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Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
kid reporter mariam el hasan before and after locks of love Kid Reporter Mariam El Hasan before (left) and after she cut her hair for Locks of Love, an organization that makes human hair wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to disease. (Photos courtesy Mariam El Hasan)

Locks of Love Needs YOU!

10 inches of hair can change a child's life

By Mariam El Hasan | December 17 , 2010

Not everyone can sit around and daydream while twirling hair. Or worry about how they are going to style it for school pictures or a special event. Some kids have no hair at all due to illness. Locks of Love is an organization that helps kids cope with their hair loss by providing real hair wigs from donors.

I found out about Locks of Love because I wanted to do something to make a difference. Until I donated my hair, it was really, really long. So was Jessica Moon's, a photo editor I work with at the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. She donates her hair whenever she cuts it, waiting each time for it to grow the necessary 10 inches.

"I don't miss my hair at all because I know it grows back," Moon said. "And it grows really quickly."

Diseases like alopecia and cancer can damage hair and cause baldness. Alopecia is spontaneous loss of hair. Cancer patients often undergo chemotherapy, which is a treatment that kills the cells in the body and leads to hair loss.    

At Locks of Love, the focus is on helping kids who have gone bald and feel embarrassed to go out in public to go on with the activities they normally enjoy. Lauren Kukkamaa, who works at the Locks of Love headquarters in Florida, believes that it is important for kids to live out their lives as normally as possible.

"Many times, a lot of children become self-conscious [of their baldness]," she said. "They have low self-esteem or self-confidence, so they may want to stop playing sports or going to summer camps or sleepovers. When they get the hair pieces, they feel confident to start doing these things again."
 
Donating hair doesn't cost money. All you need to do is put your hair in a ponytail and cut it off—at least 10 inches of it. You can then send it in the mail to Florida. Hair that has been colored is usable, but not bleached hair, Kukkamaa said

You can also go to a salon. Many salons will even cut your hair for free if they know that you are giving it to Locks of Love.

"For a donor, I think it's a very personal donation," said Kukkamaa. "You're giving of yourself. If you're looking for a way to get involved and give back, I think it's a great opportunity for someone."

Moon, who first donated her hair when she was 15 after she found out her father had cancer, said donating is a good way to make a difference.

"The best part is that it's helpful for someone and it does make a difference for patients who need the hair," she said.

For guidelines on how to donate your own hair, check out the Locks of Love website.

KIDS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Scholastic's newest team of Kid Reporters take a look at what young people around the country are doing to help out the less fortunate this holiday season in the Kids Make a Difference Special Report.

NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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