Locks of Love

Posted By on January 12, 2009

Back in the fall, probably about the time I got laid off from that old company, I decided I was going to grow my hair out. I wanted to donate it to Locks of Love or one of the other counterparts. I wanted to help and I figured donating my hair for a wig would be a great way to help and would make me feel good. And let’s be honest, it’s all about me feeling good. (I kid, people, I kid.)

I told my stylist and she was excited for me. And she told me that if I changed my mind, I could always cut my hair. I told her it wouldn’t happen because I was doing this! I was going to donate my locks!

The thing is, I haven’t really had long hair since high school. My hair is flat, has no body and doesn’t do much, so that much hair around my face just looks so blah. Well, at least it did in high school when I didn’t blow dry it and wore it in a pony tail every day, tied back with a Notre Dame scrunchie. Yes, really. I much prefer shorter, shoulder-length hair. I like layers and color and highlights! Oh my!

So the reason I wanted to do Locks of Love is because it truly would be a sacrifice for me. Growing my hair out is going to be a huge pain in the ass. It was something that I knew wasn’t going to be easy, especially when summer came around and I just wanted that hair off my neck. But that’s why I wanted to do it. Because really, the sacrifice of growing your hair, DOES NOT EVER COMPARE to having cancer. Not even in the same galaxy. But this, this was a way I could help and feel good about it and feel like I did something.

And then one day I was talking to Nic about it. And she decided that it was her job to RUIN MY PLAN. She’s like that sometimes. She sent me the link to this article about hair donations. The fact of the matter is that so few hair donations are actually used in the making of wigs. Because human hair has to be pristine to make a wig, donated hair cannot be damaged or bleached or imperfect at all. So a vast majority of all those ponytails? They get sold by the Locks of Love people for money. Money which goes to cover the costs of running the organization and sometimes buying hair to actually make the wigs.

So then I was torn. It’s nice to know that even if your hair doesn’t make a wig, it can help out somehow. But I wasn’t sure it was going to be enough. Was it worth it to go through all of it to donate it, where maybe someone could use it for a wig or sell it? I agree with Amalah and think it is better to donate money.

But I’m bummed. Like I said, growing my hair would be an enormous pain in my ass. I know it will. It’s already starting to at its at my shoulders. I wanted to go through that annoyance to make a difference. Yes, I can write a check. But so can everyone. I feel like I wanted to do something more. I want to give money, but I want to make myself do something for that money.

So I’m thinking of running a little donation on my site. I’m thinking of still growing out my hair. But when I get to the point where I want to cut it off, I’ll donate $10 for every inch cut off. Or maybe I’ll give $1 to charity for every comment on a selected post in the future. Or, something else?

This is where all you creative people come in. What do you all think? What would be a fun contest/donation to have here? Obviously I’m not made of money, but I want to help. And at the same time, I want to do something that may not be the most fun thing, or simple thing, to do. And maybe the Hotfessional will even make a pretty little button for my site!

Leave your suggestions in the comments! All ideas are subject to my discretion, so naked cartwheeling in center field during a Cubs game this spring is not an option.

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


23 Responses to “Locks of Love”

  1. Cass says:

    It’s probably better to write a check to these organizations, but with the extreme budget I’ve been on the last few years I thought this would be a decent way to go. About a year ago I chopped off my hair for Locks of Love, however I do have the perfect kind of hair for it.

    I’ll admit, doing this is fairly easy for me. I get my hair cut usually once or twice a year because I hate going to the salon. I cut it short and then grow it out all year long…rinse & repeat. 🙂

    Wish I had some awesome ideas for you, but alas none are coming to me at the moment. I kind of like the “so much money per inch” idea as a jumping off point though.

    Casss last blog post..Day One

  2. I did Locks of Love once. Not only did it feel great to be giving back in a way that I could afford, but it also felt great to get all that hair off my head! I say stick with it, you won’t regret it.

    Dutchess of Kickballs last blog post..We Need To Take Action

  3. I like the $10 for every inch you cut off idea… although, that seems like it would be more of an incentive just to keep it short, right?

    nancypearlwannabes last blog post..Testing… Testing…

  4. Rhi says:


    Except, I’m actually really worried because my best friend’s little girl (she is 7) just had her hair all cut off for the second time (her choice) for Lock of Love. I’m thinking her hair might be okay as she’s obviously never had it colored or permed. But, it would break my heart that if her hair was used to make money.

    Rhis last blog post..Delurk, Delurk Wherever You Are…

  5. ali says:

    i’m just going to pretend i didn’t read this post…
    because that just blows.

    alis last blog post..my ali-never-gets-hit-on reputation remains and a contest

  6. Nic says:


    Also, talking in all caps and sending you pictures to make you ill.

    Nics last blog post..The budget.

  7. Ree says:

    Just let me know. 😉 You could call it, um…hold on, let me think (I shouldn’t start typing before I finish the train of thought) –

    Bucks, not Braids.

    Naw… wait.

    Dollars for Dreadlocks?

    Well, whatever. Let me know.

    Rees last blog post..Mute Monday – Z (and some other stuff)

  8. Dingo says:

    Or maybe just call it Loot for Locks?

    Dingos last blog post..B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

  9. Angella says:

    As someone who has been dying my hair for, oh, twenty years, I always knew I’d never be a candidate.

    I have absolutely no ideas for you. My creativeness got sucked dry by Monday.

    Angellas last blog post..On Faith

  10. Darcey says:

    I got nothing. But when you figure it out, I’m here for support!

  11. December says:

    eh – I wouldn’t do it.
    I have flat, limp rather greasy hair. I can’t IMAGINE dealing with a year to two years feeling fugly in it, before chopping it.

    Decembers last blog post..Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

  12. Kristie says:

    I”m not creative in the slightest, but I think it’s so sweet that you want to help in such a way other than writing a check. Maybe there are other organizations that you can actually volunteer with? That would really get you out there.

    Kristies last blog post..Getting it off my chest and then putting it right back where it was

  13. I did a lot of research on all of the various organizations before I donated my hair, and I heard the exact same thing about Locks of Love. I ended up donating to Pantene Pro-V’s Beautiful Lengths campaign because the wigs they make (with all donated hair) are distributed for free through the American Cancer Society, unlike LoL. Plus, you can have dyed (not bleached hair) and the length requirement is shorter (8 inches). Just a consideration!

    La Petite Chics last blog post..Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are!

  14. Melissa says:

    I donated to Locks of Love last year I think…you need like 10 inches and it was a PITA..but so worth it. Another way to donate is to donate blood. Go to Manic’s site and you could win a trip to Florida…or other fun prizes…

    Melissas last blog post..Beetlejuice….

  15. TUWABVB says:

    How about naked cartwheeling during a Bears game next fall? 🙂

    TUWABVBs last blog post..On Monday mornings I am dedicated to the proposition that all men are created jerks.**

  16. Giggle Pixie says:

    I’ve worn my hair short since Junior High, and have had it colored on and off for so many years (with a few perms in between!) so I wasn’t really a good candidate either. I love it that you’ve been trying to do this! But, now that the fantasy has been shattered, so to speak, perhaps it would be just as good (and practical for all concerned) to send money.

    I love the idea of a certain dollar amount per inch! But then I also like a certain amount per number of comments, because that makes it more interactive. Whatever you decide, we’ll all help out however we can!

    Giggle Pixies last blog post..What Dreams Are Made Of

  17. Got a link to this post from the lovely Nic…thought I’d throw in my two cents since I’ve though about this topic too.

    My hair stops growing and gets stringy right below shoulder length, so this was never an option for me, but my sister and cousin have both done it. Even if they do just sell your hair, the money is still going to help a non-profit that is making these wigs, so it’s helpful either way. Even if it’s less monetary value than writing a check, it’s still worthwhile.

    My favorite way to help without writing a check (which I totally agree is completely not satisfying at all) is to donate blood, but not everyone can do that either. It’s an even easier, once-and-done process to become a bone marrow donor – you just swab your mouth, send it in, and they keep your DNA on file in case you’d ever be a match for someone who needs a transplant. I felt really satisfied and good about myself after I did that. However, you also have to accept the possibility that one day you might have to go into the hospital for a couple of days for someone you don’t know and have a huge, hollow needle poked into your thigh bone, which at that point would be a lot more difficult and ouchy than donating blood.

    If you work at an office or something, you could use the hair growing thing to actually raise money from other people, which would be a way to motivate yourself to grow it longer, and also do something more than just donate the hair without putting any strain on your own pocketbook.

    So that was a lot of typing…good luck with your decision, whatever it is!

    PS: I heart Nic, she is my favorite college friend; I also rather like trolls, but the two are not related. :o)

    peacelovemaths last blog post..Attention Preggo Friends

  18. My 10 y.o. donated her hair last spring after growing it for two years. Her golden locks were absolutely perfect, so I’m hoping they got used.

    Jen on the Edges last blog post..Advice for the home decorator

  19. Sheri says:

    I had a neighbor who donated. My hair used to rock, but I’ve gotten older and greyer so now my hair color is from a bottle.

    Maybe we could all do a party of some sort, and of course alcohol would be consumed…. Maybe play college drinking games, quarters perhaps, and instead of just doing a shot, we would have to put a dollar in a hat and then donate the money to a good cause.

    We could feel really good about getting really drunk.

    Sheris last blog post..Sometimes You Just Gotta Say…..

  20. metalia says:

    NO! I’m so disillusioned! You know my plan for your contest (and well, everyone in life, ever) involves you sing the karaoke song of the winner’s choosing on video, and then post it here. 🙂

    metalias last blog post..I predict I’m going to lose and/or scare most of you at the "Jackie Chan Adult Film" portion of this post

  21. Zandor says:

    That is kind of depressing because I was thinking of donating my hair. Yes, they sell the hair for money so it kind of helps, but I wanted to do something that directly helps. The reason I wanted to donate was because I can’t really donate blood. Since blood directly helps people and isn’t being sold for money I thought that cutting my hair would be the equivelant. Now I am going to have to try some other equal thing.

    Zandors last blog post..Dear IC

  22. […] a wig. It seemed like an equal thing since they both directly helped people. I read something on this site that makes me not want to donate. Apparently a lot of the hair that they get isn’t usable […]

  23. GiftOfLife says:

    peacelovemath is absolutely right — bone marrow donation is a great way to make a difference in someone’s life, and it really is as easy as getting your cheek swabbed. If you’re looking for a way to participate, Gift of Life (http://www.giftoflife.org/) is starting some social marketing efforts — they’re looking for people who can use blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube to get people interested in becoming donors.