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View Full Version : The Hair Donation/Locks of Love Debate



PseudoScot
March 11th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Hi all - someone I know wants to cut off her hair and donate but wants to chat to me beforehand because she's heard [through another friend] that Locks of Love is probably not the ideal choice.

Does anyone have any of the factual articles pertaining to this organization/practice ready to hand that I could refer her to? I'm not trying to lambast this organization, simply explore some of the alternatives this lady could explore.

Thank you for your advice/references/viewpoints etc. :)

Neorah
March 11th, 2008, 03:30 PM
Here is a New York Times article about LoL (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/fashion/06locks.html).

I know that a lot of other members have a lot more to say about the topic than I do, though-- I got all of my info from them. :)

Ursula
March 11th, 2008, 03:31 PM
The basic problem is that the number of donations they say they get, the number of donations they say they need to make a wig and the number of wigs they say they have made just doesn't match up.

Lots of donations, enough to have made about ten times as many wigs as they say they have made. So there is only a 1 in 10 chance that your friends hair might actually wind up in a wig - perhaps less.

She can find the numbers on their own website (or could have, a couple of months ago when I last looked) and do the math herself, if she is skeptical. The numbers are spread out on different pages, making it tricky to get the necessary data to judge their work - but it is there, and it is pretty dismal.

No one would donate food to a food bank that threw out 9 out of 10 cans, or money to a charity where only $10 of your $100 donation would be used for the cause. Same problem here, only with hair.

Lixie
March 11th, 2008, 03:32 PM
If she's looking for an alternative place to donate she could try http://www.matteroftrust.org/programs/hairmatsinfo.html. These people use hair to create mats to clean up oil spills. The best part is that they'll take hair in any condition.

Nightshade
March 11th, 2008, 03:34 PM
If she's looking for an alternative place to donate she could try http://www.matteroftrust.org/programs/hairmatsinfo.html. These people use hair to create mats to clean up oil spills. The best part is that they'll take hair in any condition.

Now that's just damn cool. I love that they take pet fur as well.

Isilya
March 11th, 2008, 03:37 PM
I saved a reply someone (it could have been Ursula, but I'm not sure, sorry) made in one of LOL-threads that I found very helpful to convince my sister that Locks of Love is not what they appear to be. Numbers always impress people :).


"They seem to have edited their website, so that they removed a lot of the numbers that we put together to figure out what is going on.

From this page http://www.locksoflove.org/press.html (http://www.locksoflove.org/press.html) They say that they were founded in 1989, and that they have served "over 2000" children. For the math, I'll say 2500, since that's the next number they're likely to round off to. The total is probably under 3000, or else they've said "over 3000." Since they were founded in 1989, they've been in existance for 17 years, in which to do this work. Some of the children probably have gotten more than one wig, so lets say, 3000 wigs.

In a previous version of their website, they said they recieved 2000 hair donations a week. However, they probably didn't get so many over their whole existance (starting from zero), so I'll say an average of 1000 per week, over their existance.

At some point they posted that they needed 6-10 donations per wig. I'll go with 10.

So these are the numbers I'll use to figure out how much hair goes into the wigs:

1000 donations a week
10 donations per wig
15 years
3000 wigs


1000 donations a week x 52 weeks in a year x 15 years is 780,000 donations.

780,000 donations, with 10 donations per wig, would be hair for 78,000 wigs.

They've probably made about 3000 wigs, from donations sufficent to make 78,000. That is about 3.8% of the hair recieved going to wigs.

That's a scam, at least from the hair donors point of view.

People are donating their hair to go into wigs, not to be sold, thrown out, or left sitting in a warehouse. People are being pressured to cut their hair for donation, by people who think the hair will go into wigs for sick kids.

Locks of Love is saying "give us your hair, we'll make it into a wig for a sick kid." And overall, that's a lie.

And it is a lie that leads to many of us being pressured to cut our hair when we don't want to.

And that's why many people here don't like Locks of Love."

HTH

OhioLisa
March 11th, 2008, 03:37 PM
Wow, cool link Lixie. PseudoScot, you might want to tell your friend she would be better off to just sell her hair, then donate the money to charity. That would be my choice if ever I cut.

florenonite
March 11th, 2008, 03:41 PM
I agree, Nightshade. It is cool

Gemma
March 11th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Considering how questionable LOL and other hair donation places seem, I'd strongly recommend selling the hair to a wig making company and giving the money to a worthy cause.

Shermie Girl
March 11th, 2008, 05:29 PM
If she's looking for an alternative place to donate she could try http://www.matteroftrust.org/programs/hairmatsinfo.html. These people use hair to create mats to clean up oil spills. The best part is that they'll take hair in any condition.


I wish I had known about this organization when I was chopping all my hair off, after my henna removal disaster. I would have been happy to send it to them. As it was, I did toss some out off over my deck railing so that little birdies could collect it and use it for nests. They must have liked it, because it disappeared very quickly. :D

Beatnik Guy
March 11th, 2008, 05:33 PM
The "New York Times" article (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/fashion/06locks.html).

truepeacenik
March 11th, 2008, 06:52 PM
and now we know what the W stands for....

I am covering St Baldricks for the paper.
I jokingly said if someone offers $2000 CASH, in hand, I'd cut my hair to shoulder blades.
As it stands, I donated a bit to them in honor of two buddies who are on the cancer express, one recently cancer-free, the other with stage IV lung cancer.
I believe we have three things we can give: time, money and influence. I usually give the first and the last.

manyhorsesmane
March 11th, 2008, 07:02 PM
I wish I had known about this organization when I was chopping all my hair off, after my henna removal disaster. I would have been happy to send it to them. As it was, I did toss some out off over my deck railing so that little birdies could collect it and use it for nests. They must have liked it, because it disappeared very quickly. :D

Excellent idea, SG! I throw mine out in the garden to deter the deer, but with a Standard Poodle who needs a hair cut every 6 weeks, I don't need mine anymore!!! And having Igor around doesn't work lately, they just walk the perimeter after hours when he's not around!

chloeishere
March 11th, 2008, 07:43 PM
If she wants to donate hair to an organization that makes wigs (although the oil spill cleanup is also a very cool idea) Pantene Beautiful Lengths also accepts hair donations, and already has a much better reputation than LoL. This organization makes wigs for women with cancer, for free. I think they've only been around a few years, and they've already made far more wigs that LoL has in their entire span... but I'm not sure of exact numbers, sorry.
Here's their website. (http://http://beautifullengths.com/en_US/)
Here's the requirements, make sure she meets them, or else they can't use it:
Hair is not bleached, no chemical/ permanent dyes, ponytail must be at least 8 inches long, no more than 5 percent gray.

She could also sell her hair (if it's rather long, and in really good condition), and donate the money to some other organization.

Feisty Redhead
March 11th, 2008, 07:59 PM
If she's looking for an alternative place to donate she could try http://www.matteroftrust.org/programs/hairmatsinfo.html. These people use hair to create mats to clean up oil spills. The best part is that they'll take hair in any condition.

Now there is an awesome idea! I've bookmarked the site for future references. Thanks for sharing that with us! :D

PseudoScot
March 12th, 2008, 02:44 PM
Wow, those are some neat links and info, thank you all!

How do you go about selling hair, by the way?

joyinc
March 21st, 2008, 12:18 PM
I used to have a ton of good info on LOL saved, i think maybe Lady Godiva posted it... is this still kicking around? I would like a link that I can post on facebook. I posted a pic the other day there, debating on whether or not i should cut my hair off, and i got a few messages saying that I should do it for cancer... so I'd like to post something about how I would NEVER do that!

TIA!

manyhorsesmane
March 21st, 2008, 02:43 PM
I got word from a friend that Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee also accepts donations.
If any of you in the TN area are interested, here's their link:
http://www.vanderbiltchildrens.com/index.php

Love Locks at Vanderbilt Hospital:
http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/reporter/?ID=4189

purplebubba
March 21st, 2008, 03:23 PM
I got word from a friend that Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee also accepts donations.
If any of you in the TN area are interested, here's their link:
http://www.vanderbiltchildrens.com/index.php

Love Locks at Vanderbilt Hospital:
http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/reporter/?ID=4189

On that second link it says the donation is going to Locks of Love. So that might not be a seperate charity but rather just a place that sends donations to LOL.

Themyst
November 7th, 2008, 05:17 PM
I've actually been cornered before in a convenience store by a man who suddenly exclaimed, "HEY, DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN HELP CURE CANCER?"

When I just stared at him (secretly using my peripheral vision to seek a way out) he went on, "YOU CAN DONATE YOUR HAIR TO LOCKS OF LOVE, THEY MAKE WIGS FOR KIDS WITH CANCER!"

He just kept on staring at me and my hair and I just kind of mumbled, "I have other causes I donate to." And then brushed by him to get out.

This guy was loud! And stupid! Hair isn't going to CURE cancer. Perhaps he just misspoke on that one. But, how rude!

Ksenia
March 21st, 2010, 11:05 PM
Thanks for posting the Matters of Trust link, it's an awesome idea. And since I have a long-haired cat who seems to always need brushing, I just might save up some of his fur for that! I used to put it outside for the birdies but there's only so much cat hair they can use for their nests! I wish I had known about this charity when I first adopted my cat, the poor guy had so much extra fur and a nasty matted spot on his left rump from not grooming himself in the shelter, I got a good pound of fur off him. There are only so many felted kitty hair toys I can make for him before he gets bored of them (you take the hair that's come out in brushing and make a ball, rub it between your palms for a while, and it felts it into a fun and free kitty toy).

Ivy~Rose
March 21st, 2010, 11:13 PM
When I was starting to get tired of the upkeep of my hair, I let my hairdresser talk me into donating to Locks of Love--once in 8th grade, once in high school, and both times I donated 10"+. She promised I'd get a thank you note and I think even a certificate. I didn't get anything back either time--not even acknowlegement that I'd sent a hunk of hair in. The second time I had to fill out a form and everything just to mail it off, so it's not like the hairdresser interfered. I won't be donating again.

RachelRain
July 19th, 2010, 12:58 PM
I saved a reply someone (it could have been Ursula, but I'm not sure, sorry) made in one of LOL-threads that I found very helpful to convince my sister that Locks of Love is not what they appear to be. Numbers always impress people :).


"They seem to have edited their website, so that they removed a lot of the numbers that we put together to figure out what is going on.

From this page http://www.locksoflove.org/press.html (http://www.locksoflove.org/press.html) They say that they were founded in 1989, and that they have served "over 2000" children. For the math, I'll say 2500, since that's the next number they're likely to round off to. The total is probably under 3000, or else they've said "over 3000." Since they were founded in 1989, they've been in existance for 17 years, in which to do this work. Some of the children probably have gotten more than one wig, so lets say, 3000 wigs.

In a previous version of their website, they said they recieved 2000 hair donations a week. However, they probably didn't get so many over their whole existance (starting from zero), so I'll say an average of 1000 per week, over their existance.

At some point they posted that they needed 6-10 donations per wig. I'll go with 10.

So these are the numbers I'll use to figure out how much hair goes into the wigs:

1000 donations a week
10 donations per wig
15 years
3000 wigs


1000 donations a week x 52 weeks in a year x 15 years is 780,000 donations.

780,000 donations, with 10 donations per wig, would be hair for 78,000 wigs.

They've probably made about 3000 wigs, from donations sufficent to make 78,000. That is about 3.8% of the hair recieved going to wigs.

That's a scam, at least from the hair donors point of view.

People are donating their hair to go into wigs, not to be sold, thrown out, or left sitting in a warehouse. People are being pressured to cut their hair for donation, by people who think the hair will go into wigs for sick kids.

Locks of Love is saying "give us your hair, we'll make it into a wig for a sick kid." And overall, that's a lie.

And it is a lie that leads to many of us being pressured to cut our hair when we don't want to.

And that's why many people here don't like Locks of Love."

HTH


that's... a big discrepancy in the amount of hair donated per what's going to wigs. I find it hard to believe that that much donated hair is in that bad of a condition...

paigeturner
July 19th, 2010, 01:13 PM
Urg, it just sounds like a big scam! It's so sad that something masquerading as a charitable organisation is anything but.

pixi_stix
July 19th, 2010, 01:15 PM
I've actually been cornered before in a convenience store by a man who suddenly exclaimed, "HEY, DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN HELP CURE CANCER?"

When I just stared at him (secretly using my peripheral vision to seek a way out) he went on, "YOU CAN DONATE YOUR HAIR TO LOCKS OF LOVE, THEY MAKE WIGS FOR KIDS WITH CANCER!"

He just kept on staring at me and my hair and I just kind of mumbled, "I have other causes I donate to." And then brushed by him to get out.

This guy was loud! And stupid! Hair isn't going to CURE cancer. Perhaps he just misspoke on that one. But, how rude!

HAHA what a complete moron he was. I've only had one person suggest I donate my hair for charity. I told them I'll give money and time, but never my hair. They mumbled something along the lines of me been selfish, until I pointed out they could donate their kidney and save a life, was they willing to do that. Soon shut them up.
I'm used to arguing about what causes I will donate too. I refuse to give money to cancer research. It makes my blood boil when they discover a wonder drug and set the costs so high people cannot afford to take it or the local NHS trust refuse to pay that much money for the drug. I'd much rather give my money to organisations like Macmillian care. They actually spend their resources directly on the patient not torturing animals for a so called cure that never comes.

heidihug
July 19th, 2010, 01:19 PM
RachelRain, there are many many reasons that the hair donated is not used. I talked to someone several years ago who has made wigs from real human hair. She stated that most wig makers want to use virgin, 20+ inch-long hair. The best, she said, is hair from people in Asia or India, and it should be naturally straight and untouched. They will bleach that hair to lighten it, but they generally do not want blonde hair, either, she said. Other things:


A lot of it is way too short - LoL say they "need" 6 inches, but what the ordinary person thinks of as 6 inches of hair is probably less than 50% at actually 6 inches long. So, most "6 inch" donations are probably not usable.

If you have dyed or permed hair, in the donated portion, it is likely not usable.

If your hair is very curly, it is likely not usable.

If it is fine hair, it is likely not usable.

chelseamichelle
July 19th, 2010, 03:09 PM
The only thing i know about locks of love is that they SELL the wigs to cancer patients, there are organizations that GIVE them, which is obviously better.

RachelRain
July 19th, 2010, 09:16 PM
you'd think they'd give guidelines to the salons then, if curly or fine hair can't be used. otherwise they've got people coming in for something other than a cut who then decide to snip because it might help someone, and they're snipping it for naught and could have kept their hair.