Herald JournalHerald Journal, July 4, 2005

Duo donates hair to Locks of Love for hair-loss patients

By Lynda Jensen

Beautiful curly hair will be the delight of a child with cancer or other incurable disease because of the generosity of Kate Jewett, Howard Lake, and her niece KaedeeKay Bergquist, 6.

The duo donated 12 inches of hair each toward Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that custom makes wigs for children who have hair loss generally associated with chemotherapy from an incurable disease.

This is first time ever for Bergquist for donating hair, and the second time for Jewett, who has donated once before in the past six years.

It was also Bergquist’s first “real” haircut at the ripe age of 6, since she’s only had trims before now.

Stylist Patty Lehner had the honor of cutting the long locks, at Shape and Style in Howard Lake.

How to donate

The guidelines for donating hair is it must be at least 10 inches in length, but preferably 12 inches; it needs to be in a pony tail or braid; must be chemically free, and it must be clean and dry. The hair should be placed in a plastic bag and mailed in a padded envelope.

Locks of Love helps mostly girls, which is the reason for the length requirements.

The manufacturing process uses two inches of hair, leaving only eight inches in length. Many girls ask for hairpieces that are about 12 to 14 inches long.

For boys’ hairpieces, the shorter strands from the ponytail are used.

If the organization receives hair that is shorter than 10 inches or that is grey, it will be sold to help offset the cost of manufacturing.

Locks of Love began in 1997 and is run mostly by volunteers.

The hairpieces are provided free of charge or on a sliding scale to children whose families meet the guidelines set in place by Locks of Love Board of Directors.

Many of the recipients are those who have experienced total hair loss due to various medical reasons and diseases. Children ages six to 17 receive a custom, vacuum-fit hairpiece made of human hair.

Those under the age of six receive synthetic pieces because their head is experiencing rapid head growth.

A manufacturer hand separates the strands of hair and hand-assembles each hairpiece. Since only certain lengths of hair are used, 10 to 15 ponytails typically go into one piece.

It takes about four months from start to finish for each hair piece.

For more information on Locks of Love, check out its web site at www.locksoflove.org or call toll-free 888-896-1588.

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