Donating your hair for use to make wigs for people who have illnesses that cause them to lose their hair, is an act of service that can make a positive difference in someone’s life. Coincidentally, or not, as I was preparing this post I came across this very sweet video of a 3 year old girl who donates her own hair. It is very touching!
You can read the full story here: A 3-year-old’s heartwarming motivation to help children with cancer. Chez nous it was also a sweet experience to watch my oldest daughter Elena make the choice to donate her hair. Finding where to donate the hair was a little more tricky and so I thought I’d share the resources that were shared with me by several friends.
Many hairdressers have connections with organizations that accept hair donations, so if you’re looking for a place to donate to, you might want to start with your hair dresser. If not, here are some organizations and charities all over the globe that accept hair donations for making wigs.
- New Zealand. I had previously thought of hair loss connected only to cancer patients going through chemotherapy, but a friend of mine talked to me about *Alopecia Areata, which is a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation has a wig manufacturer in New Zealand that accepts hair donations. *Read my friend’s experience with Alopecia Areata here: Finding a Princess in Every Girl.
- Netherlands. My friend Ute told me about her hairdresser in the Netherlands who cuts his hair every year to donate to http://www.haarwensen.nl/. Two other organizations are: http://www.haardonatie.nl/ and http://www.haardonor.nl/html/doneren.php.
- UK. In the UK, there is: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/cancer-questions/hair-donation-and-wigs#donate as well as the charity that we chose to donate Elena’s hair to: Little Princess Trust. The donation process is clearly and simply explained and the donor receives a pretty certificate in the mail.
- USA. In the USA, Pantene Beautiful Lengths makes wigs to donate to women with cancer. They require 8 inches of hair. Locks of Love is a charity that makes wigs for children. They require 10 inches of hair. Apparently they sell their wigs, but wigs are very costly to make even with the hair being donated. Wigs 4 Kids is another well-known organization in the USA.
- France. Even though we live in France we didn’t end up using an organization in France because the information for donating hair was difficult to find on the website. For what it’s worth, here it is anyway: Any d’Avray. Apparently, many hairdressers in France will take care of everything for you: wash hair, cut it, mail it in and your child even walks away with a lollipop and hair donation certificate! EDITED 20/11/2016: A friend of mine just informed me that there is another organization in France that accepts hair donations. It is called SOLIDHAIR and you can visit their website here: Donate hair in France.
- Belgium. If you live in Belgium, you can request a special postage paid envelope on this website: http://www.think-pink.be/nieuws/ArtMID/8004/ArticleID/10132/Think-Pink-et-Pantene-sont-repartis-pour-un-tour-de-coupes-. If you live outside of Belgium, you can send the hair donation to the following address. Hair must be clean and dry and packed in a plastic bag to protect the hair.
Think-PinkCoupe D’éclatSint-Pietersmolenstraat 238000 BrugesBelgique
A few tips
Hair does need to be clean and dry. Most organizations accept colored but not bleached hair. The minimum length is usually between 8-10″ or around 20-25 cm., but it really depends on the organization, so make sure you read the organization’s guidelines carefully! When the hair is cut, it should be carefully bound into a ponytail. Did you know that several ponytails of donated hair are needed to make one wig? The video below demonstrates how a wig is carefully prepared using donated hair.
Have you ever donated your hair? Where did you donate it? Do you have any international organizations to add to my list?