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This Social Media Star Learned the Hard Way How to Properly Donate Hair for Cancer

A social media star accused of lying about donating locks of her platinum blond hair to cancer patients is speaking out in her own defense.

“To help clear any assumptions, I cut my hair with the intention of donating it,” 21-year-old Lele Pons tweeted Friday to her 1.3 million followers. “Sadly after trying, I learned charities who donate wigs don’t accept color treated hair. So I’m finding other ways to help those affected by hair loss b/c of cancer. This is still a priority for me.”

The controversy unfolded Wednesday when Pons, a vlogger-slash-model-slash-YouTube star known for her crass humor, stylish selfies, and comical skits, posted a photo on Instagram of her alongside a friend who held up Pons’s bleached blond ponytail. “DONATED MY HAIR !!!!” Pons wrote to her 18.1 million followers. “First time I ever cut my hair. What do you think???”

Lele Pons’s Instagram post kicked off a wave of controversy. (Photo: LelePons via Instagram)

One eagle-eyed fan noted that the ponytail looked a lot like a hair extension and the public came down hard on Pons, accusing her of staging the haircut.

It’s unknown which charitable organization Pons had intended to use. However, according toLocks of Love, a nonprofit that donates hair pieces to disadvantaged children suffering from medical conditions, bleached hair is not usable. Per the website, “Hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair) is not usable. If unsure, ask your stylist. We are not able to accept bleached hair due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process. **If the hair was bleached years ago and has completely grown out it is fine to donate.”

Pons did not return Yahoo Beauty’s request for comment, and it’s unclear why she posted a photo of hair extensions instead of her natural hair. But she did send Buzzfeed a photo of her real hair cut off in a ponytail, and a now deleted photo from her social media accounts features the star sitting in a hairstylist’s chair with a shorter ‘do.

It sounds as if Pons had genuine intentions. After all, a woman who announces her nose jobon Twitter, admits to still living with her mother, and is willing to look silly on camera clearly has very little to hide.

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