Filipinos who have grown their hair during the past lockdown can now donate their hair to cancer patients, according to a premier private hospital.
Hair salons and barber shops were among the businesses previously suspended during the enhanced community quarantine in March last year in compliance with the national government’s stringent measures to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
Only industries that provide basic essential goods and services such as health, security, food and beverages, utilities, and some banking firms were allowed to operate.
The public was also enforced to observe home quarantine to limit their movement outside.
These personal care services were only allowed to resume operations in June 2020 in areas under general community quarantine provided that they operate at limited capacity and comply with the mandated minimum health protocols.
The resumption of salon and barbershop operations was only allowed in areas under modified GCQ in July.
It was noticeable on social media that people’s hair had grown longer and had been unkempt than usual during the months of strict lockdown.
In view of this, the Makati Medical Center announced its hair donation drive for cancer patients.
“Give your locks a purpose! Make a cancer patient smile by donating your hair at MakatiMed Cancer Center,” the post read.
A graphic was also attached in the announcement with the specific hair donations they need as well as the guidelines:
- Donated hair must be a minimum of nine inches long.
- Natural curly and wavy hair is accepted. Chemically treated hair is not qualified.
- The ponytailed hair (dry) should be placed in a zip lock or releasable plastic bag. Include your full name, contact number and email address.
Even before the pandemic, the health institution had been holding annual hair donation events called “Gift Your Hair” since 2016.
There are also other advocacy groups in the country that still accept quarantine hair for free medical wigs.
Kythe-Ateneo, the student arm of Kythe Foundation, is accepting hair donations for a whole year through its initiatives called Hair2Share and Wigs2Give.
Strand Up for Cancer, a charity organization based in Binondo, Manila, had been holding hair donation drives for women who suffer from hair loss due to cancer and other chronic illnesses.
It reopened its channel for donations last September 2020.
Hair for Hope, an advocacy project of HEADS by volu-med and the European Hair Factory Inc., was also launched in September in partnership with several hospitals including Makati Med and the Asian Hospital.
While it’s possible for the deadly virus to land on hair strands, scientists and doctors have previously explained that hair and beard have low risks of infection given that they do not directly enter the body.