Locks of Love

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Locks of Love
FoundedMay 28, 1997; 25 years ago (1997-05-28)[1]
FounderMadonna W. Coffman[2]
Legal statusNonprofit organization
PurposeTo provide custom-made hair prosthetics to disadvantaged children to age of twenty-one, who suffered hair loss as a result of various medical conditions.[3]
HeadquartersWest Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.[3]
Coordinates26°40′32″N 80°03′06″W / 26.675636°N 80.051663°W / 26.675636; -80.051663Coordinates: 26°40′32″N 80°03′06″W / 26.675636°N 80.051663°W / 26.675636; -80.051663
Madonna W. Coffman[3]
Linda Borum[3]
Revenue (2018)
Expenses (2018)$724,897[3]
Employees (2017)
Volunteers (2017)

Locks of Love is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that provides custom-made hair prosthetics to disadvantaged children up to the age of 21 who have suffered hair loss as a result of medical conditions, such as alopecia, burn trauma, and cancer treatment.[3] They are provided to the children free of charge,[5] and they may receive a new one every two years until they turn 21 years old.[6] Locks of Love says that, despite rumors to the contrary, children and their families are never charged for the hair prosthetics they receive.[5] Locks of Love accepts donations of human hair, and it also accepts financial donations.[6]


Girl donating her hair

Locks of Love was founded by Madonna W. Coffman on May 28, 1997.[1][2] Coffman was a registered nurse who had suffered from alopecia in her twenties. Coffman's daughter also had allopecia and lost all her hair at the age 4. Locks of Love received a determination of its 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service in December 1997.[7] By September 2006, Locks of Love had provided about 2,000 wigs to recipients completely free of charge.[8]

A 2007 'hair donation day' at the American Aviano Air Base in Italy

Tax deductions[edit]

Financial donations to Locks of Love are tax-deductible as charitable contributions to the extent of the law.[9][5] The Internal Revenue Service considers hair to be a body part, and donations of body parts are not considered tax deductible by the Internal Revenue Service.[9] The cost of the haircut, however, may be a tax-deductible charitable contribution.[9]


In 2013, Forbes and The Huffington Post reported that up to US$6 million-worth of hair donations are unaccounted for by the charity each year.[10][11]

The best quality hair donated to Locks of Love is sent to a wig manufacturer, Taylormade hair Replacement in Millbrae, California. The highest quality long hair is used to make a wig for a child. Gray hair, overly processed hair, too-short hair, bleached hair, and hair that is otherwise not high enough quality for a child's wig is sold, and the proceeds are used to further the organization's mission, such as grants for medical research into alopecia.[8] In 2007, Locks of Love said that about 80 percent of the hair donated to it is not suitable to be made into a child's wig.[8]

Financial information[edit]

During its 2018 fiscal year, Locks of Love received $513,103 of revenue, and it incurred $724,897 of expenses.[3]

Notable donors[edit]

Sunita L. Williams (background) and Joan E. Higginbotham (foreground) in the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory. The hair did not clog the instrument panel, as was feared.

After launching aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, astronaut Sunita Williams arranged to donate her ponytail to Locks of Love. Fellow astronaut Joan Higginbotham cut her hair aboard the International Space Station, and the ponytail was brought back to Earth by the STS-116 crew.[12]

All-American football player and Chicago Bears first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi's maternal uncle suffered from leukemia as a child, underwent chemotherapy while he was in second grade, and lost his hair in the process. At nine years old, his uncle died. He was mentioned often in family discussions.[13] Carimi thought he would do something "that wouldn't take a lot of my time but would help other people". He grew his hair for 20 months, until it was long enough to donate to Locks of Love in 2010.[13]

Professional wrestler The Honky Tonk Man has stated that he donates his hair to Locks of Love once a year.[14]

National Hockey League player George Parros has grown his hair long since the start of his professional hockey career, so he can donate it to Locks of Love.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Locks of Love Inc." Florida Division of Corporations. State of Florida. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Our Story". Locks of Love. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Locks of Love Inc. Internal Revenue Service. November 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Locks of Love Inc." Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Frequently Asked Questions". Locks of Love. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Get Involved". Locks of Love. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "History". Locks of Love. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Hayt, Elizabeth (September 6, 2007). "Lather, Rinse, Donate". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "Publication 526: Charitable Contributions (pdf). Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  10. ^ Chao, Kent (May 13, 2013). "Locks Of Love: $6 Million Of Hair Donations Unaccounted For Each Year". Forbes. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Goldberg, Eleanor (May 14, 2013). "Locks Of Love Has More Than $6 Million Worth Of Donated Hair That Is Unaccounted For: Report". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  12. ^ "Astronaut cuts her hair in space for charity". CollectSpace.com. December 20, 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2007.
  13. ^ a b Mason (April 23, 2010). "Lots of locks means lots of love from Carimi: Wisconsin senior donates hair to charity aimed at improving life for ill children". University of Wisconsin. Archived from the original on December 29, 2010.
  14. ^ YouTube Video. Archived 2019-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Parros Cuts Hair for a Cause". Anaheim Ducks. December 17, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2011.

External links[edit]