In November 2017, Belgravia hair loss specialist, Rali Bozhinova (pictured), underwent a dramatic hair transformation for a good cause; after cutting her long locks into a smart bobbed hairstyle, she donated 11.4 inches of her hair to children's charity The Little Princess Trust.
The organisation, which also comprises boys' division Hero by LPT, uses these types of hair donations to weave real-hair wigs for children and young adults up to 24 years of age with medical hair loss. These are provided to them free of charge.
This hairloss is often the result of cancer treatment or the more extreme forms of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata and these wigs can have a positive effect on the distressed children's mental health.
Having had such a good experience back in 2017, Rali started growing her hair again straight away so she could donate again, taking extra care to ensure it was as healthy as possible for its eventual recipients.
In late July 2019 she had the chop again, resulting in another 10.2 inches of beautiful, healthy hair being sent off to Little Princess Trust - and a great haircut! Continues below...
"When I donated it last time, I had a balayage done - colour from mid-length to the ends only - but I haven’t had any other permanent colour since then, which kept the hair regrowth in a healthy condition," says Rali, a qualified neuroscientist and student of trichology.
We asked her how she keeps her long hair so healthy and why she wanted to donate more hair again after spending almost two years growing it. She told us:
"My hair routine is very simple I wash my hair daily or every other day, using a moisturising shampoo and conditioner. Most days leave with wet hair, partially because I don’t want to waste time styling my hair and partially because I want it to be healthy and avoid the damaging heat from the hairdryer or straighteners. I do use leave-in moisturising products such as Olaplex No6, but I don’t use oily products on my hair and only comb it with wide tooth comb after it’s been conditioned.
Also, I’m generally healthier compared to 2 years ago my diet is healthier, I treated my calcium and vitamin D nutritional deficiencies and I’m more active, so this should be reflected in my hair's health too.
Since my last donation to Little Princess Trust I’ve done my best to keep my hair as healthy as possible and as you can see, this doesn’t require a complicated routine. It made a difference at the end. When I compared both pictures of my long hair from just before each donation, I could see the difference in the hair quality.
I wanted to donate again because luckily I can grow my hair easily but there are children who can’t. And children can be even more emotional about this than adults, which can lead to other mental health problems.
Donating hair is very easy and rewarding and I’ve recommended it to everyone with long hair. Additionally, if patients with long hair tell me that they are planning to cut their hair to a short bob, I mention it to them too. It surprises me that so many people are not aware that they could do this, so hopefully talking about it has spread more awareness."
When hair donations are received by the UK charity, they are sorted and the bundles of hair from each donor may be split and blended between more than one wig. Generally each individual wig will contain strands from up to ten separate donations.
It takes around 16 hours at a specialist facility in China for each wig to be completed using healthy hair donations of ideally 12-16 inches in length or longer, and no shorter than 7 inches.
The most requested wig styles from Little Princess Trust are the 16 inch length versions.
There are a number of criteria hair must meet in order to be suitable for donation; these stipulations vary from charity to charity, and the list for Little Princess Trust and Hero by LPT can be found on their website, here.
Previous donors who have sent their hair off to the Hereford-based charity range from children to royalty, with Harry Styles and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge both famously sending their freshly-cut ponytails to them.
The hair that is sent in is anonymised so no-one knows whose hair is in each wig so the wearer will not know if their hair is from a celebrity, model, royalty or a regular person, like our kind-hearted Rali.
For anyone not wishing to - or who is unable to - donate hair, the charity also accepts financial contributions, with monetary donations helping to keep this valuable service free of charge to users, and going towards research into paediatric cancers.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.