Locks of Love provides wigs and hairpieces to children who have lost their hair from medical illnesses. The organization is a public non-profit and serves children under the age of 21 in the United States and Canada.
What does Locks of Love do?
Locks of Love collects hair from donations and gets them to children in financial and medical need. The organization collects donated ponytails from selected salons. They then make them into hair prosthetics and provide them either free of charge or on a sliding scale. Most of the recipients have long-term medical hair loss. The medical condition is called alopecia areata. The hair follicles no longer manufacture eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair. The condition is usually permanent and there is no cure or known cause.
Some of the other children that Locks of Love helps have suffered from severe burns to the head or have undergone cancer treatments. Wigs made for adults will not fit a child's head, and they are attached with tape and glue that can hurt or burn the children's scalps. In addition, the hairstyles on adult wigs can be inappropriate for a child. The Locks of Love hairpieces retail for up to six thousand dollars. Fitted with a vacuum seal, they do not damage the scalp, while the hairpiece cannot be pulled off by others when they are at play. With these hairpieces, the children can return to normal activities, including biking, swimming, tumbling, and showering. When Locks of Love donates a hairpiece, it is uncut and long so the children can customize it themselves. Children under the age of six are provided with hairpieces made of synthetic hair, as they grow so fast the hairpieces are outgrown quickly.
Cutting your hair for Locks of Love
To donate hair, the hair needs to meet the donation guidelines. Some salons are already familiar with the requirements and those salons will display a Locks of Love decal in their windows. They can also be found by searching online including your city and Locks of Love in the search engine. Going to a salon that is familiar to you can ensure your comfort with the cutting process, so there is no need to seek out a different salon for your Locks of Love donation haircut.
Hair that was cut many years ago can still be sent in. Only ponytails or braids are acceptable. The hair must be at least 10 inches long. If the hair is layered, the longest layer must be 10 inches. It takes about six ponytails to make a wig, so each donation is matched with others to make a hairpiece. Before the haircut, be sure to wash your hair. It must be completely dry before it is mailed. The hair is then mailed to the Locks of Love organization.