The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) says they will no longer accept donations of human hair after Dec. 31, 2018 due to a decreased demand from patients for real-hair wigs.
The Beautiful Lengths program, a partnership with Pantene since 2006, has accepted hair donations and provided cancer patients with free wigs in the past, prompting more than 70,000 ponytail donations in that time.
"In recent years, synthetic-hair technology has vastly improved, giving synthetic hair wigs more of a 'real-hair' feel, making them lighter and cooler to wear and easier to style," the organization wrote in a statement on their website.
The creation of real-hair wigs will continue until 2022, using up donations already provided by generous Canadians, and the CCS said they will look at other options for people who still want to donate their hair.
"We have received tens of thousands of ponytails and donated over 110,000 wigs to wig banks across North America," Proctor and Gamble said in a statement provided to HuffPost Canada. "We sincerely thank all the people who selflessly donated their ponytails over the years, we couldn't have done it without them."
Those committed to chopping their locks still have a number of options outside of CCS. Wigs for Kids, based in Ontario, accepts donations, as do Angel Hair For Kids and Chai Lifeline Canada. Privately owned salons across the country also offer services to cut and collect hair for donation programs.
Additionally, many cancer and hair-loss organizations welcome monetary donations to help purchase both real-hair and synthetic wigs for Canadians who have lost their hair due to various diseases and conditions.
Check out these brave kids who said "goodbye" to their hair to help cancer patients:
For those looking to donate to CCS before the year is out, they have given the following guidelines for hair donations:
- Hair must be a minimum eight inches in length
- Hair must be clean, dry and not swept off the floor
- Hair should not be chemically treated (bleach, colour or perm)
- Hair must be no more than five per cent grey
To learn more about how to cut a ponytail for donation, visit the CCS website.
HuffPost Canada has reached out to CCS for comment and will update this story when we hear back.
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