Donna Kim-Brand

‘Wigs for Kids, a Vision of Loveliness

Hair is part of our identity, so imagine how a child’s self image could be shaken if they suffer from hair loss. Not only from possible fear of the unknowns surrounding their hair loss, or worse if the knowns include cancer or major trauma, but from the view of their sense of self and how others are reacting around them.

Over thirty years ago, Jeffrey Paul was lured into the arena of full-cranium prosthetic hair replacement (wigs) for kids when his niece begged for his help as a hairdresser upon losing her hair from leukemia. He worked with both prosthetic specialists and doctors to design a hairpiece that adhered to the scalp sufficiently to stay on even during normal kid activities like gymnastics, swimming and slumber parties. The key to its success and natural look was that every strand, all 180,000 of them, was hand-tied to a cap custom-fit to each child’s head. “I learned on the job and asked some great people to teach me what I didn’t know,” Mr. Paul said. “Quite by accident, I became an innovator.”

The story caught on in the local press and the public was moved to send Jeffrey hundreds of old wigs for his new creations needed when people lost their hair due to medical reasons. Thus began his ‘wig-bank’ along with a new career, starting www.WigsforKids.org as a charitable organization to cater to the more than 2 million children who are affected by hair loss.

Wigs for Kids serves by providing both the hair replacement systems as well as support for those who have lost their hair from radiation or chemotherapy, Alopecia, Trichtillomania, trauma, burns or other medical conditions.

Wigs for Kids looks out for the emotional and psychological needs of those children and their families in order that they may cope with the stress of treatment, feel confident in how they look and live as normally as possible with a hairpiece.

Wigs for Kids is supported by other Certified Cosmetic Therapists and volunteers in North America who share the belief that “kids shouldn’t have to worry how they look while in the midst of a health crisis.” They collect and sort donations, both financial and in kind, field questions, speak at public forums for awareness-raising and hold fundraisers to meet local and national needs. Paul and his wife Zina keep the organization small and tight in order to keep the focus and funding on the children in need.

Each custom wig costs $1800, and is created to look just like each child’s own hair. You, and others, can help meet this expense in several ways.

  • Donate money and time fundraising or supporting the direct work
  • Donate hair, as it takes 20-30 ponytails over 12 inches long or 180,000 strands of hair to create one hair replacement system. You can leverage the value of a hair donation by asking for financial pledges from others in support of your generous donation
  • Sponsor a child. A dire statistic from the American Cancer Center is that nearly 13,000 children aged from birth to 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year, and may have need of a hairpiece if they lose their hair during their illness or treatment.

If your salon, school, civic organization or even individuals would like to do more to help Wigs for Kids, consider becoming an Ambassador or Affiliate Salon. You can find specific instructions on how to help as well as how to prepare and send your hair donation on the wigsforkids.org website, or contact them at:

Wigs for Kids – Hair Donations
24231 Center Ridge Road
Westlake, Ohio, 44145
Or phone Wigs for Kids at 440-333-4433 or email to: info@wigsforkids.org.

The Hair Chatter community applauds the tireless vision and work of Jeffrey and Zina Paul and their dedicated staff in weaving a better life for children when hair loss becomes part of their life fabric.

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