Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FAQ About Donating Hair

I just chopped & donated my hair to Locks Of Love & I thought it would be helpful to give you guys some info if you are thinking about donating. Here are some FAQ's from their site:

Hair Donor Questions & Answers
  1. Q. Where do I go to get my hair cut?
    A. You can go anywhere to get your hair cut as long as the donation guidelines listed on our website are followed. We encourage our donors to go to a salon they are already familiar with so they will be comfortable when making their donation. 
  2. Q. Do you have a list of participating salons?
    A. We do not maintain a list of participating salons. If there is a participating salon in your area, they should have a Locks of Love decal in their window. If you have salons in your area that are part of a national chain, many times they participate. Also, you can try an online search, entering Locks of Love salon and your city and state.
  3. Q. How do I package my donation?
    A. Ponytails need to be completely dry before they are mailed. Place the ponytail in a Ziploc bag, and then inside of a padded envelope. Be sure to include the donor’s name and address on a separate sheet of paper so we can send out an acknowledgement card.
  4. Q. What if I can’t download the hair donation form?
    A. The hair donation form is not required to donate. If you cannot download the form, we ask that you include your name and e-mail address or your mailing address on a separate sheet of paper so we can send out an acknowledgement.
  5. Q. Where do I send my donation?
    A. All donations must be mailed to Locks of Love at:

              234 Southern Blvd.
              West Palm Beach, FL 33405
  6. Q. What is the minimum length for a hair donation?
    A. At least 10 inches is needed to be used in a hairpiece.
  7. Q. Why is the minimum length 10 inches?
    A. The manufacturing process uses up to two inches, leaving only eight inches (jaw length). Most of the children who receive hairpieces from Locks of Love are little girls, and most want long hair. When we need to provide a hairpiece to a boy, we use some of the shorter lengths that have been separated by hand from each donated ponytail.
  8. Q. Does Locks of Love sell hair? Throw away hair?
    A. Hair that is short, gray, or otherwise unusable will be sold to help offset manufacturing costs. Locks of Love DOES NOT throw hair away unless it is wet and moldy or not bundled in a braid or ponytail when it is received.
  9. Q. Can I donate gray hair?
    A. Yes, we can accept donations of gray hair. Because we only provide hairpieces to children, we cannot use this hair in a hairpiece but will sell it to offset our manufacturing costs.
  10. Q. Can I donate colored hair?
    A. Yes, we can accept donations of colored hair.
  11. Q. Can I donate permed hair?
    A. Yes, we can accept donations of permed hair.
  12. Q. Can I donate bleached hair?
    A. No, we cannot use bleached hair. The bleach causes the hair to dissolve as it goes through the manufacturing process. Note: Many times highlights are done with bleach.
  13. Q. Can I donate dreadlocks?
    A. We cannot accept dreadlocks. Our manufacturer is not able to use them in our children’s hairpieces. We also cannot accept wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.
  14. Q. How many ponytails does it take to make one hairpiece?
    A. Six to 10 donated ponytails go into one hairpiece.
  15. Q. Can I meet the child who receives my hair?
    A. We cannot link donors with recipients for two reasons:
    1. Because 6-10 ponytails go into one hairpiece, tracking each ponytail would not be financially feasible.
    2. Because all applicants are minors, we must protect the children’s privacy.
  16. Q. Is my hair donation tax-deductible?
    A. Please check with your tax preparer. We cannot place a monetary value on a ponytail.
  17. Q. Can I include pictures with my hair donation?
    A. Yes, if you choose to send pictures please e-mail them to All photos must be submitted electronically in order for use on our website.
  18. Q. If I send in pictures, will you post them on your website?
    A. We do update our donor gallery from time to time, but cannot guarantee that all the pictures we receive will be posted. We also use photos in our newsletters and post them around our office.
  19. Q. How long will it take for me to receive acknowledgement of my donation?
    A. We work to thank all donors as quickly as possible. Because we rely on volunteers to help with this task, it may take up to 60 days to receive your acknowledgement.
  20. Q. Can I donate my hair to make a hairpiece for a family member or friend?
    A. If the person in need is a child and has applied to Locks of Love, it is sometimes possible. The family can contact the Case Manager for more information. If the person in need is not a child, we cannot help them. They may need to contact their local American Cancer Society chapter or the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
  21. Q. Does Locks of Love need hair?
    A. Yes, we are always in need of hair. We forecast our need because our recipients can reapply for a new hairpiece every 18 months. Because these hairpieces are custom made, they cannot be reused.
Financial Donor Questions & Answers
  1. Q. Do you need financial donations?
    A. Yes, financial donations will enable us to pay for the production of the hairpieces, which are then donated.
  2. Q. Are all financial donations tax-deductible?
    A. Yes
  3. Q. How do you sponsor a Locks of Love child?
    A. $1,000 sponsors a Locks of Love child. This pays for the total cost of providing one cranial prosthesis.
Recipient Questions & Answers
  1. Q. Do you help boys and girls?
    A. Yes, we help both boys and girls. The majority of children who apply for a hairpiece are girls.
  2. Q. What are some of the medical conditions of the children you help?
    A. Most of our recipients suffer from alopecia areata. Others have experienced hair loss from radiation therapy and chemotherapy, severe burns or trauma, and various other genetic and dermatological conditions. View Causes of Hair Loss.
  3. Q. What age group do you help?
    A. Children under 6 years receive synthetic hairpieces because this age group experiences rapid growth in the size of their head. Children ages 6-21 with long term hair loss receive custom, vacuum-fit hair prosthetics.
  4. Q. Do you help children with short term hair loss?
    A. Yes, we provide these recipients with synthetic hairpieces.
  5. Q. What do the children pay for these hairpieces?
    A. We provide hairpieces and repairs free of charge or on a sliding scale based on the financial need of those responsible for the children.
  6. Q. Do you help all children?
    A. Yes, we provide hairpieces to children under age 21 in the US and Canada regardless of race, creed, or religion.
  7. Q. What is the retail cost of the hairpieces?
    A. Between $3,500 and $6,000.
  8. Q. How does a child apply for a hairpiece?
    A. Applications are available on our website or can be mailed to you. We need a completed application along with a medical diagnosis, photo of the child, most recent tax return and two letters of recommendation.

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