Locks Of Love - Donating hair for a cause

Locks of love - incredible opinions

Do you love your hair like everyone else?
Do you love it when someone compliments you for your beautiful hair?

Of course! right?
I do too and like every other woman, I blush too when someone compliments my hair.
Wouldn't it be nice if share my beautiful hair with someone else too? The idea of donating my hair rang in my head a few months ago and I started researching more about it.

I must admit that it was not easy for me to get my 14" of hair chopped specially when I have been very possessive about them. It did take me a while to land up at the door of salon to ask the lady to chop it off. It was the first haircut for me in 18 years (it stopped growing any longer after sometime) and the result was amazing!

Locks of love - hair donation - incredible opinions

It takes 6 ponytails to make a wig. Donated hair is used in making wigs or hair extensions for the people who suffer from hair loss due to chemotherapy in cancer treatment. There are other medical conditions as well which result in permanent hair loss. Losing hair for cancer patients is the one of the biggest social stigmas and they worry about their appearances and people's perception towards them. Wigs help them to conceal their illness and they embrace their appearance with positive attitude.

Wigs are not cheap at all and not everyone is financially blessed to afford wigs. The patients must be paying hefty sum of money for their treatment already. Real-hair wigs which look more natural do cost a lot. Someone who is going through physical and emotional pain, it is very difficult to pay for a wig.

REQUIREMENTS

Even though it is a nice gesture to donate your hair for a cause but there are certain requirements that your hair must fulfill in order for it to be used in a wig. 
  • Must be minimum of 10" long.
  • Should not be dyed, bleached or chemically treated.
  • Should not be more than 5% gray.
The dyed, bleached or chemically treated hair is not accepted as a donation because when 6 or more ponytails from different people are dyed together to give natural look to the wig, they do not absorb the dye at the same rate and the result will not look natural. Another reason for not accepting chemically treated hair for donation is also its fragility which makes it very to be woven into a wig.

HOW TO DONATE

While researching for hair donations, I found many people who want to donate their hair but they don't how to do it. Here is a little try from me to illustrate it.

After you ensure that your hair meet the requirements for the donation, you can go to the salon or follow the instructions yourself.


steps of hair donation - incredible opinions
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  1. Wash and clean your hair without using any additional hair styling products like hairspray.
  2. Gather your hair from the nape of your neck.
  3. Create a ponytail or a braid with an elastic band. It should be tight enough to hold the hair because if hair comes out of it, the lose hair can't be used in donation. 
  4. At the bottom of the ponytail or the braid, tie another elastic band to hold the ponytail from the bottom.
  5. Measure the ponytail if it is minimum 10" long. You can donate as much as you want but it is a minimum requirement for the donation.
  6. Cut the ponytail just above the top elastic band so that the elastic band is included in the ponytail.
  7. Put the ponytail in the plastic bag and seal it properly. 
  8. Just drop it off in person or mail it to the organisation near you who accepts hair donation.
It is a highly labour intensive process to weave a wig of real-hair and it takes almost 40-100 hours to make one. So, while following the above process, one should ensure that nobody's efforts are wasted.

In India, there are many organisations who work towards making free wigs for patients who bear the hair loss due to medical conditions. One of them is famous non-profit NGO Hair Aid. Another being Hair for hope.

I donated mine to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, Canada.  Sharing a beautiful letter that I received after they decided to use my hair in making a wig.

pantene beautiful lengths - incredible opinions

Wigs of real-hair make patients feel more socially normal. To boost the confidence in them that they can fight the disease, they need to fight the anomalies first which make them look different than others. The appearance of a strong and healthy hair is a first sign of healthy mind and we can definitely make someone feel the same too. You can always grow your hair later after the donation but the joy and the strength you are giving to somebody is inexplicable.

So next time, do give it a thought when going for a haircut, can your hair be used for a donation instead of just throwing it away?


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