4 Places You Can Donate Your Hair To Make Wigs For Cancer Patients November 8, 2019
Do you have long, luscious locks that youâ€™re tired of sporting? Would you like to make a difference in a strangerâ€™s life? Then why not donate it to make wigs for cancer patients?
During chemotherapy, many men, women, and even children suffer from some form of alopecia (hair loss). The hair loss is usually temporary, and it starts growing back a few weeks after the last treatment. Oddly enough, re-grown hair can sometimes change in color, texture, thickness, or style.
In some rare cases of cancer, permanent hair loss can occur. Chemotherapy related alopecia is more common in women, and their hair thins at a much faster rate than men.
There is a reason most NGOs prefer making wigs for cancer patients and survivors using natural human hair. This is because human hair is stronger and more durable than synthetic hair. It can also be custom made to fit the clientâ€™s head and looks more like natural hair than the other.
There are a variety of NGOs that would accept your hair (preferably if it is over 12 inches long). Weâ€™ve noted down a few names of places that will take your hair and turn it into wigs for survivors of cancer.
Hair Crown is an NGO based in Theni in Tamil Nadu. It was established in the year 2014 and accepts all types of hairâ€” colored or treated. However, they do insist that the length of the hair be between 12 to 15 inches. The process of donating to this NGO is simpleâ€” firstly, one must shampoo and condition their hair. No styling products should be used on your hair other than the two mentioned prior. Once done, gather your hair at the nape of your neck and tie a super-tight ponytail, make sure you measure the length before taking a pair of scissors. Measure the amount of hair you wish to cut, place it in a padded envelope, and mail it to them. (1)
Cope with Cancer is a non-profit organization based in Chembur, Mumbai. They accept hair that is a minimum of 12 inches and say that length is more important than thickness. According to one of the members of this organization, each wig is made from hair donated by at least 6 to 7 women. This NGO, too, accepts hair that has been treated or colored. Just read some of the stories of women who have donated their hair to the organization on their website and youâ€™ll get a better idea. (2)
This organization is based out of Kottayam in Kerala. They have been running for the last six years and have made over one thousand wigs. Whatâ€™s interesting about this organization is that it accepts donations from both men as well as women. The minimum length required to donate here is fourteen inches. It takes hair donated from three to four people to make a single wig, and so far, they have received donations from over four thousand people. Their hair donations come from across the globe, and there is no monetary exchange of any kind. (3)
Based in the city of Kannur, Kerala, hair donations between the length of ten to fifteen inches are accepted. While most of the instructions remain the same, one must remember not to send hair that has been swept from the ground. Wig makers will not use hair that has fallen to the ground. The package has to be sealed and sent in with your address and name. (4)
There have been plenty of cases of donated hair going missing or being illegally used for other purposesâ€” to make hair for entertainment purposes or other hair weaving procedures. There have been many cases in the news involving â€˜hair mafiaâ€™s and them stealing hair meant to be donated to cancer patients. These mafias only cut off six inches of hair versus the minimum of twelve that is required to make a shoulder-length wig. Some have gone so far as to organize drives in schools and use the hair donated by the students for other purposes.
A while back, a few fraudulent individuals in Thrissur conducted a hair donation drive using the name of Amala Hospital. However, when the hospital was contacted, they claimed that they had not conducted the drive. In places like Kannur, Kozhikode and, Thrissur, cops have become extremely vigilant and they keep a stern eye on any activities or drives related to hair donations. (5)
All in all, one must be careful to check their sources and make sure they donate to reputable organizations and follow up with where their hair is going. Donating your hair to someone who canâ€™t grow their own or who have lost their hair is a beautiful way to show your support.
Have you ever donated your hair? Did it feel good? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.