How and Where to Donate Your Hair

How and Where to Donate Your Hair

For many, access to high-quality wigs can be life-changing.

While Hair Loss Awareness Month is a great time to talk about hair health and regrowth, it’s also a great time to talk about wigs. Whether because of a condition like alopecia, a disease like cancer, or trauma like burns, some people can’t regrow lost hair for long periods or a lifetime. A lack of hair doesn’t make one any less beautiful. In fact, going bald can be quite striking. But for some, it can also be deeply upsetting. In those cases, wigs made from real hair can lift the spirits, repair confidence, restore comfort, and more. Wigs are more impactful than you might ever expect. So, this Hair Loss Awareness Month, let’s talk about how and where to donate your hair! 

The Requirements to Donate Your Hair

Before you start exploring the various organizations that accept hair donations, you’ll want to be sure you qualify. Because of the demands of the wig-making process, hair must be of a certain strength and quality. It’s not just about the length!

Here are the boxes you’ll need to check:

  • You need to have generally healthy hair with no excessive breakage or damage. Pro tip: If you do have some damage, see how much you could chop off while still meeting length requirements. You could trim to reduce split ends, and then do the big cut. 
  • Speaking of length, when testing it out yourself, be sure to pull curly hair straight. Most organizations will measure by the hair’s straight length. 
  • Make sure that your salon/stylist is familiar with the donation process and what they’ll need to do to ensure your chopped locks are good to go. 
  • Evaluate how much gray hair you have and how much your charity of choice will accept. It varies! 
  • Be aware that bleached hair is almost never workable for hair donation. It can be hard for bleached hair to withstand the wig-making process. 

If you read through that list and still think you’d be a great candidate, keep reading! Here are a few wonderful charities to which you can donate your hair. 

  • Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids

    This oh-so-special Michigan-based nonprofit helps children ranging from 3 to 18 years old to source wigs at no charge. Since they can cost upwards of $3,000, this is no small benefit. For kids especially, losing hair can be traumatic. You can feel great about helping a young one feel more confident and comfortable when you donate your hair to Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids.

  • Wigs for Kids

    While we’re on the subject of donations specific to children, let’s talk about Wigs for Kids. This 30-plus-year-old organization has been one of the most established for a long time. Their website even has a search program that can match you with a stylist who is familiar with cutting to donate. And, if you aren’t quite ready or don’t qualify to donate your hair, Wigs for Kids has other opportunities to volunteer.

  • Locks of Love

    If you’ve ever heard about ways to donate your hair before, chances are you’ve heard this name thrown around. Also a kid-focused organization, Locks of Love has been in operation since 1997. One particularly great thing about Locks of Love is that they will still make use of unusable bits of hair. For example, let’s say you have healthy hair but about 10 gray strands. They will sell those gray hairs to offset the organization’s costs. Win win!

  • Chai Lifeline

    With programs for both children and their families, Chai Lifeline provides a variety of services to assist when children are battling illness. One of those is wig creation! The org makes the process to donate your hair pretty simple, too. Just put it in a bag with zip closure, pack it up, and send it off to them!

  • Hair We Share

    If you have some grays, this is your best way to donate your hair! With a mission to “help maintain dignity,” Hair We Share brings high-quality wigs to people of all ages. It is a go-to for those suffering hair loss because of cancer treatment, but for many other reasons as well. For kids and adults alike, it is a free-of-charge option.

  • Wigs & Wishes

    Wigs & Wishes by Martino Cartier is a network of salon owners, stylists and beauty industry experts, joined together with one mission: to provide courageous women battling cancer with a wig at no cost, as well as granting wishes to children battling childhood cancer. Visit their website here to find out how you can donate hair or attend one of their many Galas to raise awareness and money for the cause.

How to Prepare to Donate Your Hair

If this has inspired you to grow your hair out for donation, remember the list we outlined before! In general, you just want to make sure you keep your hair as healthy as possible along the way. 

Here are our top tips for growing long hair that’s healthy:  

  • Trim a quarter to a half of an inch every 12 weeks.
  • Use a good shampoo formula and a luscious conditioner that will, combined, keep hair moisturized. (This is how you avoid breakage!)
  • Consider incorporating dietary supplements designed to support a healthy scalp and hair. As we like to say, beauty starts within! Our own DeeplyRootedⓇ supplement was clinically formulated to work in just that way. 

Last but not least, such a big change for a great cause is totally worth showing off on social! When you share that you’ve worked to donate your hair, you are likely to encourage friends and family to follow suit. Sharing on social is a great move. If you do, we’d love to see the before and after. Tag us or send it in a DM!