Sunday, May 13, 2012

Locks of Love vs. Pantene Beautiful Lengths



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.


24 comments:

  1. I'm fairly certain both programs sell hair they can't use for wigs. I've donated to Locks of Love three times, and I had a good experience each time. I printed out a form from the Internet, included it with a plastic baggie of my hair tied in a bundle, and a few weeks later I got a notice confirming receipt and thanking me for my donation. For me, the main benefit of Beautiful Lengths is that you only need 8 inches. I got so tired of having such long hair!

    Anyway, it's a wonderful thing that your kids did, and I hope they both feel good about it. :)

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  2. i understand locks of love needs money to keep going, and pantene already has a product like shampoos and stuff to pay for wig costs, but if they take a donation, they shouldn't be selling it. And the matter of trust thing is smart

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  3. im donating mine to pantene beautiful lengths i no about locks of love but they changed it to 12in know and i dont have that so i am doing the 8 in and i dont no why people are saying this one is better. no one shouold do that because if everyone in the world goies to locks of love lets say they all the little girls/boys that are watting for hair at pantene will not get it. it should not mader im doing mine for some one who needs it more than me i have dont it one other times and one little girl went from i dont wanna go to the mall people will stare to can we go to the mall

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    1. Possible Translation: I'm donating mine to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I know about Locks of Love, but they changed it [required minimum length] to 12 inches now, and I don't have that, so I am doing the 8 inches (Pantene Beautiful Lenths). I don't know why people are saying this one [Locks of Love] is better. No one should do that [donate to Locks of Love] because if everyone in the world gives their hair to Locks of Love then all of the little girls and boys that are waiting for hair at Pantene will not get it. It should not matter. I'm doing mine [donating hair] for someone who needs it more than me. I have done it [donated hair] one other time and one little girl went from.... {Okay, this is where I give up}

      Elizabeth, I don't know whether English simply isn't your first language...or second...or third for that matter, or if you were typing under the influence, or perhaps are just severely uneducated, but your comment was a NIGHTMARE to translate. I typed it up so no one else would have to suffer a migraine like the one I have now. PLEASE use spell check and grammar check from now on. I know "internet English" is more lax than spoken English, but there is a difference between neglecting to capitalize a few letters or abbreviating a few words and typing up a comment that is virtually unreadable. If this is a matter of English not being your native tongue then I suggest simply typing comments in whatever language you speak and letting people paste your comment into a translator to get the gist of what you're trying to communicate, or you could add a request at the end of your comment for someone who is fluent in both languages to translate it for you.

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    2. Anonymous,

      Thanks so much for the translation! Smug as you are, you probably thought you were the only one able to. What would we do without you?

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    3. Locks of love never changed the length needed to 12 inches. Its been 10 inches for awhile.

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    4. Thanks for the translation. As a person with several friends who have dyslexia, I can read almost anything....and the last part if you want to know is that the little girl changed from a person who was afraid that people would stare at her if she went to the mall to someone who could go to the mall thanks to the gift of a wig. I don't know how you could "translate" the rest of the reply and not be able to figure out the last statement. How arrogant you must be to think that the reading public would not be able to "translate" the reply for ourselves. The name calling and subtle bullying was completely uncalled for. I sure hope you like yourself as you seem insufferable.

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    5. To anonymous January 3, 2013. Did it ever occur to you that Elizabeth may be a child or someone doing the best they can. I was touched by the love, insight and caring in Elizabeth's comment and didn't have a bit of trouble reading it. Your comment was cold, smug and down right mean. Why don't you just keep your comments on topic instead of crushing others. Thanks.

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  4. From what I can tell after a couple hours of research, Locks of Love is run by a few people who prey on people's desire to help the less fortunate. After guilting them into donating their hair, they sit back and let the free product materials roll in at between 2 and 3 thousand donations A WEEK. Then they use those free materials to make their wigs and hair pieces and sell them, not only to companies who will sell them as fashion accessories, but ALSO people who actually NEED them! Very, very few of those wigs and hair pieces go to cancer patients. Most of the "donated" wigs go to alopecia patients. While alopecia isn't a fatal disease, it still causes hair loss and leads to some pretty bad bullying for children, so while the thought of donating wigs to children with the condition is nice, the company just doesn't seem interested in living up to their claims. According to statistics from the past few years, of those 2 to 3 THOUSAND donations of hair EVERY WEEK, only a few hundred wigs are given, or more often sold at a reduced price, to children EACH YEAR, and in order to receive that wig, the children are required to write essays and send in letters of recommendation from their teachers and doctors. I have known 2 families who's children lost their hair due to cancer treatment. They sent requests to LOL (coincidental acronym? I think not.), and made several further attempts to contact the company and never heard back from them at all! Not even to say "Sorry, but we don't do cancer kids,"
    They've gotten bad reviews from the people who have worked for them and even the president of the company has said that it's really just better to write a check to the organization you wish to support.

    I found all that out AFTER donating my hair to them twice and both times I donated 20 inches or more. I've never dyed my hair and I never use any straighteners or curling irons on it, nor do I even blow dry it unless it's absolutely necessary. Both times, the hair dressers at the salon I like have gone nuts over how healthy my hair was.

    My hair is just past the back of my thighs now and I'm more than ready for another cut. After doing some digging for info on Pantene's program, I'm much happier with their statistics, their reviews from both donators and employees, and their apparent ability to live up to their claims and make good on all of their promises. I also love their hair products ;) So I'll be donating to them this time. We'll see how it goes. Usually I start hearing "truths" just AFTER I do something or buy something lol.

    Both of your girls sound really great though. It's so wonderful that they want to help people, and no matter how shady a company is, it's definitely the thought that counts when it comes to kids doing great things. It's a great sign that they'll be truly wonderful people as adults and it must make you as their mom feel pretty great too :)

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    1. I own a Salon in West Palm Beach Florida, the same town as Locks of Love, and have made 100+ donations per year to them for nearly 20 years and can assure you whatever your resource for this research it is inaccurate or least not taking all factors into account. Locks of Love's mission statement has always been very clear that they are set up to assist children of financially disadvantaged households receive wigs free of charge. Furthermore, their donation page and website also note that while color treated and permed hair is acceptable, other chemical processes, like bleaching and highlighting, compromise the integrity of the hair in a manner which makes it unable to be used in the manufacture of wigs. Gray hair is also unusable. There is a large percentage of regular clientele in my, and most salons, that have highlighted their hair at some point. Our salon pays close attention to this detail and informs our clients who fall under this pretense that their hair, will most likely be sold to help offset the costs of manufacturing wigs from hair that complies with the processes involved. Given this information, nearly 100% still choose to make their donation knowing that it still goes toward helping the cause. Unfortunately, I feel, too many salons skip over this vital opportunity to fully explain Locks of Loves processes and still send thousands of ponytails that can't be used. Further, 6 -12 ponytails are required to make just one wig. Therefore, one thousand VIABLE ponytails would result in the manufacture of roughly 100 wigs. I believe the information you are sharing is not taking this into account. It's not Locks of Loves fault that the donators are not fully informed if the donators are not reading instructions and the salons are not providing it. The cost to manufacture a specialty child's wig ranges from $3500 - $6000. Thousands and thousands of people donate ponytails, few make monetary contributions. They only time Locks of Love sells wigs to families of children who need them is when the family is not financially challenged. In those instances, Locks of Loves helps those families by selling the wigs at a discounted rate below what it would cost the family to purchase one at retail. They are a good organization run by good people. It's unfortunate that they cannot use every ponytail they receive to make a wig, but those ponytails are used to help offset costs which eventually provides the necessary revenue to manufacture wigs with hair that can be used. I have not had any association with Pantene's organization, so I cannot state an opinion. Locks of Love is a non-profit that started the whole concept, I am not aware if Pantene is working as a non-profit, although I am aware of their corporate background. Whether you choose to make your donation to Pantene or Locks of Love, you can have the peace of mind that you've done a good deed for a child in need. PS; I am a male who has personally made 8 donations to Locks of Love over the last 20 years, my next and all future donations will be brought right to Locks of Love's doorstep. I will vouch for them and give them my full endorsement. Thank you for your time.

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    2. PS; to make a correction to the above statement ~ I stated a donor should "have the peace of mind that you've done a good deed for a child in need". From what I gather from the info at this page's heading, Pantene is donating wigs to Women with Cancer, while Locks of Love provides wigs to children under 21 in economically challenged families. Both are good causes that no matter which is chosen should make a donor proud.

      And as an afterthought, ponytail donations that don't fit the criteria for the making of wigs are just as important, if not even more important, because they provide the revenue that allows Locks of Love to exist as a non-profit organization. With that in mind, it is actually a real noble gesture to make a donation in spite of its inability to be used for making a wig.

      Thank you, again, for your time.

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  5. Dear Anonymous,

    Tread lightly please - you never know what challenges individuals.

    Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your perspective.

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  6. Beautiful wigs ! Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy and to hide this hair loss problem, women wigs for cancer available at various web stores are an ideal option. These wigs are made of human hair so there will not be any risk of side effects and moreover these wigs are designed in a beautiful manner which will provide you a stylish look.

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  7. Anonymous...if you're so high class and educated, you wouldn't have put that comment about Elizabeth's comment in the first place. You never know, she may be more educated and better class than you...

    Thank you Elizabeth.

    As for Locks of Love...I give up. Please read about the scandal article which can be found on the internet about Locks of Love losing about $6 million in donated hair. Some of those are probably mine and my daughter's. Shame on Locks of Love...

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  8. Regarding the $6 mil in missing hair - The claim was made based on incoming hair vs. outgoing wigs ... but the wigs are made based upon demand, so the $6 mil of hair has merely not yet been requested, with a subset of it being deemed unacceptable for wigs (grey hair, damaged hair, hair that's too short) and thus sold. Charity or not, these organizations DO have operating costs that they need to offset by making some form of income $.

    I know all of this because I have 11 inches to donate, so I have been researching to two companies -- this article provided a great side-by-side comparison! I'm still unsure of where I'll donate mine, and I don't aim to tell someone else what charity to support either, but I did want to share what I have learned with all of you generous people.

    My haircut is in two days, so I'll be deciding by then. Wish me luck!!

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    1. Sorry, forgot this - Locks of Love is still accredited by the Better Business Bureau, based on their 20 requirements:
      http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/children-and-youth/locks-of-love-in-west-palm-beach-fl-1839

      So I still stand by it as a legitimate organization. However, after examining my hair further, I'm nervous that my hair will have too many split ends and short layers to qualify for Locks of Love, so I'm likely to go with Pantene. Since I'm directly on the line of what may or may not be acceptable, I want to be positive it's used somewhere!!

      Hope this helped :)

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  9. Thanks so much everyone for your comments. My daughter has hair down to her waist that she is very proud of but has decided to cut it for Locks of Love so I'm doing some research because I've not heard good things about Locks of Love lately and, while I can't confirm if they are true or not, I was concerned. Thanks to your comments I've decided to go with Pantene's program.

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  10. A Better Business Bureau rating means nothing. Look them up and you'll find they are a company that works with a rather dubious set of ethics themselves.

    This article prompted me to look further into LOL, not sure if I trust them yet.

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  11. Anyone have ideas as to how Locks of Love could cover costs without selling hair? It's easy to criticize. Not so easy to come up with constructive,realistic suggestions. Maybe a large corporate company could donate monies to cover costs.

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  12. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/05/13/locks-of-love-6-million-of-hair-donations-unaccounted-for-each-year/

    This is all the i formation you need yo decide for yourself if locks of love is the right organization to receive your donation.
    I know who im donationg to.

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  13. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/05/13/locks-of-love-6-million-of-hair-donations-unaccounted-for-each-year/

    This is all the i formation you need yo decide for yourself if locks of love is the right organization to receive your donation.
    I know who im donationg to.

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  14. According to the president of Locks of Love: “Locks of Love” has for over 15 years and will continue to create the highest quality custom prosthesis for each applicant. This process cannot be initiated or carried out prior to the request and participation of the applicant who completes a mold process, chooses the density, color, length and style of their prosthesis. Our recipients include those with the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata, cancer survivors, burn and trauma victims and any other condition that may result in long term hair loss. To our knowledge we are the only organization that provides a vacuum fitted, custom prosthesis, as opposed to “wigs” that can be mass produced and inventoried until needed.



    Our commitment to provide a new prosthesis every 2 years until the age of 21 has given these children back the opportunity to do everything other kids do and not be ostracized or bullied again. While we’ve reached this, our initial goal, we’ve made an additional promise to them to be the catalyst to finding a treatment and cure for alopecia areata by providing research funds to date of 2.2 million dollars. We greatly appreciate and applaud our supporters who have helped us make thousands of dreams come true.

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  15. Thanks for the info on locks of love, i have donated my hair to them a few times,because i donated at least 9 inches every 4 1/2 to 5 yrs because I am blessed with, really think ,long and healthy hair. So i feel that i should share it with people who need,and besides my mom was a cancer servivor for about 8 yrs from breast cancer,and we lost her just 2 yrs ago to her second round of the horrible disease. i know she would be proud to know that i am still donating my hair. I will be sending a donation soon! I love giving and donating my hair is like sharing an awesome blessing.God bless whoever recieves my donation!

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  16. I've been growing my hair so I can donate it. But I have spilt/dead ends. Will that still be accepted?

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