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Give The Gift Of Hair To Someone Suffering Hair Loss From Cancer Or Alopecia

Updated on June 21, 2012

You Can Give The Gift Of Hair

This Hub is dedicated to my beloved friend in England
This Hub is dedicated to my beloved friend in England | Source

Why We Grow Long Locks

Loss of hair is a traumatic occurrence for anyone, male or female. Hair loss is caused by several factors which are mainly Alopecia and Cancer. More than five million people in the United States and one and a half million in Great Britain alone are living with the pain of Alopecia.

Alopecia is the common medical term for abnormal or excessive hair loss. Alopecia comes in many forms and can cause a total or partial loss of hair, temporary or permanent. It creates feeling of loss, shame unattractiveness, embarrassment and other emotions in the sufferer. Often the person withdraws and becomes isolated and is cut off from friends, family and social circles.

Alopecia is a broad term description and does not refer to one specific form of hair loss. Alopecia is caused by many conditions. Some are hereditary while others are brought on by environmental factors, drugs, hormones, cancer treatments and other causes.

The most common type of hair loss we see is Male or Female Pattern Baldness Alopecia. However hundreds of diseases have hair loss as symptoms and side effects of drug treatments. Many people have hair loss as a result of chemical processes applied to their hair. These include bleach, permanent wave and relaxer treatments, some of which contain lye and can cause scarring alopecia.

Cancer treatments for children and adults often results in hair loss and account for the second greatest need for hair replacement. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments target cancer cells and other fast growing cells including hair roots. Loss may include the head, eyelashes, eyebrows, arms and other parts of the body. This is traumatic for the person who wakes up to discover a clump of hair on his or her pillow. Imagine the child whose hair remains in the comb and the mother holding the comb. Their reaction must be of stunned disbelief.

Other causes of hair loss:

  • Ectodermal Dysplasia-A disorder that affects the formation of the ectoderm. Extremely sparse hair can be a result of ectoderm abnormality.
  • Loose Anagen Syndrome-An abnormality where hair is thin and normally does not grow beyond the nape of the neck.
  • Trichotillomania-Compulsive and repetitive hair pulling.
  • Telogen Effluvium-Diffuse but excessive shedding related to sudden stress.
  • Trauma-burns, accidents, dog attacks, etc.

Many jokes and cartoons have been made popular by picturing bald men. There is nothing funny about it and not only men are affected. Women make up forty percent of hair loss sufferers. Loss of self esteem in women with Alopecia can be devastating and has been documented as leading to suicide in several cases. The psychological damage and pain caused by hair loss and feeling unattractive can take an emotional toll that directly affects physical health. Women have historically considered their hair a “crowning glory” and entire industries have been birthed from this love of hair. It is just more accepted in society for men to have full or partial hair loss than women.

Children suffer greatly from hair loss which can result from cancer treatments, alopecia conditions or environmental factors. They are stared at, become the object teasing and barbs, get sunburn on their head, and a myriad of other embarrassments. Three percent of all pediatrician visits are because of hair loss.

We can all help relieve the suffering in a way that costs nothing and is easy and fun. Grow your hair long! It is that easy. Many organizations exist that collect and make wigs and hairpieces for hair loss sufferers. Once the hair has been grown and one is ready to donate the process is very easy to arrange. Select the agency trusted with your donation. Locks Of Love may be the most well known but is certainly not the only one. Many are easily found on the internet through a quick Google search. Read the Frequently Asked Questions for each organization as they all have slightly different criteria. To get you started here is a short list of contacts:

· Locks Of Love

· Wigs For Kids

· The Children’s Alopecia Project

· The Corinne Fund at World Of Wigs(accepts grey hair)

· Wigfund

· Pantene Beautiful Lengths

· Cancer Care

· The American Hair Loss Association

· Pantene Beautiful Lengths

· Angel Hair For Kids

· The American Cancer Society

Most require the hair be at least ten inches long and be in a natural state-free of chemical processing. Up to two inches of length is lost during processing, which leaves about eight inches of hair, approximately chin length. Many recipients are little girls who love long hair. So the longer the locks donated, the better.

It is suggested that the hair be cut by a professional but it is not required. They just know how to cut better!

· Hair must be required length of 10-12 inches-see individual requirements

· Clean and dry

· Not chemically treated, temporary washout color is acceptable

· Part hair in center of the head; pull over each ear, then part front and back of ear into ponytails. The more ponytails, the less hair is lost

· Rubber band or tie hair into 4-6 sections tightly, loose hair cannot be used

· Cut hair above band

· Place in a plastic bag and seal

· Mail in a sealed envelope to the organization of choice

Anyone can grow his or her hair and donate it to a person who has hair loss. My eight year old son is currently growing his for this reason. Once you donate, you have just given hope, self esteem, validation and compassion to a person who is struggling with the stigma and uncomfortable loss of life quality life due to hair loss. It really is easy and rewarding to help.

Good growing and know you are blessed to be a blessing!

Growing Locks Out Of Love


Matters Of Interest

 Some people donating are concerned their hair may not get to be used for hair loss recipients. Most organizations sell hair they cannot use to raise money for offsetting overhead costs. Read the FAQ s for each organization to learn their policy on this. Also, Locks Of Love gives hair prosthetics free of charge or based on a sliding scale. Here is a link to their application.


© Brenda Barnes) All Rights Reserved


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