Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.
Our mission is to return a sense
of self, confidence and normalcy to children
suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated
ponytails to provide the highest quality
hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged
children. The children receive
hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding
scale, based on financial need.
Our recipients are financially disadvantaged
children, age 21 and under, suffering from
long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
Most of our children suffer from an autoimmune
disorder called alopecia areata, which causes
the hair follicles to shut down. In addition
to the loss of scalp hair, many also lose
their eyelashes, eyebrows and all body hair.
This hair loss is permanent in most cases,
and there is no known cause or cure. Other
recipients have been victim to severe burns,
endured radiation treatment to the brain
stem as a treatment for cancer, or suffer
from any number of skin disorders that cause
permanent hair loss.
The children who receive these hairpieces
have lost more than their hair; they suffer
from a loss of self. Many children have
been teased by classmates and/or embarrassed
by the attention they receive because of
their hair loss. They often will withdraw
from normal childhood activities such as
swimming, going to the mall or even playing
with their friends. While wearing a hairpiece
is certainly not a cure for these children,
it can help restore some of the normalcy
to their everyday lives that most of us
take for granted. It is our goal to help
provide a foundation on which they can begin
to rebuild their self-esteem.
We Are Needed
are several problems facing children who
suffer long-term medical hair loss. Most
wigs sold by retailers are made to fit adult
heads, and are much too big for children
to wear. They often require the use of tape
or glue to keep them from falling off, and
these adhesives can burn or irritate the
scalp. Often, the styles of adult wigs are
not age-appropriate and synthetic wigs can
mat and frizz with excessive styling.
prosthetics Locks of Love provides are custom-made
from donated ponytails for each child’s
head. They retail between $3,500 to $6,000.
The hairpiece forms a vacuum seal, like
a suction cup, and does not require the
use of tape or glue. Only the wearer of
the hairpiece may remove it, by breaking
the vacuum seal at the temples. Children
can dismiss insecurities about classmates
pulling off their hairpiece, or losing it
at recess. They can swim, shower and do
gymnastics – in short, they can be
kids again. Each hairpiece is made from
real human hair, and arrives long, so the
recipient may style it to fit their face.