Treating cancer with chemotherapy or radiation not only kills the cancer cells, it can also damage the hair-producing cells, leading to hair loss. For many, especially children, dealing with the hair loss in addition to the cancer can make recover even more difficult. Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides wigs for children in need, states that a wig “can help restore some of the normalcy to their everyday lives that most of us take for granted.” Feeling normal can help any cancer patient battle her disease. Anyone can donate hair to one of several non-profit organizations that supply wigs to cancer patients if that hair is long enough and healthy.
Grow your hair long. To determine if your hair is long enough put it into a ponytail and measure it with a ruler from the ponytail band to the end of your hair. This length needs to be at least 10 to 12 inches long. If your hair is curly, pull it straight to measure.
Wash your hair and dry it before it is cut. Locks of Love requests that all hair be washed and dried before mailing.
Choose an organization to which you want to send your hair. Check the website of the organization for length and hair quality criteria as these can vary slightly. For example, Locks of Love only requires 10 inches, while Wigs for Kids requires 12 inches of hair. Locks of Love will accept color treated hair that has not been previous bleached while Wigs for Kids cannot accept permanently colored treated hair.
Have your stylist cut your hair while still in the ponytail by cutting above the ponytail band. Once cut, you should have a ponytail of hair ready to donate. If you want to donate more of your hair, section it off into multiple ponytails around your head to get a closer cut.
Insert the ponytail into a plastic bag before putting it into a thickly lined envelope. Mail the hair donation to the non-profit of your choice such as Cuts for Cancer, Locks of Love or Wigs for Kids.