Monday, March 22, 2010

"Hair" lies the truth about Locks of Love

April writing...

I have been growing my hair out, for about 4 months now. I mean, it's been growing obviously since I last had it cut back in March of 2009...

however I decided 4 months ago to not cut it and grow it out for "Locks of Love."

As per their website, "Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers."

Sounds sweet right?
I thought so too. I thought..."Ok, so I donate my hair, they take my hair and maybe some hair from a few others and combine it to make a beautiful wig for a child with cancer. This child will received my gorgeous hair wig free of charge."


According to their website:
Q. Does Locks of Love sell hair? Throw away hair?
A. Hair that is short, gray, or otherwise unusable will be sold to help offset manufacturing costs. Locks of Love DOES NOT throw hair away unless it is wet and moldy or not bundled in a braid or ponytail when it is received.

Q. What do the children pay for these hairpieces?
A. We provide hairpieces and repairs free of charge or on a sliding scale based on the financial need of those responsible for the children.

Q. What are some of the medical conditions of the children you help?
A. Most of our recipients suffer from alopecia areata. Others have experienced hair loss from radiation therapy and chemotherapy, severe burns or trauma, and various other genetic and dermatological conditions.

So here's how I read that...
Not only do they NOT giveaway the wigs free of charge (even though they claim to be offering this service to "financially disadvantaged children.") but they sell unused hair claiming it to be "unusable," to other wig manufacturers?!?!

Then, even though they bait us saying the wigs are for children with cancer, the majority of the wigs go to children with alopecia areata. Granted, it's still an altogether horrible disease for a child and their self esteem to suffer...don't give us half truths, don't guilt us into volunteering our hair to your cause.

I just have a bad taste in my mouth about all this. I feel like if I am doing good for someone, I don't want them to have to pay for it. I wouldn't make a sandwich out of my kitchen and go sell it to a homeless person for $2!!

I would venture to say that the majority of people who were "growing their hair out to donate to Locks of Love," or "have in the past" done it, didn't know this information. In fact when we were sitting around after church last night and my friend Allie told me about it...I was shocked, as well were the others sitting around! That's what lead to this research today.

Now I wanna pull out my own hair in anger and frustration...I feel like I've been duped.

My goal now is to find a company that suits my taste better. Am I blowing this out of proportion? Anyone else have any comments or thoughts on this?

*edit* It's not to say that I think they are doing something inappropriate. I just feel it seems a bit shady-shady to let everyone believe one thing. Granted, everyone who participates could do their own research like I did to find out how it all works, then they would know that the hair I am donating isn't going to someone free of just...well like I said earlier. I kind of have a bad taste in my mouth. It kinda makes me turn up my nose a little...who knows...maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole hill!


Terri Peters said...

Well, as someone who used to manage a non-profit, I will say that it costs money to run a non-profit organization. They have employees to pay, and rent and electric bills, etc. They also have costs to make the wigs, I'm sure. So, as far as them selling hair, or charging a small fee - I can totally see that as reasonable. Locks of Love has been around forever, and the people who are funding them are meticulously reviewing their practices, I'm sure. If they were doing something inappropriate, they'd be shut down.

Summerly Joy said...

I did that a few years ago! I GAVE 10 INCHES. I feel very dirty now.

Michelle Solomon said...

I donated my hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths... didn't do all the research but they required only about 8 inches compared to the 10 for Locks of Love.

Deputy's Wife said...

I agree with you. I thought they gave ANYBODY a free wig that had lost their hair due to illness. I didn't know they were discriminating against older people and charging them for it. That's sounds ridiculous to me. As for Terri, I see her point too. I work for a non-profit and there is barely money to offset the costs of running it. I don't know what to think, but I'm going to go with they should give ANYONE who has lost their hair due to illness a wig for FREE or like $10, something cheap like that. They're already disadvantaged enough, why add this burden? OK, rant over. :)

Anonymous said...

certainly Locks of Love is doing good by providing the wigs, however I can help them just as much by donating CASH instead of my own very long hair.

Anonymous said...

to Terri,
The problem I have with locks of love is it's millions of uninformed minions that tell me "you should donate your hair". Why? Apparently they need cash too. American's hair is generally too processed and over shampoo'd to make good wigs anyway.

Anonymous said...

ok so i was doing a profile on locks of love for my english paper an i was telling them why you should donate to this charity...well afre reading this im going to re-write it on why you shouldnt cause now i feel like i have been lied to

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