A multitude of people grow out and donate their hair every year but it doesn’t even begin to match the number of people that need this hair due to disease. For the past 20 years Locks of Love has been the go-to for any donations but did you know that 80% of the hair that is donated is deemed unacceptable and then thrown away? Or that in 2013 Forbes magazine’s Kent Chao uncovered that $6 million dollars worth of donated hair is unaccounted for each year by the company? Or how about that it takes on average 328 donors to produce 1 wig while other companies such as Pantene Beautiful Locks only has to use around 19 donors donations to make 1 wig? Donors aren’t the only ones that Locks of Love is miscommunicating with though. To receive a wig one must be under 21, go through an intensive medical check, have multiple letters of reference, and have an ongoing medical condition or be victim of burn, radiation condition, or a skin disorder. Most do not pass this test and if they do they may be charged. Locks of Love’s website states, “We provide hairpieces and repairs free of charge or on a sliding scale based on the financial need of those responsible for the children.” which means only free wigs are given to some. The payment is based on specifics such as medical bills, income, donations, and insurance just to name a couple. Donating hair is an amazing act and that light should not be dimmed because of wrong information. There are plenty of other options out there that accept more hair and use the strands in a better way.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
I’ve donated to this specific charity and would highly recommend. The minimum is 8 inches which is shorter than some others. They prefer the hair to not be chemically treated or too damaged. The max grey percentage is 5%.
Wigs 4 Kids
Remember that the 4 makes them different from another charity on this list. They take any ponytails over 10 inches that are not chemically treated. No grey hair can be present.
Children With Hair Loss
This charity is the one to look into if you have hair restrictions. The hair can be 8 inches or longer and can be colored, permed, bleached, or chemically altered in any way as long as it is in decent condition. Grey hair is also accepted!
Wigs For Kids
12 inches of hair minimum and no chemically treated hair is preferred. No grey is accepted here, sorry.
In a salon, every time a donor comes in it makes that day a little extra special. Thinking that all of us had a small part in helping someone feel beautiful is what we love about this job. If you’ve never been a part of this selfless act, Buzzfeed followed the process from donor to wig delivery with Wigs For Kids. Grab some tissues and get ready to want to grow out your hair.