Locks of Love

I have mixed feelings on this criticism of Locks of Love.  They do appear to deliberately mislead people that the hair is going to pediatric chemo patients, when most of the wigs they make go to alopecia patients.  The cancer patients that do get wigs are those rendered permanently bald, not temporarily so.   I think it’s completely fair to criticize LoL for that mislead.

But the article also criticizes Locks of Love for throwing away hair that is grey, moldy, or too short for wigs (even though the guidelines on the website are pretty clear on what’s required), and for selling most of the hair that is donated.  The author derides this as getting a haircut for no purpose.  I think that criticism is not only unfair, but reveals a fundamental problem in the way the author views charity.  If your goal is to help bald children, you should want them to throw out unsuitable hair, and be agnostic as to whether your hair ends up in a child’s wig, or in a wig made by a commercial company that paid LoL for it.  You’re helping just as much.  Deriding this implies that having your hair on the head of a child is more important than a system that gets the most children.  If that’s true you’re welcome to pay for the privilege, but don’t pretend it’s the same as donating to help people.

Of course the chemo bait-and-switch is still dubious, and if you have a preference for helping that population it’s totally valid to go with one of the other orgs listed in the article