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View Full Version : Locks Of Love: $6 Million Controversy



Alexblue
May 14th, 2013, 03:49 PM
I saw this report in the news:

Locks for Love (LoL) is under fire as Nonprofit Investor (http://nonprofitinvestor.org) reports that the charity has over $6 million worth of donations that are presently unaccounted for, based on information reported the organisation's own staffers.

Locks of Love collects hair from donors, then turns the hair into wigs for children with cancer and alopecia. However, there has been controversy over the years as much of the hair is sold as extensions to the hair industry rather than going to wigs for children. Now NPI is calling for the charity to publicly disclose the amount of donations it receives each year, along with information on exactly how each donation is used. NPI also created a 10-page report (and bite-sized infographics) that illustrates the numbers behind LoL's current operations.

I have never donated hair but my suspicion is that other, perhaps smaller, hair donation charities are much more effective.

Link (http://nonprofitinvestor.org)

SerinaDaith
May 14th, 2013, 04:00 PM
It happens more then we like to think with charities. The CEO of the Goodwill in Pueblo, Colorado was arrested for stealing money from it. It is more or less a franchise which most people do not know.

alexis917
May 14th, 2013, 04:00 PM
Wow, they've really made them into extensions?

woodswanderer
May 14th, 2013, 04:21 PM
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I should donate to Locks of Love, and a $5 for every time someone was pushy about it....maybe I'd have $6 million too. Well...ok...not $6 million....but enough to go on a hair toy shopping spree. I feel a little vindicated now.:rolleyes:

spirals
May 14th, 2013, 04:29 PM
I usually keep my mouth shut about it, but I just posted a PSA of sorts as my facebook status.

dwell_in_safety
May 14th, 2013, 05:01 PM
Not surprising at all. Locks of Love is shady.

chenille
May 14th, 2013, 06:44 PM
I posted a Facebook PSA too. One of my friends immediately thanked me for posting since she said she never has the courage to bring it up with people, particularly those who have just donated to Locks of Love.

Quixii
May 14th, 2013, 06:44 PM
Well, LHC always knew Locks of Love was sketchy. Maybe now some other people will realize that too.

Jenny31557
May 14th, 2013, 07:04 PM
I'm glad this finally got brought up. I think more people need to be aware of LoL before they think of donating their hair.
It's really a shame because some people donate their hair out of the goodness of their hearts only to get their ponytails thrown in the bin. :-(

leslissocool
May 14th, 2013, 07:13 PM
I usually keep my mouth shut about it, but I just posted a PSA of sorts as my facebook status.

Me too. I got told on FB by a friend to donate to them if I got tired of my long hair, while I didn't explode on it at all, I told her about it. So now I shared it, and I hope more people find out.


It's a real shame :(.

excentricat
May 14th, 2013, 08:15 PM
I shared this on facebook as well. Its nice to see it all in black and white to show people.

dulce
May 14th, 2013, 08:55 PM
I also shared on facebook.

Andrea H
May 14th, 2013, 09:18 PM
I was actually considering donating my hair when I cut it and had heard not such good things about Locks of Love. Figured I'd ask in here instead of making a new thread, are there any hair donation charities that are legit?

Yozhik
May 14th, 2013, 10:09 PM
Andrea H, I think Wigs4kids and Pantene Beautiful lengths are supposed to be pretty legitimate.
HTH! :flower:

***
As to the main topic, I feel very vindicated now in my distrust of them! More concrete evidence to use when explaining to people why me not wanting to donate to them doesn't make me "selfish." :rolleyes:

hafattack
May 14th, 2013, 10:15 PM
I had never had long enough hair to consider locks of love, but thanks to LHC knew it was not an ideal way to go. It is so sad when people's good intentions are exploited like this.

gossamer
May 14th, 2013, 10:29 PM
I just posted this to Facebook too. I am so tired of hearing that my hair should be donated and people seem personally offended when I tell them that LoL is shady. If I offend anyone by reposting this, so be it. It's hard to argue with such concrete and cited numbers.

Kaelee
May 14th, 2013, 10:54 PM
Reposted as well. I did donate to LoL once, but I was cutting my hair anyway and just figured someone might as well use it.

I would be devastated if I made the decision to cut my hair that I devoted so much time and care to only to find out it got thrown in a bin or SOLD for someone's extensions.

I don't usually wear my hair down, so I haven't gotten told I should donate it. But if I do, I can just tell them they don't take hennaed hair. :agree:

Kaelee
May 14th, 2013, 10:56 PM
***
As to the main topic, I feel very vindicated now in my distrust of them! More concrete evidence to use when explaining to people why me not wanting to donate to them doesn't make me "selfish." :rolleyes:

I can't believe the presumptuousness of people who think they have the right to a) tell you that you should donate your hair and b) call you selfish for wanting to, you know, keep YOUR HAIR attached to your body.

kittengirl
May 14th, 2013, 11:57 PM
I feel bad that I donated to them three different times when I was younger. I didn't know they were bad back then! :(

maborosi
May 15th, 2013, 12:06 AM
I'm not surprised since I knew they weren't always using the majority of the hair they were donated to make wigs- but wow, I had no idea that it was this bad.
They are totally screwed as a charity if they keep this up.

I always cringe inside when I hear people talk about donating their hair to LoL, and now there's some hard numbers and evidence to support my prejudice against them.

How dishonest and sad.

~maborosi~

AspenSong
May 15th, 2013, 12:13 AM
I shared this on FB - because like probably 9 out of 10 of us here, I've been commented to many times about how I should donate my hair to LOL and do something "good" with it and help someone who needs it because I can just grow it back out (to inevitably, be hounded again to cut it again).
And the response I got was this.

"Well, they use some of the money for good...so they ARE doing good!!"

"They're donating wigs, so what's the problem?"

"That extra money is going to funding the program"

And my Aunt telling me about seeing a couple kids get hairpieces from them over the years as a nurse, and they could't be that bad because they ARE making wigs/hairpieces. The point was totally missed. =/ Sad.

I can't tell you how irked I'd be to know my hair got cut off to "help" someone and then ya know, Tiffany over there is getting my hair as extensions because she wants to just pay for her long hair. I don't care that that's how she chooses to have it, but I do have an issue with being lied to about WHERE the hair is going. Because I wouldn't donate my hair to Tiffany's beautification fund....but I most likely would to a child who it would help. *shrug*

ETA: I think one other thing that twerks me about this, is I think about a friend's little sister, who is 10 years old now and she's blessed with hair that grows like a weed. 12"+ a year, no joke. She's a sweet hearted child and since she was 5 years old, every time her hair has been long enough, she's cut it off to donate it and it's been 100% HER choice and HER asking her mom to do it. She's not happy with the short hair, but she wants to help other children so so badly that the aspect of making someones life better, is what gets her through it. Knowing the rundown on things, it makes me even more flustered.

AspenSong
May 15th, 2013, 12:14 AM
*double post - my laptop is evil*

maborosi
May 15th, 2013, 12:14 AM
What are their criteria for accepting hair, anyway? I know it can't be bleached and it has to be tied back, but are they pretty picky about coarseness of the individual hairs/whether it's been henna'd, etc?
Because I know a lot of people who would be excluded who have tried to donate to them, if they're as picky about the hair they get as I've heard.

~maborosi~

Yozhik
May 15th, 2013, 12:30 AM
I can't believe the presumptuousness of people who think they have the right to a) tell you that you should donate your hair and b) call you selfish for wanting to, you know, keep YOUR HAIR attached to your body.

:smooch: Thanks, Kaelee!
Yeah, luckily it hasn't happened too often (maybe 2-3 times), but the implication definitely seems to be if I'm purposefully growing "super-long" hair, it has to be for a purpose . . . with the implication being that "because I want to" isn't enough of a reason.

Thankfully, though, one advantage of the mainstream trend toward longer hair now is that I haven't received comments like this for a year or so. :)

In2wishin
May 15th, 2013, 01:34 AM
I feel bad that I donated to them three different times when I was younger. I didn't know they were bad back then! :(

Please don't feel bad! You made a very sweet and generous decision and based it on information you had.

FireFromWithin
May 15th, 2013, 02:19 AM
I could understand selling some of the hair to make money to fund the making of the wigs (do they actually give the wigs away for free?) but that much! It is actually starting to sound like a con. Other companies that provide hair for extensions have to pay for it, sounds like this company is taking advantage of people's generosity and its own charitable status. I hope that some of the other companies become more popular. I'd never tell someone to donate their hair (nor is mine long enough for people to tell me) but if your hair is in good condition and you decide you want to cut it for your own reasons, donating it to make children wigs doesn't sound like a bad use of your hair.

Bagginslover
May 15th, 2013, 03:16 AM
If I were ever to cut my hair now (and if it were long enough of course!) I think I would actually sell it, then I could either have the money for myself (always welcome on my income), or donate it to a charity that actually does good.

I, personally, can't see how a wig helps someone in the long term. I'd rather give money to a charity, or even a research facility doing work towards actually finding a cure for cancers and other horrible conditions. Yes how you look to others is important, I do understand that, but looks aren't more important than life.
Just my opinion :blossom:

LadyLongLocks
May 15th, 2013, 11:48 AM
Here is a VIDEO (http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news%2Flocal%2Fsan_francisco&id=9103024#&cmp=twi-kgo-article-9103024) from ABC about Locks Of Love donations questioned. Warning: they do show 1 lady donating hair and having it cut.
But it is out in the news now so word is out and spreading, thank goodness. Too many people trust them.

shirohane
May 15th, 2013, 12:35 PM
I could understand selling some of the hair to make money to fund the making of the wigs (do they actually give the wigs away for free?) but that much! It is actually starting to sound like a con.
From what I've heard, they've actually charged the parents for the wigs... so not entirely free...

But that's only what I read online when I considered donating my own hair.... If someone could confirm...

Nightshade
May 15th, 2013, 01:25 PM
Whenever I'm accosted about donating my hair I always take it as a chance to educate someone.

"Oh, your hair is so pretty! You should donate it to LoL!"

Me, putting on a sweet smile, "Oh, I couldn't even if I wanted to. I henna and that means my hair is unusable for their wigs. They only make virgin, undyed hair without gray into wigs. Anything other than that is either sold to hair salons to make extensions out of or thrown away. They can only use about 20% of the hair they get because so many people donate unusable hair."

At this point they either want to know more, and they get the full spiel, or it's enough to shut them up and they go away.

ETA: With this tactic I've switched two ladies at work from LoL to Pantene. I sent them this yesterday and they were both thrilled to see that they're donating to the good charities. And I know they share that information.

PrincessIdril
May 15th, 2013, 01:28 PM
Well I'll be bookmarking that page then.
I don't think hair donation is a massive thing in the UK at the moment (I've never been asked/told to donate my hair) but I do occasionally see posts on FB (and on one occasion a local news report!!!) about people donating hair. I'll be keeping this to show them

kittengirl
May 15th, 2013, 01:30 PM
Please don't feel bad! You made a very sweet and generous decision and based it on information you had.
Awww...thank you! :)

Alexblue
May 15th, 2013, 07:50 PM
I've read before that Locks for Love has become so synonymous with hair donation that the other, more credible, charities are struggling. Lol get all the attention.

Hair donation is a wonderful, generous act but I could never imagine even hinting to anyone they should donate. Nightshade, I like your tactful reply to those sort of comments.

pogo0685
May 15th, 2013, 09:44 PM
It happens more then we like to think with charities. The CEO of the Goodwill in Pueblo, Colorado was arrested for stealing money from it. It is more or less a franchise which most people do not know.

Do you by chance live here in Pueblo? I am very close to it, just wondering. It's very sad what that lady did but its very common it seems nowadays.

Thanks for sharing this story about locks of love, I am going to share the info on facebook.

RavennaNight
May 15th, 2013, 09:49 PM
Well well well. After years of it being exposed for a sham here, finally the truth comes out to the general, non-hair-obsessed, public.

jacqueline101
May 17th, 2013, 12:18 PM
I wonder how honest most charities are.

Kaelee
May 17th, 2013, 12:37 PM
I wonder how honest most charities are.

Sadly I'm suspect of a lot of them. I only donate to charities I know/trust.