Sometimes we feel like we want to make a difference in the world, but it can be hard to know where to start. Can one person change the world? Maybe not, but one person can change the world for one other individual. A selfless act that will be priceless in the eyes of someone else is to donate hair to Locks of Love.
Locks of Love make wigs for children in need, in situations where they might have lost their hair permanently due to a medical condition, or where a medical reason causes them to need a wig or a hairpiece. It’s a non-profit organization that relies on hair donations to make their wigs, and these wigs are then donated for free to children whose families are unable to pay for them.
About Locks of Love
This non-profit organization is based in the United States, and donations (hair and money) allow them to create realistic wigs using real hair, that can then be donated to children in the United States and Canada who cannot afford their own hairpieces. The types of donations they accept are hair and direct monetary donations. It offers a chance for regular people to do something great for somebody else.
Preparing to Donate Hair
Becoming a hair donor is a respectable thing to do, but there are usually a few things to be aware of before you make a decision. If you don’t already have long hair, then it could take years to grow it out to the required length. All Locks of Love donations need to be at least 10 inches long, and you need to keep in mind that it’s the ponytail that you will be cutting off that needs to be 10 inches and not your hair measured from the roots. This means you will have to consider whether you have the patience to grow your hair out first.
If you have dyed your hair in the past, or if you have treated it in some way, this is usually not an issue when you donate to Locks of Love, as your donation will go through a treatment process anyway, but you cannot have bleached your hair. If you have bleached your hair, this changes the structure of it, and it won’t be possible to use it when making a wig. This also applies if you have bleached your hair and then dyed it. That said, for anyone serious about becoming a hair donor for Locks of Love, stay away from bleach and any treatment where bleach is used while growing out your hair.
Not everyone can grow their hair as long as 10 inches, but don’t worry, you might still be able to contribute! Locks of Love will usually accept shorter hair donations as well because while these can’t be used for making their wigs, they can sometimes sell the hair and use the money for the manufacturing costs of a wig.
Getting the Hair Cut
When the day comes, and your hair is long enough to be cut, it’s normal to be excited (and perhaps a little nervous), but you don’t want to rush into things. Don’t just shave all your hair off and let it fall to the floor because if you do, you might have just ruined your chances of being able to donate it to Locks of Love. Locks of Love only accept hair donations in a ponytail or a braid, and will not be able to accept hair swept up from the floor. It would be a shame to go through all the trouble of saving your hair out, only to make a mistake here, so make sure you get it right.
The easiest way to go about is to pull all your hair together in a ponytail or braid it. Then you will want to double-check that your hair is long enough (minimum 10 inches) before making the cut. It is recommended to have this done at a professional hair salon so that they can help give you a cute haircut once it is done, with the hair you have left.
What Happens Now?
Once the hair has been cut off, and you are sitting there with your new (short) haircut, it’s time to send in your donation to Locks of Love. You can always check with your hairstylist if this is something they do for their clients that donate, as some hair salons will handle the process of sending it in, but otherwise, you will have to do it yourself.
All you need is an envelope and stamps, and then you are ready to go! Put the hair inside the envelope (it should still be in a ponytail or braid), make sure you seal the envelope properly to prevent an unfortunate event during transport, but on the stamps and drop it in the nearest mailbox! Donations should be mailed to Locks of Love, 234 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701.
For anyone who would like to receive an acknowledgment for their hair donation, you will have to fill out a donation form and include your address, and send this in with your donation.
Your hair can make a real difference for a child out there, and it’s understandable that you want to get things right when you are ready to donate. Here is a quick step-by-step guide for donating hair to Locks of Love:
- Save out your hair until you can donate at least 10 inches.
- Put it in a ponytail or braid before cutting it off.
- Have a professional give you a new, short hairstyle.
- Place the hair donation inside an envelope.
- Include a donation form if you want an acknowledgment.
- Mail your hair donation to Locks of Love.
Worth Keeping in Mind
Donating hair to Locks of Love is a way to make a small sacrifice that might mean the world to someone else, and it only takes a little patience while you grow it out, and a bit of courage for when it is time to cut it off.