Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DIY Hair Donation - Who Knew?

My hair before donation.
Did you know that you can donate hair from home? I sure didn't! Maybe this is common knowledge but somehow I missed the memo. Anyway, I've always wanted to donate my hair but thought you had to go to a salon authorized to wash and cut the hair and then they send it in. The logistics (and expense) of having a professional cut don't work for me so I've yet to donate my hair.

Well, beings it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my longest-term friend (since 8th grade!) is a cancer survivor who did lose all her hair during chemo, and I'm about desperate for a trim now, I Googled "donate hair" and guess what? I can do this myself at home! Although there are several programs that take hair, I'm planning to send mine to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society. Another excellent program is Locks of Love, which provides wigs for kids, but they require 10 inches of hair and Pantene will take just 8 inches.

To donate to either place, you just wash and dry your hair without styling products, put it in a ponytail, and cut above the rubber band. Then you put the banded hair in a ziplock bag and send it in a padded envelope. How easy is that? So if you'd like to donate your hair, hit the websites for specific requirements. For instance, some accept colored (but not bleached or highlighted), permed or gray hair and some don't. Also, length requirements vary. So just read the donation requirements to make sure your hair can be used once it is received by the program.

So now all I have to do is get my SIL or DD to cut my hair. Once it's done, I'll post an after picture.


  1. Awesome Crystal. I sent my hair to Pantene Beautiful lengths a few years ago. Post picts of your new do!

  2. I will post a picture, Wendy, as soon as I get it cut. Right now we're super busy with garden/orchard stuff - you know, jams and salsa, etc. so it may be next week. Probably won't be much of a "do" however, just straight around at whatever length it ends up being after cutting off the ponytail. I figure I should have quite a bit of curl once the weight is gone, however, so that might be fun. Then I can just grow it out and donate again. I wish the DIY donation had been available all along - if it had, I could have done this every 3-4 years for the past 30+ years!

  3. Hi Crystal!

    It's Terr from NJFM, and The Lemonade STAND. This post caught my eye. I would love to initiate a hair drive in the future. Thanks for sharing that the average person could do this. I will post on my blog regarding this initiative in the future, if that's okay with you.

    I don't have long hair, but I wouldn't mind getting the word out about this wonderful program.

    BTW, I sent you an email to the address that you left via your comment on my blog. Did you receive it?

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    I have done this. I like donating to the Pantene company better than locks for love. Because It doesn't need to be as much AND because I've heard that cancer patients pay for the Locks of Love wigs but not the Pantene Company. Now take that with a grain of salt since I don't know how credible my sources are (or even WHAT my sources are), but I'm so glad that you are doing this!

  5. Terr and Gianna Rae, thanks for stopping by and chiming in on hair donation! I still haven't got mine cut yet but hope to do so this week. But I guess every day I wait, it just gets a teeny-tiny bit longer, right?

    Terr - Sorry it took me a couple of days to respond but we had company over the weekend. Definitely promote this as much as you can. Especially after hearing from both Wendy and Gianna that they've donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, I feel really comfortable with the program and am glad I chose them for my donation. And yes, I got your email, thanks!

    Gianna Rae - Thanks for sharing your experience. I didn't know about possible payment for Locks of Love wigs but did read that they cost several thousand dollars each as they're custom fit. My reasons for choosing Pantene are the slightly lesser length requirement and that they'll take up to 5% gray, which I believe is quite a bit more gray than I've got:)