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Donating Hair Requirements Submitting Your Locks

A young girl with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) receiving chemotherapy donating hair
national-cancer-institute-qgKF2QkwReU-unsplash donating hair

Last updated 03/15/2023

Well, I had my pandemic hair cut a couple months ago. It wasn’t my intention to grow it so long. Donating hair.

But you know how it went. The social distancing became a thing. As a result, I ended up growing my hair out for over two years.

And since I was staying home more, the decision to let the gray hairs have their way came easy. No more buying a box of hair dye and panicking over the roots showing. My hair isn’t so damaged anymore as well as having a little extra money.

In addition, donating hair helps someone else out which is a good feeling. As I have done this before in the past it is a pretty painless routine. So, I am going to pass this information on to you.

This blog contains affiliate links (ADS) meaning I earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Thanks you so much!

What is a Hair Donation?

Millions of people deal with hair loss no matter what age group. It is more than a cosmetic concern. One’s hair may be a small part of the person, but it can have such an impact on one’s mental health and wellbeing.

Causes for hair loss:

  • Stress
  • Hereditary
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medications
  • Head trauma
  • Dog attack
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Thyroid disease
  • Alopecia areata
  • Anemia
  • Lupus
  • Hair pulling

A simple explanation would be you are giving cut hair to someone else.  This hair donation provides a person with the opportunity of a free, high-quality, natural hair wig. Likewise, the benefit is you restore someone’s confidence and emotional balance.


Why Donate Your Hair?

Hair donors have many reasons to cut and donate their hair. The one that doesn’t change is the positive impact. In addition, hair donations benefit the organization and donor.

   Reasons to donate hair:

  • To improve someone’s life
  • One wig may take 8 donations
  • Your hair grows back a cancer patient’s will take longer
  • Return a child’s self-esteem
  • There is no charge to donate, and the wig is free
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Men can Donate Hair

Yes, men can do this also. In fact, there was a large increase with donations by men during the pandemic. Yeah! Your gender doesn’t matter concerning the donation.

How to Donate Hair

Firstly, it’s pretty basic. You’ve grown your hair out and now want to get it cut. However, the organizations that take hair donations may have requirements.

In other words, the length of your hair and whether it is color treated or not. The majority of the organizations share a common goal. That is to say they give hair replacements to those in need of hair.

And each organization provides certain groups with somewhat different missions and varying donation processes. So do your research if you wish to help a particular group out.

The salon I went to for my haircut (VICI school in Greenfield) is a partner of Children With Hair Loss. I informed the salon when making my appointment of my intention. At my haircut appointment I reminded the hair stylist.

My hairstylist sectioned my hair into three ponytails and cut below the gray hair. She placed the ponytails into a Ziploc bag. In addition, she retrieved the printed-out Hair Donation Form to include with my submission.

Non-profit Organizations

Hair We Share

Hair We Share is located in NY. The not-for-profit organization was formed in 2014 and custom designs wigs and hair pieces. They rely on donations.

Suzanne Chimena, Co-founder and cosmetologist travels to do lectures on the devastating effects of hair loss on an individual. Dean Riskin is Co-founder and second-generation owner of Manny Roberts Hair Replacement. He has an emotional connection to his clients.

The length requirement changed (12 inches) due to a demand for longer wigs. But they also have a Ponytail Tracking Program. If you join this, they will accept 8 inches during the COVID pandemic. However, damaged ends need to be trimmed first.

Wigs are provided free to men, women and children in the USA with any form of medical hair loss.

For example:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Alopecia
  • Accident burn victims
  • Covid-19

HWS Guidelines:

  • Hair can be permed or straightened
  • Colored (natural colors not bleached) but not highlighted as this weakens hair and could cause the hair to shed from the wig as it’s worn.
  • Coiley hair is not accepted. However, they do work with other kinds of hair to add texture.
  • Gray hair is accepted
  • Do not send hair that is wet
  • Donated hair must be in a sealed plastic bag

There is a complete list on How to Collect your Hair and how to Send it on the website. Before sending your hair donation it is required to submit the Ponytail Donation Form. A padded envelope must be used.

You can find a salon near you that is a partner. In addition, sign up for updates.

Locks of Love

Locks of Love is located in Florida. At the beginning it was linked to a for-profit wig retailer. After that in 1997 it separated to its own entity.

The organization was formed by Madonna Coffman, a cardiac nurse. Mrs. Coffman was in her 20’s when she developed alopecia after getting a hepatitis vaccination. She recovered and thirteen years later, her four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with alopecia.

Office space was donated by a hospital in the area and a manufacturer of the highest quality prosthetics was located. Recipients have been from all 50 states and Canada. Hair pieces and hair prosthetics are given to financially disadvantaged children and young adults with chronic hair loss.

Locks of Love give a long-term commitment. Recipients receive custom prosthesis every two years through the age of 21.

LOL Guidelines:

  • Minimum length is 10 inches for hair piece
  • Colored or permed hair is accepted
  • Hair must be recently cut
  • Hair donation should be bundled in a ponytail or braid (cannot fall on floor)
  • Dreadlocks are not used since processing requires combing
  • Curly hair can be straightened to reach 10 inch minimum
  • Layered hair must be in multiple ponytails
  • Shorter hair can’t be used in the hairpieces but will be separated from ponytails. There may be the possibility of being sold to help manufacturing cost.
  • Gray hair may also be sold to help reduce cost

It is stated that the Hair Donation Form is not necessary to donate hair. You can include your name and address on any sheet of paper to send.

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Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids a non-profit organization is located in Ohio. Jeffrey Paul a Certified Cosmetic Therapist founded Wigs for Kids in 1981. Every wig contains around 150,000 strands of human hair joined as the foundation of the wig. As a result, each wig perfectly fits the recipient’s head making it comfortable and giving a more natural look.

Hair donations of 12 inches are accepted but encourages 14 plus. Instructions are given for your hair stylist. Wigs are created and given to children with hair loss connected to a medical cause.

   This includes:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Alopecia
  • Trichotillomania
  • Burns

WFK Guidelines:

  • Hair has to be clean/stored/packaged completely dry
  • No permed, permanent color-treated or highlighted
  • Gray is accepted
  • Tie hair into minimum of 4 sections (six are better)
  • Cut hair above rubber band
  • All dry ponytails sealed in Ziploc bag
  • Ziploc bag in addition; Hair Donation Form and barcode/ID# in a sealed envelope


Children With Hair Loss

Children With Hair Loss is located in MI. It is a non-profit organization which opened in September 2000. Human hair replacements are offered at no charge to children and young adults who have medical related hair loss. For example: alopecia, trichotillomania and burns.

The founder is Regina Villemure former Cosmetology Instructor, hairstylist and hair replacement specialist. At age three, her niece Sarah, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Sarah took chemotherapy for five years and is currently a survivor of more than 30 years.

They encourage more than 12 inches. But hair should be a minimum of 8 inches long.

CWHL Guidelines:

  • Clean, dry, ponytail or braided
  • Each end should be rubber banded or secured by ponytail holder 
  • Prefer non-chemically treated (but any hair of good condition will be accepted)
  • Gray is OK
  • Download, fill out and print their Hair Donation Form
  • Your completed donation form with hair placed in a Ziploc bag can be mailed in
  • A certificate can be mailed to you

Furthermore, a Charity Ball will be held November 5, 2022, in Livonia, MI.

young children sharing conversation on hospital bed in cancer ward donating hair
national-cancer-institute-eRExodEMiOE-unsplash (1) donating hair

Hair Donation Process

When you have decided on which organization to work with your next step is getting those locks cut. In short, search for a salon to make an appointment with their partner.

To sum up, if there’s no partner in your location or this service isn’t offered, you can DIY it. Find your hair donation organization online and follow their specific guidelines. Gather your hair donation from your stylist and mail it to your organization.

Monetary Donations

Donating your hair will greatly benefit someone and doesn’t cost you anything. But the company doing this service still has operating expenses. Monetary donations are also welcome.

So, to ensure your hair donation gets processed into a wig money is needed. A crowd funding campaign could support the manufacturing expenses if you are not making a hair donation.

Wrapping it up

Certainly, donating your hair is a great way to give back. It is painless and simple when done by the salon. Monetary donations are also accepted and important. Hair donations can make a huge impact on someone’s life.


Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.

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