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The Complete Guide on How and Where to Donate Your Hair

When the time comes to get that big hair cut, it’s sometimes a shame to see it all just falling to the floor around you. The question is, why not donate it? There’s a wealth of companies out there who accept hair donations for a range of good causes, making it a simple way to give something back. Not sure how to go about it? We’ve got all the information you’ll need, including some fantastic companies to donate to.

I’ve donated my hair many times over the years and try to donate at least 10 inches per year. In 2020, I personally donated 12 inches of hair to Hair We Share and look forward to the next chance I have to donate some inches of hair!

The Complete Guide on How and Where to Donate Your HairThe Complete Guide on How and Where to Donate Your Hair

The Rules About Donating Your Hair

When it comes to donating hair, always read the guidelines given out by the company/charity that you are donating to. That being said, there are a few general rules that apply when you are preparing to donate your hair.

  • Firstly, before cutting your hair make sure it is clean and completely dry. This can’t be stressed enough. Damp hair won’t travel well and is likely to become moldy – meaning it will be rejected.
  • Some companies will accept colored hair if it hasn’t been bleached, but others won’t accept any hair that has been dyed in the last two years.
  • Grey hair is generally accepted, although this depends on the individual company.
  • Permed hair isn’t always accepted, but some charities allow it! Naturally curly hair, however, is always welcome. Please make sure that you state your hair type on your donation form.
  • When donating hair, most companies will ask that it is tied up into multiple ponytails before it’s cut. Loose hair won’t be accepted. Some charities will accept hair in braids, however, others prefer that it’s not as it curls naturally straight hair.

How to Cut Your Hair for Donation

If you can’t get to a salon to get your hair cut, it is possible to do so at home. As always, follow the instructions for the charity you wish to donate to, as they all have different specifications.

Step 1: Before you cut your hair, make sure that it’s the right length for donation. This differs from charity to charity. Remember that the thin tail part of your hair doesn’t count! If you have the right length, take care of your hair by using deep conditioning treatments and brushing regularly before cutting.

Step 2: If possible, tie your hair into at least four sections around the head. This makes sure that your donation has as much hair as possible. To do this, part your hair in the center and then again over the top of each ear.

Step 3: Tie your hair securely. You should have two ponytails on each side, one in front of, and one behind each ear. You can use multiple rubber bands 2-3 inches apart to secure each ponytail.

Step 4: Cut your hair about one inch above where it’s tied. This will be counted in the overall length.

Step 5: Collect your hair into a Ziplock bag. Only add in the ponytails created, as any loose hair can mean that the whole donation is discarded.

The Best Places to Donate Your Hair

The Best Places to Donate Your Hair

There are loads of companies and charities that accept hair donations. Here are just a few of our favorites.

1. Hair We Share

About

Based in Long Island, New York, Hair We Share was founded by a long-standing family wig making company.

Who Gets the Hair?

Hair We Share has worked with all types of hair loss including chemotherapy, alopecia, head trauma, accident and burn victims. They provide wigs for kids and adults.

How to Donate

After submitting an online donation form, send your hair to:

Hair We Share

4 Expressway Plaza Suite

LL14 Roslyn Heights, NY 11577

Lengths Accepted

Minimum length of 12 inches or as little as 8 inches if you join the Ponytail Tracking program for €145.

2. Wigs For Kids

About

Wigs for Kids has been making wigs for children for over 30 years.

Who Gets the Hair?

Children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns, and other medical issues.

How to Donate

Get your hair cut by a professional if you can. Wigs For Kids have several ambassador Salons throughout the Chicago and Michigan area. Send your hair, along with your donation form to:

Wigs for Kids — Hair Donations

24231 Center Ridge Road

Westlake, Ohio 44145

Lengths Accepted

Minimum of 12 inches, but 14 inches and above is recommended.

3. Children With Hair Loss

About

Created after the founder’s niece was diagnosed with leukemia at a young age, Children With Hair Loss provides a customized human hair replacement and care kit to over 600 children a year.

Who Gets the Hair?

Children with hair loss due to cancer treatments, alopecia, trichotillomania, and burns.

How to Donate

Complete the hair donation form and send it in along with your hair to:

Children With Hair Loss

12776 Dixie Hwy

South Rockwood, MI 48179

Lengths Accepted

A minimum of 8 inches, but longer is better!

4. Locks of Love

About

Operating since 1997, Locks of Love has recipients in all 50 states and Canada.

Who Gets the Hair?

Financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term hair loss.

How to Donate

It’s preferred that you get your hair cut in a salon for donation. Mail it along with your donation form to:

Locks of Love

234 Southern Blvd.

West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Lengths Accepted

Minimum of 10 inches.

5. Wigs 4 Kids

About

Based in Michigan, Wigs 4 Kids provides custom-fitted, age-appropriate, and individually cut and styled wigs to help kids feel comfortable and confident.

Who Gets the Hair?

Children and young adults experiencing hair loss due to cancer, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns, and other disorders located throughout Michigan.

How to Donate

Send your hair to:

Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan

30130 Harper Avenue,

St. Clair Shores, MI 48082.

Lengths Accepted

Request 10 inches and above although as low as 7 inches is accepted.

The Complete Guide on How and Where to Donate Your Hair

6. 360 Hair

About

Based in British Columbia, 360 Hair is a hair extension and wig provider that also makes wigs for charity using hair donations from the public.

Who Gets the Hair?

Cancer patients under 19 years of age receive free wigs from 360 Hair.

How to Donate

Send your hair to:

360 Hair Inc. (Hair Donations)

Unit #400 – 5954 200th St

Langley Bc, Canada V3a 1n3

Lengths Accepted

Minimum length of 8 inches.

7. World of Wigs

About

Bases in Santa Ana, California, World of Wigs has over 55 years of experience in the industry.

Who Gets the Hair?

World of Wigs Makes hairpieces, toppers, and wigs for a wide range of customers. They offer a 10% medical discount on all products.

How to Donate

Send your hair to:

World of Wigs

2305 E 17th Street

Santa Ana, CA 92705

RE: selling hair

Lengths Accepted

Currently only accepting hair a minimum of 18 inches, although this may change.

Payment

World of Wigs pays $3-$5 per oz of hair if it passes the Industry Standard Qualifications.  Donations are also accepted.

8. Chai Lifeline

About

Chai Lifeline works with ill children and their families from around the world, providing social, emotional, and financial assistance.

Who Gets the Hair?

Chronically and terminally ill children.

How to Donate

Mail your hair to:

Chai Lifeline

Attention: Hair Donations

151 West 30th Street, Floor 7

New York, NY 10001

Lengths Accepted

A minimum of 14 inches in length.

9. Matter of Trust Clean Wave Program

About

Matter of Trust is an eco-friendly company based in San Francisco that runs a range of different environmental programs, including Clean Wave.

Who Gets the Hair?

The hair is used to create mats that can then soak up petrochemicals in the water, helping our wildlife and waterways recover quicker from oil spills.

How to Donate

To donate to Matter of Trust, you first need to sign up on their website. They’ll then provide you with all of the instructions for need, including their mailing address.

Lengths Accepted

3 inches or longer is accepted, so you don’t have to grow your hair for long.

What Happens To Hair After You Donate?

Congratulations, you’ve donated your hair for a good cause! So, what now? What actually happens when wig companies receive your hair? Let’s take a look at the process.

As you know, our hair isn’t all one length throughout. All of us have shorter parts, and many people have layers cut into their hair. Some charities sell off shorter hair that can’t be made into wigs. This means that the hair doesn’t go to waste and the money made can go towards the cost of production. If your hair is unfortunately rejected for another reason, some companies will try to sell it if they can, but many will just discard it.

How Wigs are Made

Of the hair donated that’s long enough to be used, the process of wig making is a lengthy one. It can take from six to nine ponytails to make a single child’s wig. These ponytails are blended together and this is where having strong, healthy hair is important. If the hair breaks, it’s going to be discarded. Large sections are sewn onto a cap, and then small strands are pulled through by hand. It’s a labor-intensive process, but it’s all worth it when you see the end results.

There you have it, everything you need to know on how and where you can donate your hair. It’s a brilliant thing to do, so before you go for your next big chop, why not grow it out an extra inch or two?

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com


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