Making the Cut: Hair Donation 101

3:09 PM

A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to make a drastic change with my hair. I was originally thinking of doing a medium length bob (think Kylie Jenner-esque) but I realized that it would only take a couple more inches to be able to donate my hair to a good cause. When I posted a before and after picture on my instagram, I realized that a lot of people didn't know about the different options for hair donation. Therefore, I bring to you HAIR DONATION 101!

Most organizations start off with similar requirements. Before heading to the salon on the day of the big cut, make sure your hair is clean and completely dry before cutting. This ensures that hair will arrive to the organization in good condition (wet hair can mold while it's being mailed). After measuring your hair, secure it into a ponytail or braid and make sure the hair tie is below where you want it to be cut (I find that a braid works best). Secure hair into multiple ponytails or braids to maximize the length of hair you are willing to donate. If you only make one ponytail, then the hair that you're left with (on your head) will look really short in the back and long in the front (and that long front hair could've been a couple more inches to donate). After the cut, make sure you have a ziploc bag or something that will safely contain the hair so you can send it to the organization of your choice. Most organizations will send back a personalized certificate of appreciation.

Organizations that accept hair donations (and their requirements):


Pantene Beautiful Lengths: Beautiful Lengths partners with the American Cancer Society to distribute free, real-hair wigs to women battling cancer across the country. Hair donations must be a minimum of 8 inches, no more than 5% gray, and cannot be permanently colored, bleached, or chemically treated.

Wigs For Kids: This private, non-profit organization is one of two organizations referred to by the American Cancer Society (the other is Beautiful Lengths).  They provides free hair replacement systems to children that wouldn't be able to afford them otherwise. Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches and cannot be chemically treated (this includes permed, color-treated, and highlighted). The accept NO gray hair.

Wigs 4 Kids: (different from above) Wigs 4 kids helps children and teenagers in Minnesota who are dealing with self-esteem problems because of hair loss. They provide wigs and educational support services at no cost to them or their families. Hair donations must be a minimum of 10 inches from top to bottom, and must not be colored, chemically treated, or more than 10% gray.

Children With Hair Loss: This non-profit organization originally focused on helping children with cancer but has expanded to helping children with hair loss resulting from any type of illness by providing human hair replacements at absolutely no cost. Hair donations must be at least 8 inches, non-chemically treated hair is preferred but they will accept any hair that is in good condition, and they accept gray hair.

Locks of Love: This organization provides hairpieces to disadvantaged children that are under age 21 and suffering from hair loss in the US and Canada.The wigs are not provided for free but families are charged a fee that is based on family income. Hair that is not used in the hairpieces made for children is sold to offset manufacturing costs. Hair donations must be at least 10 inches. They accept gray, colored, and permed hair but bleached hair is not accepted. Hair that is gray and less than 10 inches long are sold.

I'm sure there are other organizations that accept hair donations but these are some of the most well known ones. This was my third time donating my hair and I have always donated to Beautiful Lengths. I like that they distribute wigs to women (and not just children) who have cancer for FREE. I learned a lot about other hair donation organizations while writing this post and I think I will donate to Wigs For Kids next time around. I hope this post inspires you to make the big cut and donate your hair to a good cause!

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4 comments

  1. Great info! I'm donating next time I cut!!

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    1. Thanks!! And YAY! I'm so glad that you will be helping a great cause and bringing happiness into someones life :)

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  2. Such an awesome thing to do & love your new cut! I am donating 10inches next week, and my salon actually accepts hair donations there in the salon for his (Martion Cartier) country wide organization, friendsarebyyourside. They donate free wigs to women undergoing cancer treatments throughout the country, another great organization that donates the hair back!

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    1. Thanks! I'm loving my new cut too and I don't miss my long hair at all. That's so exciting that you'll be making the big cut soon! Thanks for the info about Friends Are By Your Side, another awesome looking hair donation organization.

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