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16 Apr 2024, Edition - 3199, Tuesday

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Donate hair to help cancer patients

Sneha L


Scrolling through a post or picture talking about hair donation throws up the question why normal wigs not are suitable for chemo patients.

People who have undergone chemotherapy would prefer natural hair wigs to synthetic ones for medical reasons and equally personal comfort. Usually wigs are made out of hair processed using chemicals. These wigs can cause allergic reactions in chemotherapy patients.

Hence, natural-hair wigs are most preferable. But, natural hair wigs are costlier as they are made out of virgin hair. So, only those with a strong economic background can afford these cancer wigs.

The Ladies Circle India, a non-political and non-sectarian organisation, along with NGO Hair for Hope launched a campaign to help cancer patients by donating hair and distributing wigs made of natural hair free of cost.

“People would successfully survive cancer, but they would fail to come out of the low self-esteem. They wouldn’t step out of the home; they wouldn’t want to be seen. Most importantly, the under privileged people who cannot afford the cancer wigs have no other option but to worry,” said Manjushree N, a Life Coach and Secretary of Salem City Ladies Circle India 42.

This is where a tiny contribution makes a big difference. Volunteers who have nine to twelve-inch long hair, too, can donate for this cause.

“I waited two and a half years for my hair to grow so that I could donate. For us, it is just hair which will grow back. But for people who need it, it will mean much more for a lifetime probably. So, the donated hair is collected and sent to Adyar Cancer Institute to be made into wigs,” she adds.

Dyed and chemically treated hair cannot be used for making wigs.

“The wigs are made out of only natural hair. Once it is made, it is distributed to the chemotherapy patients free of cost,” says Father Alex Praikalam of Sargakshetra Cultural Centre, Changanacherry, which has distributed over 600 cancer wigs to chemo patients in association with the Hair for Hope NGO.

Manjushree also told The Covaipost, “The wig manufacturers asked us if we could manage to pay for the manufacturing process. It takes Rs.650 to produce one wig. So, we asked the volunteers to give away Rs. 650 and their hair for the cause. It is more than one year since this campaign started and it is progressive”.

‘One necessarily needn’t donate hair to be a part of this campaign; simply sharing pictures of the donors are helpful’ says Hair for Hope – India’s page.

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