I last posted about getting your spring cleanup.  For some of you, it’s more than a seasonal overhaul.  You have been growing your hair for years and are considering taking off a ton of length.  To all of you, both men and women who joined the long hair trend and are cutting off eight inches or more, consider making a difference at the same time.  There are numerous non-profits that accept your hair as donation to make wigs for women and children suffering from diseases that cause hair loss.

There have been rumors in the past that Locks of Love, a non-profit who accepts hair donations was selling their wigs at high cost to patients.  With some research I found that this actually wasn’t completely true.  Instead, hair that cannot be used is sold in order to raise money for the organization to offset costs.  Patients are charged on an income-based sliding scale with the monetary donations and sale of unusable hair helping to reduce the cost to patients.  Sadly this organization reports that about 80% of their hair cannot be used due to it not meeting the standards that they require.  It may either be too short, wet or moldy by the time it arrives, gray, or color treated, in which case it is sold if possible, or thrown away.  They also require more length, ten inches, in order to qualify.

While Locks of Love still may be an option for you, we recommend Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths who has partnered with the American Cancer Society and makes free donations to women specifically with cancer.  I also recommend them because they only require an eight inch donation.  While only two inches difference from Locks of Love and a few other non-profits, it’s easier to achieve and because they are very specific with the length, it is better to be over the requirement than under, so as not to waste your donation.

Men with long hair are great candidates, as they require the hair to not be dyed or treated, which is less likely with men’s hair.  Another requirement, aside from it being all natural and a minimum of eight inches, is that it cannot be more than 5% gray.  This is because it takes several donations to create a wig, all of which are dyed to the same color to look more natural.  Hair that has been treated or is gray does not hold the color the same as natural hair and will either not take the color or will fade faster than the rest of the wig.

How To Donate

So you meet the requirements and are ready to donate? 

  1. Please schedule an appointment with us at The Blind Pig Barber Company in Portland, Maine and let us know that you will be doing a donation. 
  2. Before your appointment, please wash, condition, and DRY your hair before you arrive.  Since we don’t dry hair after we cut, we want to be sure it is fully clean and dry so that it qualifies when it arrives at the organization.
  3. Bring a hair elastic to your appointment, which will be put on your hair to create a ponytail just below where it will be cut.  Remember, it will need to be a minimum of eight inches and not just at its longest point.
  4. Time to cut.  Once we cut off the ponytail you can discuss with your stylist the type of final cut you would like and the stylist will work their magic.
  5. When you get home, put your ponytail in a zip lock plastic bag and into a padded envelope and mail to:  Pantene Beautiful Lengths

     Attn: 192-123

     806 SE 18th Ave.

     Grand Rapids, MN 55744

If you include your name and address they will let you know when they receive your donation.

For those of you who aren’t close to eight inches but want to help, the organization also accepts $8 donations to help fund the cost of making the wigs. 

Avril Williams