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Friday, July 12, 2024

Meet the Real ‘Hair-oes’

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Hyderabad Hair Donation for Cancer Patients motivates individuals to donate their hair for those who need it

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In the challenging journey of cancer treatment, the physical toll is often accompanied by emotional distress, and for many, the loss of hair becomes a symbol of their battle. Hyderabad-based hairstylist A Shiva Kumar Yadav has been weaving strands of hope for cancer victims, using the power of donated hair to help them regain confidence and rebuild their mental well-being. 

HAIR AND THERE:

Did you know that a wig costs Rs 4,000 and it takes seven ponytails to make one? “A small act of caring – like handing over a wig to someone who has lost their hair and is busy with treatment – can make them feel loved and hopeful. These wigs enable them to face the world with renewed confidence,” says Shiva. 

THE JOURNEY:

A certified hairstylist since 2014, Shiva has worked with several upscale salons. “While I loved witnessing clients undergoing transformative makeovers, it pained me to see beautiful hair go to waste. Most of us take hair for granted, but there are people who cherish hair. I wanted to give hair to someone who would appreciate it. In 2018, I took the first step to set up my own NGO, Hyderabad Hair Donation for Cancer Patients,” he says. Shiva’s mother and wife were among his first donors as was anti-trafficking activist Sunitha Krishnan. 

“People donate hair for free and I spend my own money and time to get the wigs made and hand them over to those who need them” – Shiva Kumar Yadav

HAIR RAISING STATS:

Between March 2020 to January 2021, all through the lockdown, Shiva received several requests for wigs and he managed to hand over 30 of them. “It was also the time when salons were closed and people grew their hair and reached out to me about hair donation,” he recounts. By 2024, this Chandanagar resident managed to collect hair and make custom-made wigs for 700 cancer patients across India. As World Cancer Day approaches on February 4, Shiva’s initiative emerges as a beacon of compassion and resilience. My friend Pradeep Kumar supported the NGO by giving me space for the NGO.

FREE OF COST: There is no exchange of money anywhere, he assures us. “People donate hair for free and I spend my own money and time to get the wigs made and hand them over to those who need them,” he says. It’s a tedious process even after collecting the hair. He informs that, despite collecting one kilogram of hair, the three-step process of washing, segregation, and weaving results in only 600 grams of useable hair. Shiva’s wigs are fashioned from 100 percent natural human hair generously donated by individuals. “My donors are my heroes, or should we say hair-oes,” he quips. 

HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE:

• Grow your hair to at least 12 inches

• Do not style/cut/layer/dye it once you

start growing it

• Wash and dry hair on the day of

donation

• The process is as simple as your regular

haircut

DETAILS

Tel: 96664 06586;

hyderabadhairdonation99 on Instagram

You can call Shiva to donate your hair (he can come home and travel to any city to take your hair) or request a wig

Spread the word by donating and allowing a reel to be made which can be used on his social media pages

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