|Jessica Silver cuts 14-inches off her sister's hair to be donated to Locks of Love|
Makeover shows are some of the hottest in the world of television lately. CEU cosmetology students have been participating in "total makeovers" for years, before the idea became in vogue. This year the student's tradition not only provided a new cut, style and self esteem to a model, it provided human hair to a child who cannot grow any because of a serious health condition.
Jessica Silver, a first-year cosmetology student, cut 14 inches in length from her sister, Shar Sonntag's, hair.
Sonntag has been growing her hair since she was a baby, only getting an occasional trim to keep it healthy. She told her sister that when she got to cosmetology school she would like to cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love. The makeover was something she chose to do for her birthday and the donation is something she has wanted to do for some time.
According to cosmetology instructor, Debbie Prichard, the cosmetology department has had clients donate hair three or four times this year. They said that young girls are the ones that usually make the donations.
Locks of Love is a not-profit organization that with a for profit wig making company. In December 1997, it separated from the retailer and began operating on its own. The organization headquarters is located in Lake Worth, Flo.
The program provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 18 with medical hair loss. The children are generally not cancer patients (whose hair will eventually grow back), but have diseases such as alopeceia, from which people never recover, or are burn victims. Children have to meet the Locks of Love Board of Directors guidelines to receive a free or reduced priced hairpiece.
Children comprise over 80 percent of the donors, making it a charity where children have the opportunity to help other children. The recipients receive a custom, vacuum-fitted hairpiece made entirely from donated human hair. It is designed for children who have experienced a total loss of scalp hair.
Synthetic wigs are not suitable for children because they do not look natural and cannot be styled. Human hair wigs can be washed easily and curled. This is important for children who want to fit in with the kids they see every day.
Locks of Love requires donated hair to be at least 10 inches in length, bundled in a ponytail or braid, free of hair damaged by chemical processing, clean, dry, placed in a plastic bag, and mailed in an envelope.
The number of hairpieces provided has increased dramatically from 21 the first year to over 1,000, last year. Each hairpiece takes approximately four months to be hand-assembled by the manufacturer.
The hairpieces retail between $3,500 and $6,000. Even though the hair is donated, Locks of Love must pay for the manufacturing costs of each hairpiece.
If you are interested in donating hair, you can mail it to: Locks of Love, 2925 10th Avenue N., Suite 102, Lake Worth, FL 33461