Hundreds of women donate 60kg of hair to make wigs for UAE cancer patients

The Friends of Cancer Patients charity will now help create hairpieces and distribute them free of charge

Tharanga Jeevani Ediriweera, 39, from Sri Lanka, said she was proud to donate her long hair for the cause. Dabur Amla
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Three hundred women have donated more than 60 kilograms of hair to make wigs for cancer patients.

They grew their locks for a campaign created by hair oil brand Dabur Amla.

Donation boxes were placed in 23 Tips & Toes beauty salons, which offered free haircuts as part of the two-month campaign.

The charity Friends of Cancer Patients will now help to create wigs from the collected hair and give them to patients in the UAE.

When I turned 30, I wanted a makeover but I also wanted to ensure that my hair was donated for a good cause

Arathi Jayaprakash, who is 19 and from India, donated a 30-centimetre braid. She felt motivated to take part by her grandmother’s experience with cancer, the treatment for which caused her to lose her hair.

“I remember her being insecure about losing her hair, and being upset about it,” she said.

“Knowing that battling cancer and losing their hair can affect people’s self image and their self-esteem, I wanted to help in any way I could.

“Donating my hair was something that I wanted to do for years, and when I got the chance I finally donated it.”

She said she was initially nervous about cutting her hair, which after the chop is shortest it has ever been.

“But it looked great and I’m very glad that I donated it,” she said.

Irene James, 30, from India, was among 300 women who donated their hair to make wigs for cancer patients in the UAE. Dabur Amla
Irene James, 30, from India, was among 300 women who donated their hair to make wigs for cancer patients in the UAE. Dabur Amla

Irene James, from India, said she was always known as the “girl with the long hair”.

“When I turned 30, I wanted a makeover but I also wanted to ensure that my hair was donated for a good cause. That’s when I came across the donation drive,” she said.

“The process was very convenient as I was allocated a Tips & Toes branch which was very close to my home.”

Krishan Kumar Chutani, the chief executive of Dabur International, said the company was overwhelmed by the response.

“Cancer survivors are winners against all odds, and we are glad to bring a smile to those winners in life through this initiative,” he said.

Last week, The National reported that a doctor started growing his hair to donate to a charity that makes wigs for paediatric patients.

Dr Yogesh Shastri, a gastroenterologist at NMC Speciality Hospital Abu Dhabi, was joined in the effort by his wife and daughter.

Together they donated 90cm of hair.

Dr Shastri said donating his hair has helped him to fulfil a long-held ambition to do something to help the children he saw when he was training.

“It reignited the idea in me that I should do something,” he said.

Doctor donates hair for young patients