• Tue, May 14 2013

Why Are $6 Million In Locks Of Love Donations Unaccounted For?

unaccounted locks of love donations

For children with alopecia, cancer and other illnesses that result in hair loss, a wig can be a chance to not worry about something they have lost and, oftentimes, to gain some of their confidence back since the process of losing hair is often frightening and traumatizing in itself. Charitable organization Locks of Love has famously represented this hopeful step, as it manufactures wig pieces from donated hair, then supplies those wigs to kids who need them but may not be able to afford one due to medical bills or other expenses. However, the nonprofit has come under fire recently, with $6 million in donations being unaccounted for.

Nonprofit Investor, a website that looks into the goings on of nonprofits to ensure contributions are going into the intended direction and not elsewhere, found that Locks of Love has somehow managed to fit under the radar with some potentially shady business practices. Despite being a well-thought of not-for-profit organization, their numbers simply do not add up. I could go through each of those statistics, but since everybody loves infographics, here’s the helpful one Nonprofit Investor created:

unaccounted locks of love donations infographic

It’s not like anybody wants to go on a witch hunt against Locks of Love; they have certainly done a lot of good for the world. But shouldn’t those who donate money and hair be able to see where their donations are actually going?

Images: Shutterstock & Nonprofitinvestor.com.

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  • Lilac

    I swear something like this report came out years ago. I never liked locks of love because it is such a lie. They declare the hair unusable but then sell it to wig makers who make wigs for profit. Even a short real human hair wig sell for 500 or more. If you want a long hair wig add 500 or more per every inch of hair on the wig you want.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

      I haven’t donated my hair to them for the same reason — I definitely remember something along these lines a while back. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the original source and didn’t want to just put it in the post if I didn’t have the documentation to back it up, but if I find it, I’ll definitely update!

    • Fabel

      Yep, I distinctly remember telling my ex years ago NOT to donate his hair here. I don’t know if I knew ~exactly~ why Locks of Love was insidious, but I definitely knew it was! (also, we definitely tried to sell his hair online. There is whole underground world of hair selling, apparently. It was fascinating.)

    • Rose D.

      Agreed. I heard this a few years ago. I would rather sell my hair and donate the money to a company that isn’t as shady. I have been telling people for years not to bother.

  • Eileen

    Maybe it’s just because I recently got around to watching “Good Hair,” but…the market for human hair is really lucrative (and has some pretty awful implications). I’ve never donated mine because it’s not healthy or long enough, but my sister does, and I might have to suggest she avoid this organization.

  • Sean

    For those who want to help, is there an alternate to Locks of Love?

  • LizAbear

    I have donated my hair to Locks of Love twice over the years and was considering doing it again, (basically I love my long hair, but get super bored with it every 2 or 3 years,) and this is very upsetting. I wish I could go back and donate somewhere else.

  • http://twitter.com/Footnotegirl Jennifer Klumpp

    Uh, their shadiness has been well known for years, but any time people have spoken up about it you just get a lot of “Waaaaaah, how can you hate a group that does such wonderful thiiiiings.” Also, at one point they had pictures of kids in the hairpieces that they made on their site and they were, frankly, godawful.