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Some Woman's Journal: Locks of Love: The Corporation. 21

Journal by Some Woman

That's right. Locks of Love has given people the impression that they are a charity that donates human hair wigs to children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments, and they are certainly benefitting by allowing people to continue to believe this. Lets examine this statement one piece at a time.

Myth: the wigs are donated
The recipients pay for the wig. The cost is somewhat based on family income, but there is a cost involved.

Half-truth: the wigs are for children
Human hair wigs can be itchy and are incredibly hard to care for. Synthetic wigs are better suited for children. Or a scarf or hat.

Myth: the wigs are for cancer patients
Many people with hair loss due to cancer will be denied assistance. The primary target of Locks of Love is people who have permanent hair loss due to alopecia. Hair loss due to cancer treatments is considered temporary. The Locks of Love website itself says that people with temporary hair loss are given synthetic wigs.

Myth: Hair donations are needed
Locks of Love receives over 104,000 hair donations every year, but has created only 1,000 wigs since 1997. Even at 10 donations per wig, that's a lot of hair unaccounted for.

Half-truth: Locks of Love is a charity
While classifed as a charitable organization by the federal government, they have failed to meet the standards for charitable accountability. Locks of Love has been shady with their books, not allowing the Better Business Bureau to see how exactly they manage to bring in over $350,000 via donations and produce 113 human-hair and 39 synthetic wigs in one year. More than a third of that income came from selling donated hair.

The Locks of Love organization never officially says that they give free wigs to pediatric cancer patients, but they allow such notions to spread unhindered. They also allow people to believe that hair donations are still needed, when most of the hair will end up sold or in the trash. Look at how many people in my previous journal entry erroneously believe that they can donate hair to cancer patients via Locks of Love. While failure to dispell misconceptions is neither evil nor a crime, it is dishonest and reprehensible.

BOTTOM LINE:
Children with cancer do not benefit from you chopping off your hair. Even if you believe that Locks of Love serves people with alopecia well, they will almost certainly not use your hair in a wig. If you want to help people with cancer, donate money to a more reputable organization, or sell your hair yourself and give the proceeds to a cancer research fund.

----------------------------------------------
Sources:

BBB Report
Wikipedia
Human Hair Wigs
The Long Hair Site FAQ -search for Locks of Love
Long Hair Community -on being told to chop off your hair for cancer patients
Locks of Love FAQ

This discussion was created by Some Woman (250267) for Friends and Friends of Friends only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Locks of Love: The Corporation.

Comments Filter:
  • *clutches shorn head sadly*

    • well, if nothing else then you got motivated to try the nifty "pissed off pixie" look (I think that is what you called it). :-)

      jason
  • ... after all, they fail all their own criteria for evaluating a non-profit - they provide no information at all, much worse than the report on Locks of Love http://www.give.org/reports/index.asp#B [give.org]

    It IS disturbing that $350,000 in funds didn't seem to get much in the way of "bang for a buck."

    I'll try to find out what the real situation is up here in what used to be the Great White North before global warming :-)

    BBB Wise Giving Alliance, with a staff of 10, goes through 1.5 million a year. Now how muc

    • The BBB report is just icing. Even if they don't misuse their funds, Locks of Love is being dishonest in getting thousands of people to chop off their hard-won hair for a supposedly altruistic purpose when that hair will most likely never see a wig (most human hair is not acceptable for wigs), let alone a wig on the head of a juvenile cancer patient.
  • My wife has donated to them a couple of times, and I'm disappointed to hear it's not useful.

    If this is a scam, though, I don't understand what the point is. What do they do with a huge pile of useless hair?

    • they sell it, as per the links above, most of the money they've made has been from selling the hair.
    • As kormoc said, they sell it. I suspect that a lot of the received hair isn't saleable, though, and ends up in the trash. Wig makers are typically even fussier about Locks of Love in what they will accept- no chemical processing, no damage due to heat treatment and over-shampooing, no coloring, etc...

      While Locks of Love has apparently acknowleged that they have a surplus of hair, they have not changed their solicitation tactics to request money instead of hair. Thousands of people could have kept their h
      • about == than. :^)
      • Do you really want people to stop giving them hair and start giving them money???

        If they are shady and their books aren't public, and they seem to be misrepresenting themselves, and the benefit to cancer patients is marginal, why on earth would I give them anything? There are plenty of other places that will use my donated money well.

        Sounds like they should just go away altogether.

        Pix

        • No. I would rather not support them at all, but for those who insist on doing so, at least monetary gifts have a snowball's chance in hell of actually being used to help somebody. Money is replaced much more quickly than 12 inches of hair.
      • My guess is it is easier to sell the hair and hide that cash than it is to hide outright gifts of cash. This is sounding sleazier by the minute. BTW I love their website; the front page implies that your hair will go to a kid who is a bald cancer patient; if it doesn't that is just evil.
  • But here's the deal -- if this gets out then what infallible, irrefutable argument will chicks have to give their boyfriends/husbands when they decide to go butch? The way it's gone till now is something like this:

    Him: Why are you going to get your hair cut short? I like it long. I think it's sexy.
    Her: But I'm donating it for *wigs* for CHILDREN with *cancer*.
    Him: ...

    Chicks just gotta take accountability for it -- you want your hair cut short. You're not doing it for anyone but yourself. Own up to it an

    • And on the flip side...

      I hear constantly from women with hair longer than my own (mine is long enough to donate, but not so long that I am hounded to do so) that people tell them that they should chop their hair off for children with cancer, as though they are selfish to keep it all for themselves. My hair is for me, and I will do with it what I please.
      • REALLY? People actually tell women they should be donating their hair?!?!

        Jesus fucking christ -- what busybodies!! If it's so important to them, they can grow out their OWN fucking hair.

        I find that appalling.

        ....Bethanie....
        • Read my friend's comment at the bottom. [livejournal.com]

          Also, that Long Hair Community link I gave in the journal entry is to somebody's rant about people bugging them to chop their hair off. It was the first one I found, but there are many more. There are actually people who will tell a long-haired person "Your hair is so lovely! You should chop it off!"

          I've been visiting a lot of hair communities lately because I'm trying to be better about caring for my own, and there is a general hatred of Locks of Love among them.
          • So the peole doing the bugging, do they donate bone marrow [marrow.org] often? They have extra they don't need right? Don't get me wrong, I think as a society we would do better to volunteer more, but what the hell? Making people volunteer kinda makes it no longer volunteering doesn't it?


            Goes back to my first "nizo rule" of living: When in doubt, leave people the hell alone.

      • I was also hounded... not only by 'church goers' but also by the lady who finally cut my hair off at the salon ;p well she didn't hound me that hard but she looked down on me when i said i didn't want to donate.

        Ah how I wish I had actually looked into locks of love back then, I just went on instinct. anything that seems too good to be true probabbly is.

        I would have at least 6 inches past shoulder length if it was entirely up to me how to style my hair. alas, men are 'pressured' to cut hair short and 'look
    • And if he's not happy about it, then it's time for him (and you) to realize that you care more about pleasing yourself than pleasing him, at least when it comes to your hairstyle.

      Uh, explain to me why I should wear my hair the way my boyfriend likes it, simply because he likes it that way? It's my hair, and he's not the one who has to deal with it, wash it, pick the knots out of it, and try to make it presentable-looking when I have to go out to a job interview or a sales meeting. He has his own hair
  • I go through phases with my hair. Once it gets to a certain length I go crazy, decide I don't want long hair and chop it all off, it falls on the floor, gets swept up, and thrown away.

    Is it better to be thrown out or given to someone who may or may not use it and may or may not profit from it? Either way, it's not like I'm going to be keeping it.

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