"Victoria Reynolds at the Chatter Box Salon was great," said Anthony Lares, senior vice commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars William Davidson Post 2381. "I highly recommend her to all needing hair cuts." Photos submitted

Local veteran donates his hair to Locks of Love

Anthony Lares, senior vice commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars William Davidson Post 2381, in Susanville, has cut his hair and donated them to the Locks of Love to help a child suffering with cancer or some other disease that causes them to lose their hair.

“I started growing my hair three years ago,” Lares said. “Somewhere along the line, I decided to donate it to the Locks of Love. My sister Monica passed away three years ago from cancer. My mother is a survivor twice over from cancer. Now my sister, Rebecca‘s been diagnosed with cancer.”

Locks of Love Mission
According to the Locks of Love website, Locks of Love is devoted to helping every child suffering from medical hair loss, thus we do not discriminate as to the cause of hair loss. We list the following information in an attempt to explain types of hair loss and specific needs of individual recipients.

You should know
Locks of Love is not a manufacturer of any type of hair replacement system or hair care product. As a charity and strictly a charity, we must purchase the custom prostheses we provide free of charge to our recipients.

Who we are
Our recipients are financially disadvantaged children, age 21 and under, suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. Most of our children suffer from an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata, which causes the hair follicles to shut down. In addition to the loss of scalp hair, many also lose their eyelashes, eyebrows and all body hair. This hair loss is permanent in most cases, and there is no known cause or cure. Other recipients are cancer survivors, have been victim to severe burns or suffer from any number of dermatological conditions that cause permanent hair loss.

Benefits to children
The children who receive these hairpieces have lost more than their hair; they suffer from a loss of self. Many children have been teased and/or bullied and are embarrassed by the attention they receive because of their hair loss. They often will withdraw from normal childhood activities such as swimming, participating in sports, attending sleep overs or even playing with their friends.  While wearing a hairpiece is certainly not a cure for these children, it can help restore some sense of normalcy to their everyday lives that most of us take for granted. It is our goal to help provide a foundation on which they can begin to rebuild their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Why we are needed
There are several problems facing children who suffer from medical hair loss. Most wigs sold by retailers are made to fit adult heads and fit poorly on a child or teenager. The styles of these wigs are not age-appropriate for children. Wigs often require the use of double-sided tape or glue to keep them from falling off. These adhesives can burn or irritate the scalp. Thus, a regular wig does not provide the security children need to just be kids. Our prosthesis fulfills the void that wigs do not.

Lassen News thanks Lares for his donation to this cause.