How To Donate Your Hair to People with Hair Loss

Donating your hair can make a big difference to people with hair loss from cancer treatment, alopecia, and other conditions.

Donating hair is a simple and easy thing you can do to make a positive difference in someone's life. And you'll get to lighten your locks with a new hairdo while you're at it.

But how do you decide where to donate? The following nonprofit organizations will be happy to accept hair donations. Your donation will be used to make wigs for people with medical hair loss as a result of chemo treatment for cancer, alopecia (an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss), burns, and other conditions. Here's what to know before snipping and donating.

Locks of Love

Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children up to the age of 21 years who have long-term hair loss. Since 1997 it has been dedicated to returning "a sense of self, confidence, and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss."

Guidelines:

  • From tip to tip, hair should be at least 10 inches in length. (Layered hair is okay, but should be divided into multiple ponytails. Curly hair may be pulled straight to measure 10 inches.)
  • Clean and dry your hair before cutting.
  • Braid your hair or put it in a ponytail before it is cut.
  • Colored or permed hair is accepted but not bleached hair. (This includes highlighted hair because it often has been bleached.)
  • Dreadlocks are not accepted because the hair cannot be combed into the individual hairs needed to make the headpiece.
  • Hair that has been cut years ago can be used if it has been stored in a braid or ponytail.
  • Hair swept off the floor is unusable.
  • Gray hair and shorter hair will be accepted but will not be used in the hairpieces for children. Instead, it will be sold to help offset manufacturing costs.

How to donate:

  • Place the cut ponytail or braid with rubber bands at both ends in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Place the plastic bag with your hair donation in a padded envelope.
  • Download, print, and complete the hair donation form, and send it in with your hair.

Hair We Share

Hair We Share is a nonprofit organization whose mission is "to help maintain dignity, confidence, and self-esteem to those affected by medical hair loss." Hair We Share provides custom wigs for free to children and adults with medical hair loss. If you decide to make the minimum contribution of $145, you can also join its ponytail tracking program that allows you to see the wig made from your hair.

Guidelines:

  • Hair needs to be at least 12 inches long (but if you're in the ponytail tracking program, hair 8 inches long will be accepted).
  • Hair dyed "natural" colors is accepted, but not bleached hair (which includes most highlights).
  • Trim off damaged ends of permed or straightened hair.
  • Curly and wavy hair should be left in its natural state.
  • Gray hair can be used.
  • Hair needs to be clean and completely dry.
  • Braided hair can be used, but ponytails are better. If your hair is braided, indicate whether it is curly.
  • Hair should be cut in several small ponytails, and the cut should be made an inch above the rubber band. Several small ponytails are preferred over one large one, but one large ponytail will also be accepted. Band smaller ponytails together.

How to donate:

  • Complete the ponytail donation form.
  • Put hair in a plastic bag, seal, and label with your name and contact information before sending.

Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids started in 1981 and serves children with all types of medical hair loss in a mission "to give recipients the self-esteem and self-image they deserve."

Guidelines:

  • A hair length of 14 inches or more is preferred, but hair 12 inches long will also be accepted.
  • Hair must be clean and completely dry.
  • Permed, color-treated, or highlighted hair cannot be used.
  • Ponytails up to one year old will be accepted and must be tightly bound.
  • Dreadlocks cannot be accepted because they cannot be sewn into the hairpieces.

How to donate:

  • Wigs for Kids recommends finding a hair professional who can follow the Ponytail Donation Guidelines. On its website, it also has a button to help you find a specialist near you.
  • Fill out the online Hair Donation Form or the paper form.
  • Place hair in a sealed plastic bag and send it in. If you filled out the online form, print out your barcode and include it with your donation.

Children With Hair Loss

Children With Hair Loss is dedicated to "covering young heads to heal young hearts." It provides hair replacements at no cost to children and young adults with medically-related hair loss.

Guidelines:

  • For long wigs, hair should be 12 inches long. For shorter wigs, hair needs to be at least 8 inches.
  • Non-chemically treated hair is preferred, but as long as your hair is in good condition, you can send it in.
  • Gray hair can be used.
  • Hair must be clean, dry, and in a ponytail(s) or a braid.

How to donate:

  • Print and fill out the Hair Donation Form.
  • Place hair in a sealed plastic bag with the form and mail in any mailing envelope.

Other Ways To Help Out

If you're not ready to chop off your hair, there are other ways you can help out too. All of these organizations also appreciate donations of money. And many offer volunteer opportunities if you want to get involved by donating your time.

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