Donating your hair for charity is a great way to help someone dealing with hair loss, but before you cut off your locks, you should make sure your tresses meet standards. There are a handful of charities that accept hair donations across the United States, each with slightly different requirements for the hair pieces they make. Most of these charities either serve young people living with hair loss or women who have lost their hair during cancer treatment. Here are general guidelines, with specific requirements for each organization listed below. Make sure to check an organization’s website before making a hair donation.
- Hair should be clean and completely dry before it’s cut. Wet hair will mold if it’s even slightly damp, rendering it unusable.
- Hair should be sectioned into one or more ponytails or a braid and held in a secure band.
- Always cut hair above the band to keep it intact. Loose hair, or hair swept off the ground is unusable.
- Hair should be healthy; most organizations either prefer or require non-chemically treated hair. Hair with less than 5 percent gray is preferred.
- Depending on the organization, minimum hair length is between 8 and 12 inches long and curly hair can be pulled straight for an accurate measurement.
234 Southern Boulevard West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701 Phone: (561) 833-7332
- Toll-free Information Line: (888) 896-1588
- Hair must be a minimum of 10 inches.
- Colored or permed hair is okay, but not bleached hair.
- Gray hair is accepted, but will be sold to offset manufacturing costs.
Who benefits: Children and young adults under 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss, mostly children with alopecia areata.
24231 Center Ridge Rd Westlake, OH 44145 Phone: (440) 333-4433
- Minimum length of 12 inches.
- No color-treated, highlighted, or permed hair.
- Hair should sectioned into four ponytails or braids before it is cut.
Who benefits: Children 18 years of age or younger who are experiencing hair loss due to a variety of medical reasons. Wig recipients must be referred by a medical professional.
Attn: 192-123 806 SE 18th Ave. Grand Rapids, MN 55744
- Minimum length of 8 inches.
- Vegetable dyes, rinses or semi-permanent dyes are OK for hair donations. Other types of chemically processed, dyed hair or bleached hair aren’t accepted.
- No more than 5 percent gray.
- Hair should be gathered into a ponytail at the nape of the neck in a secure band. Additional bands can be placed around the middle of the ponytail to keep it together.
Who benefits: Women battling cancer.
30126 Harper Avenue St. Clair Shores, MI 48082 Phone: (586) 772-6656
- Minimum length of 10 inches.
- No colored or chemically treated hair.
- Hair must have not be more than 10 percent gray.
- Will not accept hair that was cut years ago.
Who benefits: Open to any child in Michigan through the age of 18 dealing with hair loss. Hairpieces are provided free of charge.
Rachel Zohn is a mom, a wife, and a freelance writer who is striving to find the best way to juggle it all and maintain a sense of humor. She is a former newspaper reporter and a military spouse, so she’s familiar with the stress and anxiety that comes with constant moves and new communities. An insomniac married to an insomniac, she’s spent the last several years on a journey to help her youngest child tackle both migraines and sleep issues. She’s on Twitter at @rachelzohn.