Do I need a haircut??? See below to see how much weight was lifted off my shoulders! 1/4 lb and 15 inches of hair!!! All going to brighten up a little kid’s smile through Wigs For Kids!
At the very end of this post is a list of hair donation organizations. Each has their own mission and requirements, so choose the one that best matches up with your interests and what you have available to donate.
To date I’ve donated almost 4 feet of my own hair. Why have I donated so much? Mostly because I can’t decide if I want long hair or short hair, so I grow it out long and then chop it off so I’ll have both! This is the third time I’ve chopped it off and even though I get nervous and it takes me several months of talking about it before I’m actually ready to do it, it always feels so good afterward.
Not only because it takes me less time to get ready in the mornings and I save a ton of money on shampoo and conditioner, but it literally takes a big weight off my head and I feel so happy that it’s going to make someone else’s life a little bit brighter when they need it most. Some kids and adults are unable to grow hair who have alopecia, while others lose it due to cancer treatments, burns or other medical issues. You don’t really realize how hair affects you until it’s gone.
Donating hair is much more than cutting it off and putting it in the mail. It’s a very personal and emotional process for both the giver and the receiver. Hair is a very big part of our identity, as it gives us the confidence to go out into the world and be a part of it, to enjoy it and to live it. Our hair is physically a part of us, having come from the nourishment of what we eat everyday. It is with us all day, everyday, going through our daily routines of errands, going to work, school, and going through the bigger events in life like relationships, marriages and having children.
Cutting hair that has been one of the few things that has gone through all of those important events in our lives is a very big deal. A lot of people cut their hair after a break-up or divorce; which symbolizes getting rid of the past and moving forward with a fresh start. It was hard to cut my hair because I had been growing it since my first child was born 5 years ago.
So that hair went through 2 pregnancies, deliveries, all the chaos of newborn days and the fun memories of tickling my babies’ bellies with my hair as they made their first giggles. Those baby giggles turned into little boys' laughter as they loved being tickled by my long hair. They would also be comforted by running their fingers through it, drying their tears with it if they fell or nuzzling into it if they needed some extra hugs.
But, it took me so long to wash and dry it that I ended up only doing it once a week so it always felt dirty, it kept getting caught in things like my car door or the seatbelt. Their hot wheels cars got stuck in it a few times and I had to cut one of them out. With all of those sweet memories attached to my long hair, I’m happy to know that it will continue to give comfort and security to another child who needs it more.
Here are the donation details:
To donate to Wigs For Kids, they require at least 12” of hair, but most kids request 15” so if you can “part” with 3 more inches or wait a little longer until you have 15” to donate, would be best. If you don’t have that much hair, there are several other worthy hair donation centers that will accept a minimum of 8” to donate.
General donation requirements:
-Your hair to be clean and dry (so it doesn’t mold while sitting inside a plastic bag)
-To make the actual cut, have your hair dresser follow their guidelines; which mostly state that it needs to be in (several) ponytails or a braid. If you portion it off into several ponytails, then you actually get more usable hair lengths than if you just chopped it all bunched into one big ponytail.
-Some organizations will accept chemically color treated hair, or gray hair, while some won’t -Sometimes those who accept gray hair will sell it to help offset some of the costs of making wigs.
-After the big cut, put the ponytails into a plastic ziplock bag and send it in the mail
-Keep in mind that minimum donation lengths are based on after cutting off any damaged ends
Each organization has their own mission and requirements, so choose which one matches up with your interests and what you have to donate.
Here are the organizations that I found below:
Children With Hair Loss
Mission: Free to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss.
Donation minimum: 8”
Treated hair: non-treated hair is preferred, but any hair in good condition will be accepted
Gray hair: yes
Donation style: ponytails or braid, band each end
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
Mission: Free wigs for women battling cancer.
Donation minimum: 8”
Treated hair: no dyes, bleaches or chemicals
Gray hair: no more than 5% of your total hair can be gray
Hair We Share
Mission: Wigs for men, women & children with medical hair loss. Wigs are free to children under 18, and those over 18 are free based on financial need.
Donation minimum: 8”
Treated hair: dye is ok, but not highlighted
Gray hair: ask
Donation style: ponytails only (not braided)
Locks of Love
Mission: Free wigs to children and young adults under age 21 based on financial need, who are suffering from hair loss of any diagnosis