Hair is such a huge part of our personality and lives, but sometimes we forget how important it can be to other people as well. We primp, perm, wash and style our way through life to meet our needs of self-expression and individuality. We have been so lucky to express ourselves through our natural hair (yes, even if it’s curly), so why not give those in need of the opportunity to express themselves? Here are some of the many charities through the United States and Canada that take hair donations.
Locks of Love is a not for profit that provide wigs for children who have had hair loss due to alopecia, severe burns, cancer, or any other medical conditions causing permanent hair loss. All recipients are under 21 years of age, and depending on the financial situation of the family and the medical condition, children and adolescents may receive their wig at a discounted rate or for free. They will take coloured or permed hair, but like many wig charities, bleached hair is rejected.
Located in South Rockwood, Michigan, Children With Hair Loss (CWHL) began when the founder’s three year old niece was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy. They often fundraise as their wigs are provided free of charge to anyone 21 years of age due to any medical condition that causes hair loss. They also accept charitable donations alongside donated hair which helps cover the cost of making each wig.
If you live in Canada, there’s one amazing program for Canadian children who can’t afford wigs: Angel Hair for Kids. Each child is provided with consultation with a carefully selected salon professional to make sure the wig fits just right. If the child is too sick, the salon professional comes to them. Located in Mississauga, Ontario, donated hair must be chemically untreated and at least 12 inches long.
Pantene’s program, Pantene Beautiful Lengths, is for both adults and children who needs a wig. After Pantene accepts non-colored hair over 8 inches in length, they first work with HairUWear to create the wig, and afterwards, the American Cancer Society distributes the crafted wig through their network of wig bangs all over the United States.
Tips and Tricks before Donating
Because each program, organization, or charity has slightly different requirements, there are few tips and tricks you should know. If you’re donating your hair, wash at most a day before cutting. Hair is measured based on when it is pulled straight, not curly. And while highlighted hair and dreadlocks can rarely be used, each organization approaches chemically treated or dyed hair differently.
Know of a charity or organization that we did not mention here? Share them in the comments below, or tell us about your personal experience with hair donations.