Losing hair can be incredibly traumatic for a child. As Wigs for Kids says, “When children lose their hair, they don’t just suffer physically. The change in their appearance can drastically undermine their self-image and sabotage their self-esteem.” Thankfully, there are plenty of women and girls willing to trim their long locks to help make a difference for these girls.
But what happens to the hair that gets donated? Buzzfeed went to find out.Hair must be about 12 inches long for donating. It is cut off in ponytails. The hair then gets wrapped in tissue and shipped in a manila envelope to the Wigs for Kids headquarters.
First, all ponytails get sorted into boxes by hair color. Hair that doesn’t meet the qualifications is removed. Then an employee selects the matching ponytails for a wig. It takes 20-30 ponytails to make one wig. The wig makers will blend hair colors to create a realistic look.
The selected hair is sent to a wig manufacturer. The wig makers brush the hair and remove any short or damaged pieces. They sew the ponytails together and then professionally treat the hair in a chemical bath.
Wig makers work with owners to create a custom cap that will fit each individual’s head. Hairs are individually hand tied onto the wig cap until the wig is completed.
The wig is then shipped to a shop where the recipient can have it fitted. Wigs are given to kids with diseases such as alopecia, which causes hair loss. Both the children and their parents are incredibly thankful for this gift.