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There is actually an organization in Israel called Zichron Menachem ( literally in memory of Menachem) that you can donate hair to and is not at all a scam. The organization was started by the parents of a child who died from cancer. It supports and helps people who have cancer, and their families, in many ways. Making wigs out of donated hair and giving them to cancer patients is just on of their programs.


Even if Diane Lane's (or anyone else's) hair is not used by Locks of Love and is instead sold to commercial wigmakers, her donation is still helping cancer patients. The profits from the sale of the excess hair help to offset the costs of operating this charitable organization. While it would be misleading for Locks of Love to guarantee that every chopped-off ponytail is used on a wig for a sick bald kid, it is not a scam for them to sell what they cannot use in order to cover their overhead.

Pat Sample

I agree with Kelly.

Bad Hair Czar

Come on people, if you donated food to feed the homeless and that food was sold off to pay the "overhead" you would feel ripped off - and not as nearly ripped off as you would feel if it were the hair you spent years growing and decided to sacrifice for a "worthy cause."

For years, Locks of Love didn't meet the requirements to be recognized by the Better Business Bureau as a reputable charitable organization. Their CEO makes $60,000 a year convincing women to chop off their hair "for the children."

Selling the hair is damning and ridiculous. If they ever released the actual percentage of hair that ended up with a cancer patient, I think it would make us all sick.


Just for clarification. Not all children who suffer from hair loss do so because of cancer. Alopecia Areata robs many individuals of their hair as well.

Hair Czar, stick to the superficial and leave the important issues to the adults. Locks of Love is still a great charity and does a lot of good. More so than a bitchblog on the web. While providing some fun pictures, not exactly change the world for the better.


She didn't donate her hair to Locks of Love, but another organization called HairUWear in conjunction with a campaign by Pantene.

I cut off my waist length hair years ago and donated it to Locks of Love. It really bugs me that my thick, healthy, virgin hair might have ended up as some person's hair extensions and not in a wig for a child. I had such conflicted feelings when I donated my hair, I decided I would never do it again even for an organization I trust.


On the LoL website, they acknowledge that the wigs aren't free, either. The families get a discount based on their income level, but they still have to pay.

Plus they make the kids jump through a bunch of (rather demeaning) hoops. They have to write essays and get letters of recommendation from teachers or clergy to qualify.

Letters of recommendation!



Bad Hair Czar

Letters of recommendation? Come on, everyone deserves hair! I also knew that according to income level they make people pay for the hair. What kind of charity is that?

And to everyone who disagrees me, they certainly have the right to their opinion. If they think my "bitchblog" isn't contributing to society - maybe they shouldn't be reading it. After all, you can contribute to the world too, you don't have to spend your time reading this site, and bitching about a "bitchblog." That just makes you twice the bitch.


Oh looky, Czary got her wittle feewings hurt.
It is a bitchblog. Just as is any gossip blog on the web. No need to pretend other.

Bad Hair Czar

C.L. you can have any opinion you want. It doesn't really bother me because I'm flattered that you keep coming back even though you despise this blog.

I'm sure you have contributions to society that you can make instead, right? If not, we can always use another bitch on this bitchblog - I think you'll fit in perfectly.


as someone who used to work for a non-profit, i think you are oversimplifying things a bit. first of all, Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that was founded by a retired nurse who has suffered from alopecia areata since she was in her 20s. she is hardly someone who would be likely to be motivated to rip off kids without hair. the website is pretty clear about the fact that their wigs are intended mostly for kids with alopecia.
the organization is 501(c)(3) certified, meaning that it has been evaluated by the IRS and approved as a non-profit. the definition of a non-profit organization is that it's an organization that is operated similarly to for profit org, but it is required to invest all profits back into the organization.... not into shareholders' or executives' pockets. the 60k salary that its CEO earns is on the lower side for the director of a national-level nonprofit. remember, this individual is running a company - it's just not a company that is intended to make a lot money. they work just as hard as CEOs of big corporations but don't make the multimillion dollar salaries.
finally, it is not any cheaper to run a nonprofit organization than it is to run a regular company... they have to pay for the wig manufacturing, the costs of running an office, fundraising, website costs, etc, etc. it's just funded differently. i looked at the BBB website... the organization receives 2/3 of its funds from financial contributions and the remaining 1/3 from selling the extra hair. i agree, they should be more up-front about the fact that not all the hair goes to kids who need it, but the donations are still very important because at the end of the day, those donations are what helps to finance a wig for a child who needs it.
finally, for those who think it's a rip-off that they charge for the wig, remember that those wigs are super expensive to create. the average human hair wig can cost up to thousands of dollars. the organization only charges those who can afford it, and from what i understand, they don't charge them more than a few hundred dollars. still a good deal, i would think. and i imagine that as the organization becomes more established and has more resources (it's less than 10 yrs old), they will hopefully reduce the contribution that families have to pay.
i'm not defending the organization, i'm just saying that you need to understand how nonprofits work. Locks of Love isn't all that different from how most nonprofit orgs in this country operate. remember, even in the nonprofit world, there's no such thing as a free lunch.


Thanks for letting more people know that LoL isn't what they claim to be.


Charity Navigator says that 81.1% of Locks of Love's donations go to program costs. That's very high. 12.7% goes to administrative costs and 6.1% goes to fundraising costs. These are very low compared to most charities. Here's a link to the Charity Navigator's site:

Charity Navigator is the largest independent charity evaluator in the United States. I use them to check on all the charities I give to. This is one of the highest ratios of money directed to program costs that I've ever seen. Looks to me like Locks of Love actually does a very good job of using their donations to help people.


The hair does not go to cancer patients at all. Only those who had radiation to their scalp.


I often donate no-longer-needed books to my local library. Do I expect the library to actually use every one of these books? No. The library may add some of these to the collection, but the rest are given to the library's volunteers to sell as used books. The money earned from these sales helps the library in other ways. My goal is to help the organization, and the staff and volunteers are in the best position to know what it needs.

What's wrong with a sliding fee scale for the wigs? Why shouldn't a family with wealth help support the organization? The fee paid by a rich family frees more resources to help more kids from needy families.

I encourage readers to use knowledgeable charity evaluation organizations like:

1) The Better Business Bureau's WIse Giving campaign. The BBB's Wise Giving campaign found that Locks of Love DID meet its 20 standards for charity accountability. See

2)The Charities Review Council is Minnesota-based but looks at charities from all over the country.

3)Charity Navigator, mentioned above.


Thanks for the clarification, Bad Hair Czar. Regardless of whether or not LoL has deliberately perpetuated the idea that "kids with cancer will be given the donated hair," this is the common perception, and it does carry significant emotional weight.

I'm sure that nobody here would prefer a false perception to drive such a personal decision. For those that want to donate their own hair to (most likely) be sold as fundraising for this charity geared (mostly) to kids with alopecia areata, this may well be a fine organization to get involved with. That's great!


PS: Liz-On-Line, I'm glad that LoL now meets the Better Business Bureau's 20 standards for charity accountability. This is a new occurence, as LoL failed to in the past. The organization should be commended for addressing that prior problem.

(For documentation of this, see the BBB Wise Giving report from November 2003 at )


I just wanted to make a comment on the alopecia areata vs cancer thing. Everyone who gets chemotherapy will lose his/her hair, just like everyone will who gets chemotherapy will be pretty damn nauseated--it's just a side effect of the drugs. That being said a lot of children will regrow their hair after stopping the chemotherapy. This is probably why LoL provides hair pieces to children with alopecia areata, a medical condition with no known cause or cure--meaning unlike the kids on chemotherapy, they will probably never regrow their hair. Irradiation of the scalp damages the skin and hair folicles (like a burn would) so these kids have a higher chance of staying permanently bald. If you feel cheated or mislead that unfortunate, because children with hair loss from burns or other medical conditions deserve a way to look socially normal as much as kids with cancer do.
As far as LoL lining it's employee's pockets with all the money make from selling hair--if the CEO really only makes $60,000 a year, I strongly doubt that the case. For the head of a national company that is hardly excessive.
Even the essays aren't that bad, if you had to decided who to give--or to be more accurate provide a wig at greatly discounted price to how would you decide? There are thousand of kids out there, and a limited supply of wigs--if it were me I would go with who won't regrow hair, who can financially afford an alternative and who suffers the most from the hairloss (not all kids are affected equally by being bald). I think they are trying to be as fair as possible to kids in a bad situation.


I would just like to say that even if the organization were a scam (which a few readers have very aptly shown that it is not likely to be), I'm not sure why there's so much outrage on the part of people who have the unlimited capability of growing hair. Unlike these poor kiddos, my hair will continue to grow back year after year after year. It doesn't take anything away from me to donate it. And if it pains you so much to give up 10 inches of hair, imagine what it's like to lose it all-permanently.


"Charity Navigator says that 81.1% of Locks of Love's donations go to program costs. That's very high. 12.7% goes to administrative costs and 6.1% goes to fundraising costs. These are very low compared to most charities." -Carolyn

The reason being that the hair is sold for literally peanuts and by the boxload. I am sure women who have been coaxed into cutting their hair would have rather donated the dollar amount (or fraction there of) their hair was sold for by locks of love than their hair itself.


Here are some numbers from Locks of Love's website.

They collect 2000 ponytails a week, that's 104,000 ponytails a year. It takes 6 to 10 ponytails to make one wig. If we say 10 that would be 10,400 wigs per year. The have been in business since 1997 or 1998 and have only made 2000 wigs in almost 10 years. Last year they made less than 300.

Go to the website and do the math and go on line to check them out at Charity Navigator or Guidestar.

This is just bad business.

The reason the Executive Director only makes $60K is because he is micromanaged by the founder/owner Madonna Coffman. He told me he could not share specific numbers, she handles that and will not talk to me. I am the founder of the Children's Alopecia Project and only wanted numbers to share with parents wanting more info. I have no part in what they do until they share real numbers with me.

Gab in Dallas

I came across this site while looking for a salon that I can get my hair cut so I can donate it -- and yes, I was thinking of donating it to Locks of Love (and still am). Someone mentioned about the number of wigs produced by them being very small, and someone else mentioned how human hair wigs cost a lot. As an amateur costumer, I've learned that good synthetic wigs are expensive, and human hair ones even more so. Obviously, someone already mentioned that, but, there is also a shortage of wig makers. I believe that you have to manually construct a human hair wig, and that is a technique that is quickly becoming a lost art. It's hard to construct a good quality wig, out of human hair, that can last for years on end through routine washings and brushings. (I doubt that LoL has these resources, and that's probably why they sell it to people who can better utilize it.)

Even if I do end up donating my hair to LoL, it's still going to a better cause than letting it fall to the ground at routine hair cuts, and letting it get swept up and thrown in the trash.

And along the thoughts of what someone else mentioned -- to those of us that have it, it's ONLY hair. And MANY people who have lost their hair (from illnes or diseas) use human hair wigs. So even if yours doesn't end up going to a child from Locks of Love, then you can hope that at least your hair is being worn by someone who truly needs it.

Jessica Daigneault

Locks of Love is not a scam. They sell the hair they don't use, and then use that money to make wigs from the hair that is actually used. Please read more before you judge.


I think people are more upset at the fact that the hair donated to L.O.L. is sold for so little. Read the following article:

A quick search on e-Bay shows that hair sells for much more. In fact, some of the hair looks like it may have come directly from L.O.L....(but that's just speculation).

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