I want to address the Locks of Love Scandal for those of you who may not know or understand why people seem to avoid Locks of Love nowadays (me included). However, after some research I came to a few conclusions that I want to share so that everyone can get an idea and do their own research and form their own opinion rather than taking rumors for fact. Locks of Love had two scandals: 2013 and 2015.
2013 scandal (Non-profit Investor vs Locks of Love)
In 2013, a firm called Non-profit Investor did an analysis that found Locks of Love (LoL) had approximately $6 million worth of hair donations unaccounted for each year. A representative of Locks of Love stated that they received about 104,000 donations a year and about 70% was unusable. They “confirmed” that the charity produced 317 natural hairpieces in 2011 but their IRS form stated they had produced 430 wigs. 317 wigs = 3170 hair donations. So there was still 1,763 hairpieces unaccounted for.
That difference mean that there was still about 1700 hairpieces unaccounted for. Which according to Locks of Love, a custom wig retails around 3,500 to $5000. When questioned about the unaccounted $6 million worth of hair, LoL stated that they could not account for hair received since they do not maintain a list or therefore wouldn’t have a list/amount for unusable amount sold.
There was no formal investigation into Locks of Love. However, Locks of Love and other organizations have blatantly stated that they do not keep track of all their donations/ recipients, mostly for safety reasons. The main reason that so much hair was sold off was because it was unusable. Many people seem to not bother reading the qualifications and get their hair rejected.
2015 Scandal (truth or fiction.com vs Locks of Love)
A rumor spread on Facebook in 2015 that Locks of Love charged patients/families for wigs. People were outraged at the thought that a non-profit organization would charge a child with cancer. Because of this rumor, many sought out other non-profit organizations that did not charge families. In the end, Locks of Love was blacklisted in the eyes of the public.
Honestly, there was no formal investigation into Locks of Love regarding the 2013 scandal. However, Locks of Love and other organizations have blatantly stated that they do not keep track of all their donations/ recipients mostly for safety reasons since they are kids. So much hair was sold off was because it was unusable. Many people do not meet the qualifications because they fail to meet the qualifications by the organization.
People were also pretty upset about the rumor in 2015. People expected a non-profit organization to provide wigs to families for free. However, I am unsure of whether they stated it on their website in 2015. As of now, they state that they require the family of the recipient to send their most recent tax return. This way, Locks of Love can determine what the cost may be depending on their income and situation. Personally, I believe that wigs should be free for children suffering from hair loss. However, there are plenty of other organizations that do provide free wigs. So it is really up to the person donating whether they agree with this aspect or not.
This is why I want to stress the importance of organization research because you do not want to have your hair rejected after putting so much love and care into growing it for a child. But also, whether you feel comfortable standing behind your organization and the relationship they have with their recipients.