Over 10,000 unwanted wigs were abandoned in the UK in the first six months of 2016 alone. That's not a fact that you'll find anywhere in the media, because it's not true, but it is true that the scale of the problem is massively underreported.
Wigs, toupees and hairpieces have never been more popular and most responsible owners know how to take care of them properly. But for a small yet significant minority, wigs are something to be bought and discarded on a whim. Often they are purchased as well-meaning but ultimately misguided Christmas presents, sent as novelty gifts or worn once as an experiment only to be abandoned in the face of ridicule and derision.
And because the wearing of a toupee is traditionally seen as something shameful, ridiculous and crass, their owners seek to dispose of them clandestinely, turning them out into the wild, lobbing them into skips, or simply slipping out into the night and tossing them casually under a bush.
That's no sort of life for a healthy young wig
Is it any wonder that so many turn feral, roaming in packs, waylaying lonely pedestrians and stealing their crisps? It was exactly this sort of antisocial behaviour that led to the passing of the Dangerous Rugs Act in 1967, putting a bounty on stray wigs and encouraging armed vigilantes to run them to ground and shoot them through the stitching.
But here at the Battersea Wigs Home we don't believe that a healthy wig should ever be put down1. For the last thirty years we have been working to save wigs of all kinds2, rescuing them from abuse, substance misuse and prostitution. We care for them, nurture them and after a carefully devised programme of rehabilitation we place them with families who can finally give them the caring environment they crave.
Of course, all this costs money - we need to provide food and shelter, the wigs need constant care and grooming, and our CEO wants a new helicopter. This is where you can help: your donations are always welcome and will be gleefully received. And maybe you could even find a little room in your heart to help a wig in desperate need? After all, we believe that all our wigs deserve to find a loving home eventually3.
1.Unless it's ginger.
2. See note 1.
3. Again, not the gingers. We realise that there are limits.