out among other kids.
Your hair donations can be turned into natural-looking wigs for kids. On the other hand, synthetic wigs "look fake," like doll hair. Only donated human hair achieves a realistic, natural appearance.
When kids feel better about their appearance, they feel brighter about the outlook for their future. With renewed confidence, these children will go out in public again, without feeling self-conscious. They can look proudly in the mirror. They see themselves again.
A custom human-hair wig can cost more than a thousand dollars to make and is too expensive for many families. But, several non-profit groups are working with volunteers to make wigs for financially disadvantaged kids. To make this happen for a child, all you have to do is donate your ponytail, the next time you get a haircut.
First, you'll need to choose a charity that makes wigs for children. Here are a couple of the most popular hair donation organizations:
Locks of Love
Locks of Love is the most well-known hairpiece charity. Many people mistakenly believe that the wigs created by Locks of Love are given to children with cancer. Instead, most Locks of Love wigs go to kids with long-term hair loss. Children with conditions such as alopecia areata who will never grow their natural hair again are given first priority. Since most children who undergo chemotherapy will be able to grow their own hair again, a very limited number of human hair and synthetic wigs are given to children with cancer. You should be aware that it takes multiple hair donations to make a single wig and that Locks of Love sells a number of the hair donations it receives in order to fund its programs. Some families pay for their wigs based on their financial ability; the neediest are given their wig for free. You can send your hair donation by mail using Locks of Love's online hair donation form.
Wigs for Kids
Wigs for Kids gives hairpieces to kids who suffer hair loss due to burns, chemotherapy, radiation treatments alopecia, and other medical problems. Wigs for Kids sells hair donations it considers "unusable" in order to fund its programs. Families must demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for the program. Children who are accepted in the program are not charged for the wig that is created for them. You can send your hair donation by mail by using Wigs for Kids' online hair donation form.
Hair Donation Tips
For specific directions, please first review the recipient charity's website before cutting your hair, but here are some general guidelines to consider regarding hair donation:
10" minimum hair length (tip to tip)
You may pull curly hair straight to measure the minimum 10"
Bundle your hair in a ponytail or braid
Hair from men and women, young and old, and all colors and races are needed
Hair swept off the floor is unusable
Hair must not be bleached or over-processed
Hair cut years ago is usable if stored in a ponytail or braid
You may divide layered hair into multiple ponytails for donation
Anyone can cut your hair as long as the appropriate guidelines are followed
Natural human hair only; no wigs, extensions, or synthetic hair
Hair must be clean, dry, placed in a plastic bag, and then in a padded envelope
Some hair salons will offer discounted prices when you donate hair to Locks of Love or Wigs for Kids and will mail the package for you as well.
Once you donate your ponytail, take time to celebrate. Every time you look in the mirror, you'll know that you've made a real difference in the life of a sick child.