Recipient Program FAQ

Wigs For Kids Donation & More

Do you have questions about how the Recipient Program works? Whether you’re wondering how to make a Wigs For Kids donation, how much do wigs cost, or where to get a wig near you (hint: we help eligible children get free hairpieces!), you’ll find answers here! Learn about how our organization operates through answers to these frequently asked questions.

Recipient Program

Q: Where do I begin?

We encourage recipient families and their teams to read the Program Checklist before taking any other action. The Program Checklist is your personal roadmap to successfully completing the Wigs For Kids Recipient Program. It provides detailed instructions and guidance for performing each step in the eight stages. You will find the roadmap to be especially helpful when contacting Wigs For Kids—allowing you to quickly identify the stage where assistance is needed. We strongly encourage you to print a copy for your convenience and keep it handy.

Q: Can I place an order next year, too?

Yes. The recipient family can apply again the following year for a new hairpiece if the need still exists. Wigs For Kids provides one hairpiece per child, per year, free of charge pending approval of the application. The Program steps have to be followed and completed with each application (1x annually).

Q: Can I place a rush order for my child’s hairpiece?

Wigs For Kids is unable to expedite the process for creating hairpieces.

Q: How long does it take to receive a hair replacement system?

It is difficult to answer this question definitively as the circumstances for each application is unique. Here are some considerations:

  • Wigs For Kids reviews all documentation submitted by the recipient family for completeness and accuracy. If the information provided is incomplete, we will need to follow up you.
  • We recommend that the parent/guardian (or acting guardian) take the lead in navigating this process.
  • We may have questions for you, or we may need verbal clarification or validation from you. Your availability or lack of availability affects the overall progress of your journey.
  • In some cases, the United States Postal Service (USPS) fails to meet expected ‘deliver by’ dates. This affects everyone’s ability to respond to, exchange, or provide critical information and documentation in a timely manner.
  • Our expectations for order processing and fulfilment varies per manufacturer. Current supply lines, which have been severely impacted as a result of the ongoing pandemic, also affect the timeline.

For these reasons, Wigs For Kids is unable to provide a final timeline for your child’s particular journey. We are also unable to expedite the process for creating hairpieces.

Q: Are there any type of approvals needed?

As Wigs For Kids is a non-profit organization, each application must receive approval for funding/sponsorship by the Wigs For Kids Board of Directors, first. This approval is neither instantaneous, nor guaranteed. The submission of proper documentation is key to this step.

Q: What does the Wigs For Kids Recipient Program involve?

Our program has eight stages, which are completed in order. For example, Stage 2 cannot begin until Stage 1 is completed. The stages include:

  • Stage 1: Application Approval
  • Stage 2: Getting To Know You
  • Stage 3: Measurements
  • Stage 4: Order Processing
  • Stage 5: Delivery of Hairpiece
  • Stage 6: Fitting/Styling
  • Stage 7: Approval/Acceptance
  • Stage 8. Tell Us Your Story

This program will require communication, review, and patience to complete. Think of the process for creating hairpieces as a journey—not a sprint.

Q: What information do I need to provide?

Wigs For Kids is a charity, meaning we are not funded by the federal government. As a Section501(c)(3) non-profit serving children, we must have certain documentation to provide a child with a hairpiece. Please help us by gathering these supportive documents for the application:

  1. The Wigs For Kids medical information form signed by your medical professional
  2. Prescription for ‘cranial prosthesis’ OR a referral letter stating diagnosis from your medical practitioner
  3. Legal age document (copy of one of the following are acceptable: birth certificate, passport, state ID)
  4. Current color picture of child
  5. Color picture of child prior to hair loss or picture of a hairstyle they’d ideally like to wear

Once you’ve gathered the package of documents, please mail to:

Attn: Recipient Department

24231 Center Ridge Road

Westlake, OH 44145

Q: Who is eligible?

Only individuals aged 18 years or younger can apply to the Wigs For Kids Recipient Program. See Eligibility.

Q: Does Wigs For Kids manufacture or sell hair?

We do not manufacture hairpieces. For more than 40 years, we have used multiple manufacturers to ensure that Wigs For Kids hairpieces are consistently produced and of the utmost quality possible. These manufacturers are based outside of the United States and this can, at times, result in delays of delivery.

Q: Are partial hairpieces or extensions available?

Our hair replacement systems are designed to conceal complete hair loss or minimal hair growth due to medical reason, including therapy treatments (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation), damage to the scalp caused by burns, scarring, alopecia or trichotillomania. If your child suffers from partial hair loss, an evaluation will help us determine if our full cap solution can satisfactorily meet their needs. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Q: What is a hair replacement system?

Referred to as hair replacement systems, each hairpiece is hand-tied and composed entirely from donated human hair. The Wigs For Kids full cap solution is designed for complete hair loss. In cases where there is partial hair loss, an evaluation is needed to determine if our full cap solution will meet your child’s needs. We are here and ready to help. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Wigs For Kids hairpieces are created using donated human hair, which is not processed with dyes or other chemicals that alter the color or texture of the hair. We support the range of organic or natural colors provided through our donated hair inventory. Highlight, lowlights, ombre, and fashion hair colors are not available. Wigs For Kids offers hairpieces in 12” and 14” hair lengths.

Q: What is Wigs For Kids?

Wigs For Kids provides hairpieces to children aged 18 years or younger who are experiencing hair loss due to medical reason. The process for creating hairpieces made from human hair takes time, and the cost for producing one through the Wigs For Kids Recipient Program runs in excess of $2,000.00. We provide our hairpieces free of charge to eligible recipients because we believe all children deserve to look themselves and live their lives.

Hairpiece Specifics

Hairpiece Specifics

Q: How does the hairpiece remain in place when my child is active?

There are three ways the hairpiece remains on the head while a child is active:

  • When measurements are taken, the cap for the hairpiece is required to fit like a glove on your child’s head so that it stays in place, unless your child is performing athletic activities. 
  • The nape area of the hairpiece has subtle fasteners that can be loosened or tightened depending on the nature of your child’s activities.
  • The hairpiece cap has three sections that—from the inside—can be temporarily secured to the head using medical adhesive tape. Thus, even when a child is tumbling, the hairpiece would remain in place.

Q: What is the maximum length of hair available for a hairpiece?

A maximum of 14” from the crown of the head to the end of the strand is offered.

Q: Can my child’s hairpiece have a kinky or curly texture?

Currently, Wigs For Kids does not carry these textures in our donated hair inventory. We are dependent on what has been donated to us that meets our recipient’s requirements. This includes color, matching length, and texture, which may not be available due to the low quantity of hair that meets these criteria. We provide straight hair texture that, once received, can be curled by the stylist that will assist you with the final cutting/fitting.

Q: Can I get a hairpiece for my child that has highlights, lowlights, or an ombre effect?

Mixing colors for a hairpiece results in an unexpected color spectrum, which may or may not turn out the way the recipient family had envisioned it. Consequently, it is the Wigs For Kids policy to allow only one hair color from the available color spectrum for a hairpiece.

Q: Can I get a hairpiece with fashion colors (e.g., blue, green, purple) for my child?

Wigs For Kids makes our hairpieces using donated virgin hair that has not been processed with dyes or other chemicals, which alter the color or texture of the hair.

Q: Can I get a hairpiece that is an exact match to my child’s hair color?

Wigs For Kids provides a range of colors based on the available inventory of donated hair that our manufacturers have at a particular time. You will select a hair color from a range that is the closest fit to what you require. We are unable to create a shade that matches exactly to what you intend to have.

Application Approval

Application Approval

Q: How do I apply for the Recipient Program?

There are four steps involved:

Step 1. Find and contact a local stylist. Using our Certified Service Provider Locator, search for a stylist (specifically trained by Wigs For Kids) that is closest to you. Contact the identified stylist to introduce yourself as a Wigs For Kids hairpiece applicant and ensure their willingness and commitment to assist with measurements and fitting/styling of the hairpiece. Please ask the stylist to provide the following information:

  • Full name of stylist
  • Full name of assisting stylist
  • Full address and telephone phone number
  • Best email address for contacting the assisting stylist
  • Indicate if the assisting stylist has prior hairpiece-handling experience or has provided services to a Wigs For Kids applicant in the past (if not a stylist)
  • Stylist license number

Tell the assisting stylist that the Wigs For Kids Recipient Program Manager will contact them for verification purposes and to answer any questions they may have. Wigs For Kids will provide the stylist with the tools necessary to properly fit and help your child maintain their hairpiece. Once your application is approved, we will ship the necessary measurement packet to you.  

Step 2. Complete the Online Application. Once the stylist is identified, contacted, and confirmed, you can complete and submit the online application. Note: For children who are hospitalized, child life specialists and/or social workers can help you with the application process.

Step 3. Submit documentation and photographs needed to satisfy eligibility requirements. Wigs For Kids is a charity, meaning we are not funded by the federal government. As a Section501(c)(3) non-profit serving children, we must have certain documentation to provide a child with a hairpiece. Please help us by gathering these supportive documents for the application:

  1. The Wigs For Kids medical information form signed by your medical professional
  2. Prescription for ‘cranial prosthesis’ OR a referral letter stating diagnosis from your medical practitioner
  3. Legal age document (copy of one of the following are acceptable: birth certificate, passport, state ID)
  4. Current color picture of child
  5. Color picture of child prior to hair loss or picture of a hairstyle they’d ideally like to wear

Once you’ve gathered the package of documents, please mail to:

Attn: Recipient Department

24231 Center Ridge Road

Westlake, OH 44145

Note: We can’t consider your application until we receive these documents from you. See Eligibility.

Step 4. Receive formal approval from Wigs For Kids to move forward with the application process. Once the Wigs For Kids Recipient Department receives and verifies the completeness of requirements, the application will be approved and you will be notified via email notification. This email:

  • Confirms approval of your application
  • Announces immediate shipment of the measurement packet to the recipient family via the United States Postal Service (USPS). 

On average, it takes five business days for the measurement packet to reach the recipient family within the United States.

Note:

 Once Wigs For Kids issues the applicant approval email notification, recipient families are asked to complete their stage 3: measurement activities at their earliest convenience.

Partnering With Your Stylist

Partnering With Your Stylist

Q: What will the stylist do?

Your stylist will work closely with your family during the Initial Consultation to:

  • Accurately measure for your child’s hairpiece.
  • Document specifications correctly for ordering the hairpiece (i.e., cap size, length, and desired hairstyle).

Once your child’s hairpiece arrives, your stylist will work with your family in the Final Consultation to:

  • Fit, cut, and style (if need be) your child’s new hairpiece.
  • Review the haircare brochure.
  • Demonstrate how to care for and maintain the hairpiece.

They will also manage any future hairpiece enhancements (i.e., adopting a different hairstyle). You will learn more about your stylist when you visit the stage 3: measurements and stage 6: fitting/styling pages. 

Note: We know that this can be an overwhelming experience, but it won’t be if you work closely with your stylist and take advantage of their extensive skills, experience, training, and guidance.

Initial Consultation and Measurement Packet

Initial Consultation and Measurement Packet

Q: What happens after I mail the measurement packet back to you?

When the measurement packet is received, Wigs For Kids will notify the recipient family via email. Next, the measurement form will be evaluated for completeness. If the form is complete and all eligibility requirements have been met (see Eligibility), Wigs For Kids will place an order for your child’s hairpiece.

It takes an average of 14 weeks—from the week in which the order is placed—to receive the expected shipping date of the hairpiece. If you do not receive an email with shipping information after the 14th week, please contact us (+1.440.333.4433, or recipients@Wigsforkids.org) so we can follow up.

Q: What do I need to return to you after the initial consultation appointment?

Please use the complimentary pre-addressed postage-paid return envelope to return the completed measurement form with sign-offs (stylist and recipient family) and one Ziploc bag (containing one color ring, eight color swatches, one measuring tape, and eight measurement caps) to Wigs For Kids.

Q: How much time do I have to complete the initial consultation and return the measurement packet (including measurement form) via postal mail to Wigs For Kids?

Recipient families are asked to complete stage 3: measurement activities at their earliest convenience. If you believe that you cannot meet this timeframe, call us at +1.440.333.4433 or email us at recipients@Wigsforkids.org, to ask for an extension. 

Q: What will happen at the Initial Consultation appointment?

During the appointment, your stylist will:

  1. Use the tools provided in the measurement packet to properly measure your child’s head.
  2. Help you select specific options (i.e., cap size, color, length, and desired hairstyle) for your child’s hairpiece.
  3. Co-sign the measurement form with you (as parent/guardian) to approve all selections made—including cap selection.

Q: When should I schedule the initial consultation appointment?

When your application is approved, Wigs For Kids will inform you via email. Once you receive this email notification, call your stylist to schedule your child’s initial consultation. 

Note: You will need to take the measurement packet with you to your appointment. On average, it takes five business days for the measurement packet to reach recipient families within the United States.  Please keep this in mind when scheduling the initial consultation appointment.

Delivery of the Hairpiece

Delivery of the Hairpiece

Q: The shipment arrived. What’s next?

Please call your stylist to schedule an appointment (final consultation) for fitting and styling the hairpiece. Notify the Wigs For Kids Recipient Department that the hairpiece has been received and provide the scheduled date for the final consultation with your stylist. Lastly, print the documentation shared by Wigs For Kids (via email notification) for the stylist.

Q: What happens when the hairpiece is ready?

The Wigs For Kids Recipient Department will notify you via email and provide the shipping date and tracking information (recipients@wigsforkids.org). If you do not receive a shipping email notification from us by the end of the 14th week, email or call us at +1.440.333.4433 so that we can follow up.

Q: How is the hairpiece shipped?

Wigs For Kids will ship the hairpiece to you via United Parcel Service (UPS). Your shipment will include hair care products designed specifically for these hairpieces. They are gentle and rich in nutrients, which the hair strands need to remain healthy. Consistent use of these products will help you maintain and increase the longevity of the hairpiece. They are provided complimentary (at no charge) for the first time with the delivery of the hairpiece. 

Note: You will continue to use these hair products going forward. When it is time to refill your hair products, you will call the Hair & Scalp Specialists (+1.440.333.8939) to purchase more.

Q: How will I know that the hairpiece has been ordered?

As soon as Wigs For Kids receives the completed measurement packet, an email is sent to you to confirm receipt of the packet and to let you know that an order will be placed for the hairpiece that week. On average, the expected shipping date is 14 weeks after the order is placed. 

Q: How long does it take to receive a hair replacement system?

First, each application must receive approval for funding/sponsorship by the Wigs For Kids Board of Directors. This approval is neither instantaneous, nor guaranteed. The submission of proper documentation is key to this step.

The Wigs For Kids Recipient Program spans eight stages, which are implemented sequentially. Each stage requires an appreciable amount of communication, review, and processing to complete. The quicker you can complete the application, take measurements, and provide required documentation, the faster Wigs For Kids can place the order for the hairpiece. It takes an average of 14 weeks—from the week in which the order is placed—to receive the expected shipping date for the hairpiece. 

Final Consultation

Final Consultation

Q: What will happen at the final consultation?

During the appointment, your stylist will:

  1. Check the fit the hairpiece.
  2. Cut the desired hairstyle.
  3. Style the hairpiece.
  4. Review the haircare brochure.
  5. Demonstrate how to properly care for and maintain the hairpiece using specialized hair products. 
  6. Co-sign the approval/acceptance final form with you (as parent/guardian) to confirm approval.

After the final consultation, please return the co-signed approval/acceptance form to the Wigs For Kids Recipient Department via email (recipients@wigsforkids.org).

Q: What should I bring to the Final Consultation?

Specialized hair products were shipped along with your hairpiece. Please take your hairpiece, hair care products, and the documentation shared by Wigs For Kids to your appointment with the stylist.

Hairpiece Maintenance and Care

Hairpiece Maintenance and Care

Q: Can my child swim while wearing the hairpiece?

No. Chlorine and other chemicals or salts in the water will deteriorate the cuticles of the hair, and because the hair does not receive any repairing nutrients from the scalp, the hair strands fall off. At that point, the hairpiece is rendered damaged and cannot be repaired or replaced.

Note: You will receive a hair care brochure along with your child’s hairpiece. This will provide detailed information on how to best care for the hairpiece, so it stays beautiful longer.

Q: Can my child sleep in their hairpiece?

No. The hairpiece should be placed on the foam mannequin provided, or on an alternative purchased stand overnight. Sleeping while wearing the hairpiece will cause irreversible damage, hair breakage, and tangling or matting.

Q: What if I need to wet the hair?

Always brush dry hair to detangle before wetting. Never brush the hairpiece when it is wet.

Q: Can I use a curling iron or flattening iron to style the hairpiece?

All heat styling tools should be used very sparingly. Overuse of heat styling tools will make the hair frizzier. Please apply thermal styling spray before using any heat styling tool.

Q: Can I use a blow dryer to dry the hairpiece?

Wigs For Kids strongly encourages air drying over blow drying. If necessary, air dry the hairpiece (80% air dry) and then finish with the blow dryer (blow dry remaining 20%). 

Q: How do I use the conditioner?

Do not apply the conditioner to the roots of the hairpiece. Start applying the conditioner approximately one inch away from the roots.

Q: How often should I wash my child’s hairpiece?

One every 10 days to 2 weeks, unless your child sweats profusely during activities or hot weather. Even then, extra care needs to be taken to ensure the hair is not stripped of its nutrients.

Q: What kinds of products can be used on the hairpiece?

Only particular hair products can be used to increase and maintain the longevity of the hairpiece. These products are provided complimentary (at no charge) for the first time with the delivery of the hairpiece. They are designed specifically for these hairpieces. They are gentle and rich in nutrients, which the hair strands need to remain healthy.  

Note: You will continue to use these hair products going forward. When it is time to refill your hair products, you will call the Hair Scalp & Specialists (+1.440.333.8939) to purchase more.

Q: How long does the hairpiece last?

If all hair care guidelines are followed meticulously, the hairpiece can last beyond a year.

Shipping Considerations

Shipping Considerations

Q: I am moving and my hairpiece was already ordered. What should I do?

Please follow these three steps:

  1. Contact and inform the Wigs For Kids Recipient Department, so they can record the address of your new residence and new contact information, if appropriate.
  2. Identify a new stylist that can assist you with the final cutting/fitting of the hairpiece. Follow the procedure you used previously with the first stylist that was verified and confirmed by Wigs For Kids.
  3. Inform the original stylist of your move and thank them for their assistance with the measurements.

Q: Can you ship the hairpiece to me using a P.O. Box address?

Our shipping system does not allow us to process P.O. Box addresses. Consequently, we need an actual residence address. The shipping box for the hairpiece is too large for a standard mailbox and, at times, the package is left outside and can be easily stolen. For this reason, Wigs For Kids cannot accept P.O. Box addresses.

Q: Can you ship the hairpiece to my stylist instead of my residence?

It is our policy to ship the measurement packet and the hairpiece to the recipient families’ home address for various tried and tested reasons in the past. If there are any extraneous reasons that you may want Wigs For Kids to make an exception, please contact our Recipient Department (+1.440.438.3032, Recipients@wigsforkids.org).

Giving Back

Giving Back

Q: Are there other ways that I can give back?

Financial donations are important, but there are other ways you can support the Wigs For Kids mission. Please consider:

  • Volunteering your time, talents, and expertise. Wigs For Kids welcomes volunteers who can help us continue our mission. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities where you can make a difference using your distinct talents and expertise.
  • Sharing your support. Wigs For Kids actively fundraises every year. We have several corporate, organization/group, and individual donors, but the need for our services grows day-by-day. Share your personal experience with Wigs For Kids with your employers. Are they looking for causes to support? Ask them to consider sponsoring Wigs For Kids. Your employer can offer a full year of life-changing support through our Annual Sponsorship program. Wigs For Kids offers two options (one-time payment, monthly payments) for completing their sponsorship. 
  • Sharing your story. You can voice your support by sharing your personal experience with Wigs For Kids at church, in group settings, or in your community. Spreading the word is easy and inexpensive. Tell others about the Wigs For Kids mission, our history and our commitment to providing hairpieces at no cost to individuals aged 18 years or younger who are experiencing hair loss.

Do you know of an individual or an organization who is looking for a way to make a difference in our community? Please encourage them to contact Wigs For Kids to see how they can help.

Q: Do I have to ‘give back?’

No. Wigs For Kids does not require Recipient Families to give back. You only give the amount you wish to give, when you wish to give it. Rest assured that your donation will help more children and families who find themselves in similar circumstances.

About Wigs For Kids

Wigs For Kids is a nonprofit organization that helps children suffering from hair loss stemming
from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns, and other medical
causes. Stylists and regular people just like you work together to give recipients the self-esteem
and self-image they deserve.

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