As the start of the school year begins, you may feel the urge to chop your hair - bobs are all the rage right now. Apart from the start of a "new year" there is another great reason to change things up this season. You may actually be able to donate the hair you get cut to an organization that will use it to make a wig for someone who is in need. Keep reading to learn about a variety of organizations that you can donate your hair to as well as some tips and tricks to make the process go a little smoother for everyone.
Why Should You Donate Hair?
If you go to the salon and get your haircut and don’t donate your hair it’s just like drinking a bottle of water and not recycling the bottle! More often than not the hair you get cut off will just end up in the trash! If your hair is long enough to donate, this would be a waste of perfectly good hair that could give another person the confidence they have been searching for.
Giving someone else confidence is another great reason why you should donate your hair! When you choose to donate your hair, you can actually pick an organization that you would like to send it to. There are many reputable organizations that would love to take your hair and turn it into a wig! You can pick if you want to donate it to kids with cancer, adults with cancer, or people with other medical conditions.
Yet another reason to donate your hair is that it makes your hair healthier! By cutting off the excess length that may be getting dry and dull, you'll allow your hair to replace it with new healthy and shiny hair. In addition to having healthier hair, a short haircut may be the exact change that you need in your life. Especially if you have never had short hair, you may find short hair to be empowering!
Lastly, most donation processes are not difficult at all. Once you are familiar with the length requirement, you'll want to inform your hairdresser that you want to donate your hair so they do not let it pile up on the floor like usual. Hairdressers can prepare by placing your hair in ponytails and then cutting it so it is easy to donate! Then, all you have to do is bag the hair up and send it to the organization of your choosing.
Short hair is trending these days and can sometimes be easier than long hair! This means less time spent washing, conditioning, brushing, and styling your hair that you can spend doing other things that you love to do.
Where To Donate Your Hair?
While there are many places to donate your hair, we've highlighted some of the best below and included their donation processes.
Locks of Love
Locks of Love requires hair to be a minimum of ten inches to be used to make a wig. You'll want to make sure that your hairdresser puts your hair in a braid or ponytail prior to cutting it because this is one of the Locks of Love's requirements as well. You should let your hair dry completely if your hairdresser used water on it during the haircut prior to mailing it in. Once your hair is dry, you'll want to place it in a plastic bag and then inside a padded envelope and mail it to the following address:
Locks Of Love
234 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701
If you want acknowledgment for your donation you'll need to include the donation form (it can be found here) or your name and email address or mailing address on a full sized sheet of paper inside the envelope. Also, take the time to be sure your envelope has added postage!
Wigs for Kids
Wigs for Kids makes hair donation a breeze with three easy steps. First, you'll want to set your hair length goal. They accept hair that is 12 inches or longer but prefer it to be 14 inches or more to make the most impact. Next, you'll need to find a professional that has experience cutting hair for Wigs for Kids or can follow the directions found on their website. Lastly, you'll want to place the dry hair in a ziplock bag and then put it in a sealed envelope and send it to:
Wigs for Kids — Hair Donations
24231 Center Ridge Road
Westlake, Ohio 44145
*You'll want to make sure you include your barcode or the donation will be marked anonymous.
Hair We Share
If you want to donate your hair to Hair We Share, it must be 8 inches or more not including damaged or split ends. This is an advantage if your hair is difficult to grow because it is less length than others accept! They do accept dyed hair but do not accept hair that has been highlighted. They accept gray hair and ask that you do not braid the hair when it is cut. They also want the hair to be placed in multiple small ponytails before it is cut. This allows them to get the most use out of the hair. You'll also want to tell your hairdresser to cut the hair one inch above each ponytail. If your hair is curly or wavy, they ask that you keep it in its natural state prior to the cut and do not blow dry it straight. Once your hair is cut and dry, you should secure all the small ponytails with a ribbon or rubber band, place it in a ziplock bag with your contact information written on it, and mail it in an envelope with padding to:
Hair We Share
4 Expressway Plaza Suite LL14
Roslyn Heights, NY 11577
If you want to see where your hair ends up, you can make a donation to the Ponytail Tracking Program, which will ensure that you receive a photo of your hair, in wig form, within six months.
Children With Hair Loss
If you would like to donate to Children With Hair Loss, the hair should be a minimum of 8 inches long. It needs to be clean and dry and in either a braid or ponytail. You can put the hair in a ziplock bag and then inside any mailing envelope. You can find the donation form here. You can also make a monetary donation if you wish and send the form and your hair to:
Children With Hair Loss
12776 Dixie Hwy
S. Rockwood, MI 48179
How To Prepare Your Hair For Donation
Take Care of Your Hair!
In order to prepare your hair for donation, you'll want to make sure that you are taking care of it on a daily basis. Especially pay special attention to the ends of your hair. Take special care not to be rough on your hair when it is wet because this can cause breakage and split ends. If you naturally suffer from split ends, pick up a "sealing" product that can help repair the split ends you have. This makes it so the organization that you choose to donate your hair to gets more use out of your hair because they will not have to trim past the split ends.
Resist the Urge to Color
You'll also want to make sure you are nourishing your hair with a hydrating conditioner and not frying it with heat tools like blow dryers every day. If you do choose to use heat every day, choose one of the best hair dryers you can afford and take advantage of the many heat protectant sprays! You should also avoid highlighting your hair if you want to donate it. While this is not a requirement with all organizations, avoiding bleach in your hair will make it overall healthier which will lead to a better wig!
Read the Fine Print
As you can probably tell from the requirements listed above, these organizations are picky when it comes to what kind of hair they will take. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the organization you chose before you sit down in the chair to make the big chop.
Consult With Your Hairdresser
You'll also want to make sure your hairdresser is familiar with the requirements they cut the right amount in the proper way! A lot of organizations want the hair cut off in a certain manner so researching this beforehand is a must.
Overall, donating your hair can be a joyous experience for both you and the recipient. You'll feel like you’ve had a weight taken off your shoulders (literally) and you'll be helping someone else going through a tough time to feel a little more like themselves. Be sure to do your research beforehand and take extra special care of your hair in the months leading up to the big day. Be sure to post your before and after pictures on social media to inspire others to donate their hair as well!
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