Rant post, so watch out.

This is something I posted on my xanga…I’m transfering bits and pieces here, but I won’t make you read the whole thing.
Okay, rant post here. I want to make sure everyone knows that LOCKS OF LOVE is an UNRELIABLE organization!!! Countless little girls and young women chop their tresses to give to this ‘nonprofit organization.’ This is a waste of perfectly good, pretty hair. Your hair needs to stay where it belongs- on your head!

Locks of Love is advertized as a non-profit organization that makes hairpieces for children who have lost their hair due to cancer or other illnesses. Sadly, LoL’s actions aren’t in keeping with its message.
Let me elaborate:
Taken from LocksofLove.com:
“Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children 18 years and younger suffering from long-term medical hair loss. We meed a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cute. The prostheses we provide help to restore self-esteem and confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.”

Now, what they say is that they ask for donations of hair, which they then process and give away to kids who need it. Correct? Ah. Now let’s look at the actual statistics: (taken from a long hair site):
A little math using information from LoL’s own website and the BBB:
LoL receives about 2000 donations per week, by mail.
That’s 104,000 per year.
Let’s say that only half of that is usable for wigs.(Or use another fraction, if you desire.)
That’s 52,000 per year.
It takes 6-10 ponytails to make a wig.
Ok, let’s say each one takes 10.
That’s potentially 5200 wigs per year.
Now, in fiscal year 2002, how many wigs did LoL provide?

113.

Let’s take this a little farther….

Let’s say it takes 10 donated ponytails to make one wig. They made 113 wigs in 2002.

113 wigs x 10 ponytails each = 1130 total ponytails used to make wigs in 2002.

They received 2000 ponytail donations per week, which is 104,000 per year.

That means that Locks of Love only uses 1% of the ponytails donated by good meaning people. You only have one chance out of 100 that your donated hair will go directly into a wig for a child.

Now. Go to www.locksoflove.com and take a look at their wigs. Not very good quality, are they? No. And the kids don’t get them free, either.
Want to know what Locks of Love does with all the rest of their hair? They sell it. This ‘non-profit’ organization sells the hair they recieve as human hair extensions, mostly to celebrities who like to change their length on a whim. Not very honest, are they?

And look at this (from the Better Business Bureaus group):

11: Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

In response to the Alliance’s request for a copy of LoL’s financial statements, LoL submitted a copy of its Independent Accountant’s Compilation Report for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2002. To meet this Standard, an organization with total annual income of over $250,000 should have, available on request, financial statements that have been audited.

In addition, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance requested, but did not receive, complete information on LoL’s finances, and therefore, is unable to verify LoL’s compliance with the following Standard for Charitable Accountability: 14.

Also from the BBB:

Source of Funds
Contributions 194,398
Hair sales 150,719
Grants 18,991
Interest income 7,858
Program income 2,474
Gain on investment sales 103

Total Income $374,543

http://www.give.org/reports/care2_dyn.asp?733

As if that’s not enough, people are constantly pressured into donating their hair, convinced they’re doing the right thing. And not only by Locks of Love reps, but by regular people who are misled. I can testify. I haven’t cut my hair in six years, and now I’ve got tailbone length, thick brown hair. I’ve been working hard at keeping it in good condition, because long hair looks awful when it’s ratty. But some people, sadly, take healthy long hair to mean an automatic donation. I’ve had…I think five or six people tell me over the past few years that I ought to cut my hair. “You know, Hannah, you really should cut your hair for Locks of Love.” Yeah, well, you know what? When you donate a kidney, I’ll donate my hair. You’ve got two of them, it’s really selfish for you to keep them both.
People get this insane idea that it’s selfish to keep long hair. They’re so misinformed! That’s why I’m making this post…at least my friends can be informed. Please guys, never tell someone they should donate to Locks of Love. It’s much, much better to donate money to the cancer research funds. Even cut off your hair and sell it to donate the money. Anything.

Please don’t get me wrong. I can’t critisize anyone who HAS donated. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a very kind and considerate thing to do, especially since most people don’t know where it’s going. Just wanted to clarify.

Credit for information goes to members of The Long Hair Community.

92 Comments

  1. Aunt Joni Said,

    October 11, 2005 @ 11:14 pm

    Great rant Hannah! Well written, well documented, and good points. (Please don’t cut your hair I just love it.) It would be even better to see someone do what Locks of Love is failing to do and show them for the scam artists they are.

  2. Caleb Said,

    October 12, 2005 @ 9:17 pm

    Wow! Six years since you’ve cut your hair!

  3. Caleb Said,

    October 12, 2005 @ 9:19 pm

    Definately don’t cut your hair…especially for that purpose!

  4. Krissy Said,

    October 12, 2005 @ 9:26 pm

    Quite a rant, Hannah! I agree with your aunt; very well thought out and presented. =)

  5. Hannah Said,

    October 13, 2005 @ 9:58 am

    *phew* Thanks for reading it, everyone. As it turned out I only added to my xanga rant, not took away. :P
    i wish there was some way we could expose them…but LoL gets such good media coverage. I would think the reporters, of all people, would figure it out..but apparently not. :( I just want the money to go to the right place…and people might as well keep their hair if it’s not helping anyone much!

  6. Caleb Said,

    October 13, 2005 @ 9:21 pm

    By the way – your math is good! Do you still need some help with geometry? I really should come down and help, but I’m very buisy with work.

  7. anda Said,

    October 13, 2005 @ 10:16 pm

    good point!

  8. Hannah Said,

    October 14, 2005 @ 7:32 am

    Heh, Caleb, I didn’t do that math myself. *rolls eyes* I probably could have done it, if I’d thought of it, that’s the sort of math I’m better at.
    Yeah, I can always use help with Geometry. I just finished the first chapter, I’m doing the review page today…so really, whenever you get the chance, as long as you call ahead of time, it’s possible. :)

  9. Krissy Said,

    October 14, 2005 @ 6:22 pm

    “and people might as well keep their hair if it’s not helping anyone much!”

    Haha ‘keep your hair on, folks…’
    sorry, I’m waaaay too hyper this evening…=)

  10. dancingbarefoot Said,

    October 17, 2005 @ 1:26 am

    I’m glad to see that others are skeptical of LoL, too. Don’t people CHECK the reputations of supposed charities before donating? Guess not…

  11. Hannah Said,

    October 17, 2005 @ 7:09 am

    Hey dancingbarefoot…I got half my info from LHC. :P Nice to see you. I’m Nienor there.

  12. Sonja Said,

    October 19, 2005 @ 6:16 pm

    Who the hack is Dancingbarefoot? Sorry, I’m nosy =D

  13. Sonja Said,

    October 19, 2005 @ 6:17 pm

    and by “hack” I ment “heck”

  14. Hannah Said,

    October 19, 2005 @ 7:45 pm

    She’s a lady from a long hair site. I don’t know how she found this site…I might’ve posted the link. I don’t post there much at all, but I lurk and soak up info.

  15. Sonja Said,

    October 19, 2005 @ 10:21 pm

    Hehe =)

  16. Dan Said,

    October 22, 2005 @ 9:13 am

    Thanks for doing this research. I’ve been growing my hair for a while and I’m just about ready to donate it. Luckily I did a quick search for Locks of Love scam and this came up. I checked your numbers and they are correct. I blogged about it on my site and quoted your numbers. Just FYI, I looked into wigsforkids.org and from what I can tell so far they are much more honest.

  17. Krissy Said,

    October 23, 2005 @ 1:18 pm

    good for you, Dan. Always (in danger of being cliche) ‘look before you leap.’ =P

  18. Jessie Said,

    October 25, 2005 @ 7:43 pm

    Good golly gosh. Thanks Hannah, that`s awesome you`re getting the word out.

  19. abby Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

    locks of love gets 2,000-3,000 donations a week but 70% are unusable. sorry i’m researching this for school and your statistics were incorrect. they only use 30% of the hair that they recieve. re-do your math. you also need to take into account that it takes more than six months to make a single wig, so they’re always making wigs, and they don’t count the wigs that are in production, just the wigs that are already in the hands of the child. re-do the math and realize where all the hair is ate a single time and you’ll get the 113 wig a year number.

  20. Hannah Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 7:37 pm

    Actually, Abby, as I already stated, I didn’t do the math. I took it from a long hair site. I’m sorry if the statistics were incorrect…however, it is still true that Locks of Love is not a reliable organization.

  21. abby Said,

    November 1, 2005 @ 10:18 pm

    agreed

  22. Millie Said,

    December 22, 2005 @ 4:04 pm

    BUT, they do say that donations that are too short, gray, or damaged will NOT be used and will be sold and the money used to support the charity.

  23. Michelle Said,

    January 13, 2006 @ 12:32 am

    I just recently cut off 12 inches of my hair and did some searching on the internet about lol first and found that they are profitable and decided NOT to give them my hair. I DO NOT agree with what they do, them selling the unused hair at fair market value. Same thing with wigs for kids, they sell the unused hair also. Interesting information you wrote Hannah, glad to see that someone else thinks like I do. Still don’t know what I’m going to do with my hair, I doubt I’ll find an organization that is nonprofitable. If I don’t then I guess I’ll take your suggestion, sell my hair and give it to the cancer society, plus my mom just beat leukemia for the second time!!

  24. Hannah Said,

    January 13, 2006 @ 8:07 am

    True Millie. But they don’t say just how MUCH will be sold.
    Michelle, I’m glad to hear you’re researching before giving away your hair! And it’s wonderful that your mom has succeeded in beating leukemia twice.

  25. Krissy Said,

    January 13, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

    ^yeah.
    Haha spin it into wool, knit a hat, and sell THAT! =) No, it probably wouldn’t work, but I don’t know who would just buy hair other than those organizations.
    Good thing other people are smarter than me…teehee…

  26. Karen Said,

    March 25, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    Maybe hair removal to support a cancer patient makes more sense as a solidarity thing than as a wig thing?

    http://www.scoutxing.com/scoutmaster/scmin171.htm

    Boys Shave Heads In Show Of Support

    Yorkville, Illinois; Dec 4 1992

    Radiation treatment may soon cost Mark Lowry his hair, but his bald head won’t stand out in the classrooms at Cross Lutheran School.

    When his classmates learned that Mark, 13, would undergo chemotherapy, all 15 of them decided to have their heads shaved in a show of support. By yesterday only two boys in the seventh and eighth grades weren’t bald – one was due for a haircut this weekend; the other was Mark who came home from the hospital this week with a full head of hair.

    “It probably won’t be for long, though,” Mark said.

    Mark learned only recently he had leukemia and started chemotherapy treatment last week. Classmate Travis Busch then came up with the head-shaving idea, but cleared it with Mark first. “We didn’t want him to feel we were making fun of him,” said Travis.

    How long do the boys plan to go hairless? “Until Mark grows his hair back,” they said. –AP

  27. Hannah Said,

    March 25, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

    You make a good point…and I should reiterate, I don’t think badly of anyone who is generous enough to cut their hair to help someone.

  28. Jenelle Pastva Said,

    April 27, 2006 @ 7:36 am

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve had alopecia since age 14 (I’m now 23) and tried getting a wig through LOL. I’ve since learned about thier questionable business practices. I try to tell everyone I know about this little scam and it really irks me when I see news stories about people donating. The word needs to get out about these people. Thanks again!

  29. Hannah Said,

    April 27, 2006 @ 7:42 am

    Just yesterday, when I was at school for chorus, the one remaining longhair described how she was about to chop for LOL…I couldn’t say anything, it would’ve been too rude, but she has beautiful hair and I felt rather sad. :(

  30. Krissy Said,

    July 8, 2006 @ 9:32 am

    Uh, Hannah, YOU’RE a longhair too, in case you haven’t noticed how may people that braid can knock down. =D

  31. Hannah Said,

    July 9, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

    Yes, but I don’t go to school anymore. :P

  32. Jill Said,

    July 18, 2006 @ 10:25 am

    Great research! A quick note about non-profits. Basically, a non-profit is granted non-profit status based on where their income comes from. It does not mean that they cannot have an income to pay for the cost of running the organization, it just means that it limits where the money is spent. All companies cost money to run, the real question to ask is what do they spend the income on? Do they give back to the cause they are raising donations for? Or do the board members or top employees recieve a large compensation? It is good if a non-profit company can have a large income inorder to stay in business and continue to provide a service to the community they are serving. If they are spending all their income on employees salaries than they are not acting as a non-profit and the IRS will surely investigate. The restrictions are actually very stringent these days. If they do not actually have non-profit status granted by the IRS than yes they are falsely advertising. Keep up the questioning out there!

  33. Hannah Said,

    July 22, 2006 @ 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the information, Jill!

  34. sandra Said,

    September 1, 2006 @ 11:25 am

    at the moment, I have thick, naturally-curly locks on my head; they
    grow there and it is fortunate, to say the least. My experience with
    hair loss, at one point, was a feeling of despair over the fact that my
    hair was turning loose from my head and it was VERY strange to see
    my mirror image at that time. However, when I cried out, I was heard
    and my hair’s now thick and growing. Comments are made about it by
    others. I consistently manage and condition it – and love swimming, so
    that requires the care that I take of my hair. I condone LOL because it
    indicates to my mind the reality that is faced, even by children, of sick
    and dying friends and loved ones – or those not loved!

  35. LORRAINE Said,

    October 10, 2006 @ 12:35 pm

    i AM SO GLAD I READ YOUR ARTICLE I WAS GOING TO DONATE ALL MY HAIR BUT I AM NOW HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE ADVICE

  36. Mrs. Julie Woods Said,

    October 22, 2006 @ 8:05 am

    I totally agree! Shame, shame, shame on Locks of Love Organizations!!!! I was going to donate 12 inches but I think I’ll just keep it! Thanks for the truth somebody should start a new hair “store” for pieces. My nephew had leukemia when he was 14 and it just killed me that he didn’t have any hair. He’s fine now but I can’t believe Locks of Love does this. The only thing they love is money certainly not cancer children…….

  37. Shannon Said,

    November 17, 2006 @ 1:08 am

    Is there a petition against LoL?

  38. Hannah Said,

    November 17, 2006 @ 7:06 am

    Not that I’m aware of.

  39. sherri Said,

    December 10, 2006 @ 6:24 pm

    hi
    i have a six year old daughter and her hair is very thick and almost at the back of her knee she wanted to cut it and donate it so other kids can have a wig .but after reading this i am thinking otherwise .its so unfair what people can do but thats the world for you. thanks for the information.

  40. Dorothea Said,

    January 19, 2007 @ 9:59 am

    Hannah,

    I so happy that I came across your site and totally appreciate the research you’ve done as well as eveyone else that has responded to you. I too have been growning my hair for 6+ years with every intention of donating it to a good cause. I’m always getting compliments on my thick, brunette curly hair and wanted to give it as a gift to ’someone’ whose self esteem has dropped because of their hair loss. My timing to get it cut is in the spring and I’ve somewhat been researching different ideas for donations to make it personal, but I need to get serious now and find out more options. There is a girl in my boy’s school who has no hair because she was born with no hair folicals. She has a wig already, but has opted not to wear it because she wants people to know her as she really is and everyone totally accepts her. There are others too, but I’m not able to lock anything down except an address for Locks of Love. I would hate to band my hair, box it, and mail it to never never land and never know what happened. I’m soooo thankful for the insight you’ve provided that I’ve made up my mind after all these years. I’m truly saddened, but I’m not going to do it. I just called my hairdresser and made an appointment next week to get a new style and only shortened somewhat. I may as well enjoy it longer myself. On the other hand, I can be like LoL and sell it to a place that does hair extentions. hehe

  41. Samantha Said,

    January 25, 2007 @ 9:21 am

    I had no idea! My hair is now almost touching my waist and I wanted to donate my hair. But now, I won’t be. I’ll still be getting my hair cut but not donated. Is there any way the organization can be exposed like 20/20 or 60 minutes? How disappointing.

  42. terri Said,

    February 12, 2007 @ 7:19 am

    Think maybe someone should tell Oprah about this..

  43. Hillary Said,

    February 17, 2007 @ 5:36 am

    I can’t believe this. I didn’t know a thing about this scam until someone on Livejournal mentioned it to me. I’m 16 years old, and two Novembers ago I donated 18 inches of hair to Locks of Love. I did it because I thought ill children were going to get wigs. It makes me so sad to know that I was misinformed. That they don’t make as many wigs for children as they say that they do, and that they CHARGE these kids and their families for the wigs. I’m not saying that I regret that I’ve done it, because there is the chance that it’s been made into a wig for a kid that needs it… but I can’t believe that they do this. Here I was thinking that Locks of Love is one of the only “honest” charities left. I’ll donate money next time.

  44. Hillary Said,

    February 17, 2007 @ 5:40 am

    Oh, I would like to say this though: I hope that a few people keep donating because there ARE a few wigs made. If everyone stops donating there won’t be any hair for wigs at all. It’d be nice if we could donate just enough to make wigs, and not enough to sell or something. I don’t know. It’s 4:37 in the AM, and I can’t seem to be anymore detailed. I just think it would be sad if nobody donated and the kids were left without any wigs at all.

  45. Dani Said,

    February 18, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

    OMG!!! 2 years ago I had to do an English exam and research a charity. They were prechosen so I chose LoL and promised myself that I was going to give my hair away. Now my hair is long and thick and I was just about to reach for the scissors!!! I’m lucky that I went on the computer to check the length of hair! I wanted to help a kid with allopecia NOT Jessica Simpson!!! :O

  46. Hannah Said,

    February 19, 2007 @ 8:17 am

    I am really glad you are all finding this, and I hope my information helps you out. I wish it could be brought to the attention of the media, but I’m afraid they wouldn’t listen- they’re the ones giving so many glowing reviews of little girls chopping off their locks, businesswomen getting together and cutting their hair, some reporters have even done it on screen. It’d be a major embarassment for them.
    Besides, if I said anything, they would accuse me of fabricating or exaggerating just because I don’t want to give up my own hair. Granted, I don’t, but I didn’t make this up.

  47. Captain Gary Said,

    April 25, 2007 @ 1:12 am

    Yo Hannah…
    After 30 years of growing my hair long, I was about to cut it and go for a new look.It’s about 22 inches long in a pony-tail.Yup..ex-hippy biker dude.
    But after doing some investigating of my own,I too have second thoughts about sending my hair to LoL.
    I always thought all kinds of hair could be used for wigs to help out the kids,I guess not.
    Maybe I’ll just tuck it up under my cap.
    Thanks for the info,good job.
    cg

  48. Rapunzel111 Said,

    April 26, 2007 @ 7:23 am

    I am so sickof other people shoving that Locks of Love sh** in my face all of the time!!!!!My hair is below waist length and blonde and I have no intention of cutting it for any random stranger.I don’t CARE who thinks that is selfish,or what they think at all.I don’t go around telling other people that they ”need to” do this or that because I believe in minding my own business and I believe others should also.

    Yeah I agree with the kidney comment to short haired people”well, you are just selfish for having 2 kidneys so why don’t you go out and donate one of them to some other poor,suffering deserving soul that you don’t know !”

    Ladies and Gentlemen-
    Fact of life-Long hair is beautiful,beautiful! Long hair is a testimonial to health patience and vitality.
    If anyone tells you to cut your hair for LOL or any other reason,DON”T DO IT!!!! This is just a jealous person talking to you because they know your ”crowning glory” is beautiful beyond belief!They want you to be a plain,boring clone like everyone else is,not the unique person,that you already are!And they are afraid of you because you stand out amongst other people,possibly jealous of the attention that you get. Super short hair on women tells the world “I am just too lazy to take care of my own hair”
    OK this is why we have hair extensions,and ”put on pieces” so the lazy can be beautiful too without any suffering or effort put forth.

    I have always said that if a woman wants to be a “Man Magnet” she should grow her hair out long,and this is how it has always worked for me.Men love long hair.Period.So to the married ladies,if you have a baby or two and get lazy with your looks so you cut off all of your hair for convenience,don’t be suprized if hubby isn’t trying to sneak around with a sweet young thing in his office because you are no longer attractive to him,and she has beautiful long hair….
    Thanks for allowing me to rant.I feel better now!

  49. Carol Said,

    May 11, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

    Thank you so much for letting me know about this. My Father died of cancer in 2001 and since I don’t have a lot of money, I decided to grow my hair and donate it to LoL. In 2004, I donated 12 inches to this supposedly legitimate charity. I was really proud that I might could do something to honor my Dad. but now finding out that they are a farce, I don’t know if I will ever cut my hair again. Right now it is about 15 inches, long, thick, and “beach” blonde. My Mother always said my hair was like her Mother’s. Thank you so much for this info. I only wich the liberal, drive-by media would talk about this.

  50. Angie Said,

    June 7, 2007 @ 11:56 pm

    I am really glad I came across this. I have been growing my hair for 3 years and recently came up with the idea to donate it. No way is LoL getting my hair now. In my search for somewhere to donate my hair, I came across the Pantene Pro-V site. They are taking hair donations for women who lost their hair to cancer.
    I wish someone would expose LoL.

  51. Corissa Said,

    June 26, 2007 @ 12:44 am

    I just want to say, after reading all of the additional rants, I have had long hair since I was able to finally grow it at age 6 or 7 and have only now thought it might be a good time to donate. Most people cut their hair from time to time because it grows back. That’s what hair normally does. I like to color my hair but hadn’t since being pregnant with my daughter who is now 4. I’m going to cut my middle-back hair to just above sholder-length and do a totally different style, so now is the optimum time for me to donate instead of trashing those 10 or so inches of unprocessed hair. I appreciate the research and information regarding Locks of Love, but I would rather donate it and hope some of it gets used than trash it knowing full well that it’s not doing any good in a dump somewhere. Anyone who has mentioned donating hair, to me, has done it in a genuinely nice way and I’ve never been approached by a stranger about donating, and like I said, I’ve had long hair (really long hair) my WHOLE life. Hannah, you’ve given some good information, but to those other ladies who’ve decided to cut their hair anyway, you don’t need to sound so disgusted. Did you girls forget you were gonna trim it anyway?

  52. Hannah Said,

    June 26, 2007 @ 7:12 am

    Thanks for the comment, Corissa.
    To clarify, I don’t feel any disgust towards people who have donated, as I stated in the post. I do feel disgust towards people who pressure others into cutting. I’m very glad that hasn’t happened to you, but it most definitely does happen.
    I agree that if you’re going to cut your hair, you might as well find a good use for it. That’s why I suggested selling it and donating the money.

  53. Tammy Said,

    June 28, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

    No disrespect intended to anyone, but the outrage on this issue is confusing to me. Maybe I’m not getting it; I have been on the board of a non-profit organization, and a profit of $400K is not a sign of greed, though it may be a sign that the management isn’t re-investing fast enough. By law, no one can use that money except for the purpose for which the non-profit was formed. Without making any judgments about a 501c3 that I know nothing about, it does seem as though it is a victim of its own success. If I were on the board and had too much hair coming in, I’d vote to sell it to fund the production costs as well as pay the salaries of the employees. I would be interested to know if the 2006 report reflected the same surplus of hair and profit, or if 2003 was an unusual year due to a sudden increase in publicity and sponsorship by hair salons. Changing size from a small organization to a large one will result in major imbalances for a year or two, while old procedures from less profitable years are replaced by ones that fit the new growth. Also, they may not have been able to predict a sustained interest that would keep the hair coming in (witness your backlash, justified or not, which will certainly cut down on donations). I’m not defending them, just pointing out that it is a mistake to reason from statistics that don’t cover the whole picture. I believe non-profits have 5 years to apportion their funds just because of the uncertain nature of funding based on donations (don’t quote me on that, it’s been a while since I looked at the literature). It also costs money to raise money, so it makes sense to use what they are already getting in lieu of costly fundraisers. I agree that this should be made clear in their PR materials, if it isn’t already, and hope that the increased scrutiny by citizens like people here has led or will soon lead to that. In addition, if they go one running at a profit, they will have to find ways to make more wigs or make them more affordable or free, or the government will step in and shut them down when they file their paperwork.

    I also agree with those who complain about the obnoxious social pressure to donate. It is no one’s business but your own what to do with your hair. My daughter donated to LoL about 3 years ago, and got a free haircut that made her look like her American Girl doll, so it was a positive experience for her and for me. She wanted to cut her hair anyway, and it was all her decision, which is how it should be.

    FYI, I understood that any color hair can be used…grey is mixed with blond, etc. It’s processed for texture and dyed, so it doesn’t look like your hair. I think that might be what upsets people…they envision a one-to-one donation like an organ transplant and feel betrayed that someone isn’t walking around with a wig made just from their own hair. Maybe LoL ought to make the process clearer as well. But then people might not feel that personal connection and stop donating their hair. I can see that the publicity issue would be sensitive at the board (decision-making) level, but if that’s so, they should go for the truth and trust people to want to help anyway. IMO, of course!

    With goodwill to all.

  54. Jennie Said,

    June 28, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

    Wow, Hannah…. couldn’t help but think…. does LoL actually stand for Laugh out Loud (all the way to the bank?)

    Thank you for an articulate rendering of the truth behind the guilt-rendering.

    jennie

  55. Hannah Said,

    July 2, 2007 @ 4:30 am

    Thank you for your comment, Tammy! I don’t know a whole lot about these things, and it’s good to get information from someone who does.

  56. monkeygirl Said,

    July 14, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

    thx so much for telling me this, i was gonna donate to LoL but a friend emailed me this site and now my hair is staying on my head!!! thx again (no, you probably wont find out who I am, sorry!)

  57. Dan Said,

    July 16, 2007 @ 3:46 am

    I’m a hair nut…I’m passionate about thick, coarse natural hair on women. But to compare hair to a kidney…c’mon, Hannah! That said, I’m glad to hear that SOMEONE is holding LoL’s feet to the fire. We’re a trusting society, and too many “charities” take advantage of how highly most of people regard them. I’m growing my hair out (it’s thick, coarse, curly and salt-n-pepper grey) and would like to lop off 10 inches of it every few years to benefit poor people who have lost their hair to cancer treatment or illness. Oddly, I can’t find an HONEST organization that wants salt-n-pepper!

  58. APRIL Said,

    July 24, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

    When they sale the hair at “fair market value” they use that money to offset the cost of making a wig. You can even donate money to LOL to help them with the cost of making wigs.

  59. APRIL Said,

    July 24, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

    LOL meets the charitable organization requirements of the Better Business Bureau. http://www.bbb.com. Go to charities and they are in alphabetical order. I’m donating my hair. Getting 10″ cut off tomorrow. Don’t be a sourpuss.

  60. Hannah Said,

    July 25, 2007 @ 1:11 am

    Heehee, go right ahead April. That’s very nice of you.

  61. leslie Said,

    August 3, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

    i am older, 56, and have been growing my hair to donate for a number of years now. I noticed in some of the info that LOL does not keep gray hair. Ha! Well then, but that it sells it then uses the money for ??? keeping the bussiness going? I assume. Well i figure what am i going to do with my hair after its cut anyway unless there is a place that makes
    wigs for dolls, i would just be throwing it away. What about the rest of you? It still seems to me to be a good cause. Unless those of you with great hair that Could sell it, but where do you go to do That? It has been great to find this web site anyway and get this info thx

  62. dawn martin Said,

    September 7, 2007 @ 1:15 am

    i work in a beauty salon and a lot of ladies want to cut off their hard earned hair for this group. I too have nice wavy thick long dark hair naturally. In the word of the Bible, it states how long hair is a glory to women and a shorn head is a disgrace. I want to honor my lord. The pony tails are sold at fair market value if not used in a wig. $ 4.00. Four measly dollars for years of growth, days of care and brushing and the heft of wearing it. I get headaches because I have to wear my hair up while at work.I don’t want to cut 10 or 12 inches and wonder if it will actually be used or sold. I can continue to grow my hair, it can continue to be healthy and beautiful. I can continue to honor the Lord by wearing my long hair with great glory. I have been told by my friend/co-worker/stylist that I should cut my hair and donate to locks of love. The only good thing about this orgnization is that the idea sounds good. They receive hair by the truck as a donation. For free. Then they make a few wigs and sell a lot of pony tails that were given to them for pure profit.The kids who are in need of a wig don’t just get one because they need one either. They have to write an essay and be awarded the wig.How is that charity?

  63. Lin Said,

    September 15, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

    Thanks so much for this information. I was about to cut my daughter’s hair for this cause this very afternoon. I decided to snoop around the Net a bit first. My first shock came when I saw the wigs. I was a hairdresser years ago. These are not $1,000 or more wigs. These wigs are terrible. I styled a synthetic for a cancer victim that looked so natural none of her friends believed she had transitioned to a wig. I used to wear many hair peaces myself in my styling days and none of them looked like the pictures on Locks of Love website even when I went for a total change of hair color. I was not a styling genius but this stuff—–good grief! I could buy wigs at the thrift store and make them look better than most of these. Also, it would not cost the supposed $1,000 or more. My point is that by seeing the wigs I immediately knew something was “off” about this organization.
    Custom made wigs look so real that it’s hard to spot them. My daughter is an actress and even the quickly made wigs for her body doubles on screen look better than these and those are for distance shots when it’s not really her. Custom made wigs from human hair are expensive but they look amazing. The stuff on that website is inferior crapola that can be purchased from any cutrate wig shop in the country. The families would have been better off to go pick out a nice long ready made cap wig and have it styled for the children. I’ll bet most wig shops and hairdressers would be very generous when helping out.

    I was also shocked by the facts I quickly unearthed about this organization.

    Disgusted,
    Lin

  64. Mark Chandler Said,

    September 17, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

    It’s disgusting how quickly people are willing to jump to conclusions about a charity that brings so much joy into the lives of children. Forget about yourself for a moment think about the child your hair will please. Whether your hair is used to make the hairpiece or sold to reduce costs for making the hairpieces, this is all about the children.

    And Lin, get over yourself. Your personal experience and stories mean nothing. As you said, custom made wigs are expensive, and the hairpieces made by LoL are for low-income families who can’t afford to buy their own. LoL isn’t a beauty contest or an attempt to make every cancer child look like a beauty model, they are to restore a sense of feeling and personality to a child who has been robbed of so much dignity.

    Forget your own feelings. Think about these poor children.

    Love,
    Mark

  65. Hannah Said,

    September 18, 2007 @ 7:42 am

    Thank you for your feedback, Mark, though perhaps you might have taken your own advice and read a little more carefully before you jumped to conclusions. Children do not get wigs free from Locks of Love, as I understand it. The wigs they produce are not high quality. I think you may wish to research Locks of Love results a little more before you assume that the foundation brings “so much joy into the lives of children.” I have read that the wigs are low quality and uncomfortable.

  66. Boris Said,

    October 1, 2007 @ 10:57 am

    Hey there Hannah, Since donating my hair 4 years ago to the LoL foundation, I followed the legal trouble they faced, claiming that more hair was actually being used for the children in need ………… You’re correct.

    Its almost time to cut it again and I was wondering if you have a contact of an organization that is a little bit more above-board? ……… I’d kind of like to see the child’s smiling face knowing MY hair was used for but just a sliver of that smile. Not to mention being able to donatie to that childs next hairpiece each and every time I donate ………

    If you of any of your readers have already gone through this, (reputable hair-piece maker) please shoot me their addy so I can get this hair in the mail to them. Thanks

    -Peace

  67. Hannah Said,

    October 1, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

    Hey, I don’t know of any really reliable alternative organizations. There is one called Wigs-4-Kids or something to that effect, but something in the back of my mind says that there have been problems with them, too. Like I stated in my original post, it really might be best to sell the hair and donate the money, if you want to do something hair related. If you find something else, I’d be interested to hear about it.

  68. Anne Said,

    October 12, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

    Wow. That about sums it all up. Did you ever think your “rant” years ago would still be alive today? :) Thank you so much for it though. I wasn’t planning on donating to Lol anyway since I’ve always felt like 10″ was way too much to ask! I need to check more into Patene Pro-V’s Beautiful Lengths (8″) and Banbury Postiche (in the UK) which accepts 6″. I was planning on getting 7″ cut and still having what most ppl consider long hair – which would be frightfully short to me! :) I posted on Allure asking people for advice on transitioning from long to shorter hair. I only had 3 responses, but one girl posted this link. My hair is black and about 4″ past my elbow. I guess I’ve had enough people lay guilt trips on me about Locks of Love that I didn’t even realize I was cutting it really to appease them. Also, my family and friends seem to think I HAVE to have long hair – and I do get tired of being seen for my hair and not myself. I love the hair God has given me, but I guess I need to do a bit more thinking of what it is I feel I should do – free of either side’s opinions! :) So thanks ever so much!!
    p.s. and you’ve answered these posts marvelously…. tactful, firm, yet kind… kudos! ;)

  69. Hannah Said,

    October 12, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

    I had no idea, Anne! It’s about two years to the day since I made the post, and I still get comments nearly every month.
    If you find out more about those alternative organizations, I’d be interested to hear about them.

  70. Becca Said,

    October 16, 2007 @ 1:25 am

    Here is a link for info about the Pantene Pro-V Beautiful Lengths Program:

    http://www.pantene.com/en_US/beautifullengths/index_home.jsp

  71. grl2005 Said,

    October 26, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

    I have donated twice before but just let my stylist send it in, so I never really knew where it went. But this time around, I wanted to research and choose where it goes. Not for recongnition purposes, just to know that I may have cut more than I wanted and it was for a purpose. This time I do think that I will be choosing the pantene beautiful lengths campaign. In addition to providing real-hair wigs for free to women in battling cancer, they also made a $1 million donation to the EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund (a program committed to saving lives by raising funds and awareness for millions of women and their families affected by cancer). You can also make a monetary donation to the EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund. Your donation will be used to support groundbreaking research projects to fast-track the development of better prevention methods for breast and reproductive cancers. Ten percent of all donations will go towards the creation of Pantene Beautiful Lengths real-hair wigs. Whether you mail a check or make a secure donation online, your contribution will be eligible for a tax-deductible receipt. This organization gave allot more information right on their site I thought and told more about where what goes. They also only reguire 8 inches. Here’s the website; http://pantene.com/en_US/beautifullengths/index.jsp. Or for something that you can remember just go to http://www.beautifullengths.com and it will re-direct you.

  72. Boris Said,

    January 17, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

    Do I need a haircut?

  73. Lindz Said,

    April 8, 2008 @ 3:19 pm

    Hannah,

    I think you should rethink your information. If you look at ANY non-profit organization, you will see that they must make money in order to keep the organization in business as well as to cut the costs. Locks of Love was started as an organziation to give wigs to children who have illnesses, NOT JUST CANCER. Locks of Love does not want to leave out children who want to get wigs out of real hair but are not in financial need. That is why they have a sliding scale to give children wigs at highly reduced prices. Wigs without any compensation would cost between $3,500 and $6,000. Also, Locks of Love only sells hair it CANNOT use. They have set requirements listed online and people hoping to help send hair. The fact that people still send in hair should not make people believe LOL is a bad organization. If you have really researched Locks of Love you would know that throughout various accredited organizations, LOL has been rated one of the best non-profit organziations.

    This is a direct quote from http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=9285 :

    “Charity Navigator awards Locks of Love with its third consecutive 4-star rating for sound fiscal management.
    “Only 9% of the charities we’ve rated have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Locks of Love outperforms most charities in America in its efforts to operate in the most fiscally responsible way possible.”
    -Trent Stamp, President of Charity Navigator”

    The star rating is based off of organizational efficiency and capacity. It is explained in the link listed above.

    If you go to this site, you can see why LOL has received The Independent Charities Seal of Excellence. The link below explains what that means and how an organziation can get it.

    http://www.independentcharities.org/info.asp?Title=The+ICA+Seal+of+Excellence&sBody=BIA

    Before making such a rant, as you yourself called it, you should look at ALL THE FACTS!

  74. Lindz Said,

    April 8, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    Also, it takes about 6 to 10 ponytails to make a wig, especially if people have layered hair in which only part of the ponytails can be used to make the wig. This is one of the reasons that your hair cannot be traced. Also, because all the people are less than 18 that are receiving the wigs, they have to protect the privacy of the children and cannot tell you who receives your hair. So, you can look online to see pictures, you will not know if they have your hair. You should receive the satisfaction of knowing you have helped to make some child’s life easier whether it means that your too short layers were sold to make the process cheaper or they are part of a child’s wigs.

  75. LongHairedFreakyPeople Said,

    September 2, 2008 @ 7:57 am

    http://beautifullengths.com/en_US/

  76. lorela Said,

    September 20, 2008 @ 12:37 am

    hey there hannah,
    thanks for this post, I’m a Filipina with a real straight, long black hair. I grow up and use to have a long hair. I came to the United States in 2005 and since then I been hearing and being told that if I cut my hair I donate it to locks of love. I been thinking about it because I love kids especially when they’re happy. This 3 months ago I been askin’ my husband where will we go if I donate my hair and he said he don’t know but we can look. For me, if no kids can recieve my hair with free of charge I rather keep my hair. No non-profit organization can tell me that they can’t use my hair, I had at least a yard of it that I know they can use. It make me mad, they ain’t shi*********………
    thank you again, you answer the question in my mind.

  77. Diana Said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

    Hi everyone,
    I am about to cut 12 inches of healthy hair and want to donate it. In doing hours of research I have found an organization that does exactly what it implies. They make and give free wigs to children. They are non-profit. Most importantly, they do not sell ANY donated hair. I have finally found the place to send my ponytail. Please check it out.
    http://www.pinkheartfunds.com
    Best wishes,
    Diana

    a comment about short hair….
    Remember, no matter how short your hair is cut, it still grows faster and longer than someone’s who has none.

  78. M. Dobers Said,

    June 1, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    About LoL.
    Is there a history of donating money received for this massive amount of hair they receive to other charities? Or, even to the American Cancer Society?
    Does LoL contribute in any other way?
    The amount of wigs LoL has made over the last 10 years compared to the donations is appalling. And they keep all the money? What does that tell you? I had a friend that owned a barber shop in Reno. Sandy would make a wig a week from human hair. The math is 52 wigs a year. In 10 yrs. Sandy would of produced 520 wigs. LoL has only made 2000 wigs in 10 years? There are only 4 wig makers at LoL? I for one don’t believe that this is a charitable organization when they charge a fee for the wigs to the recipients. I will not donate my hair to them.

  79. anonymous Said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 3:54 am

    The problem with the math is that it actually takes 4500 dollars to 6000 dollars to make one wig. This means that really, with the money provided, they can only make about 100 wigs/yr, not just cause they are slow. Plus, you can’t complain: its better than nothing- at least a hundred people are getting wigs, and thats a big difference in their lives. So if you are just keeping your hair and doing nothing, why complain about a organization with a good cause?

  80. Roni Said,

    June 25, 2009 @ 3:31 am

    gr8

  81. sandra742 Said,

    September 9, 2009 @ 6:25 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  82. angelina jolie Said,

    September 10, 2009 @ 9:05 am

    I love your site. :) Love design!!! I just came across your blog and wanted to say that Ive really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. Sign: ndsam

  83. yoyo Said,

    September 16, 2009 @ 9:59 am

    “Yeah, well, you know what? When you donate a kidney, I’ll donate my hair.”

    As a fellow long haired person I completely sympathize with the pressure to donate your hair. My hair is part of MY body and there is NOTHING selfish about wanting to keep it. I love my beautiful hair too. HOWEVER, I hear the kidney analogy all the time and it is getting annoying because the two are NOT comparable at all… cuz you know…kidneys ummm…DON’T GROW BACK. Donating hair does not require SURGERY. If I were to lose all of my hair I would still survive. Granted, I would be extremely upset but alive nonetheless. If I lost my kidneys I’d be dead. I basically agree with most of your points except the part about the kidney. Frankly, that comment is insulting to people who really DO donate their kidneys. My friend donated a kidney to her dad and had to endure painful surgeries and numerous trips to the hospital and she missed a lot of school and her grades suffered. Hmmmm… since when does a hair donation require major SURGERY??? And I don’t know of anyone who was forced to miss weeks of school/work to recuperate from a hair donation surgery.

    You’re NOT selfish for wanting to keep your hair but when you compare a hair donation to a kidney donation it really does make you look selfish and vain.

  84. Hannah Said,

    September 16, 2009 @ 10:24 am

    Hmm, fair point.
    It amazes me that I still get comments on this. I wrote the post when I was fifteen.

    I’ll come up with a better comeback than the kidney one. I don’t get as many comments as I used to though now, which is really nice.

  85. Drew Said,

    November 4, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

    Honestly, this post disappoints me.

    As a soon to be third time donator, I DO know where my hair is going.

    I feel silly having to point this out, but a LOT of people donate their hair, but most of it isn’t acceptable.

    People’s hair can be too short, or too treated, but they think they can still help out, so they send it in, so the numbers may be off.

    Also, the company needs a way to get money, so what’s wrong with selling the hair THEY CAN’T USE? Throwing it away would be a waste. They need the money to run their charity. I must say, this post is pretty disturbing.

  86. Drew Said,

    November 4, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

    Also, Pantene makes a crap load of money from their Beautiful lengths program.

    So, if LOL isn’t legit, none of the other programs are.

  87. Angie Said,

    December 17, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me the number of people so willing to read a “blog”, believe what they read, and jump right on that bandwagon without doing any of their own research!!! Quite frankly, it makes you look ignorant. Hannah, in your direct quote from a Locks of Love page it states that they “provide” wigs for sick children. They never state that they “give them away”. Seriously people! You are all over them regarding where money and hair is going but expect them to work a miracle by creating and donating wigs just from your donations . . . forget the manufacturing costs or paying the people that actually make them. As far as quality, you sound like materialistic people not caring. These wigs are for low-income families so expect them to be some “versace” form of a wig. I think most children would be grateful for something representing hair on their heads tan being bald.

    If you are truly concerned, check out Abby’s statistics, Tammy’s statitics, Lindz’s statistics. Get off your lazy behind that is taking one person’s “rant” as the truth and research it yourself. If it reall weren’t a reputable charity, don’t you think the government would have shut it down by now. LOL has been around for a long time. Try asking yourself some intelligent questions. Abby is correct, it takes time to make wigs. They don’t happen overnight so you can’t hold that company entirely at fault for the number produced per year. As far as hair not being used. If it is cut too short, damaged, colored, bleached, or for any reason is unsuable it may be thrown away. Consider the condition of your hair before donating it. I’ve never heard nor seen any proof that any hair is sold to celebrities. Yes, some is sold overseas and that money is used to off set the cost of making the wigs. April confirms this, check out her link.

    As far as people “harassing” you to cut your hair that is sad but LOL is not responsible or accountable for those people’s actions. There are millions and millions of people in this country and you can’t expect LOL to play big brother and monitor all of these people. You don’t like it? Fight back and say something to defend yourself and stop whining like a baby. My daughter has extremely long hair as well as my sister-in-law, have had it for years. neither of them have be even approached about donating to LOL. After much discussion with people in our area, no one else has either. So i would speculate that some of these allegations are false or exaggerated in order to bash LOL. Logic stands to reason that if there is true and there are other organizations out there accepting locks of hair, then there are people out there “harrasing” people to donate their hair to those charities.

    As far as people (such as news anchors) donating their hair “being embarrassed” as earlier stated, please!!! Why should they be embarrassed for trying to do something charitable?! Jennie, referring to Locks of Love as “Laugh out Loud all the way to the bank” is immature, ineffective, and uncalled for. Hannah, comparing your hair to your kidney is probably the most ridiculous and ignorant analogy ever made. Your kidney is an organ and will not grow back. Your hair is not and if cut, will grow back. These sort of comments i have seen on many web sites which leads me to believe that you all read one another’s blogs and rants and feed off of each other, even using each others quotes and analogies. These types of slander and analogies make you no better than if LOl were not a true charitable organization. Want to complain? Be sure you have the facts, post them, and leave it at that. Don’t want to cut your hair? Your personal choice, fine, don’t do it, but don’t rant about it. i could care less if you cut it. If you don’t believe in Locks of Love? Fine. Find another organization to donate to and move on. Slander just plain lacks taste and credibility to you as a “charitable and caring” human being. In the end what really matters is these kids and helping them. No matter how or with whom you do it. Cut your hair or not, donate it to your choice of charity, or just donate money.

  88. Dan Said,

    December 17, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

    Hey Hannah, thanks for investigating this. I myself am a long hair fan and have read other articles telling both sides of the story. My personal bias is strongly against hair donations because I also believe that long hair is a wonderful object of beauty and I don’t appreciate those who would shade the truth or not clarify it just to keep the good publicity up. Whoever made the statement about the reporters and talk show hosts wanting to save face by not telling every aspect of the story after donating their locks themselves is very on target! Hannah you have been very honest and upfront about what info you have and polite to everyone here, if more people dealt with each other like this there wouldn’t be as many arguments, especially on a relevant topic like this when not everyone may have all of the needed information.

    -thanks for the insight
    D

  89. Caleb Said,

    December 18, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

    Wow Hannah, who would have dreamed that your sight would become a debate about hair donations. I have two observations.

    1. Donation of hair is generous and a wonderful thing for ladies who have none. Find a good organization to donate it with, or give it to someone you know personally who needs it.

    2. Long hair is beautiful, it is the glory of a woman.

    The bible says,
    “Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God” (1 Corinthians 11: 14-16).

    You are under no obligation ever to donate your hair.

    3. Facebook has ruined blogs. They no longer exist. Yours is just for hair debates. Start blogging again, even if it means signing off facebook.

    Cuz Caleb

  90. Jeff Woytovich Said,

    January 4, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    LOL collects 2000 ponytails per week. 10 make one wig. That is 104,000 ponytails a year that could make 10,400 wigs.

    They throw out 80% of the hair, sell 19% which is why on their IRS 990 you see $916,500 in sales of product. The 1% of hair left is sent to Taylormade Hair Prothstetics in CA where they throw the remaining half of the hair out and what is left is 1/2% of all hair donated to made into wigs. LOL the made wigs from Taylormade at wholesale or $1000. Less than 350 wigs went to kids last year, almost 100% of the kids had alopecia, not cancer. Cancer is not long term hairloss so these kids get a synthetic wig. The kids don’t get them for free either, thereis a sliding scale.

    Check out the links if you don’t think I am telling the truth. I only want them to be truthful, transparent.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/fashion/06locks.html?pagewanted=print

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2080445/what_you_should_know_before_donating_pg2.html?cat=48

  91. Dana Said,

    February 15, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

    Why so hostile? I don’t understand why people are so bitter about finding out that Locks of Love “only” helps 113 kids a year. Non-profit organizations don’t run on magic–they take many people to run the business, make the wigs (high skill and time involved), run the website, find and screen the kids, open the mail, pay the bills…they don’t run themselves. $374,000 is not a lot of money to run a national organization. If you choose not to donate your hair, fine. Why, however, are you encouraging such anger and “it’s a scam” attitude? No one has been hurt if you cut your hair then find out it couldn’t be used by them–your hair grows back. It’s not exactly donating a kidney. I don’t see families posting on here yelling about how they had a child who needed a wig and were then “scammed” by the company–I just see people who are surprised that a non-profit has a an operating budget bigger than what they expected. Check out other non-profits to compare.

  92. Paddy Wallbouncer Said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 11:12 am

    Great article. I was looking for an alternative to locks of love since they boast it’s for kids. I think a big girl should get the benefit of donated hair as well. Thanks for the info.

RSS feed for comments on this post

Bad Behavior has blocked 12 access attempts in the last 7 days.