I know what you’re thinking. Why is Ed posting an article about a haircut for reading by people suffering from hair loss. The answer is twofold, first that I read everything, and I do mean everything, that is written about hair. So I came across this organisation and the work they do. After that it was a short leap to decide that this site is read by people who are acutely “hair aware” and so will understand some little piece of what these young girls go through. Please take a minute to read, hopefully it will inspire you to get involved… maybe not by donating hair yourself but you might declare yourself willing were it possible to those around you and inspire them to donate theirs.
It’s not just adults who suffer from hair loss. Sadly, children all over the world are diagnosed with cancer every day, and – just like adults – the treatment causes their hair to fall out. Hannah Tarplee was just such a child: she was diagnosed with Wilms tumour and died in 2005, aged just five years old. Like many little girls, Hannah was proud of her hair, and losing it was one of the hardest parts of her illness.
After Hannah’s death, her parents set up The Little Princess Trust – a charity devoted to providing real human hair wigs for children who have lost their hair through illness.
How Can I Help?
The Little Princess Trust is always on the lookout for people to donate their hair, which can then be made into wigs at a factory in China. Many celebrities have donated to the cause – most notably Jessie-J, who shaved her head and sent the hair to the charity in 2013. However, it is not necessary to shave your head entirely; the minimum length the Little Princess Trust requires to make a wig is 7”/17cm, so for many women a slightly shorter cut is all that is needed.
Although the Trust does not have to pay for the wigs made from donated hair, there are some hair types that the factory is unable to make wigs from (Afro hair being one example), so these need to be bought in, at a cost of around £350 per wig. Because of this, the charity asks all donators to consider trying to raise money at the same time – a sponsored hair cut/head shave are among the most popular options, but there are lots of different ideas available in a fundraising pack which the Trust will send to you.
How To Prepare
If you are keen to donate your hair to donate children with hair loss, there are a few things you need to do beforehand to prepare your hair:
• Wash and dry your hair immediately before the cut – it must be entirely dry before it is sent to the Trust
• Ensure your hair is tied into a number of plaits or pony tails before the cut, secured with an elastic band at both the root and the tip
• Ask your hairdresser to cut the hair just above the top band, releasing the whole plait or ponytail, which is secured at both ends, before beginning on the final hair cut/style
• Put the prepared hair into a clear plastic bag as soon as possible after it has been cut. Place this bag in an envelope (padded) and send it to the Little Princess Trust – address available here: http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/donate-hair/