Tampa, Florida- Hairstylists say it can take someone a year or two to grow their hair long enough to donate to Locks of Love but where does that hair end up?
Nonprofit Investor, a Texas group investigating charities, says there is $6 million worth of donated hair unaccounted for- leaving some who help the charity demanding answers.
"It makes me mad really," says hairstylist Lorraine Chalmers.
According to Chalmers, she's participated in Locks of Love at Balance Salon and Spa in Tampa the last 12 years- having cut off the 10-inch long locks customers donate, and shaven the hair off cancer patients going through chemo.
"These people need nice wigs to help them feel better about themselves. It makes a huge difference in their life and fight with cancer," says Chalmers.
But a recent report by Nonprofit Investors says of 62 charities it has investigated in the last two years, Locks of Love is the first to receive a "negative" review.
"Their disclosure practices are inadequate," says Kent Chao, the founder of Nonprofit Investor. "For them to state they 'don't count, track or list hair donations, they receive' means they are not counting their number one resource going into the organization. That would be similar to a company not counting their revenue."
Chao says the charity's numbers don't add up. According to him, Locks of Love reported receiving 104,000 hair donations in 2011, and made 317 natural hair wigs.
The charity claims only 20 percent of the locks are usable, and each one takes eight-to-ten hair donations to make...
But if those numbers are true, Chao says the charity should have produced 2,080 wigs. When Chao estimated the value of the 1,763 wigs not produced, he says the total is $6 million in missing revenue.
The charity's income tax filing for 2011 shows more than $580,000 in revenue, but again, Chao says there's no explanation.
"Everything needs to be accounted for. Why wouldn't they do that?" asks Chalmers.
Locks of Love's website states it's been creating high quality wigs for 15 years and is committed to providing a child a new prosthesis every two years until they turn 21.
In at statement to 10 News, Locks of Love president Madonna Coffman says, "False claims based on inaccuracies, fabrications or assumptions will not interfere with our commitment to these families."
"They need to organize themselves better and have documentation of where donations are going so people can feel confident," Chalmers suggested.
Chao says he gave his report to Locks of Love officials back in February- giving them several months to respond before publishing it- but Chao says he hasn't received a response from anyone with Locks of Love.
Check out the full report from Nonprofit Investor here:
Follow 10 News Reporter Isabel Mascarenas on twitter @IzzyMascarenas