How to Donate Hair to Women

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Some women, especially cancer patients, lose or lack the ability to grow hair. They turn to high-quality wigs to help them look like themselves and regain their self-confidence. Several organizations collect hair donations and use them to make wigs, which they give to women at low to no cost. If you have long hair and you’re thinking about getting it cut, collecting and donating it puts it to good use instead of letting it wind up in your salon’s trash can.

Step 1

Grow your hair out until the length of your hair in an elastic hair tie measures 8 inches from the hair tie to the tips. Each charity has its own preferences for hair length, but most agree that 8 inches is the shortest your hair should be to create a thick, full wig.

Step 2

Wash your hair or have your stylist wash it at your salon appointment. Donated hair must be free of excess oils and all styling products.

Step 3

Decide on a cut with your stylist to help determine how much of your hair you’re going to donate. While 8 inches is the minimum, you can donate longer hair.

Step 4

Ask your stylist to pull all hair she’s going to cut away into a tight elastic band. Once it’s pulled tight, re-measure to make sure you meet the 8-inch recommendation. Ask your stylist to cut your hair directly above the elastic band.

Step 5

Ask your stylist if your salon handles hair donations. Many do. If your salon doesn’t process donations, put your hair, still in the elastic band, into a plastic sandwich bag. Mail it to the hair donation to the organization of your choice. See the Resources section for sample organizations.

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