When it comes to style, hair matters. Curly, wavy or straight, our tresses make a fashion statement. Are you ready for a fresh look? If you are fortunate enough to have a healthy head of locks, you can make your haircut count by donating your hair to kids who are experiencing hair loss.
The experts at Children With Hair Loss (CWHL) provide human hair replacements at no cost for kids all across the United States. The nonprofit based in Michigan custom matches hair texture, color and style from hair donations that arrive in the mail—special packages of ponytails and braids that change the lives of young people with medically-related hair loss. More than 620 children were gifted hair replacements by CWHL last year, giving them a much-needed confidence boost as they suffered through Cancer treatment, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns and medical disorders. Since 2000, CWHL has been meeting their mission of “Covering young heads to heal young hearts!”
Good Hair Days
Every day is a good hair day at Children With Hair Loss. Under the direction of Founder and CEO Regina Villemure, CWHL is fueled by dedicated volunteers and coffee as they work to fulfill the growing number of requests for hair. Regina was inspired to start the company after she saw the need firsthand when her niece lost her hair during chemotherapy at age 3.
“Insurance won't cover this,” Regina says. “All kids are equal and they’re all deserving. These are our kids,” she says. “We want to make a difference in children’s lives in a positive way.”
CWHL provides services and products free of charge for those up to age 21. With each wig or hairpiece, the organization sends a goodie box, including a styrofoam head, hair care and styling products and accessories.
The team is now preparing for their upcoming Charity Ball, a fundraiser that brings the children and their families together for camaraderie and education, culminating in a runway show where kids can show off their unique hair and style.
Last spring, 12-year-old Mady Archer of Butler County decided to chop her locks and donated 9½ inches of golden-brown hair to Children With Hair Loss. She knows the value of her hair.
“I am hoping that a little girl like me will get it so she can be happy,” Mady says. “Especially for women, your hair kind of defines you. We style it to mirror our personalities and moods. Not everyone gets to have the ability to do whatever they want with their hair. I've already had that opportunity, so someone else might as well get the chance.”
Mady encourages anyone who is thinking about donating their hair to do it.
“Just think about the opportunity for the person that's getting your hair,” she says, eyes wide with awe.
Mady is already growing out her hair to donate again.
“Growing it out is the most challenging part of the process,” says the generous tween. “I’ll keep going for however long it takes to grow it out 10 or 11 inches.”
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Prepare Your Hair
Are you ready to make the cut? Register online. A hairdresser can help gather your clean and dry hair in small ponytails around your scalp and secure them with rubberbands. Seal your ponytails into a plastic storage bag to mail it in.
Eight is Great
Your hair donation must be a minimum of eight inches, but longer is better. Children With Hair Loss receives a lot of requests for long hair replacements. Grow your hair as long as you can before making a donation.
Gray is A-Okay
Children With Hair Loss welcomes silver strands to use for kids’ wigs. They have great success dying it to match color requests. While they prefer hair that has not been chemically treated, they will accept any hair in good condition.
Many Ways to Help
Not everyone can donate hair, but you are welcome to host a haircut-a-thon or fundraiser, sponsor a child, donate hair accessories to go in the goodie boxes or make a charitable contribution—no donation is too small!