Report: Locks of Love Can’t Account For $6.6 Million Worth of Donated Hair

The prominent charity is tangled in scandal.

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Locks of Love is tangled in scandal. According to a new report from watchdog group Nonprofit Investor (NPI), the West Palm Beach-based charity–which collects human hair to make custom-fitted hair prosthesis for children suffering from medical hair loss–can’t account for $6 million worth of follicle donations.

Here’s how it breaks down. Every year, says NPI, LoL gets enough hair to make 2,080 wigs. That number is based on estimates LoL representatives shared with media outlets in the past about how it gets 104,000 donations a year, roughly 20% of which are suitable for repurposing, due to issues with length and coloring.

Yet, in 2011, Locks of Love made just 317 of its natural hairpieces. That leaves 1,763 hairpieces unaccounted for, which NPI values at $6.6 million, based on manufacturing costs and retail value of other natural hair wigs.

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When NPI showed LoL those findings earlier this year, the charity stated that it “does not count, catalogue nor maintain lists of hair donations,” as NPI founded Kent Chao explained on Forbes.com. In response to the published report, LoL President Madonna Coffman told ABC News: “I don’t know what the purpose would be to count hair donations. We made 317 that year because we had 317 requests. Some of the donated hair is sold to finance the making of its custom wigs. The unused hair stays in inventory until a request comes in.”

NPI has since started a Reddit chat for past and potential donors, recommending they ask specifically about how their hair will be used. Other organizations that accept donated hair include Wigs for KidsChildren with Hair LossPantene Beautiful Lengths, and Wigs 4 Kids, though LoL—whose celebrity donors include Russell Crowe, Ann Curry, and Portia de Rossi—has always been the most prominent.

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14 comments
MichaelHarris2
MichaelHarris2

Sounds like to me the news trying to make something out of nothing. It says they cant account for the donations, but also says they don't count the donations, they sell some of the hair and keep an inventory for when a request comes in. It states that they had 317 requests for wigs and made 317 wigs....which mean the rest of the donated hair is waiting for a request. It is freely given hair it isn't as if they are hiding money.

crystalrob
crystalrob

My Daughter and I are so poor , we had to borrow gas money to get to the salon to have her never been cut, or  processed, beautiful blond hair , that was past the back of her knees, cut and sent to Lol. I wanted to sell it to do some things for my child. She wanted to make another child feel good. so for her 8th birthday we did it. after 60days they didn't send her the little certificate to acknowledge her donation. I emailed and called several times, they say they separate the hair and certificate so they don't know if they got it or not . REALLY ! So who sold it, them or the salon that cut it. even they said it was worth a lot. Lol cant be bothered to acknowledge a kid who so much wanted to do a good deed. It has now been 90 days and nothing !!! How hard was it to put her name on a mass produced certificate  ?    It will never happen again, and I will encourage everyone I meet not to donate.

AmyPfeffer
AmyPfeffer

Finally! It's about time our media turned its attention on the tonsorial-industrial complex! We've labored under their tyranny for too long! My hair is my own and I refuse to be bullied into surrendering it to the greedy so-called charities with their constant pestering and hectoring. They become fat on the tresses I worked hard to grow and its time we all stood up to them! NO HAIR FOR FAT CATS!

memphistime39
memphistime39

Finally, this will be exposed as the ginormous SCAM that it is.  People want to donate hair because it's free to grow and give away.    Maybe it's time to dig a little deeper and give real donations to real charities.  

JenniferAtack
JenniferAtack

They didn't lose anything.  They throw it out.  You also should investigate their monetary donations and how they are used.

freedomchild82
freedomchild82

@crystalrob Did you donate to get a certificate that you could show off that you donated and to make yourself feel good or did you donate to help others? If you donated to help others... a certificate should not even be needed. True charity is when you do it expecting nothing in return.

DannyWilde
DannyWilde

@AmyPfeffer Quiet libtarded loser hippie scum YOU have neer worked hard at anything ..go away

SarahOTaylor
SarahOTaylor

@AmyPfeffer  How can you work hard to grow hair? It just grows. I suggest you look into another group that has a good record of actually getting the hair to children - don't punish them for bad choices made by adults :(

kittylover.jessica
kittylover.jessica

"Real donations to real charities", huh?  Because if LoL is a scam, then ALL the companies that use hair to make wigs for children or people with cancer who need them must be as well, right?  I am assuming since you made the comment about people wanting to give hair because it's free, you are referring to monetary donations when you say "real" donations.  Some people do not have the financial means to do this, and desperately want to give back, anyhow...and their donations, whether or not the company turns out to be a scam (which they did NOT know at the time), are no less "real" than others.  I think we should be encouraging charity in general, not giving away money to feel good about yourself.

Jamilyian
Jamilyian

@memphistime39  yes and I hope people stop constantly pressuring people with long hair to donate. It's very common for women with waist- length hair and beyond to be constantly questioned and hounded about "why don't you donate your hair?" as though it is a selfish thing to simply enjoy one's hair. 

ChristopherBashline
ChristopherBashline

@freedomchild82 @crystalrob

ur post is disgusting.  her CHILD wanted to be acknowledged.  an 8 year old child chose helping over her own needs.  i think she deserves an award, dont u?


Jamilyian
Jamilyian

@memphistime39 also, LoL has ties with Girl Scouts and they strongly encourage the little girls to donate. Likely because they need unprocessed healthy hair and little girls have that in spades. It makes me kind of sad to see all these little girls with their long hair marched into a salon and receive a cut to below the ears for this lame organization. They really believe they are helping some little child with cancer.