Hair loss can be caused by alopecia areata, cancer chemotherapy (like how our founder lost her hair) or radiation therapy. It's not just a cosmetic concern — it can also seriously affect someone's mental health. Luckily, you can make a difference by choosing to donate your locks. You might not have realized it, but when natural hair is donated, it can be used to make high quality wigs. These wigs can give someone a chance to feel more confident and beautiful, just like they did for our founder, April, when she was undergoing chemotherapy.
We've listed out everything you need to know about where to donate hair.
How to Donate Your Hair
Donating your hair is easy enough, but make sure you read through these general guidelines first, as well as the specific guidelines from the organization to which you plan to make your donation. There are some conditions, and you wouldn't want your hair to be rejected because of a simple mistake.
- Ensure your hair is healthy. Chances are good if you've been using Save Me From Hair Repair to treat your hair.
- Triple check donation requirements and keep hair clean dry before you send it off.
- Check that your salon is familiar with the hair donation process before you make the chop.
- A charity is more likely to use your donation if the hair is in good condition, so snip the split ends off.
- Pull curly hair straight to check the length — many organizations don't accept hair less than 12 inches long.
- Bleached hair is rarely accepted — it's not strong enough to withstand the process.
- Check how much gray hair a charity accepts before cutting.
1. Hair We Share
It's not just cancer treatment that can make hair fall out. Nearly 7 million Americans have been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease alopecia areata, which can cause permanent hair loss. Hair We Share designs customized human-hair wigs and donates them to people with financial need struggling with hair loss. Ponytails must be packaged in a plastic bag to be accepted. Have gray hair? They'll accept gray hair donations too.
2. Wigs for Kids
Wigs for Kids is one of the most established hair-donation organizations who create and give wigs to children who suffer from serious hair loss. The natural hair wigs are designed to mimic each child's own hair and stay comfortably in place during sports or playground activities. For your hair to be accepted by the organization, ponytails need to be a minimum length of 12 to 14 inches long. Visit the Wigs for Kids website to grab details on where to send your shorn-off ponytail or braid.
3. Locks of Love
Locks of Love understands how detrimental hair loss can be to self-confidence. Since 1997, it's been tailoring hair donations and fashioning wigs, especially for disadvantaged children. Locks of Love make the hair donation process pretty straightforward, with specific instructions listed on its website. Donated hair can be colored or permed when sent to Locks of Love, but always double-check the requirements. Here, the health of your hair is vital. If you're donating your hair, it can't be bleached.
4. Matter of Trust
Matter of Trust is an organization that's committed to improving the environment. It collects clippings from groomers, salons and individuals and felts the natural fibers into mats that can be used to soak up petrochemical pollutants and oil spills from waterways.
5. Chai Lifeline
Chai Lifeline is a leading international network based out of New York that focuses its attention on supporting children. The charity understands that hair loss can impact mental health, which can stunt physical recovery. They're organization can jump in when someone has patchy, balding spots. Ponytails must be a minimum of 14 inches long and clean, dry hair needs to be put into a zip-close bag and send it off to the address listed on Chai Lifeline's website.
6. Maggie's Wigs 4 Kids
The cost of wigs is spendy, costing between $2,500-$3,000 and requiring between 10 to 12 ponytail donations for just one wig. We love Maggie's Wigs 4 Kids because they never turn away a child in need. The Michigan-based nonprofit is powered by compassion and covers wig costs, even when insurance companies won't. This program assists children experiencing hair loss due to alopecia, trichotillomania, cancer treatments and more. Go to Wigs 4 Kids to start the process.
Organizations No Longer Accepting Hair Donations
Change is the only constant, and that's true for some organizations that have shifted away from hair donations.
Childhood Leukemia Foundation
Cancer is heartbreaking — especially when it comes to children. Potent medical treatments are devastating, and, unfortunately, hair loss can attract unwanted attention. Many children struggle with teasing or bullying if they've lost their locks.
Although the Childhood Leukemia Foundation no longer accepts hair donations, the foundation is still doing important work helping children navigate the trials of cancer with initiatives such as Keeping Kids Connected, which gifts iPads to young cancer patients.
Your Hair Can Help Others
If you've been dedicated to using your Save Me From Reboot, the wellness of your hair may be at some pretty great lengths. Consider donating your hair. It could help someone who really needs it.