How to Donate Your Hair to Help Cancer Patients

Donating your hair is a great way to give back to those in need while also making a drastic change to your hairstyle. It’s an act of service that can help someone regain their confidence, and it can also be an exciting opportunity for you to try out a new look. Hair donation has been a popular topic after reports that the Princess of Wales donated 7 inches of her hair to a charity that makes free wigs for children suffering with cancer – the Little Princess Trust.

If you’re considering donating your hair, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the process. We’ll cover everything you need to know about hair donation, from the length requirements to the donation process and where to donate.

How Long Does Your Hair Have to Be?

In order to donate your hair, it must meet the length requirements set by the organization you are donating to. Generally, a minimum of eight inches of hair is needed to make a wig. It is important to note that the hair must also be healthy and unbleached to ensure it is strong enough to undergo the wig-making process. This is a requirement for many hair donation organizations to ensure the quality of the final product. Make sure to check with the specific organization you plan to donate to for their exact length and hair health requirements.

Key Points
A minimum of eight inches of hair is typically required to donate
Hair must be healthy and unbleached
Check with the specific organization for their exact requirements

Hair Donation Process

The hair donation process varies depending on the organization and their specific requirements. One common method involves tying the hair into multiple ponytails. First, tie ponytails in front of and behind each ear, making sure they are tightly secured. Then, cut above the hair tie, following the specific instructions provided by the donation company for best results.

To make it easier to contain your hair, hairstylist Santiago recommends measuring and securing sections with an elastic or braid before cutting. After cutting, wrap the ponytails or braids in tissue paper and put them in a large Zip-lock bag. The appropriate address for mailing your hair can be found in the donation instructions provided.

It is advisable to lay your donation hair out overnight to air dry before mailing it off to your chosen organization. By following these simple steps, you can successfully donate your hair to help those in need.

Where Does Your Donated Hair End Up?

Once you donate your hair, it will be sent to a wig manufacturer, depending on the organization involved. The hair can be sent to a wig manufacturer across the world, such as Indonesia or China, and then the completed wig will be sent back to your organization’s headquarters somewhere in the United States. From there, the organization will distribute the wig to those in need. It’s a simple process that allows your hair to make a big difference in someone’s life.

Which Charities Should You Donate To?

If you are interested in donating your hair, there are several organizations that accept hair donations for a good cause. However, it is important to conduct your own research to find the donation company that aligns best with your values and comfort level. There is the Little Princess Trust we referred to earlier, based in the UK. Here are some hair donation organizations:

Locks of Love

Established in 1997, Locks of Love is one of the most well-known hair donation organizations in the United States. They create and donate wigs to children under the age of 21 who are financially disadvantaged and suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any type of diagnosis. Many of their hair donation recipients struggle with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes baldness and hair loss.

Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids has been providing wigs for children under the age of 18 since 1981. They create wigs for children who experience hair loss due to alopecia, cancer, trichotillomania, or other medical conditions. To donate to their organization, you must donate at least 12 inches of hair, and your hair cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.

Hair We Share

Based in Long Island, New York, Hair We Share is an organization that offers wigs to men, women, and children across the United States. They accept hair donations with a minimum length of 12 inches, but can accept a minimum of eight inches when you join their ponytail tracking program. Your hair can be dyed without the use of bleach, but it must be dyed a natural color. They do accept hair that is permed or straightened (after damaged ends are trimmed off), and they also accept gray hair.

When considering a hair donation organization, it is important to research their requirements and policies to ensure that your donation will be put to good use. By donating your hair, you can help provide wigs to those in need and make a positive impact in someone’s life.