When Makana Duncan woke up on a recent Monday morning, the first words out of her mouth were, “Don’t forget — chop, chop.”
A month ago the Westside 6-year-old informed her mother she was ready for her very first hair cut and wanted to donate her generous mane that fell to just above her knees to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States.
Just a year ago, Makana’s mother did the same thing.
“My hair was as long as hers,” said Hualani Duncan. “I’d heard about in on TV.”
Then a month ago her daughter told her she wanted to do the same thing. Flipping her now bobbed hair with her fingers and smiling ear to ear, Makana Duncan said, “I donate my hair to sick people.”
Locks of Love provides a unique service to children in need of hair prosthetics. According to the organization’s Web site, most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers, the Web site states.
Hair stylist at Kool Kutz in ‘Ele‘ele, Carolyn Jardin said she gets an average of four hair donors a month.
“The young ones do it the most,” she said. “The age is usually 6 to early teens.”
For both Makana and Hualani Duncan the decision was easy and the process painless. The one who resisted the most was dad.
Lifting his ball cap from his head, David Duncan ran his hand over his smooth skull, “See why I didn’t want her to cut her hair,” he said laughing. “As long as everyone’s happy then I’m happy.”
Guidelines for donating your hair
• Hair that is colored or permed is acceptable.
• Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.
• Hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair) is not usable. If unsure, ask your stylist. Bleached hair due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process is not acceptable.
• Hair that is swept off of the floor is not usable because it is not bundled in a ponytail or braid.
• Hair that is shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not usable. If shaving your head, first divide hair into multiple ponytails to cut off.
• Dreadlocks are not acceptable, nor are wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.
• Layered hair is acceptable if the longest layer is 10 inches.
• Layered hair may be divided into multiple ponytails.
• Curly hair may be pulled straight to measure the minimum 10 inches.
• 10 inches measured tip to tip is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece.
• Mail donations to Locks of Love, 2925 Tenth Ave. North, Suite 102, Lake Worth, Florida, 33461-3099.