Jennifer Weber is carrying a little less weight on her head these days, after her 10-inch pony tail was snipped off for Locks of Love.
The operations manager of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society donated her hair to the Locks of Love charity, partly to support it but also to highlight to people in Cayman, who often donate their hair, that the donation goes to children and young people in the United States, but not in Cayman.
“We get lots of calls from people who say, ‘I want to cut off my hair for you guys’ but in fact it’s not for us, or cancer patients here in Cayman. “The donations get sent to Locks of Love and the hair is used to make wigs for people who need them, not just cancer patients. And the wigs are not free, although that’s the urban legend that is always going around,” Ms Weber said.
She said that while donating one’s hair is a nice thing to do, she wanted to make it clear that the Cayman Islands Cancer Society is not affiliated with Locks of Love.
“We frequently get calls from people who want to cut their hair so it can be donated, but they have a lot of misconceptions about what to do and how it will be used,” said Ms Weber, who said cutting off her hair for Locks of Love was one of the items on her “bucket list”.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do once in my life and now I can cross it off my list,” she said, as she posed with her ponytail outside the Cancer Society office beside the Cayman Islands Hospital.
Locks of Love is a public nonprofit organisation that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children and those under the age of 21 in the United States and Canada who suffer from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. The charity accepts hair in a ponytail or braid that is at least 10 inches long from tip to tip. Layered hair is acceptable if the longest layer is 10 inches. Locks of Love accepts hair that is coloured or permed and hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.
Bleached or highlighted hair is not usable due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process. Hair swept off of the floor is not usable because it is not bundled in a ponytail or braid.
Hair that is shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not usable. The charity advises people who are shaving their heads to first divide hair into multiple ponytails before cutting it off.
Locks of Love does not accept dreadlocks, wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.
For more information on Locks of Love, visit www.locksoflove.org