Woman with short hair after donating hair

Get a short 'do & do good too!

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.

Hilary Swank before and after

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.

scissorsLocks 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Donate your hair to charityPantene 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

More cool ideas and information about hairstyles

Styling hair while it's growing out
Short and sassy hairstyles
See hundreds of celebrity hairstyles

Photo credits: Starbux/WENN, Adriana M. Barraza/WENN



Comments on "Donating your hair to cancer patients"

A.PARANI March 30, 2014 | 10:26 PM

i would like to donate my hair. but i don't know where to donate it.

Margaret Jennison March 21, 2014 | 7:14 AM

Hi, I want to donate my hair to cancer patients and I am not sure where to donate it to. I went to Locks of Love site and I did some research about LOL but I am still not sure if I should donate their or not because I want to make sure that my hair is actually being used for the purpose that I donated it for.

Lois March 10, 2014 | 1:25 AM

When my Mother was 16, her hair was long enough to sit on. She cut it and carefully saved it in a box. It is not in a ponytail or braid but folded neatly in the box. Though quite old now, the hair is in very good condition. Will any place take hair like this?

Gina February 12, 2014 | 5:34 PM

Can I donate hair to a specific person for a wig ? I am a hairdresser and my customer wants to have a wig made from her daughters hair for her teacher who has cancer .

anon February 02, 2014 | 7:14 AM

LoL only requires 10 inches now!

bebe lili January 27, 2014 | 12:27 AM

hi i'm 23y now i live in California i have the long black hair i jest cut it now i want to donate my hair to cancer people . can u tell me where i can donate it?

Alex January 18, 2014 | 5:28 PM

I want to help people by donating my hair.

Suzanne Brown January 15, 2014 | 5:45 AM

I would like to donate my hair.but I don't know where to donate it. Also do they take gray hair.

robert crabtree January 11, 2014 | 8:25 AM

I want to donate my hair to my mother I grew it just for her how can I do this

Jeff December 20, 2013 | 11:58 AM

No one will take donated gray hair??!!

Lyndzey November 27, 2013 | 4:40 AM

Is there an organization that will allow you do donate your hair to make a wig for a specific person?

Ruwani Perera September 26, 2013 | 9:06 AM

I am a Sri Lankan,I cut my hair 2 days before. I wanted to donate my hair. My hair is 10 inch long and it's black. What is the best place to donate it. I really want to donate it cuz someone can use it and make happy him or her. Please let me know a good place. I went through lock of love web site also. Thank you.

Janet September 19, 2013 | 5:13 AM

I, too, am looking for a place to donate my hair. It's about 20 percent gray.

shana September 17, 2013 | 6:01 PM

I just thought of donating my hair since (we)my family and i found out my baby niece has cancer. And here my question is where do i donate it to?? my hair is long..

salma September 13, 2013 | 8:16 PM

Hi , i have a black hair and i want to donate it but i don't know how please tell me i'm from morroco .

Jill Rogers September 10, 2013 | 11:25 AM

I have naturally white hair. I would like to donate this for wigs. I was told that they can not accept this as it will not colour. Why do they have to colour wigs anyways? Would it not be more natural for a mature woman, who would like to wear a wig, have a few strands of natural white hairs in it? Or even for a man, to have white in their hair? Women who need to wear these wigs would feel more comfortable if they had a few strands of white or gray in them as this is a natural process. I believe a great dis-service is happening as the bigger picture isn't being viewed. Everyone can't look like they are 20-40, and many older people don't want to. There is a huge population that isn't being addressed when companies continue to ignore that people do age, we all know it's going to happen. Make wigs that are more realistic for every age group and gender. It's okay to have a few white hairs sewn into a wig. It will appear more natural for someone who already started turning grey or white. Who will be the first to step to the plate and really help someone whose already gone through so much, feel a little better by offering wigs that are a more natural looking, by adding the grey or white hairs that perhaps use to be there? It's time to wake up!

mirvat khawand September 08, 2013 | 2:54 PM

I want to donate the hair but I don't know where ?

Mary Jo September 08, 2013 | 9:57 AM

Everyone, There is Locks Of Love,Wigs for Kids. just go to the websites or google the name it gives you instructions on how , what, and where to send your hair. I know that if your hair is not color treated or too much gray, most Great Clips salons will cut for free when you are donating to locks Of Love. check out a great clips in your area and ask them first.

scruffystew September 04, 2013 | 7:35 PM

I did not donate my 30% grey hair because nobody seems to really want it. "Acceptable" isn't very enthusiastic! Sadly, I found that I couldn't buy a wig that was partly grey when I had chemo. I could choose between Not Grey and All Grey. I turned out to be a Scarf Wearer instead. Attention Entrepreneurs: There is a market for wigs that are a little bit grey! : )

cynthia m. glaim August 29, 2013 | 5:08 AM

I just 20 in. of my hair and like to donate it to the cancer make a wig foundation, and have no address, can you please let me know where to send it, thank-you Cynthia M. Glaim

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