Yesterday I wrote about love-locks. Today I'll write about Locks of Love vs. Pantene Beautiful Lengths since both of my children have donated their hair to these organizations in the past.
A side-by-side comparison does not quite give the whole picture. Locks of Love seems to have updated their mission statement and criteria after a backlash of criticism a few years ago. Many accounts reported that they were selling most of the hair donated; not using it for wigs. They were also criticized for selling their wigs to children with cancer.
Here's what I know. When my son donated his hair right before he went into the military, he had to go to a salon where the stylist cut his ponytail and sent it in to Locks of Love. That was the end of that.
When my daughter donated her hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, we brought her ponytail home with us and mailed it in ourselves. She got a very nice acknowledgement letter and we knew that the ponytail had gotten to the right place. Locks of Love seems to have adopted this same approach now.
Donating hair is a worthy cause, regardless of what organization receives it, but I preferred my daughter's experience.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society. The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 18, 000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country.
· Ponytails and braids must be at least 8 inches, tip to tip, with no maximum length.
· Gray hair is acceptable, if no more than 5% of the donation is gray.
Locks of Love
Uses donated hair to make hairpieces for economically disadvantaged children who have lost their hair due to medical illness.
· Must be sent in the form of a ponytail or braid, at least 10 inches, tip to tip.
· Hair that has been colored or permed is acceptable.
· Shorter hair and gray hair are separated from hair donations and are sold to another company.
Alternatively, for those who don't have long hair:
Matter of Trust (www.matteroftrust.org) encourages salons, groomers, wool farmers and individuals to donate hair, fur, wool, clippings and nylons for their “Hair for Oil Spills” program. “We all get it,” their website states. “We shampoo because hair collects oil.” Shown here are Metamorphosis’ Catherine Nesbitt with the box of hair and Cara Apsey in the background.