So, yesterday I got my hair cut for Locks of Love. It was a great thing. The longest pieces were about 10.5 inches, although the layers were a bit shorter. If you want to watch the process, I'm embedding the video here:
However, I was surprised how some people had a negative reaction to the organization. People talked about how Locks of Love (LoL) didn't use all the hair for wigs or deny some cancer patients wigs. I thought that the negative reaction was weird, so I did some research... and some of it is true, but taken WAAAAY out of context.
So, yes, LoL doesn't use all the hair that they get in the mail. However, they don't want to damage hair by dyeing it, so gray hair isn't used. Also, they only use the highest quality hair, so color-treated hair isn't used either. They also rarely use hair shorter than 10 inches because they make a lot of long hair wigs for little girls.
What do they do with all of this extra hair? They sell it. This outrages some people, but in my research, I discovered that hand-making human hair wigs can cost thousands of dollars. They get a lot of hair in the mail, but not a lot of people donate more than $50. So, they need donations of at least 50 people for every wig. If they don't get that, they need to make money somehow. So, they sell the extra hair that they can't use anyway.
The other allegation is that they are denying cancer patients. One problem is that the lack of finances to make these wigs makes it hard to make enough wigs for everyone. At this point, LoL wants to focus on giving wigs to children who permanently lose their hair, which happens with certain cancers. However, this means that most of the kids who receive wigs have other diseases.
I think all of their reasons are totally justified. I guess I have a lot more problems with the critics of LoL than LoL itself. Why should only cancer patients deserve to have wigs? I think a loss of hair would be stigmatizing to any young kid, regardless of what disease they have. I'm really happy that I donated my hair, and I'm sending a check to try to offset the costs of making a wig. I hope that other people can feel the same way.