If you're in the mood for a new hairstyle and a fabulous short 'do is on your mind, don't just sweep it away into the trash. Instead, consider donating your hair to a worthy charitable cause.
Many patients lose their hair due to cancer treatments. When a person loses their hair, they often lose some self-esteem too. That's why donating your hair to create a natural looking wig for a person in need is such a great idea.
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank grew her hair long and healthy specifically to donate it to the cause. She cut it herself (on Oprah, no less) -- and you can see how she looked a couple months before and after in the photos at right!
Donating hair for cancer patients is both easy and rewarding. You will feel good knowing that your short hairstyle has helped out someone who really needs it.
If your local hair salon doesn't have a hair donation program, you can still donate by sending your hair yourself through the mail to a national program.
If you want to donate, here are some hair donation programs that always welcome more contributors.
Locks of Love
Locks of Love takes all different hair colors and types, except grey. Your hair needs to be at least 10 inches long and sent in as a ponytail or braid. Locks of Love uses the hair to create natural looking wigs for children that would not normally be able to afford one. Visit locksoflove.org to watch a step-by-step video on how to cut, package and send in your hair.
More for donating 10-12 inches:
- Angel Hair Foundation
This organization donates wigs to children statewide in Oregon who have lost their hair due to medical conditions. They accept a minimum of 12 inches of clean, dry hair in braid or ponytail. Color-treated and gray hair is accepted, but not preferred.
- Chai Lifeline
This organization accepts a minimum of 12 inches of dry hair or 14 of full-length wet hair cut into a ponytail. Color treated and/or gray hair is accepted. Donations can be mailed to their New York office.
Wigs for Kids
This hair donation program creates free wigs for kids. They require at least 12 inches of clean dry hair in a ponytail or braid.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
Beautiful lengths is a hair donation program in both the US and Canada. Hair must be at least 8 inches long. It can be colored with vegetable dyes and semi-permanent hair color, but it can't be bleached, permanently colored or otherwise chemically treated. It also can't be more than 5 percent grey. Visit Beautiful Lengths to learn more about donating your hair to women in need.
More for hair donations under 10 inches:
- Hair that Cares
This organization accepts a minimum length of 8 inches of hair braided into four separate ponytails, with rubber bands securing both ends. Color treated, processed, and gray hair are accepted. Hair donations can be mailed to their New York office.
- Children with Hair Loss
The mission of this organization is to improve the self confidence of children who have medically-related hair loss. They accept clean, dry hair secured in a ponytail at a minimum of 8 inches in length. Color-treated and/or gray is accepted. Learn more on their website, and find their tips on mailing hair donations.
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Photo credits: Starbux/WENN, Adriana M. Barraza/WENN