Kate has been asking to cut her hair for a few months now. She has grown it out for the last 6.5 years (her whole life). So I talked to her about making a donation. I explained that there are some children whose bodies fight off hair cells and they aren’t able to grow hair so they wear a wig.
What is alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is usually not permanent. Experts do not know why the immune system attacks the follicles. Alopecia areata is most common in people younger than 20, but children and adults of any age may be affected. Women and men are affected equally. Alopecia areata usually begins when clumps of hair fall out, resulting in totally smooth, round hairless patches on the scalp. In some cases the hair may become thinner without noticeable patches of baldness, or it may grow and break off, leaving short stubs (called “exclamation point” hair). In rare cases, complete loss of scalp hair and body hair occurs. The hair loss often comes and goes-hair will grow back over several months in one area but will fall out in another area. When alopecia areata results in patches of hair loss, the hair usually grows back in 6 months to 1 year. Although the new hair is usually the same color and texture as the rest of the hair, it sometimes is fine and white. About 10% of people with this condition may never regrow hair.
We could donate our hair to help make wigs. She liked the idea.
This was my second time donating hair. I cut it 3.5 years ago when I was pregnant with Josh.
There are a couple of organizations that will accept hair. The first time I donated I sent it to Locks of Love http://www.locksoflove.org/donate.html A minimum of 10 inches are required. This time Kate and I donated to Pantene http://www.pantene.com/en-US/PanteneBeautifulLengths/Details/beautiful-lengths-make-the-cut.aspx which makes wigs for cancer patients. They require a minimum of 8 inches. Another organization that accepts donations is Wigs4kids http://www.wigsforkids.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34&Itemid=159
It takes between 6-14 ponytails to make one wig. Hair that is too short is sometimes sold to offset the cost of production. Next time you get a haircut- a big haircut, think about donating. Make sure you read the instructions and guidelines before you cut. Take a zip lock bag with you to put the hair in and any forms or addresses you need to mail it off.