You and I both know that hair is not a minor thing when it comes to “finding that perfect look”. Especially as women, we are told that having long, luscious hair is important to be feminine and attractive. All of this makes it even more meaningful when wonderful ladies around the world decide to chop off their locks and donate them to charity. This is what happens to donated hair.
Wigs For Kids is a US-based charity dedicated to help children “look themselves and live their lives”. There are many reasons why kids can lose their hair. Cancer treatments, burns, alopecia and trichotillomania, among other medical issues are all common causes for hair loss in children.
Hair loss is more than just a change in appearance, especially for children. Looking different can make them lose confidence and cause them to miss out on normal experiences. Going out in public, playing with friends and even getting dressed in the morning turn into extremely stressful activities. This, in turn, makes it even harder for the kids to go through medical treatment and can even hinder their recovery.
Realistic wigs can really help a child’s self-confidence, but they can be cost-prohibitive, especially for families that are paying for medical treatment. This is where Wigs For Kids (and wonderful, generous donors) come in. For over thirty years, Wigs for Kids has been helping 150 kids annually, relying exclusively on donated hair.
The process starts when you decide to give up your hair for a great cause. You can go to your favorite hair salon (and if you call ahead you may even get a discount for donating!) as long as you cut at least twelve inches of hair. Just be aware that chemically treated hair cannot be used. It can take up to thirty ponytails to make a wig for a child, so every little bit helps.
After you cut your hair, you need to send it (secured and sealed) to Ohio, to the Wigs For Kids headquarters. There, hair will be sorted and unusable strands filtered out. The usable hair is sent overseas to one of the three manufacturers that work with Wigs for Kids. Hair is then brushed, sewn together and treated chemically. The hair colors are blended and then the strands are hand-tied into the wig one at the time to create a natural look. Each wig has a custom cap created based on the head shape of the future wearer.
Each hair piece costs around 1,800 dollars to make, but they are provided at no charge for the families. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but the smiles are completely worth it.