| Dubai, United Arab Emirates


‘Hair for Hope’ campaign in Dubai

Real-hair wigs for chemotherapy patients is here again for 2012

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For many undergoing treatment for cancer, one of the most difficult side effects of chemotherapy isn’t necessarily the discomfort, or the nausea, but is often the emotional impact of losing one’s hair.

Last year, Hair for Hope was launched by local charity Volunteer in Dubai, asking the city’s residents to donate their locks to make wigs for women and children undergoing chemotherapy. Because the event was such a success, this year they’ve teamed up with NStyle Nail Lounge, and will be holding three one-week events at a selection of locations during the next 12 months. To start things off, however, they’re launching this month, with a one-day hair donation drive at N-Style’s DIFC outlet on Saturday November 10.

‘This is perhaps one of the most personal donations you may ever make,’ explains Lola Lopez, founder of Volunteer in Dubai. ‘This is something far more valuable than money, so can directly change the life of a woman or a child.’ Because chemotherapy targets fast-growing cells, which are often the mark of malignant tumour cells, healthy hair cells are often destroyed in the process, causing hairloss on any part of the patients’ body, including the head, eyelashes, body hair and eyebrows. Hair for Hope aims to raise awareness, and to collect hair to create real hair wigs to change the lives of cancer sufferers for the better, through a beautiful boost to their self esteem.

But it’s not just children who are invited to get involved. Last year, women, men and children donated their tresses to the campaign, including four-year-old Olivia.

‘There is no age limit,’ explains Lola, although hair must meet stringent criteria if it is to be used in a real hair wig (see the rules for donation, inset). ‘In order to make one wig, many different bunches of hair need to be grouped together, and once styled it would need to be dyed a uniform colour. Hair that has been previously treated in any way with a chemical will be hard to determine if it will accept the new hair colour in the same way as donations within the same wig that are virgin.’ Kids are very welcome to donate (and are much more likely than grown-ups to have hair that exactly fits the criteria), as long as both they, plus mum, dad, or a guardian, consent to the cut.

While hair must be a minimum of eight inches to be cut, last year, Lola recalls that three women donated hair that each measured over 15 inches in length. But even if you don’t meet the criteria, never fear, as there’s still a chance to donate by taking part in other treatments available at the salon for the occasion.

For those who are eligible to donate on the day, NStyle will be providing a fabulous haircut free of charge, plus a mini-makeover with Illumin8 cosmetics.

Last year, all of the donations were handed over to US charitable programme Beautiful Lengths, who have been donating free real-hair wigs to cancer patients since they were founded in 2006. This year, however, Lola says she is looking for a regional wig-maker to support the project. ‘We will exhaust all avenues in an attempt to find a reputable and trustworthy wigmaker to support this project,’ she adds. ‘We’re confident that we will be able to find a wigmaker in this country, and will be keeping all donations in our possession, in a bid to offer a free “real hair” wig to the women in the UAE suffering the effects of chemotherapy.’
For more information about Hair for Hope or to find out how to make a donation, visit www.facebook.com/hairforhopeuae or email hairforhope@volunteerinuae.com. November 10, noon to 6pm. NStyle DIFC (04 425 0350).

By Time Out Dubai Kids staff
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