Donating Hair For Wigs Charities
The two most well known charities that make wigs for children are Locks Of Love and Wigs For Kids. I have the links below but please continue reading before you click them. There has been a lot of debate as to just how much these charities actually do. Most of the conversations are about the odds of your hair being made into a wig for a child. Other conversations are about people who are pressured by peers into donating when they did not really want to cut their hair. Lastly there are conversations about who the wigs are made for and why.
WILL YOUR HAIR BE USED?
If you are planning to donate your hair please understand that there is a chance that your hair may not be used and may be sold. There are a few factors that will cause hair to be sold. Both programs have a MINIMUM length requirement of 10 inches (24.5 cm). This is because the process to make the wigs will take off about 2 inches making a wig of around 8 inches. If you don't have hair that is that long there is a good chance your hair will NOT be used. Please see below for instructions to get the most use out of your hair.
The best hair to donate is hair that is as close to damage free as possible. Locks Of Love says on their site that they will accept permed or colored but will not accept bleached or chemically damaged hair. Wigs For Kids says on their site hair can't be permed, color-treated, or highlighted. But they do say that temporary coloring or highlights are acceptable if they are the type that washout. The L.O.L. site says they do not use gray hair so it will be seperated and sold. Please keep in mind that during the process they will go through the hair strand by strand looking for damage, etc. If you have been using a lot of irons, blow dryers, hot rollers, hot combs, or other things that could damage hair there is a chance that some if not a lot of your hair might not be used. This is only my opinon but keep in mind that these charities get a lot of donated hair. If they pick up your tail and see mostly damage they may decide that it's not worth the time of going through it strand by strand and then only use 10-20 percent of it. Maybe they will? I could be wrong. But just be warned that if your hair has damage it probably won't be used.
Another factor of your hair not being used is supply and demand. Part of the discussions surrounding the usage issue is the ratio of donated hair to wigs made. The wigs that these charities make cost at least $1000.
They are custom made for each child. So that means that before hair can be made into a wig these charities need to have that money on hand to pay for the manufacturing.
Thankfully there are a lot of corporate sponsors who have contributed large sums of money to help out, but you can donate money as well or instead of hair. So cost is one factor. As far as supply goes, these charities receive hundreds of hair donations per week if not thousands. (L.O.L. says they get 2000 per week which equals 104,000 per year.) I have personally seen lots of pictures on the web of gymnasiums full of people getting their hair cut for annual cut-a-thons.
So as long as those cut-a-thons are actually sending the hair that is a lot of hair being sent. Keeping that in mind your hair may end up sitting in a warehouse waiting to be used even if it does turn out to be useable. These charities rely on volunteer work to do the sorting and related things so time becomes an issue. Also if they get more hair than money it is possible that they could sell your hair to pay for a wig to be made which is fine with me as long as somehow the wigs get to the kids. Both charities do make wigs for children. There is debate about just how many they do make compared to the amounts of hair they receive. It might even be only about 10 percent of the hair they get. If the worst case senario were true and let's say only one child received a wig free of charge since these charities started, would it matter to You if all the other hair was sold? I think that's a personal decision. Are you dead set on having your hair make it into a wig? Because there's a good chance it might not be. Please keep that in mind.
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