So, you've donated your hair or have been thinking about it? Good for you! Donating hair is one of the most rewarding acts of kindness you can do and one of the most powerful gestures of support. There are some things you should consider before donating.
First of all, you should do your research on different organizations and pick the best one for you.
Second of all, you need to look up the requirements of your chosen organization and make sure you meet them. If you do not, you need to keep your hair in good shape as you reach the requirements.
Lastly, get prepared for your new look! Cutting off that many inches of hair will make a drastic change in your appearance.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
Pantene Beautiful Lengths has partnered with the American Cancer Society to help make and distribute free wigs all over to women in financial need. Since 2006, they have donated more than 800,000 ponytails and through their partnership, have donated over 42,000 wigs to the American Cancer Society. Pantene Beautiful Lengths only works with adult women who are battling cancer.
They recently initiated the #8or8 campaign to encourage people to donate $8 or 8" of hair, which is the minimum length of hair required for a donation. Hair cannot be chemically treated, bleached, or permanently dyed and must also be no more than 5% gray.
Locks of Love
Locks of Love was originally started in 1997 and was connected with a for-profit wig retailer. Madonna Coffman, a retired nurse, led the action to separate Locks of Love from the for-profit organization. In earlier years, she had suffered from alopecia and so had her four-year-old daughter, which prompted her to dedicate her time fully to Locks of Love. It started off small and slow but eventually grew into the organization it is today.
Clients of Locks of Love are children, aged 21 and under, who suffer from any long-term hair loss. The cost of the hairpieces is determined on a sliding scale based on financial need. Donations must be at least 10". Unlike most organizations, Locks of Love accepts shorter hair and gray hair that may be sold to help offset the manufacturing costs.
According to Forbes, about $6 millions dollars worth of donations is unaccounted for each year.
Wigs 4 Kids is an organization dedicated to providing no cost wigs to children and young adults (ages 3-18) in the Michigan area who have experienced hair loss due to cancer, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns, and various other conditions. Despite only having clients within the Michigan area, Wigs 4 Kids accepts donations from around the world.
To donate hair to Wigs 4 Kids, the minimum length is 10" and must not be colored, chemically treated, or more than 10% gray. They also accept new human or synthetic wigs and extensions as a donation.
Wigs for Kids was founded by hairstylist Jeffrey Paul, who was inspired by his 15-year-old niece that had just been diagnosed with leukemia and would lose her hair as a result of chemotherapy. His niece came into his salon crying because she had wanted to join the gymnastics team and her hair would be gone. After researching and working with doctors and specialists, they designed a wig that would adhere to the scalp throughout the most vigorous situations. Jeffrey had a wig finished and fitted for his niece by the time of her competition.
Encouraged by this, Jeffrey decided he wanted to do good for his local community and asked for donations of old wigs that he could refurbish and gift to patients who needed them. Although they meant well, most of the wigs were unusable so with their own money, he and his wife started a wig bank. After the loss of his salon due to a flood, he jumped at the chance to fully dedicate himself to this cause. With time, it evolved into an organization that has been supplying wigs and support to a child at no cost who have lost their hair due to various causes for over 30 years that relies solely on donations.
Wigs for Kids' minimum length is 12". Like most hair donation organizations, the hair donated cannot be color-treated, highlighted, chemically processed, or permed. However, natural color and highlights that are able to wash out are OK. The hair must be completely dry before sending it in.
Children with Hair Loss originally started in 2000 to create wigs for children battling cancer at no cost until they realized there were different rare diseases and disorders that caused children to lose hair including but not limited to alopecia, burns, and trichotillomania. Thus far, CWHL has never charged a child or their family and currently provides over 300 children with custom hair replacement every year.
To be eligible to aid in their mission to "Cover Young Heads to Heal Young Hearts", hair must be at least 8" although longer donations are preferred. Non-chemically treated hair is also preferred, but hair in any good condition will be accepted.
Angel Hair for Kids
Set in Canada, A Child’s Voice Foundation started a program called Angel Hair for Kids to donate wigs and other hair loss solutions at no cost to children in financial need who have lost hair due to various of reasons (cancer treatments, burns, alopecia, and more).
Angel Hair for Kids accepts hair of a minimum length of 12" and must not be permed, bleached, dyed, or treated. They do not accept wigs, extensions or synthetic hair.