Donating Your Hair: Things You Should Know Before Completely Wigging Out
By: Wesley Boyce, Owner and Hair Designer at WeBo Creative Concepts
Have you ever thought about growing your hair out so that you can donate it to a charitable organization for people living with cancer or other illnesses that cause hair loss? If so, there are many different options in choosing where to send your precious ponytails, and each of them have different requirements and instructions on how to do so. Worried you might not make the cut? Don’t worry; here are five places you can donate your hard earned hair that will not only give people new hair, but also a new start on life.
They require a 10″ minimum ponytail of virgin, color treated, or permed hair. It cannot have ever been bleached or highlighted. Gray hair is accepted but sold to offset manufacturing costs.
Locks of Love is the most widely known nonprofit organization that creates hair prosthetics for financially disadvantaged individuals age 21 and under with any diagnosis of hair loss. They receive an estimated 104,000 donations a year and on average make 2,000 wigs from those yearly donations. The hair pieces are then donated for free or purchased from a sliding scale, depending on the financial need. However, something worth noting is that in May of 2013, Locks of Love was “tangled in scandal” after a TIME Magazine article exposed that the prominent charity cannot account for $6.6 MILLION worth of hair donations. Something fishy is definitely going on there, and on that note, here are four more charities worth looking into.
They require a 12″ minimum ponytail of virgin hair only. Gray hair is accepted. You must print and send in their donation form with the hair.
Wigs for Kids is a 30-year old organization that has been in the business of providing children with entire “hair replacement systems” at absolutely no cost to the recipient. These systems cost roughly $1,800 to manufacture, and they include the customized prosthesis, products for maintenance and longevity, a mannequin, brushes, and towels. Their requirements for donation are more strict that other companies, but their finished product is absolutely top notch for well deserving children.
They require a 12″ minimum ponytail of hair that is virgin or color treated. It cannot have ever been bleached or highlighted. Gray hair is accepted.
Pink Heart Funds is an organization that caters to making wigs for both children AND adults who suffer from all kinds of hair loss from alopecia to cancer to burn victims. Their wigs are donated to people who do not have insurance coverage and have a distinct need for financial assistance. The Pink Hearts Fund also assists with post mastectomy bras, breast prosthetics, and lymphedema sleeves.
They require an 8″ minimum ponytail of virgin hair that is less than 5% gray. Gray hair is not accepted.
Beautiful Lengths is a fast growing donation movement that consists of a partnership between Pantene® and the American Cancer Society®, the largest nonprofit health organization committed to saving lives from cancer and making the quality of life better for people fighting the disease. They have already been able to donate over 24,000 free wigs to the American Cancer Society® through Beautiful Lengths donations.
They require an 8″ minimum ponytail. Virgin hair is preferred but they will accept ANY hair in good condition, including gray and highlighted hair. You must print and send in their donation form with the hair.
Children With Hair Loss started their business in 2000, and alongside a recent partnership with TIGI® (The makers of bedhead, catwalk, S Factor, etc.) they provide over 300 wigs and hair replacement kits to children each year. Out of the five companies mentioned in this article, CWHL is the most lenient in their requirements and they have worked very hard to get where they are today, raising money for five years to be able to operate and finally purchasing their first building in 2005, renovating it from an old fire station.
So, What’s Stopping You?
Each of these sites listed has all the information you need in order to send them your hair or monetary donations. Hair is something that is very easily taken for granted until something happens to make it go away. If you have hair that can be donated to someone that is struggling without theirs, consider growing out a little bit more and then letting it be used for a greater cause! Hopefully the information above has given insights on companies and information that you didn’t know before. Don’t worry, your stylist can cut 8-12″ of hair without scalping you, and you have different options for a new short style! Here are some examples of donations from women who all had different styles from the same stylist! And guess what: it always grows back!
The question is not how you would look with short hair.
The question would be: Can you comprehend the level of joy and confidence you could help provide another person with your hair donation?
WeBo Creative Concepts in Orlando, FL
About the Author: Wesley Boyce is an independent stylist and the owner of WeBo Creative Concepts in the Orlando, Florida area. He has been in the beauty industry for almost 10 years and graduated from Paul Mitchell the School: Nashville in 2008.
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